Off Road Vehicles banner
1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
777 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a uniden CB and am planning on buying an antenna and installing it on my truck. I have to park in a parking garage for work, so I wont be able to get a very tall antenna, what do you guys think of a 4' firestick? Would I still be able to get a descent range? What is the best way to install the CB & antenna? Do you just run it to the battery or??? Thank you for your help in advance.

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,237 Posts
i ran my cb straight to the battery, but when i start putting switches in, im gonna put a 3-way switch in front of it. on-switched-off. that way i can have it on without the key, or set it to automatically come on with the key, or just flat off. all without messing with the knobs on the cb itself. the antena is a good choice. im gonna run dual whips when i redo mine, but for now i had just a $20 radio crap magnetic and it had plenty of range. but it hit a branch fell off my truck and went under my tire, so its no longer usable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,057 Posts
If you off-road, or frequent low garages, I would recommend the wilson silverload Flex over the firestik.

I've got both a 4' firestik that was eaten in a garage, and the wilson.

The wilson I can reach out the window grab the antenna, and bend it right over till it's touching the bottom of the window (I use a dodge hood/fender mount). Great for parking garages.

It's probably ok to let it hit stuff on the cieling of the garage, but it gets annoying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
Parking garage?? What's that? I can't even fit my trucks in a parking garage without the antenna. Though on my dakota it had dual 4' firesticks mounted behind the cab on springs. They hit most parking garages but never broke any. If they rub the roof the whole way you will evently rub the tip off. Make sure you put some springs between them and the mount though, they don't flex much otherwise. I have always hard wired my CB's/ Scanners to the battery. You just have to remember to turn them off when you leave your truck for an extended time. If you don't think you will remember, wire them to your acc switch, which will turn it on and off automatically. The problem I found with doing that is you have to change the channel back to what ever it was on. Mine reset to channel 9 when ever you turned it off. So I hard wired it and now it remembers the last channel it was on. I just have to remember to turn it off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
I have a Wilson 5000 mag mount in the center of my roof. The range is incredible (especially on sideband, but my truck is 11.5 feet tall with the antenna. I have to unscrew the coil/wip from the base for parking garages. The wip is made of extremely flexible stainless steel that stands up to alot of abuse from tree branches. I have never broken a wip but a low bridge will bend it. You can bend it back or buy a new $10 wip. A small fiberglass antenna on a hood or bed mount is fine for talking a couple of miles. If you really want performance, the antenna needs to reach well above the roof of your truck. I recommend wiring the radio directly to the battery to eliminate ignition interference. If you are running a "big" radio, this is also the only way to get enough power(amperage).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
To all those people running antennas right behind the cab: Doesnt't it ever smack against the back window or cab when you are going wheeling? i was thinking of putting mine on the back, i think like JasonB's, would this make a difference in range and the amount of stuff it hits when offroad?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,234 Posts
I just bought the Firestik bed stake mounting kit, but I'm unsure whether to mount it right behind the cab or towards the rear of the truck. Firestik recommends that the antenna be clear of any other parallel surfaces, such as the cab. I guess I'll try both locations and see which one gets better reception. I have an SWR meter to check for reception/transmission and Im running a 4' firestik with tunable tip...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
The SWR will be lower with the antenna further away from the cab. It should be 1.5 or lower if you want the full range of your radio.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,519 Posts
lets see here.
1. i run a 8 1/2' whip (mabey, 102" or something like that), and i frequent parking garages. what you can do is with one that long (with a spring) is bend t over and stick it in the hole at the end of your bed. it does not stress the antena and it is just about as tall as the cab. when you leave, flip it out.

2. straight wire the cb ti the battery, just be sure to put a fues in the power wire, preferably close to the battery.

3. yes the antena will hit with it mounted on the bed. i put a piece of 3/8" clear hose over the bottom to protect the cab. works like a charm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,234 Posts
Surfram,

You lost me??? :?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,519 Posts
i have not heard that one. i know you need to have co-axe in 3' increments, and never loop or cross your coa-axe cabel. why should the positioning of the antena in refrance to the cb have anything to do with the swr?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
SWR means "standing wave ratio". The more efficient the antenna, the lower the SWR. If your SWR meter reads 1 to 1, that means that all of the transmitted power is making it out of the antenna. Having metal (the cab) next to the antenna, increases the signal being reflected back at the antenna and the SWR will go up. If the SWR goes up past 1.5 to 1, the amount of signal being transmitted out of the antenna drops dramatically and the signal is reflected back at your radio. An SWR above 2 to 1 will really hamper performance and will send your radio to an early grave. This reflected signal will cause the final transistors in your radio to heat up and eventually fail if you transmit enough. In other words, a high SWR will kill your CB over time. When you mount an antenna to your truck, the metal body becomes part of the antenna's "ground plane" and effects the directional properties of the antenna. With an antenna mounted on the rear bumper or rear stake pocket, most of the ground plane is forward of the antenna and it will tend to transmit and receive the best towards the front of your truck. For short range use, the location of the antenna is not that important as long as the SWR is kept to a reasonable level. If you want max range in all directions, the antenna needs to be in the center of the roof. If this is not possible because of height restrictions, then have the top of the antenna sticking above the roof as high as possible and tune the SWR as low as possible. When your SWR is the same on channels 1 and 40, then you have tuned your antenna to its optimum level. Questions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,234 Posts
Thank you sir, may I have another? Excellent explanation! :bigthumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,521 Posts
I dont' know what kind of antenna I have, I got it at a trucker store, it mounts in one of the bolts just under the hood. I have a cobra 40 channel CB. The cool thing about the antenna is it unscrews whenever I want it to, and it came with a stainless steel weather cap that screws on over the top of the mount to keep the contacts clean and dry. Works well, if I'm going in parking garages (which I don't fit in anymore, before I got my new tires I could BARELY squeeze it in) I would take it off, even though it is a flexible whip, I'd still save it the trouble.

Nick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
Ok, I have my cb installed, but how do I "tune" it? I was told you have to hook a meter to the antenna and adjust the nut on top. The Kenwood police radio I installed just plugged up and worked. What kinda meter are they talking about? :dunno:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,519 Posts
swr meter. you can get them from a cb shop or radio shack. just follow the instructions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
Yes, my dual firestiks behind the cab, mounted on springs does hit the cab a bit on rough ground. But never damaged the cab or anything. Another good thing about behind the cab is you can roll down the window reach out grab the antenna and pull it down while driving in parking garages. Personaly I just stay out of parking garages. Problem solved.
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top