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calibrating problems...


Active Member
December 9, 2001
Reaction score
City, State
Edmond, OK
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Limited 4x4 V8
Okay here's the deal. I bought a Cobra 29 NW ST and a 4' firestik antenna... w/ a 16 foot cable running the two together. I custom mounted the antenna to the back hatch of my X, so it should have a good ground (assuming that the whole car is being used as the ground). I am running the power directly from the battery and not from a fuse. My problem is that I cannot get goot calibration what so ever. It might get a little below the three but no more. Two of my friends have the exact same CB and setup and have no trouble with this. We have tried virtually everything...the only thing I can figure to do is to run the power wire through a fuse or that the CB just might be bad....If anybody can help me out with any suggestions I would greatly appreciate it....

Ray Hutchinson

Moderator Emeritus
January 20, 2000
Reaction score
City, State
Dana Point, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XLT


I assume by calibration you are referring to adjusting the antenna for minimum SWR. Is your hatch, and therefore the antenna mount base grounded? often the door, hood, and hatch hinges aren't making good electrical connection, therefore they aren't grounded. You can check for this with an Ohm meter. Also, have you substituted a different antenna, just to be sure the problem isn't with your antenna? Also, a bad coax cable can cause a high SWR, that no amount of adjusting the antenna will lower. If someone you know has a good magmount and cable, you can try that on your radio, to see if the problem is with your antenna / cable.


Well-Known Member
March 4, 1999
Reaction score
City, State
Boston Area
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Ranger Edge

All good ideas from Ray, as usual.
After checking the radio and the antenna-mount ground check the coax, disconnect it from 'both' ends, the radio and the antenna mount.
Use a Volt/Ohm Meter and check from center to ground, try both ends just for grins.
If you get any readings what so ever then you have a shorted piece of coax.
It will be difficult to determine if a connector is the problem or the coax itself is bad, without disassembling the coax.

If you bought the coax as an assembly then return it.

If you want to fix it yourself you will need to remove the connectors and determine it the coax is good. Cut off the connectors and check from the center connector to the braid on the outside of the foam insulator. Again, if you get a reading then the coax cable itself is shorted and no good. Make sure the braid is not touching the center conductor on either end while you are checking for shorts.

Note: You MIGHT be able to see the problem while disassembling the connectors, but I doubt it, just cut off both connectors and redo from the beginning.

Note: If you check the coax with it connected to the antenna, it will show a shorted condition; don't worry it is normal. Disconnect the coax at the antenna and try again.

If the coax is "good" and you have reinstalled the connectors and the rebuilt coax is not shorted, and you have tested the radio with a friends mag mount antenna and you have a good ground and the SWR is still “bad”, then you may want to try another antenna. If the antenna is new then go back to the supplier and ask to try another antenna or swap for another and check the SWR again.

I hope the above makes sense, I tend to ramble.
Take your time, “Do It right The First Time”.

One more thing, if all checks out to be "good", and the SWR is still higher than what you want it to be, then you may want to try grounding the radio chassis, but that another story.

Good Luck, it is easy, just time consuming.

:usa: :chug: :ca: