1. You can now help support WorldwideDX when you shop on Amazon at no additional cost to you! Simply follow this Shop on Amazon link first and a portion of any purchase is sent to WorldwideDX to help with site costs.

FNG - Which Coax

Discussion in 'General CB Services Discussion' started by Rok55, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. Rok55

    Rok55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2017
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    10
    First off, thanks for adding me to the forum. Just getting back into CB after 30+ years away. Primarily for SHTF purposes as I live well out in the country.

    Last system was a tweaked Cobra unit run out through twin 52" whips on a pickup. I knew next to nothing about theory back then.

    I have acquired a Uniden 880 for a mobile unit and a Uniden 980SSB to use as a base. Trying to learn a bit here and do this right .

    I intend to raise a Maco V58 on a 20' mast until I can get my 32' tower put up. Location of mast and proposed location of tower results in approx 50' coax run in either case.



    My question is this:
    TRAMFLEX 58UP B RG58 U 95% SHIELDED 50FT COAX CABLE
    or
    Steren 50 ft long RG8X coaxial cable with UHF (PL-259) plugs

    and why?
     

  2. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn
    Expand Collapse
    W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member K5KNM

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,517
    Likes Received:
    871
    Welcome to the forum and welcome back to the hobby!

    For your base antenna, I would use RG8X. At 50 ft, losses aren't significant enough to step up to the larger RG213 or equivalent. I don't like RG58 for anything. The cable is too small, the losses get significant especially at 50 ft. or longer. Whichever you use, make sure it's sunlight resistant so it will last.

    Mobile installs are good to use RG8X also. I still prefer RG213 cables for both base and mobile. Mainly on mobile because I need something fairly rigid yet flexible to run underneath the truck can and to the mirror mount that won't flop in the wind. For my base, I do run power on he HF bands and my coax run is around 75 ft. Coax losses are usually rated for losses at 100 ft lengths so always take that into consideration when running far less lengths.

    PL-259 plugs are really antiquated but unfortunately, radio manufactures keep using them. Type N connectors are the best due to their waterproof design and better signal transfer. Maybe one day we will start seeing N connectors on all radio gear.

    If you can get your tower up to 36 ft. You will be at 1 full wavelength above ground on the CB band. If not, I wouldn't stress over it because most of us on the lower Amateur bands have antennas far less up over a wavelength and still work good enough for what we do.

    Good luck!
     
    Rok55 likes this.
  3. Rok55

    Rok55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2017
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    10
    Thanks for the comeback and confirmation of my thoughts. Believe I can get the tower that high once I convince SO of the need (working on that one).

    Still don't have the Maco and wondering if there is any realistic way to use a 5' Wilson Silver on a mast till I can get the Maco. I think I understand the theory of propagation from the ground plane (vehicle) but wonder if I can use the Wison or a 4" Firestick for now?

    I also have an old Palomar 250 that will factor in at some point.
     
  4. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn
    Expand Collapse
    W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member K5KNM

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,517
    Likes Received:
    871
    A single whip antenna won't work very good on a base because it's too short and lacks a ground plane. It'll be ok just for listening.

    But, if you use 2 of them, then you'll have a loaded dipole antenna that will work fairly well until you get your Maco up. A dipole is a balanced antenna because one side is the hot side and the other is the RF ground side at it's even length. There really ideal when installed at the right heights and above near perfect soil or salt water for each band. Dipoles are also the reference to what other antennas are judged against.

    It would be best if both antennas were the same brand and length. The antenna could be either horizontal which has it's strongest signal to both broadsides of the dipole or vertical which tends to be omni directional.

    You can use a metal mirror mount CB bracket and drill an extra hole using a typical so238 to 3/8 coax stud. Just be sure on the RF ground whip, DO NOT use any nylon insolators but you MUST isolate the hot antenna with them. You only plug your coax into the hot antenna because the coax shield will ground out to the metal antenna bracket which the non-insulated whip will pickup for the RF ground.

    Just something to consider.
     
  5. M0GVZ

    M0GVZ
    Expand Collapse
    Sr. Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,331
    Likes Received:
    660
    Disagree. It'll work perfectly well for local comms, better than being on a vehicle because of the height and the mast will provide sufficient ground plane.
     
