Dismiss Notice



Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

Tbars Quick CB Setup for Cheap...

Discussion in 'Ham Radio - CB - Trail Communications' started by Tbars4, January 7, 2010.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. Tbars4

    Tbars4 Moderator Emeritus Elite In Memoriam

    Joined:
    March 4, 2007
    Messages:
    26,515
    Media:
    4
    Likes Received:
    57
    Trophy Points:
    78
    City, State:
    anaheim hills,california
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    95 ranger 4x4/ 91 X 4x4
    ...I thought this would come in handy for those who need to run out and get a basic, quick, setup for cheap...:biggthump

    ..Again, this is a reliable setup but the key words are Quick, Easy, and Cheap...There are a lot better preferances and setup's but this will work for a fulltime user and is great for the first time setup...:hammer:

    ..This will include magnet mount antenna's for quick installation and removal for your daily life, for those who do not need a CB all the time..This setup also works well to move it to other vehicles too..

    ..CB...I have this model in each truck..

    ...This is the Cobra 19 DX IV which can be found easily, (as well as these antenna's, at wally world, Target, and Radioshack) for $49.99 or on sale for $39.99...I prefer this model as it is basic and simple, made by one of the best Manuf. of CB's, and has one of the loudest speakers I can find in a CB, let alone a compact CB..

    19 DX IV Compact CB Radio

    "This mobile CB radio offers Instant Channel 9 and 19, RF Gain and an Illuminated LCD Display, all in a compact design!"

    http://www.cobra.com/products/mobile-cb-radios/19-dx-iv-compact-cb-radio
    [​IMG]
    _________________________________________________________________________________


    ..Antenna's...

    ...This is a good replacement antenna for cheap and is easy to tune without trimming...

    ..For the last couple of years I have run this antenna on both trucks and due to abuse, heat, and age, I have gone thru two of them...They are a fine antenna and would last alot longer for the casual user...These are found at Radioshack at $32.99...They had been $19-$29 the last few years but have gone up in price..
    http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062087

    This powerful, heavy-duty magnet-mount CB antenna locks onto trunk lid or any flat, metal surface-holds securely at all legal speeds! No drilling required, just stick on your car and you're ready to roll! It easily tunes to lowest SWR for best transmission range, and has a bottom-loaded waterproof coil.

    Model: 21-989

    * Bottom-loaded waterproof coil
    * 39-1/2 inches tall
    * 17-foot coax cable


    [​IMG]
    _________________________________________________________________________________


    ..Test Trial Antenna...

    ...I just picked this antenna up for $19.99 and I will be doing a test trial on this..;)

    ...This antenna has a short whip and is great for low clearance areas...The problem with the short whip is it will shorten the send/receive distance...I thought it would be good to test what kind of trail range I can get out of this at Truckhaven and possibly Big Bear...The good news is, it is made by Cobra and will be a matched setup..
    http://www.cobra.com/products/cb-radio-accessories/hg-a1000-magnet-mount-antenna-21-inches

    Cobra® 21” Magnet-Mount 100W CB Antenna-Cellular Style Antenna..P/N HG A1000

    - Base-Loaded Magnet Mount CB Antenna Attaches Easily to Roof or Trunk Lid
    - Easily Transferred to Multiple Vehicles
    - 100 Watt Power Handling Capability
    - Black Stainless Steel Whip and Hardware
    - 26-30 MHz Frequency Range


    [​IMG]


    ...I did however find a CB writeup which included the use of this smaller antenna at offroad.com...
    http://www.off-road.com/trucks4x4/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=639151&pageID=2

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    ...SWR Meter and testing...

    ...This section is brief and just an overview. Please refer to your SWR Meter's instructions rather than using this as a guide..:hammer:

    ...This is a basic SWR meter for testing single antenna's...You can find these for $20 at most electronic stores but if you shop around, I have found them for $10..
    [​IMG]

    ...You must calibrate this each and every time you make an antenna adjustment. You also need to calibrate for each channel test, each and every time...

