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Old 02-01-2013, 09:21 PM   #1
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CB Radio

I want to put a CB radio in my jeep i have the radio and thats about it. what all do i need whats the best way to mount the antenna? whats the best antenna length? and where should i mount it??

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Old 02-01-2013, 09:40 PM   #2
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Go with the 48 inch firestik and a passenger side tail light mount you can probaly find them both on amazon and coax cable probaly at your local dollar general or Walmart un less the antenna comes with it

My opinion and Fav

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Old 02-01-2013, 09:47 PM   #3
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They are not as powerful, but I recommend a NGP antenna and matching cable. There are no good places on a Jeep to mount an antenna for a good ground plane. That is unless you don't mind mounting it in the middle of the hood. I have a regular antenna mounted on the back of my Jeep. I can talk three times as far forward as I can to the rear of the vehicle because there is no ground plane behind the antenna. I just made a mount that goes behind the tail light similar to the ones everyone sells. I am probably going to switch to the Firestik NGP antenna soon.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:51 PM   #4
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Do you need to remove the paint from underneath the taillight mount?
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:59 PM   #5
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Do you need to remove the paint from underneath the taillight mount?
No, you can run a ground strap from the tub to the antenna mount.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:07 PM   #6
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ive seen mounts on the tub of the jeep more towards the rear fender is that a decent mounting place?
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:18 PM   #7
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Here's a few pics of my setup. I run (always have) a 3' Firestik II. The 4' is too long, both for garage clearance, and tree branches. Works more than well enough for trail use.

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/cb-r...et-210984.html
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:27 PM   #8
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3 or 4 foot firestik, and don't forget a SWR meter.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:29 PM   #9
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SWR meter??
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:40 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by janosko9424
SWR meter??
You can pick one up on amazon or local truck stop for about $25. If your SWR is too high it'll eventually fry your cb. Do a google search on SWR, it's a very important part of getting your radio to work properly.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 05tjorange View Post
You can pick one up on amazon or local truck stop for about $25. If your SWR is too high it'll eventually fry your cb. Do a google search on SWR, it's a very important part of getting your radio to work properly.
Yes. It's pointless to install a CB without adjusting the Standing Wave Ratio. Don't even key the mic until you have a meter hooked up and are ready to adjust your antenna.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:55 PM   #12
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What kind of radio do you have?
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:40 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by VaJeepster View Post
Go with the 48 inch firestik and a passenger side tail light mount you can probaly find them both on amazon and coax cable probaly at your local dollar general or Walmart un less the antenna comes with it

My opinion and Fav
Don't buy just any cheap coax. You want RG58 (I prefer RG58U; stranded center conductor) with at least 90% shielding.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:06 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by neverfastenough1 View Post
They are not as powerful, but I recommend a NGP antenna and matching cable. There are no good places on a Jeep to mount an antenna for a good ground plane. That is unless you don't mind mounting it in the middle of the hood. I have a regular antenna mounted on the back of my Jeep. I can talk three times as far forward as I can to the rear of the vehicle because there is no ground plane behind the antenna. I just made a mount that goes behind the tail light similar to the ones everyone sells. I am probably going to switch to the Firestik NGP antenna soon.
Short of no antenna at all, a NGP (No Ground Plane) antenna is the very worst possible type of CB antenna any of us could possibly select for our Jeeps.

What is a ground plane? It is basically half of the antenna & does magical things to make the antenna transmit further and work properly. In the case of a Jeep, the Jeep itself... its frame and body... serves as the ground plane which is connected to the CB via the antenna's coax shield (outer) wire.

What are NGP antennas made for then? Non-metallic installations like fiberglass boats where there simply is no steel to act as the ground plane. Without that ground plane, which is basically half of the antenna, the antenna's ability to transmit & receive is crippled severely. A NGP antenna is a compromise antenna at best and a poorly performing antenna at the worst. A NGP antenna should only be selected when there is simply no ground plane available at all... and again, our Jeeps are excellent ground planes... you only need to properly connect to it.