    Rok55 likes this.
  6. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn
    Expand Collapse
    W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member K5KNM

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,517
    Likes Received:
    871
    Yes, compared to a vehicle as long as the mast is metal, it would act as a counterpoise but is really a D.C. ground. I was comparing the difference between using a 4ft. whip compared to a typical base antenna.

    I would still go a simple dipole as I described which is easy to make from parts most people already have.
     
    rabbiporkchop and Rok55 like this.
  7. Rok55

    Rok55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2017
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    10
    Great info from you both and I thank you for that.
    (and yes the mast will be 1 1/2" Sch 40 steel pipe at 21 ")

    I have been doing some research on various antenna designs and also felt that a dipole might be my best solution. However, I don't have two matching whips and feel it would be a waste of money to purchase another for such a short usage window. I may elect to go with a 102" wire dipole for ease of use / placement.

    I recently made contact with a local Ham whom is selling his gear due to health concerns and has a small vertical dipole that he swears talks great, so if I can close a deal with him it may solve my immediate needs.

    Ordered 100' of RG8X and some connectors today so I'll be ready for the install when I do get a useful antenna.
     
    wavrider likes this.
  8. M0GVZ

    M0GVZ
    Expand Collapse
    Sr. Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,331
    Likes Received:
    660
    In an ideal world you'd use both. A vertical antenna for local, a horizontal dipole for DX to take advantage of that lovely free gain.
     
    rabbiporkchop likes this.
  9. Rok55

    Rok55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2017
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    10
    Ultimately that will be the goal. Ordered up the Maco V58 today and need to consider what type of dipole will best work in my situation. I'm about 20 miles east of nearest city, country setting, overhead power lines about forty feet from tower location, line of site blocked by low hills (40ft elev) in all directions, with nearest repeater about 6miles east, tower on north side of house, shack in second story north facing room.

    I have an untested rotor available .......

    Suggestions welcome
     
  10. Road Squawker

    Road Squawker
    Expand Collapse
    Sr. Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,308
    Likes Received:
    635
    test the rotor before you put on the tower:D
     
    w9cll likes this.
  11. w9cll

    w9cll
    Expand Collapse
    W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Messages:
    2,873
    Likes Received:
    1,491
    +1
     
  12. Rok55

    Rok55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2017
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    10
    Absolutely will, certainly don't wanna climb that tower. Thanks for the reminder. Gonna be a while till that is needed. Don't have tower up and may be a bit before I can.

    Earlier post I mentioned 2" sch 40 pipe as temporary mast ........... that ain't gonna happen .... too heavy .... I could get it up in it's temp location (inside a 4' section of 3" sch 40 that's already anchored 4' deep in the middle of the yard) but don't think I would be able to get it back out if needed.

    SO suggested perhaps an extendable flag pole of appropriate height since we had been considering purchasing one anyway. Seems like a good idea at first blush but am curious if actually doable, can't say that I've seen that done before. I assume it might work for the V58 but would be concerned about grounding as I believe those poles have a bushing of some sort between each extension section.

    If the flagpole isn't workable I suppose the next option would be an aluminum pole. Need to research what size/type/cost. If Aluminum is costly I may have to just wait until I can get the tower up.

    Would love to hear some suggestions.
     
  13. Rick330man

    Rick330man
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2013
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    118
    Depending on your environment, you may want to spend a little extra on RG8X with the tinned copper. It holds up better to the elements.

    Here in the Florida Keys, the salt air means lots of corrosion, pitting metals, etc. I use the RG8X with tinned copper both on my base and on my marine CB mobile and my VHF. The installs all get plenty of corrosion protection, but they are holding up real well in this otherwise harsh environment.

    Good luck.
     
  14. rabbiporkchop

    rabbiporkchop
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,210
    Likes Received:
    314
  15. K3ACZ

    K3ACZ
    Expand Collapse
    W9WDX Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2016
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    34
    Maybe checkout LMR coax. Low losses. I run LMR-240 for my 40' run. Skinny like RG58 but less loss. I got 45' of Heliax laying here but that's 1/2' and not flexible.. If I ever get a real amp and tower that's what I'll be using..
     
    rabbiporkchop likes this.

Share This Page