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my first CB radio install (clean install, still working out bugs!)

Discussion in 'Ham Radio - CB - Trail Communications' started by LONO100, June 24, 2011.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. ITF36059

    ITF36059 New Member

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    On the Explorer, you have to remove the visors and clips to get the headliner down. Once it is removed, there is a crossbar just above the windshield. Drilled 2 holes once I lined up the bracket and used sheet metal screws to mount the bracket. Then I cut 2 slits where the bracket touched the headliner and pushed the bracket through. It's a little tight around the mirror as the Cobra 29 is full sized chassis, but the mirror adjust to where I need it.
    Mic cable goes around the mirror and doesn't block my vision. I tend to use side mirrors a lot more than most and don't really depend on the center mirror.

    Mike
     
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  3. LONO100

    LONO100 Well-Known Member

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    yeah, ive been talking to the guy who did that instal with the splitter. he told me that he was using way too tall of an antenna to put in that spot, but said that a 2 ft antenna would most likely work. i have an old 3 ft antenna that i have already threaded into that spot, and it is pretty light and thin and might just do the trick. if the performance sucks, i will probably pick up a 2 ft firestik and try that. i am actually trying to buy the splitter from the guy who originally posted on this type of install. i dont need it to reach out very far, just enough to keep in contact with my buddies when we go on road trips, camping trips and when we are on the trails roading. thanks for the heads up though, i really appreciate it. if it does end up sucking, or i do find myself wanting more range, i can always mount a larger antenna on my rear bumper and see how that works. ill be sure to post results and pics for everyone as i go along.
     
  4. LONO100

    LONO100 Well-Known Member

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    thats pretty sweet. thats what it looked like from your pic. is the radio holding pretty snug up there, or do you get any play from the screws? im just about ready to get in the garage and finish my install right now.
     
  5. ITF36059

    ITF36059 New Member

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    Which screws are you referring to? The screws going into the radio or the screws going into sheet metal holding the bracket?

    Both are nice and snug. Been that way since Sunday. Time will tell though.
     
  6. Tbars4

    Tbars4 Moderator Emeritus Elite In Memoriam

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    ..Lono100, pics aren't working..:(

    ...Might be worth becoming "Elite" and using the Forum to store pics to...They will always be viewable for everyone to see..

    ..I was looking forward to seeing your set up..
     
  7. LONO100

    LONO100 Well-Known Member

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    yeah, i was organizing my photobucket account and moved them into a different folder and it messed up the links. ill fix it in a few hours when i get back to my home computer. and yes, at some point i will get around to becomming an elite member!
     
  8. LONO100

    LONO100 Well-Known Member

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    hey tbars, i fixed the pics, take a look.
     
  9. Tbars4

    Tbars4 Moderator Emeritus Elite In Memoriam

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    ..I see the pics and nice job..:biggthump

    ..I don't know if it's been mentioned before about the wire that's tapped into the fuse box...You might want to run it below the bracket as it will eventually cut the wire jacket due to normal vibrations where it is located..;)
     
  10. LONO100

    LONO100 Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the tip, ill move it first thing in the morning!
     
  11. bile

    bile New Member

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    Excuse me LONO. I noticed you installed a COBRA 19. I also have a COBRA 19 that I installed about a year and a half ago. If you still have it, how is it working for you?
     
  12. Ranger379

    Ranger379 Well-Known Member

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    the cobra 19 is a very nice inexpensive model. i had a couple before when size was an issue, and also have put them in alot of my friends trucks. they work great when paired with a good antenna like a wilson mag mount. the only adjustments you have on the 19 are volume and squelch, so its pretty basic and easy to use.
     
  13. bile

    bile New Member

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    The antenna I use is a wilson flex. I got a 3 footer to reach past my roof. Oh yeah, it is attached to a spring, to a mount, to the front drivers side hood.(wondering if the 12' from back fender to front of truck in an arc form would do better) I got an swr an followed everything to a tee. I've never picked up anything on any other channel but 19. And that's not that great. I feel like it only reaches like a mile or two away. And I'll tell you what,...try to get truckers to help chime in to see how far it's reaching,..man did they have some words.
     
