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Old 01-28-2014, 09:33 AM   #1
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CB just up and quit.. Need some advice from a CB expert.

So my cb has been working fine. Then this past wknd just stopped. I can't be heard or hear anyone. Just a very faint static noise, Any ideas?? I'm new to the CB

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Old 01-28-2014, 09:38 AM   #2
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Does it turn on normally & light up as usual? Do the lights get dimmer if you press the transmit key?

P.S. This just occurred to me... remove the mic & carefully plug it back in, making sure it is plugged in properly & not not inserted correctly. The mic can cause those symptoms when not plugged in correctly. So can a defective mic or mic cord. At least it can on some CB radios where the audio is dead without the mic being plugged in properly which would also of course prevent it from transmitting.

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Old 01-28-2014, 09:41 AM   #3
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Check list time:

got power?
do the lights etc on the face work?
antenna still there?
antenna broken maybe?
antenna cables connected?
using an external speaker? did it die?
if internal speaker connect external, does it work?

let us know.
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:54 PM   #4
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Ok guys!! I have power, radio face lights up shows channels etc. Antenna is still on my jeep/undamaged lol I get a VERY faint static and can hear people around me talking. I could only hear static with the cb speaker so I plugged in an external speaker and could very faintly hear people talking around my area. So i am getting a signal I guess but it's just not coming through loud enough. Volume is maxed out, but I can just hardly hear anything. I mashed on my handset and nothing changed. Normally when I mash on my handset my signal strength goes up to 5 or 6 bars then back down to like 3 when i let off. At the moment it's sitting at 2 bars no matter what I do. And I checked the mic plug in and it's fine.. Unplugged it and back in a couple times and still didn't fix my problem. Also the lights on my unit don't seem to dim any when I key up on the mic Jerry. Thank y'all for the help.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:04 PM   #5
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Usually if you can still hear but cannot transmit, the finals are burnt out in your radio. This is commonly caused by a bad antenna match/high SWR. Easily repaired by anyone who works on CBs.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:41 PM   #6
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I never used an SWR to set up my cb. Me and my buddy got them so we could communicate with each other while on the trail. So it was never something I meant to reach out miles and miles. It worked perfect out to about 2 miles between me and my buddy so I figured all was well. Should I take it to a cb shop and get it tuned and worked on or what? I'm running a 4' fire stick with an Uniden 550 CB. 18' of coax and the antenna is mounted with a tail light mount on the drivers side.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:00 PM   #7
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If your SWR is above 2 it can damage the radio. Best to have it set when you get it fixed if you don't want to do it. Damage is the key thing I read on tuning SWR documents. Almost like range is a secondary benefit.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:20 PM   #8
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Most modern CB radios now have automatic protective circuitry in them that in case of an antenna problem like an excessively high SWR, reduce the transmitter's power output so no damage will occur to the CB's finals (last stage of the transmitter before the antenna). Manufacturers did that starting in the 70's in response to the CB craze where everyone was connecting their CBs to improperly installed antennas and blowing the finals. Their warranty repair costs skyrocketed so they added the automatic protective circuitry so they would no longer be inundated with blown finals to be repaired under warranty.

I've repaired many bad antenna installations where the SWR was so high it was pegging the SWR meter & the CB wouldn't transmit. All the CBs worked properly after I corrected the high SWRs so they weren't damaged by the sky-high SWRs.

Yes old CBs and any ham, military, or commercial transmitter will very likely be damaged by too high of an SWR.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:21 PM   #9
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If your SWR is above 2 it can damage the radio. Best to have it set when you get it fixed if you don't want to do it. Damage is the key thing I read on tuning SWR documents. Almost like range is a secondary benefit.
I can pick up an SWR to tune the cb.. But would I be able to fix any damage I've done or am I just better off taking it somewhere to be fixed.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:24 PM   #10
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If it's not receiving normally, it's not just an SWR problem. You should still be able to receive and have normal audio levels through the speaker even with a high SWR.

At this point the problem is very likely either a shorted antenna mount or coax cable or its connector, causing the antenna itself to be shorted to ground, or a bad CB.

Can you take a good sharp close-up photo of the top & bottom of your antenna mount? Maybe something is visibly wrong with it.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Most modern CB radios now have automatic protective circuitry in them that in case of an antenna problem like an excessively high SWR, reduce the transmitter's power output so no damage will occur to the CB's finals (last stage of the transmitter before the antenna). Manufacturers did that starting in the 70's in response to the CB craze where everyone was connecting their CBs to improperly installed antennas and blowing the finals. Their warranty repair costs skyrocketed so they added the automatic protective circuitry so they would no longer be inundated with blown finals. I've repaired many bad antenna installations where the SWR was so high it was pegging the SWR meter & the CB wouldn't transmit. All the CBs worked properly after I corrected the high SWRs so they weren't damaged by the sky-high SWRs. Yes old CBs and any ham, military, or commercial transmitter will likely be damaged by too high of an SWR.
So.. If my SWR is to high my cb may be just going into a kind of protective mode basically?
EDIT
Ok just read you las post Jerry... Give me a min as I'll get a pic.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:26 PM   #12
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So..
If my SWR is to high my cb may be just going into a kind of protective mode basically?
It may be but I doubt your problem is just a high SWR. Read my newer post added just above yours.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:33 PM   #13
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It may be but I doubt your problem is just a high SWR. Read my newer post added just above yours.
Ok Jerry.. This is my setup
Antenna screws into the spring
Spring screws into an adapter, that my coax screws into then up to my CB.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:35 PM   #14
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One more idea...

Try this to maybe confirm or eliminate the possibility of a shorted antenna system...

