What do you reckon? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Seems like a nice unit with good features. If you don't need a scanner and want a nice, low profile, clean install go for a Cobra 75WXST. I'll take some pics of my setup. For the antenna I used a Firestik II 3-foot and I currently have it mounted where my factory AM/FM antenna goes. I am using a dongle that Firestik makes called a "matchmaker" that allows you to do AM/FM/CB all through the CB antenna.

Full on! I didn't even know that sort of stuff was around. Thanks mate, pics sound real good to.

Looks nice, especially with the remote faceplate. There's not a lot of space to mount stuff in the explorer, so that looks like it'll work out real well.


Here's a pic of my current setup with the CB antenna in the factory AM/FM location. It's a Firestik II 3 foot with tunable tip and a spring stud base.


Here's a close up of the base:


I routed the cable through the same place where the AM FM cable goes, then behind the glovebox, then to the cb radio (cobra 75wxst), which is here:


I like it because its compact, the radio, all the tuning, the speaker, etc are in that handheld part. Plus, when you don't want to use it, you can disconnect it from the port I made in the console (parts come with the radio) and put the handset away somewhere:


There is a little box that goes inside the console and that's where you hook up the antenna cable and also the power wires. I was able to tap into an unused wire harness in there that has continuous 12v and you can ground the negative wire to the metal plate under the console...works great:


The only drawback with the way I have the antenna set up is that it's taller than the factory radio antenna and it's heavier, so doing the bracketing in the fender is tricky (i tried re-using the stock antenna bracket and it still leans to the side more than I would like and is not sturdy enough in my opinion). Plus if you need to work on it you have to take off the front passenger side wheel and the mud guard in the fender and then reach up in there to work on it.

So, I'm going to move the antenna to the back and put my factory am/fm setup back on. This is the bracket I am going to use:


and install it here:


Main thing is to make sure you get a really good ground between the bracket and body otherwise your power output will suck and you'll potentially damage your radio. Look at the tech section on firestik.com if you are like me and didn't know anything about how all this stuff works until a month ago :)

Cheers James! Great pics, firestiks are pretty pricey over here compared with ebay motors


so I thought I may have a look at this one, seems alright for a 477mhz radio.


I'm hoping to run the coax through the rear hatch weather seal near the tail light. Would that be alright do you think? I am concerned about interference from the fuel pump tho', and slowly getting through the archived cb section.


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if you take off the taillight there's a hole behind it that would be better for routing the cable.

I thought fuel pump noise was more from the electrical interference of the pump motor making its way into the current of the vehicle's electrical system, not from it actually getting picked up in the antenna cable (coax is usually shielded enough to protect it from picking up stray interference from the outside). In any case, the location I showed you for tapping into the power of the car resulted in no fuel pump or ignition noise coming through the radio.

That second antenna you posted is a no-ground plane antenna, so you wouldn't ground it at the mount. I'm not sure it's tunable either, so that might pose some issues with SWR. I would go with the firestik even though its pricier.

O.K. mate thanks, I'll do that. One more stupid question-Is there any difference between a 27mhz aerial and a 477mhz aerial?

thats a bad ass radio

not sure what the answer is but you might be able to find it in here:


Thanks for that link! Most people (truckies, retired people towing rv's grey nomads and 4x4) down here run the uhf 477mhz models, but I like the remote face plate, and I should be able to fit it below the heater controls (if I'm lucky...which I'm not usually) but we'll see. Thanks again for the help.

Doesn't look to bad ay Tonyroc?

Apparently there's no need to tune a uhf aerial down here....I think?

yeah I checked with a guy at the radio shop on the firestik's and he said its only for 27megs but thanks for the install photo's and tips because some things are the same the world over...Ford Explorer's (Jeez, that sounds like the end of an advert)

I'm definitely going to do the rear tail light install like you suggested. I just have to pop that taillight to see what I'm dealing with.

You're the man!:D:thumbsup:

I like the controls being in the mike hand piece, really makes alot of sense these days where dash space can be so bloody limited. I would like a roof mount but I can only just see out of the windscreen as it is. These compact models are a great alternative.

OK I finished the job and I am happy with the result!

Here's me holding the firestik door jamb bracket up to the area behind the taillight where I want to mount it. The grommet where the green and black tipped connectors come out of is where I ran the cable into the vehicle:


Ok so the bracket doesn't sit flush and the bracket needed a bit of bending, so I got that done, drilled holes, and screwed it in:


With that done, I tested the continuity between the mount and a good ground. In this case I used the negative wire on one of the taillight wires. Everything was good so I routed the cable through the grommet I mentioned and behind the right rear cargo area panel, then down to the door sill wire channels, behind the glovebox, then into the console. Then I put the taillight back on, and cleaned everything up!




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That looks excellent mate, it came up a treat!:thumbsup:
Concise write up that will show anyone with a 3rd/4th gen exactly how to mount an aerial on the taillight. Awesome, you ARE the man!:D Big thankyou.