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how to get better CB reception?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio - CB - Trail Communications' started by yob_yeknom, February 26, 2001.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. yob_yeknom

    yob_yeknom Moderator Emeritus

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    I have a Uniden Pro 520XL CB radio and a Lil' Wil magnet mount antenna. The antenna is mounted on the center of the roof. I have 27' total antenna cable. I spliced an end onto the cable, but I'm pretty sure I did it right. (thanks JamminG4Jim!!) I had the antenna tuned, but the guy didn't actually do anything. I hooked up the SWR meter and he just looked at it and said everything was good enough as is.
    The problem is that my reception SUCKS. I don't have even a half mile range! What can I do? Anything I can buy that will help? How would I use an SWR meter to make sure things are 'good enough as is'? How do you tune an antenna? If it is okay, then what?
    I know that's a lot of Q's, but I really need some A's to go with them.
     
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  3. JamminG4Jim

    JamminG4Jim Elite Explorer

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    Does your rig have a "RF Gain" dial/knob? Make sure it's rotated fully clockwise. Also, make sure you set your squelch so that it BARELY silences the static. Running your squelch on 100 percent will severely reduce your reception range.

    Some SRW meters have a "Forward-Reverse" switch with a gain knob on them. Start out with the gain knob fully counter-clockwise and the switch in "Forward". key the rig on a quiet channel in the center of your reception range (around channel 20)
    and while the mic is keyed rotate the gain knob to the "set" point on the meter. unkey, set the selector switch to "Reverse" and re-key the rig. Any reading over "2" isn't good.....

    Some newer SWR meters do all the calibrating for you, so it depends on what kind of meter you're using!!

    Hope this helps!
     
  4. mmpc

    mmpc Moderator Emeritus

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    Check Antenna Connection

    I have the same radio and experienced a problem similar to yours. It sounds obvious, but make sure you check the antenna connection to the radio, especially the threaded PL-259 connector on the back.

    I was using a short extension cable in between my radio and K40 antenna during the CCR2000 run and noticed my range getting considerably shorter. With the help of Ray Hutchinson (who had - along with a kitchen sink ;) - an SWR meter in his Explorer), we discovered my connection from the extension cable to the back of the radio was just slightly loose. Amazingly it was enough to make a HUGE difference in transmission/reception power.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Grinder

    Grinder Explorer Elite<br><img src="/forums/images/star.gi

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    HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I can't figure out how to tune my antenna. I've got a radio shack SWR meter, the one with one dial and one meter. I didn't come with any instructions and when I plug it in between my antenna and my radio and key the mic, the needle just pegs, what the heck am I supposed to do?

    Anybody able to E-mail me some instructions??
     
  6. Ray Hutchinson

    Ray Hutchinson Moderator Emeritus

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    Using your SWR meter

    Grinder,

    If you have the one shown in the RS catalog as #21-533, then It also has a switch. Connect the meter to the radio, in line with the antenna, set the switch to the "Calibrate" position, push the microphone button to transmit and use the knob like a volume control to set the meter needle to the point on the meter dial marked for calibration. Then set the switch to the other position to read the SWR. Point 5 or better is desirable. See my reply to the "tuning my cb antenna" thread in this forum for antenna adjustment procedures. Good luck1
     
  7. ShellyB

    ShellyB New Member

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    Hey Y'all, I guess I really shouldn't say where I work but I will say that I patrol the perimeter in a pickup and communication is crucial. You'd imagine the boss would kick a few bucks for some new radios. We ended up with new "top load" antennas instead. Honestly the difference was like night and day, so I got one for my CJ. Seems I've picked up about 5 miles on the gain and they say my output's great.

    I've learned that I've always used a "base loaded" antenna and that a center load is better than that and a top load is even better yet. What really blows is that these are easier broken because the important part is always getting banged off the trees n such.

    Long story short; increase signal strength with a center load or top load antenna and make sure it's tuned properly. Don't know how? learn.

    Center Loaded CB Antennas
    Top Loaded CB Antennas
    How to Tune a CB Antenna
     

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