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i can hear my buddy, but he cant hear me. which antenna needs adjustment?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio - CB - Trail Communications' started by LONO100, July 14, 2011.

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  1. LONO100

    LONO100 Well-Known Member

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    hey all, i have another cb radio question. i just installed a cb radio in my buddy's 2011 F-150, the radio is a midland and the antenna is a magnet an adjustable magnet mount. i have a cobra 19 dxIII with the same magnet mount antenna.

    after i finished the install on his truck, he drove home and i stayed with him on channel 25 to test it out. i was picking him up fine, but after 3 miles, he lost me. he ended up at home about 4 miles away. i got him on his cell phone and told him via his phone to start transmitting on his cb radio. from his house 4 miles away, i was picking him up with minimal static. but when i transmitted back to him, he couldnt hear anything.

    my question is, which radio needs adjustment? mine or his? i tuned both antennas. my antenna was reading at 1.0-1.2 on channels 1, 20, and 40. on his antenna, i tuned it in between 1.2-1.6 on channels 1, 20, and 40. i dont know how much more i could get it tunes because those readings are pretty good. is there something that needs to be tweaked on his set up or mine? i think me being able to pick him up from 4 miles in the city is pretty damn good, but im trying to figure out whether there is a problem with my transmissions, or if it is his set up that needs tweaking being that he cant hear me.

    any help would be really appreciated! we have a big run me him and my cousin are doing up in the sierra in a few weeks so i want to get it as good as i can.

    thanks guys
     
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  3. rizzjc

    rizzjc Scubajoe - Radio Mod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Sounds like your SWR is pretty good. His would have no bearing on receive. Did you say they are the same antenna? It could just be the terrain. If he's higher up, then you'd hear him well, and maybe you're just not quite making it. 3-4 miles around town is probably pretty typical for cb. You can get a lot further, under idea conditions though. Also, where is the antenna mounted? He may just be getting a little better radiation pattern off his truck. You could always consider a longer antenna. Back in high school I used a 102" whip, on a bumper mount on a pickup truck, and if I was at a high spot I could get 7-10 miles.
     
  4. LONO100

    LONO100 Well-Known Member

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    thanks rizz. both of out antennas are mounted in the center rear of our roofs. we both live pretty much at sea level. ive picked up people as far as 12 miles away on this little magent mount, but i wanted to know if i just cant transmit very far, or if it was just him not being able ti pick me up.

    i want to upgrade to a 4' firestik and mount it on my rear bumper, but i just got this magent mount. so is the problem more on my end and me not being able to transmit as far as him, or is it him just not being able to pick me up from that distance? i dont think i can get the swr's lower. thanks for the help
     
  5. rizzjc

    rizzjc Scubajoe - Radio Mod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    With the SWR you are getting, I don't think it's a transmit problem. Sounds like you're matched about as good as you can be. Maybe the radio doesn't put out full power for some reason. Hard to say. You could try swapping radios with your buddy and see if you get better range.
     
  6. LONO100

    LONO100 Well-Known Member

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    good deal, i might try that. i think the range we are getting right now is pretty good for what we need it for this summer. we've hitting up tons of trails and camping spots all over california this summer and i think the couple of miles of range we have right now should do the job. he said he was already planning on mounting a firestik on his rear bumper, and i think im going to do the same thing after our next big trip to the sierra mountains in late july. ill post my results. thanks again.
     
  7. Scott B.

    Scott B. Well-Known Member

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    Not to threadjack, but -

    Don't forget that a 4' antenna mounted to your bumper will have a much shorter effective length. The body of the vehicle will interfere with the antenna's transmission pattern.
     
  8. LONO100

    LONO100 Well-Known Member

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    highjack away scott! any info or suggestions are always welcomed on my part. how long should i go? i figured 4' would be enough to be higher than my roof, but what do you suggest? id like to go firestik, but im also open to other brands. id like an adjustable srew tip if possible for easier tuning. thanks.
     
  9. Scott B.

    Scott B. Well-Known Member

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    I'm not suggesting a different brand, just "encouraging" you not to mount it to the bumper.:p:

    I may be biased, but in my mind, a roof mount is the only way to go. I did mount a K40 through the roof of my ex's Ex - pulling out the headliner was interesting, and she really didn't like the idea of drilling a hole in the roof of "her" brand new truck - but it never leaked.
     
  10. LONO100

    LONO100 Well-Known Member

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    yeah, its either on the bumper or another magnet mount. the cb radio dealer ive been talking to showed me his ride and on his escalade he had one of those "willy's" on his. he told me he's had the best success with the wilsons. i dont think im ready to drill a hole on my ride either. thanks for the input, id like to have a roof mount, but living here in the bay area, i drive through my fare share of parking garages in the city so if i get roof mount, im limited to its height. thats why i think im going to try the bumper mount. ill repost with results. thanks again fellas.
     
  11. Four0Sport

    Four0Sport Jack Pewe Elite Explorer

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    bringing this one back to life..

    same issue, I have a 4ft firestick on my rear bumper, midland radio that was tuned, I can hear my friends on the trails but they cant hear me, and we are only truck lengths apart.. they only get high pitch squeals and static.

    the only 'issue' i know i have is the coax has been jammed between the swingout a few times
     
  12. rizzjc

    rizzjc Scubajoe - Radio Mod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    You could try hooking up a temporary wire, but definitely check swr. You could also swap your radio with a friend (if the swr is ok), and dubs out of your setup is ok, or if it's your radio. What does the meter look like on transmit (of there is even a meter)? The antenna on the bumper won't matter when you're right next to each other.
     
  13. 4x4junkie

    4x4junkie Well-Known Member

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    Squealing noises I've found are often caused by a bad ground (damaged antenna coax cable or loose antenna mount), and/or insufficient power supply to the radio (too small gauge wire/too much voltage drop). Another possible is the microphone connector is grounding out or has a bad connection (internally frayed or broken wire).

    Since you say your coax got caught in your swingout (tire carrier I assume), that's be the first place I'd check.
     
  14. Four0Sport

    Four0Sport Jack Pewe Elite Explorer

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    thanks guys.. gives me something to do today
     

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