    ...You key the mike with the SWR meter in the calibrating mode (See switch position in picture) and you adjust the dial until it is in the set mode as shown below...

    Note: Although these 2 pics of meters are of the same meter, the labeling is different but the switch positions are the same...
    [​IMG]

    ...You then switch the meter to the test setting and key the mike on the channel you are testing...
    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    ...How To Set Up this Antenna per Cobra Instructions...

    ...Antenna Assembly...

    ...Loosen the set screw from the top of the antenna mast. Insert the whip into the mast until it hits bottom. lightly tighten set screw.

    ...Antenna Mounting...

    ...The metal body of your vehicle serves as the ground plane for the antenna. The ideal location for the antenna is on the center of the roof or trunk lid, as far away from any structures like luggage racks as possible. Make sure that all hardware and connections are tightened securely.

    ...Checking the SWR (Standing Wave Ratio)...

    ...Make sure your vehicle is in an open area at least 30 feet away from any metal objects and with the doors, hood and trunk closed. Connect an SWR meter in the Coax line between the radio and antenna (Unless your radio has a built in SWR meter). Check the SWR on both channel 1 and channel 40. Readings under 2:1 are considered acceptable, with 1:5:1 or lower being desirable.

    Note..
    ..An SWR reading of over 3:1 on both channel 1 and 40 generally indicates an open or shorted coax or a poor ground connection. Re-check these conditions before proceeding. Do not use the radio until the problem has been corrected. An SWR reading between 2.0 and 3.0 generally indicates a problem with the coax quality or length, or an inadequate ground plane.

    ..Tuning the Antenna...

    A) If the SWR on channel 40 is higher than channel 1:Remove the whip from the mast and trim it by 1/8" to 1/4" using a bolt cutter or hacksaw. Re-insert into the mast, tighten the set screw and again read the SWR. If the SWR reading is still higher than channel 1, repeat until the two channels readings are approximately equal.

    B) If the SWR on channel 1 is higher than channel 40: Loosen the set screw, pull the whip up 1/4", tighten the set screw and read the SWR again. If the SWR is still higher than channel 40, repeat until the readings are approximately equal. Then firmly tighten the set screw.

    Note:...
    ...Here are several common causes of "High SWR" readings from Firestick.com 's site...
    http://www.firestik.com/Tech_Docs/swr-causes.htm
    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    ....Following procedure and my install results...


    ...I pulled the antenna out of the package and it came with an allen wrench too...Great, this should go quick...Trying to loosen the screw, the allen spun...It seems the screw had a taper in the receiving part...I whipped out my set of allens and then no problem..:dunno:
    [​IMG]

    ..After placing the antenna in it's future resting spot, setting up my SWR Meter and calibrating it, I was able to start testing...

    ..Initial test channel 40...
    [​IMG]

    ...Initial test channel 1...
    [​IMG]

    ...After first trimming or two...Since the whip is stainless, I used an air cutoff tool...Using a hacksaw would only get you frustrated and bend the antenna..

    ..Channel 40...
    [​IMG]

    ...Channel 1...
    [​IMG]

    ..And after several more trimmings, (about an inch)...

    ...Channel 40...
    [​IMG]

    ...Channel 1...
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: January 16, 2010
  2. Support EF

    Join the Elite Explorers for $20

    Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see practically no ads, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.



  3. rizzjc

    rizzjc Scubajoe - Radio Mod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

    Joined:
    July 13, 2005
    Messages:
    3,599
    Media:
    10
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Location:
    NC
    City, State:
    Garner, NC
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '97 AWD V8 XLT
    Callsign:
    N1LVN
    Good writeup, thanks. I'll make it a sticky.
     
