I searched and got some answers, but figured I'd ask
About to buy a CB, mostly for trails. Looking at the 3' or 4' Firestiks. First off, I've only had my Jeep a year and haven't seen/noticed many antennas. So I haven't seen the heights. But I was planning on mounting it to the passenger taillight.
The other question to those who own them is, do you have a heavy duty spring to deal with highway speeds and brush/trees?
My plan is to get a Uniden 520 (had a PA in high school, it was fun, lol) in the package deal from Right Channel Radio.
But its been about 25 years since I've dealt with CB's, I had a Cobra with a 6' magnetic whip on the trunk of my Firebird back then, lol.
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I dragged my 4' Firestick with a heavy duty spring on the ceiling of a country club entrance yesterday. I got some shocked looks from the MB/BMW/Porsche set. I felt like such a hillbilly. I was picking up my son from a tennis tournament. Let’s just say that the Jeep fit in like Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack. I loved it! The only thing better would have been a 70’s Firebird with a bad exhaust.
My antenna is mounded on the tire carrier and sticks about 30 to 40 inches above the roof. I don’t normally run around town with it on, but I have been playing with the tuning and had to go get the kid.
First, make sure the Firestik antenna you buy has a tunable tip with the brass screw that you turn in or out to adjust its length. That is known as the FS series so a 3' with a tunable tip would be an FS-3.
Depending on where you mount your antenna, and the bumper is not a good choice, you shouldn't really need anything longer than a 3'. I run with a FS-2 2' antenna and it works offroad as any of the longer antennas do. It only has to be tuned properly as does any length.
I personally would not go for a spring. They make the antenna electrically longer and thus harder to tune. Not only that but if the trail is tough enough, the spring will allow the antenna to bang and whip around more.
I would avoid the Firestik Firering mount, it just gives too many problems. Go for a conventional antenna mount like shown below. Take GREAT PAINS to assemble the mount exactly (!!!) as the illustration shows, especially take pains to insure the plastic insulated shoulder washer is properly seated/centered in its hole and positioned exactly as shown. Misassembling the mount in even a minor way is just about a guarantee the antenna will be shorted to ground so it will not work properly or be tunable.
Finally, aside from insuring the below antenna mount is assembled correctly, you also have to insure the antenna mounting bracket gets a bare metal-to-metal connection to the tub so it is properly grounded. Also note my added note in the below illustration that you also have to grind a circle of powder coating away as shown so the "SO-239" lower half of the antenna mount has a bare metal connection to the mounting bracket.
An incorrectly assembled or installed antenna will create nightmares trying to get it working so take your time on its initial assembly and installation.
Good luck with it.
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Thank you all for the help! I had gone earlier to a Jeep show and there were many with CB's there, most with Firestiks. Most were 3-4 foot, one was mounted high on the spare tire and was a 5' waaay up there. Def going to go with the tail light mounted, and have decided to go with the 3' tunable tip as Jerry suggested. In my searches, I know you've been around CB's, and you're a voice I trust in the forums. And thanks for posting the great graphic! I just sent In my order.
I have a stock JKU with 3' firestik antenna. I made a custom mounting bracket that attaches using the bolts that secure the factory spare tire carrier.
I have a spring on mine (picked up from local truck stop). my antenna hits a couple signs and 1 exit arm (inverted L shaped arm when raised, other entrance is straight arm) in the parking garage at work.
I opted for spring for this reason.
I originally had it mounted higher but noticed I was also hitting some of the overhead concrete when making turns in the parking garage. so I redid the mount and dropped it a couple inches.
Which brings up a good point, I clear the overhead hanging sign that lists the height of the garage at the main entrance of the garage (where the straight arm is), but still hit stuff inside.
I have a stock JKU with 3' firestik antenna. I made a custom mounting bracket that attaches using the bolts that secure the factory spare tire carrier. I have a spring on mine (picked up from local truck stop). my antenna hits a couple signs and 1 exit arm (inverted L shaped arm when raised, other entrance is straight arm) in the parking garage at work. I opted for spring for this reason. I originally had it mounted higher but noticed I was also hitting some of the overhead concrete when making turns in the parking garage. so I redid the mount and dropped it a couple inches. Which brings up a good point, I clear the overhead hanging sign that lists the height of the garage at the main entrance of the garage (where the straight arm is), but still hit stuff inside.
I use a 3' Firestik, too. My antenna is attached to the spare tire rack, using 1/2 of a trucker CB antenna mount. I don't use a spring. The height is perfect. The tip of the antenna is high enough to where it will clear the top of my hardtop by several inches, but is still low enough that it won't hit the ceiling of my garage.
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The taillight passenger antennae mount sucks. Its a great idea and cool looking but on a TJ, it makes the metal frame wobble around the light area. I even tried their lighter fire stick, firefly i think its called. I wound up drilling into the spare mount for the antennae and it was cheap, easy and solid. Just my opinion. You can see my earlier thread about it.
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Interesting. As I said, I have the 3' firefly on a Teraflex taillight mount with a medium duty spring running a Fire Ring connection and I've removed no powder coating. I was dreading the tune seeing the problems everyone else had getting things just perfect. With just a little tuning (took less than 30 minutes) I was working fine with no other tweaks. The spring has done well off road, and I haven't noticed it slapping things around (and doesn't budge at highway speeds.) The Fire Ring was simple, easy, and perfect for my application. Provided you follow Jerry's diagram, it's good to go and easy to deal with. I tuned specifically for channel 4 since that's what we all use around here on the trail and the meter shows 0 on channel 20. I'd call that pretty spot on.
@Jerry - what problems have you seen with the Fire Ring? Was it just user error (incorrect assembly) or is there something I should watch out for? I ask because I have the Cobra WX 75ST and it does so good that I ordered all the components to do the same type of install on my JKU as is on my TJ. Only difference in the installs will be location of the power box (not visible, this is the fancy Jeep!) and the location of the antenna - I'm using a Teraflex JK mount for the spare tire holder instead of the Teraflex tail light mount and the JKU has a hard top instead of a soft top like the TJ does. My hope is to just quick disconnect the handset and switch it over whenever I want to.