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best rf ground strap

Discussion in 'General CB Services Discussion' started by 338_MtRushmore, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. 338_MtRushmore

    338_MtRushmore Sr. Member

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    I have a new rig coming next week for the pickup, and I'm trying to prepare for a proper install. I was planning to strap every body panel and the exhaust. What is the best strap to use? I was thinking about using some tinned braided copper from Georgia copper. http://gacopper.com/Braid.html

    I just want to get the most from my investment, and don't want to halfass anything now. My pickup makes a fair amount of noise right now, and im hoping proper bonding will help.


     

  2. 222DBFL

    222DBFL Sr. Member

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    Looks like the right stuff. Get the larger stuff for the exhaust. And whatever will work for the rest of the vehicle. Most likely 1/2-1" and then the 2" strap for exhaust. They make the exhaust setup with a clamp at most good Auto parts stores. It will have a clamp with the braided ground strap already affixed. Just have to install and bolt to frame. Looks like you are the right track. Take your time and be safe.
     
  3. 338_MtRushmore

    338_MtRushmore Sr. Member

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    For the exhaust I was planning to weld a stainless clip to attach the braid. I'm still not certain how I want to attach the 1" to the body panels. For hidden locations, like the bed to cab, I was thinking about using 00 cable lugs that were hammered flat and soldered. I think there would still be plenty of room for a self tapper or 2. Also planing on sanding those to bare metal and sealing with liquid tape. For the doors I was thinking about using the 1/2" stuff and soldering it into a crimp connector ring with a star washer underneath. I think that should be about all I need for bonding???
     
  4. 338_MtRushmore

    338_MtRushmore Sr. Member

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    It just dawned on me that I could use a piece of copper pipe and make my own lugs. That could turn out pretty slick

    I just ordered 20' of 1". I think that will be enough, and I will just put 4 on the exhaust. That 2" is $8.50 a foot!!
     
    #4 338_MtRushmore, Oct 31, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2015
  5. M0GVZ

    M0GVZ Sr. Member

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    DX Engneering sell some stuff

    http://www.dxengineering.com/search...4294953334&sortby=Default&sortorder=Ascending

    http://www.dxengineering.com/search...4294953334&sortby=Default&sortorder=Ascending
     
  6. M0GVZ

    M0GVZ Sr. Member

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    Use star washers for everything. Don't sand anything to bare metal on the body as you remove the zinc rustproofing.

    You need to do hood to inner fenders on both sides, cab to chassis on both sides, cab to bed on both sides, bed to chassis in each corner, exhaust to chassis on each exhaust section and also run a braid strap from the engine to the firewall. Doors are less necessary and you probably won't notice or be able to measure any difference doing them, its more important to bond horizontal metal.

    Before you start doing all of this measure where the antenna is resonant if you have an analyser or where the lowest SWR is. Measure it when you've finished and you should find the frequency has dropped and you need to shorten the antenna. I saw a 300kHz drop just bonding the hatchback and hood to the main body on my Ford Mondeo.
     
  7. 338_MtRushmore

    338_MtRushmore Sr. Member

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    Good points, thank you. I was wondering if I shouldn't just get an analyzer. I guess that is a whole other subject to research. I'm sure I will just run the RCI 2950 barefoot until I get everything else up to par. Does it really matter if I can put a number to the bonding improvement? If I bonded the hood and it dropped 300kHz, I still wouldn't stop there.
     
  8. unit_399

    unit_399 EL CAPO

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    Remember to use a braided cable on the battery ground. Cables equivalent to #0 AWG are available at most semi truck parts outlets.

    - 399
     
  9. 338_MtRushmore

    338_MtRushmore Sr. Member

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    Any idea what the theory is behind that?
     
  10. M0GVZ

    M0GVZ Sr. Member

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    Not really. Its more to show you that its actually achieving something rather than saying reading X is good and reading Y is bad.. You get to a point though where adding more doesn't improve anything.

    As for the braid for the battery earth wire, I can't think of any reason why you'd want to other than you have a vehicle where the battery gets thrown about a bit, its certainly not to do with radio. The RF isn't returning to the battery.
     
  11. 338_MtRushmore

    338_MtRushmore Sr. Member

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    I'm glad I wasn't the only one stumped by the braided battery cable.
    I am having a hard time finding info about antenna tuners, because the search terms I'm using are so common. Any idea where I can find good info? I also don't see many tuners rated for 500 or more watts.
     
  12. unit_399

    unit_399 EL CAPO

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    From the radio amateur handbook:

    FRAME AND BODY BONDING

    Sections of the automobile frame and body that can come in contact with one another can create noise. Suspected areas should be bonded together with flexible leads such as those made from shield braid. Trouble areas to be bonded are:
    1. engine to frame
    2. air cleaner to engine block
    3. exhaust lines to car frame and engine block
    4.BATTERY GROUND TERMINAL TO FRAME
    5.steering column to frame
    6.hood to car body
    7. front and rear bumpers (if metallic) to frame
    8. doors to frame
    9 trunk lid to frame.
    --------------

    braided_ground.jpg

    In older vehicles, braided battery cables were the norm. I think this was because unwanted noise in the electrical system (whatever the frequency) would then be shunted to vehicle ground. And there was a lot more electrical system noise back then: Mechanical voltage regulator relays switching on and off, distributor point noise, etc., etc. Less noise = better radio reception (AM broadcast or CB). I don't know if the braided battery ground cable will make any improvement or not, but I know it won't hurt anything. So I've always done it. Every little bit helps ... Right??

    - 399
     
    #12 unit_399, Oct 31, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
    tecnicoloco likes this.
  13. 338_MtRushmore

    338_MtRushmore Sr. Member

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    I was just looking at my battery cable arrangement. I doubt I would even attempt to swap the factory ground cables for braided due to how many smaller grounds are connected. I already have way too many wires at my batteries. I already have 17 wires hooked up between all 4 terminals, 7 of which are #1 or larger. I'm thinking I might split my winch cables to a bus bar and split my amp off of that. Then again, I would rather pull off the other side because it is closer to my install point. This is turning out to be exactly as much work as I thought it would be.
     
  14. unit_399

    unit_399 EL CAPO

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    Ok ... then it looks like you're good to go. Just make sure that you have a BRAIDED line from the battery negative to the engine block, and also one to the frame. They don't need to be a large wire size. You're only looking to get rid of any electrical system noise and even small braid will take care of this. In my 4x4, I run 2 alternators and 2 batteries. One is the stock one that powers the truck, and the other is a 100 amp output that runs my winch, off road lights, CB radio, and the inverter that gives me 120 vac. If either one fails, I can use the other as a backup. Since I can see that you have a serious vehicle, getting rid of any noise is a must as your radio reception requires a low noise power source. As I said before, if something you think might help, but you know it won't hurt anything, then do it. Every small thing you do adds up to a big thing, and if you want your system to be the best, then you can't cut any corners. Good luck with your setup, and 73s.

    - 399
     
    #14 unit_399, Nov 1, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
  15. ghutch

    ghutch Active Member

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