  4. YBCold

    YBCold Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    January 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,221
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    46
    City, State:
    Las Vegas NV
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    91 ×∟┬
    thanks for posting TBars. im interested in installing a CB in my truck. but first i gotta fix some other problems
     
  5. grant00

    grant00 Active Member

    Joined:
    March 23, 2009
    Messages:
    446
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    City, State:
    Folsom, CA (home); Pomona, CA (school)
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '00 XLT 4.0 SOHC
    Subscribing.. :popcorn:

    Ive been looking at getting this CB for mine for a while now. Im going out tomorrow to a radio shop in Fontana to probably get it for the T-haven run. Cant wait to see the writeup! :thumbsup:
     
  6. nmpfeiff

    nmpfeiff Member

    Joined:
    April 17, 2009
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Advance, NC
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2002 Eddie Bauer
    I have one of those Cobra antenna's that I got at big lots for $15 and it has very poor reception and quality. You can pay a little more and get a Wilson Little Will or buy a fiberglass one and use a hood mount for about the same price. That is just my personal choice as I use both but you may get good results with it but I would recommend staying away from Cobra antenna's.

    Anyway good writeup and thanks for the info.
     
  7. Tbars4

    Tbars4 Moderator Emeritus Elite In Memoriam

    Joined:
    March 4, 2007
    Messages:
    26,515
    Media:
    4
    Likes Received:
    57
    Trophy Points:
    78
    City, State:
    anaheim hills,california
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    95 ranger 4x4/ 91 X 4x4
    ...What was you SWR reading when you were tuning it and what was your final reading?

    ...There are a couple reasons why this would not be a really good antenna mentioned in the first post, but I am curious on your before and after tuning numbers and how much you had to trim...:scratch:
     
  8. grant00

    grant00 Active Member

    Joined:
    March 23, 2009
    Messages:
    446
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    City, State:
    Folsom, CA (home); Pomona, CA (school)
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '00 XLT 4.0 SOHC
    just bout the radio, mount, coax, and antenna. went with a 3ft Firestik for about $20
     
  9. Tbars4

    Tbars4 Moderator Emeritus Elite In Memoriam

    Joined:
    March 4, 2007
    Messages:
    26,515
    Media:
    4
    Likes Received:
    57
    Trophy Points:
    78
    City, State:
    anaheim hills,california
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    95 ranger 4x4/ 91 X 4x4
    ...What was your total price for everything and did you buy the same radio or?
     
  10. Elessar65

    Elessar65 Elite Explorer

    Joined:
    July 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,072
    Media:
    4
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Land of Oz
    City, State:
    Wichita, Ks
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    98 Sport
    Haha, thats almost the exact setup I had in my old 84 F150. Found I used it a lot more than I thought I would, so when I started modifying the X I went with a Uniden 538W in the dash (cause its almost DIN sized, and it has a front firing speaker) and a Wilson Flex 4' mounted above the tail light. Much better reception and transmitting, although snaking 18' of coax through the truck behind panels almost made me say F-it and go back to a magnet mount. :D
     
  11. Tbars4

    Tbars4 Moderator Emeritus Elite In Memoriam

    Joined:
    March 4, 2007
    Messages:
    26,515
    Media:
    4
    Likes Received:
    57
    Trophy Points:
    78
    City, State:
    anaheim hills,california
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    95 ranger 4x4/ 91 X 4x4
    ...I had bought and previously tested the Uniden 538W a few years back at Pismo beach...Although I liked the weather stations it had and they were clear when dialed in, I could barley hear the speaker...

    ...I took it back and got another Uniden 538W just to be fair and make sure I hadn't just got a bad one...I had plans on building a complete custom setup around it since it did have the front firing speaker...

    ...That is how I wound up with the current Cobra's I have...;)
     
  12. Elessar65

    Elessar65 Elite Explorer

    Joined:
    July 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,072
    Media:
    4
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Land of Oz
    City, State:
    Wichita, Ks
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    98 Sport
    Hmm, mine is plenty loud to hear when turned up, even with the stereo on at a reasonable level at highway speed. It was between that Uniden and the Cobra 18WX ST II, but the Uniden was about $20 cheaper.
     
  13. grant00

    grant00 Active Member

    Joined:
    March 23, 2009
    Messages:
    446
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    City, State:
    Folsom, CA (home); Pomona, CA (school)
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '00 XLT 4.0 SOHC

    everything all together was about $97 with shipping.