How difficult is it to make use of the Jeep's natural built-in ground plane? So easy I don't even think about it when installing antennas on Jeeps. When installing the antenna's mount to the tub, bumper, etc., you simply make sure to grind away the paint and/or powder coating between the Jeep and antenna mount so there is a good solid electrical (RF Ground) connection between them. That can be done whenever the mount is attached to something steel on the Jeep. At the most, a woven steel braided wire called a ground strap is sometimes needed to augment that ground connection, which is available at stores like Radio Shack, Fry's, or a CB/ham radio store.

So if you want the best possible/longest range communications ability for your Jeep, use a standard CB antenna and just make sure its mount is properly grounded per the instructions and it will work fine.

Lastly, if anyone reads anything saying you need an 18' length of coax cable for the CB to work well or to achieve the lowest possible SWR, that is nothing more than an old wive's tale/myth. That 18' length only sounds good to those who have had a small amount of electronic education... but the more one becomes educated in the subject, the sooner one discovers it is simply not true. 18' is not even a multiple of the CB's wavelength like some think it is.

Been doing 2-way radios including CB, ham, military, and commercial since the early sixties & it's amazing how much wierd/bad information concerning CBs is out there.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:40 AM   #15
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Lastly, if anyone reads anything saying you need an 18' length of coax cable for the CB to work well or to achieve the lowest possible SWR, that is nothing more than an old wive's tale/myth. That 18' length only sounds good to those who have had a small amount of electronic education... but the more one becomes educated in the subject, the sooner one discovers it is simply not true. 18' is not even a multiple of the CB's wavelength like some think it is.
True, but I always buy an 18' coax (I prefer Firestik's Fire Ring) because that way I'm assured I always have enough cable (on a Jeep) and it's easy enough to stash the extra (don't coil it) under carpet or under the dash. FWIW, with my radio at the top center of the windshield frame, and antenna at the RR corner of the tube, the 18' cable left me with only a few feet of excess cable. Yes, I could have cut it to length before I soldered the PL259 on the radio end, but didn't feel the need.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:38 AM   #16
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Here's my set up on my TJ.. I have a Cobra 148GTL simply because I like the skip associated with having SSB. I have a spare tire mounted antenna from Rocky Mount and made my own radio mount from two 4 foot sections of shelving mounts at Home Depot. Here's some pics.

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Old 02-02-2013, 04:20 PM   #17
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I made this out of some 3/16 steel for the antenna bracket and 1/4 inch for the cb radio

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Old 02-02-2013, 04:34 PM   #18
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Ive had a 12'coax and my SWR was crap, now I have a 18'coax and Im below 1.5. Ive tuned many different radio, coax, antenna setups and this has happend more than once. For the best output and SWR always run 18' if possible.

Firestik is the best antenna I've found.
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:48 PM   #19
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Ive had a 12'coax and my SWR was crap, now I have a 18'coax and Im below 1.5. Ive tuned many different radio, coax, antenna setups and this has happend more than once. For the best output and SWR always run 18' if possible.
Electrically speaking, coax length makes no difference on SWR on the types of antennas we run on our Jeeps, despite what your SWR meter might or might not have indicated. For the types of antennas we use our Jeeps, the best length of coax to run is how much it requires to connect the antenna to the CB.

For some good reading on this subject, click on...

Exposing the 18' CB Coax Myth
The Ultimate Guide to 11 Meter CB Antennas & scroll down to the 'Why does my coax length affect the SWR of my antenna?' heading.

There are some types of antennas that require a specific length of feedline to work properly... but not the type of CB or ham radio antennas we mount onto our Jeeps.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:43 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Electrically speaking, coax length makes no difference on SWR on the types of antennas we run on our Jeeps, despite what your SWR meter might or might not have indicated. For the types of antennas we use our Jeeps, the best length of coax to run is how much it requires to connect the antenna to the CB.