Remove the coax antenna connector from the rear of the CB. Can you now hear loud audio if you turn the volume up a tad? If so, stick a piece of wire to serve as a test antenna into the CB radio's center pin hole in its antenna jack. Strip off an inch of insulation on the end of the wire you stick into the center of the CB's antenna jack.

If you now start hearing CB signals, your CB is ok & you have an antenna problem of some type.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:37 PM   #15
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I need to see another photo from the top of the mount, closer to the mount this time though. I need to see what is sitting on top of the bracket itself, as in is the nylon insulating washer there as it should be.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:45 PM   #16
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I need to see another photo from the top of the mount, closer to the mount this time though. I need to see what is sitting on top of the bracket itself, as in is the nylon insulating washer there as it should be.
How about this Jerry?
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:56 PM   #17
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Usually if you can still hear but cannot transmit, the finals are burnt out in your radio. This is commonly caused by a bad antenna match/high SWR. Easily repaired by anyone who works on CBs.
This is more than I know about fixing it. Firestick has a great PDF when it comes time to tune it.

I don't even know what finals are.

Here is a great tuning link. Good luck brother. Hopefully Jerry is onto a fix.

http://www.firestik.com/Tech_Docs/Setting_SWR.htm
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:04 PM   #18
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How about this Jerry?
Your idea of a close-up and my idea of a close-up are two different things. But I can at least tell the insulating washer is there... hopefully it is undamaged and centered in the bracket hole. That white nylon insulating washer is all that stands between a properly functioning antenna and one that is shorted to ground.

Try my above suggestion of how to test your CB to hopefully localize the problem to the CB or to the antenna system.
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:05 PM   #19
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One more idea... Try this to maybe confirm or eliminate the possibility of a shorted antenna system... Remove the coax antenna connector from the rear of the CB. Can you now hear loud audio if you turn the volume up a tad? If so, stick a piece of wire to serve as a test antenna into the CB radio's center pin hole in its antenna jack. Strip off an inch of insulation on the end of the wire you stick into the center of the CB's antenna jack. If you now start hearing CB signals, your CB is ok & you have an antenna problem of some type.
Ok Jerry..
Got a piece of wire and stripped it.
Disconnected the coax from the back of my CB and stuffed the wire into the small hole.... Nothing from my cb, signal strength now is 0 bars... (Now it gets interesting)
I pull the wire out to flip my cb around and make sure the squelch is all the way down and volume is up and all the sudden, for about 2-3 seconds, I get full static at the normal sound level... Sounds like it's working properly with a lot of static, then back to nothing with or without the wire stuck into the coax.
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:15 PM   #20
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Better pics top and bottom of mount
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:16 PM   #21
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Based on that, it sounds like the cb itself has probably gone bad. The antenna mount itself looks to be be properly assembled and in good condition.

One last suggestion... a bad mic can cause all your symptoms. Does wiggling the mic's connector or cord do anything?
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:32 PM   #22
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Based on that, it sounds like the cb itself has probably gone bad. The antenna mount itself looks to be be properly assembled and in good condition.

One last suggestion... a bad mic can cause all your symptoms. Does wiggling the mic's connector or cord do anything?
I Wiggled the mic cord and connector and got nothing out of that. I just bought the CB, is this something that can be fixed or have i screwed it up beyond repair?
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:49 PM   #23
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A cb shop can fix a lot of stuff. Maybe make it illegal too if you want. I don't have a need to talk that far or want a license so I didn't but you would be surprised what can be done for cheap to fix your stuff if you have a local shop.
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:18 PM   #24
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You bought a new or a used cb? Brand new good quality like Uniden cbs are available for under $50. But first, can you swap cbs with a friend to verify your cb is good or bad? I suspect it's your cb at this point.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:23 AM   #25
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You bought a new or a used cb? Brand new good quality like Uniden cbs are available for under $50. But first, can you swap cbs with a friend to verify your cb is good or bad? I suspect it's your cb at this point.
It was a new Uniden CB Jerry.. Think I gave $48 for it. The only other person I know with a cb is outta town working so I can't really swap out with him.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:24 AM   #26
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A cb shop can fix a lot of stuff. Maybe make it illegal too if you want. I don't have a need to talk that far or want a license so I didn't but you would be surprised what can be done for cheap to fix your stuff if you have a local shop.
I'll have to do some looking to see if I have any CB repair shops around me. Chances are I don't but growing up in this small town im used to having to drive to get stuff lol.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:38 AM   #27
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...just thinking...could be a bad pot behind the volume and/or squelch...

edit: nah that wouldn't affect the xmit...
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:30 AM   #28
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I think Jerry Bransford is on the right track in helping you troubleshoot your issue.

Another option is, if you can find a CB shop, see if they have a mic you can borrow. Take it out to the parking lot and swap it out. See what happens. A bad mic can cause some strange issues and I've seen it many times in the past (I used to work for a two-way communications company - UHF, VHF, etc.).

Just tossing out an observation here -

Once everything else is sorted out (CB repair/replacement, etc.) if it still has a high SWR, you might trying removing the paint from where your coax/antenna attaches to the mounting bracket. Either that or run a separate ground from the underside of your bracket (at the coax/bracket connection) to a good chassis ground. Paint makes a great insulator and you want as close to zero ohms between the coax ground and chassis ground.

I'm probably not explaining that right, but hope you get the idea.

Also, you might ask a mod to move this topic to the Communications and Electronics - Jeep Wrangler Forum forum.
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:13 AM   #29
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You don't mention the model you have, so I don't know if your radio has one, but did the RF gain control get turned down?
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:47 AM   #30
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You don't mention the model you have, so I don't know if your radio has one, but did the RF gain control get turned down?
Uniden Pro505XL is the CB

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