    And ive got a ball mount from radioshack so that puts it about $110. Im planning on mounting the ball in front of the sideview mirror on the little plastic panel on the driver side.
     
  14. Tbars4

    Tbars4 Moderator Emeritus Elite In Memoriam

    Joined:
    March 4, 2007
    Messages:
    26,515
    Media:
    4
    Likes Received:
    57
    Trophy Points:
    78
    City, State:
    anaheim hills,california
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    95 ranger 4x4/ 91 X 4x4
    ..grant00, check with rizzjc on grounding that antenna...;)...And what radio did you get?


    ...I should have mentioned the test were in my X....:D

    ...With the motor, headers, and exhaust, not counting the other noises when wheeling, It sounds more like this and a loud speaker was needed...
    [​IMG]

    ...I was even going to add an exterior speaker until I found my current radio...

     
    Last edited: January 8, 2010
  15. Elessar65

    Elessar65 Elite Explorer

    Joined:
    July 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,072
    Media:
    4
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Land of Oz
    City, State:
    Wichita, Ks
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    98 Sport
    Haha, nice....
     
  16. grant00

    grant00 Active Member

    Joined:
    March 23, 2009
    Messages:
    446
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    City, State:
    Folsom, CA (home); Pomona, CA (school)
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '00 XLT 4.0 SOHC
    I got the same radio you mentioned in your post. and check with him about the antenna for what?
     
  17. Tbars4

    Tbars4 Moderator Emeritus Elite In Memoriam

    Joined:
    March 4, 2007
    Messages:
    26,515
    Media:
    4
    Likes Received:
    57
    Trophy Points:
    78
    City, State:
    anaheim hills,california
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    95 ranger 4x4/ 91 X 4x4
    ...Have you mounted an antenna on plastic before???..How are you going to ground your antenna??
     
  18. Elessar65

    Elessar65 Elite Explorer

    Joined:
    July 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,072
    Media:
    4
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Land of Oz
    City, State:
    Wichita, Ks
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    98 Sport
    If you are mounting it on plastic or fiberglass you need a No Ground Plane antenna and NGP coax. Although if you ground the mount when you are installing it I think it will work ok. I've seen someone else on here with a little ball mount like you are talking about. It looks nice and clean, but IDK how it performs. Just remember that the antenna transmits down and uses the radio waves reflected off the metal vehicle to propagate the signal. Thats why the center of the roof is the "ideal" place. That being said, as long as it sticks up higher than the roof by a foot at least you should be ok.
     
  19. grant00

    grant00 Active Member

    Joined:
    March 23, 2009
    Messages:
    446
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    City, State:
    Folsom, CA (home); Pomona, CA (school)
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '00 XLT 4.0 SOHC
    I was planning on running wire off the base to the metal interior of the door.
     
  20. grant00

    grant00 Active Member

    Joined:
    March 23, 2009
    Messages:
    446
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    City, State:
    Folsom, CA (home); Pomona, CA (school)
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '00 XLT 4.0 SOHC
    I also have a second mount coming with the coax cable which I believe is a NGP mount or at least it says so on Firestik's website. It's the molded side mount kit.
     
  21. Tbars4

    Tbars4 Moderator Emeritus Elite In Memoriam

    Joined:
    March 4, 2007
    Messages:
    26,515
    Media:
    4
    Likes Received:
    57
    Trophy Points:
    78
    City, State:
    anaheim hills,california
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    95 ranger 4x4/ 91 X 4x4
    ...Although this thread is for a Quick, Easy, and Cheap install, when it comes to antenna's and mounting of them, you can actually be doing harm to your system or set up...Magnet mounts are good for the items mentioned above nut there is some info to know when mounting permanent antenna's...

    ..I am hoping Rizzjc can jump in here and quickly access your install so it will be as easy as possible....Here is some info to read on grounds...More info than you will need...(Grounds, RF & DC)...;)
    http://www.k0bg.com/
     

Share This Page







We Support Our Troops!