For some good reading on this subject, click on...

Exposing the 18' CB Coax Myth
The Ultimate Guide to 11 Meter CB Antennas & scroll down to the 'Why does my coax length affect the SWR of my antenna?' heading.

There are some types of antennas that require a specific length of feedline to work properly... but not the type of CB or ham radio antennas we mount onto our Jeeps.
Yes I know what type of antennas your talking about NGP Which is what I have on my bike, anything longer or shorter will make it impossible to tune.

But even with GP antennas a 18' coax is easier to tune and you'll get better coverage.

From Firestik.com FAQ
Q Is the length of the coax cable important?
A We find that it is very important ... especially with high performance top-loaded antennas. Your safest bet is to use 18 feet (5.5 meters) coaxial leads on all of your CB installations.


Also try and get an antenna that goes above your roof line by at least 6"
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:49 PM   #21
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But even with GP antennas a 18' coax is easier to tune and you'll get better coverage.
Been doing this stuff for 40+ years and you're just repeating an old wive's tale. Really. If you would just read the information in those two links I provided, you'd understand.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:59 PM   #22
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Been doing this stuff for 40+ years and you're just repeating an old wive's tale. Really. If you had read and comprehended the information in those two links I provided, you'd understand.
3rd one down.

Frequently Asked Questions
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:07 PM   #23
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Yep, that has been wrong on their website for many years. It is in error & several of their tech people I have talked with over the years know it is but they just aren't motivated enough to change it.

But you can believe it if you want, it's ok by me.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:16 PM   #24
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I believe in what my past experiences have told me, not what I read and so far it has proved right. Like the fact that over half of the lift and other advice on here is "wives tales" so Im sticking with my gut/history.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:17 PM   #25
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Since we're talking SWR.......
Firestik claims you can paint their antennas, and they'll still tune. Today I painted one of my 3' FSII's with Krylon fusion. It's now untuneable (is that a word?) @ over 4:1 across the board, adjusting bolt all the way up, all the way in, and removed completely.
It was 1.1:1- 1.7:1 before the paint.
Just an FYI
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:21 PM   #26
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Maybe get you guys to quit arguing about coax length..
Like I said, I've always just used an 18' cable, that way I know I have enough, and have always had good tuning results, except for the 2' FSII. Bandwidth is just too narrow for my installation..
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:49 AM   #27
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I'm looking to get a cb radio and I was looking at the firestic 3' antenna but if I mount it on the tail light I won't be able to park in the garage and if I found away to out it on the bumper it wouldn't be taller than the roof of the jeep. Any ideas?
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:57 PM   #28
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I'm looking to get a cb radio and I was looking at the firestic 3' antenna but if I mount it on the tail light I won't be able to park in the garage and if I found away to out it on the bumper it wouldn't be taller than the roof of the jeep. Any ideas?
Im running the Firestik Firefly 4' mounted on my carrier so it sticks up about a foot past the top. I went with the firefly for that reason, cause I couldnt fit it in my garage with my FSII, the firefly is extremely flexy I can bend it and put it inside my softtop when I need to and I dont have to worry about trees hitting it on the trail.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:18 PM   #29
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Not the best solution but one of the guys local club has his on a "magnetic" I think that he flops over on the top of his XJ.....When I need to put my TJ Red in garage I tuck it under the roll bar here is a Pic that shows how I can do that.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:01 PM   #30
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...and have always had good tuning results, except for the 2' FSII. Bandwidth is just too narrow for my installation..
I'm not sure what is different with your installation, perhaps the type of mount used, but I'm currently running that exact same antenna, the Firestick FS-2, and have installed it onto 6-8 other TJs as well but never had any issues getting a good low SWR across all 40 channels. I can always get it to 1.3 or below on channel 20 with it getting no worse than 1.5 or so on channels 1 and 40. That seems pretty good to me.

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