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Mobile East Ground and Down

Discussion in 'CB Antennas' started by CyberRider, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. CyberRider

    CyberRider Member

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    I think I've underestimated the "ground" factor as it pertains to my antenna installation. Now I don't know how best to ground this thing.

    A little backstory; installed CB and mounted 3' Firestik Firefly antenna in up high between the lights on the rollbar on my 94 Toyota pickup. However, the rollbar is not 1 solid piece. And it's not mounted to the frame, only the truck bed. That said...

    My SWR is currently about 1.9:1.9 - not great. It should be closer to 1:1. I'm guessing I need to ground out my rollbar, but how? I can't figure out how I can run a ground strap from my rollbar to my frame - Or just the rollbar to the bed then to the frame. [frustrated]



    I'm open to ideas and suggestions... please.
     

  2. loosecannon

    loosecannon Sr. Member

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    open to suggestions?

    get rid of the firestik. terrible antennas.

    they use the specific length of coax that comes with them in order to match.
    change the coax length, change the SWR. bad design.

    they are really meant to be flag holders for the 4x4 crowd.

    your bed is already bolted to the frame of the truck. just find those brackets, and clean off the surfaces in order to get a good RF ground. shiny is good BUT! you must coat it with some sort of sealant to keep out rust.

    if your roll bar is all metal, and isn't bolted together with rusty bolts, then it is fine. if it's bolted to your truck bed and making metal to metal contact (not paint to paint) then it is fine.

    ground the cab to the frame, ground the hood to the firewall, increase the size of the wires going to and from the neg. terminal of your battery. (look on youtube for car stereo videos called "the big three") ground your exhaust pipe at the rear of the vehicle to the frame. ground the doors to the cab.

    use 1/2" or bigger copper strap to do these.

    replace that antenna with something like a base loaded whip where the whip is over 4 feet long and you should have a pretty decent setup.
    LC
     
  3. BJ radionut

    BJ radionut Supporting Member and 6m addict

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    357magnum and loosecannon like this.
  4. w9cll

    w9cll W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    Agreed
    This is the best site for mobile antenna info, yes it ham radio biased but antennas are antennas.
     
    loosecannon, undertaker and 357magnum like this.
  5. 357magnum

    357magnum Well-Known Member

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    Cyber , did you move the antenna in the " center " of the roll bar between the lights ? The last pic you posted a while back you had mounted a 5' Firestik on or near the bed rail on the passengers side ? For myself not a good choice .jmo
     
  6. CyberRider

    CyberRider Member

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    I am the 4x4 crowd. I need a solid, sturdy antenna. Not changing antennas now, but thank you for the advice.

    I looked there earlier yesterday. Based on all that stuff, plus the good info from Loose Cannon above, I'll probably go to a local CB shop where they can do all the bonding for me. They can put my truck on a lift and do all that stuff a lot easier than I can.

    Correct. It's now a 3' antenna mounted between the lights on a fabricated bar that runs between the 2 light tabs.
     
    357magnum likes this.
  7. psycho

    psycho Running a special on our rooms!

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    The grounds running from the frame to the cab and bed are electrical grounds and not rf grounds. Ground straps will help.
    I have never heard of anyone who mounts an antenna to the roll bar being very happy with the performance. Wilson 1000 or 5000 magnet mount is what I would do.....lightweight antennas.
     
    Tallman and The DB like this.
  8. Tallman

    Tallman W9WDX Amateur Radio Member, KW4YJ EXTRA class

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    Here is what I did and I have zero problems with it.
    [​IMG]

    The stud mount allows quick changes to different bands. The PVC pipe contains six to eight FireStik type of antennas. I talked to Mumbai India on 100 watts from this mobile setup. The Firestik type of antennas are a compromise, But all antennas are.
    All of these antennas are right at eight feet long and they do not tip this strong magnet mount at all.
    The Sirio 5000 is a great antenna I have one that is tuned for ten meters and CB use.
     
    Shadetree Mechanic and 357magnum like this.
  9. CyberRider

    CyberRider Member

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    That's cool if you dig it. But I do not want that big, obnoxious thing on my truck. In my opinion it makes the whole truck look stupid. I want the antenna to compliment the truck, not shout "Hillbilly truck!" - Just my opinion.
     
  10. Shadetree Mechanic

    Shadetree Mechanic 808 On The North Side of Dover

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    If you are the 4x4 crowd then most people think that is the Hill Billy crowd too.
     
    357magnum and Dmans like this.
  11. CyberRider

    CyberRider Member

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    Agreed. And that's not necessarily inaccurate. But I still don't want my truck to shout Hillbilly truck. Haha!
     
    Shadetree Mechanic likes this.
  12. Shadetree Mechanic

    Shadetree Mechanic 808 On The North Side of Dover

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    Isn't it more important to have an antenna that functions correctly? Or maybe 1.9 isn't that bad?
     
    357magnum likes this.
  13. CyberRider

    CyberRider Member

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    It is important to have an antenna that functions reasonably well - yes. But having a truck that doesn't look stoopid is importanter.
     
    Shadetree Mechanic likes this.
  14. Shadetree Mechanic

    Shadetree Mechanic 808 On The North Side of Dover

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    Everyone wants a low SWR and that's good but a 1.9 really isn't that bad. My galaxy manual says that it will do 3:1 without problems. I would never run it at that and right now it is 1.4:1. If the antenna isn't tunable then you mighty be able to run a small antenna tuner. The one I am thinking of is about the size of a small SWR meter. You would leave the tuner in line, adjust two knobs and then forget it. It will make your radio happy but it doesn't change anything about the antenna.
    https://www.copperelectronics.com/c...Antenna-Accessories/Maco-91-Antenna-Match-Box
     
    357magnum likes this.
  15. CyberRider

    CyberRider Member

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    My antenna is tunable. But I'm hearing ZILCH except static. Perhaps I don't know how to adjust my radio? Maybe I should read the manual. (OK, found Uniden PRO520 XL manual online just now and read it.)
     
    #15 CyberRider, Sep 20, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018

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