  14. LONO100

    LONO100 Well-Known Member

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    hey bile, the swr readings are dictated by the type of antenna you are using and more importantly where it is placed. the left side of your X might be causing interference as the fuel pump is on that side and could be screwing up your readings. i dont think the actual radio can cause bad swr. try moving your antenna to either the middle or at least the right side of your X. the center of your vehicle would be ideal as your roof will help with reception.

    as for the cobra 19, i love it because i was more interested in simplicity of use and size. its perfect for that, but some features that you might want like weather channel, band search, stuff like that are missing from it. you might want to look into what different radios offer in terms of features to see exactly what you want.

    so in terms of improving your signal, focus on your antenna and cable and make sure you optimize that. my cobra 19 has worked awesome for me, i can reach my buddy across town which is about 4.5 miles through a pretty metropolitan area with ease, and can regularly reach guys 7 plus miles away.
     
  15. Dan Whitaker

    Dan Whitaker One fast putty tat Elite Explorer

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    I must be lucky because I have been treated nicely when doing a radio check.
     
  16. The DB

    The DB Active Member

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    It's not, my Wilson 5000 is mounted just as high up and is taller. If your antenna hits anything on roads then something is to low... Wheeling may have lower overhangs as well.

    If talking to someone in a vehicle within sight on a road any antenna should work, if you need to talk miles away there is no substitute for length...

    The DB
     
  17. The DB

    The DB Active Member

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    SWR readings are affected by positioning, especially if the antenna is not on the roof. Fuel pumps will not screw with SWR, however they can cause additional noise when you are listening to your radio. Moving the antenna is a good suggestion...

    The idea with the 12' antenna is likely not going to help, as it is not near 9' long, you would need a matching network of some sort or your SWR's will be way off. In that description the side of the truck would have to be considered as part of the matching network as well as the continuous curve of the antenna as they will have a major impact on the antenna and how it operates. It would also be very directional, front and back, with some reception on one side and as little as no reception on the other side of the vehicle.

    Good advice here, the antenna system is definitely the more important component. Also making sure it's properly tuned is a big plus as well, if you can't get it figured out ask, find someone that knows, preferably local that can get it done for you. Many times people think they have an antenna issue and it ends up bing in the coax...

    The DB
     
  18. bile

    bile New Member

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    Welp, I only mentioned the 12 footer because I read somewhere that it equaled 1/4 of a wave length. Figured that would be a big help.Wasn't quite sure though. Ok, so, the antenna is directly across from the radio antenna at the crease of the hood and left corner panel. I didn't use the other side because of the radio antenna. I will be 100% honest, I chose that spot because I didn't want to drill through anything or screw up any rubber mouldings around the doors. The cable goes through a rubber gromet in the firewall. With me, when it rains it pours. I picked my spot and went from there with the 3 footer to clear the roof. Cant remember what type of cable I have but I got one that everyone on a CB forum suggested. I made sure the extra cord isn't rolled up either. Bought the swr meter. Went to a huge open field. I'm pretty sure everything went fine. I calibrated it. Made sure I wrote everything down and did what I needed to. So far in over a year and a half, I only ran into something too low for it 1 time. Caught totally off guard,..now I understand the clean undies in the glovebox joke. Thanks everyone.
     
  19. The DB

    The DB Active Member

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    Quarter wave is about 9', varying for the specific frequency. 9' is actually between channel 7 and 8 if memory serves. The higher alon loser to this length the better. I currently have a Wilson 5000 on top of my ex, it hits some trees on neighborhood streets, but that is all. It has enough flex that it's not an issue if I'm going anywhere close to the speed limit. It's magnet mount holds well.

    If it's working for what you want it for leave it alone aside from an occasional SWR check to make sure things are as they should be. There are those who push the units to their limits, but if you just need a radio to talk to someone you are following on the highway, or who is within a mile, most setups will work fine. Will it be the best possible setup? Not likely, but the important question is does it meet your needs?

    The DB
     
  20. OffTrac

    OffTrac Elite Explorer

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    Ok, just read through this whole thread. Thanks for the writeup. About to order a Midland 1001Z CB and Little Wil antenna. Anything you have changed since the last update that is not already mentioned in this thread? Not sure if I followed correctly or not, but you no longer have the antenna on the roof behind the basket, right? I was planning on doing it as you initially did. Also getting a roof basket. If you did move it, was there a particular reason you didn't keep it on the roof behind the basket?
     
  21. rizzjc

    rizzjc Scubajoe - Radio Mod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Middle is ideal, but anywhere will work. It'll just favor a particular direction. I have mine on the side of hood (driver side).
     

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