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Old 07-17-2014, 10:20 AM   #1
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Need help with Midland 75-785 and Wilson 1000

Greetings,

I know nothing about radio, other than having read the Stickies above and various other threads about CBs over the past week and a half.

May change my mind someday and become an enthusiast, but right now the only reason I want a CB is for trail rides. Usually use a set of Motorola Family Radios when just two of us, but I want to be ready if a larger group is using CBs. Don't want the thing in the cab the rest of the time.

So naturally, I thought a handheld radio with a good mag-mount antenna would be fine. Bought the Midland 75-785, along with a Wilson 1000 62" mag-mount antenna and an adaptor so as to be able to plug the antenna into the radio.

They came in. I put 9 new AA batteries in then turned on radio and installed the rubber ducky antenna, walked out into driveway. Picked up some chatter on 26 -- pretty clear, but going in and out. Thought to myself, "this isn't bad -- I bet the Wilson will totally rock." I'll ultimately run it off the car battery, but just testing things now.

Unplugged the stubby, could still hear the chatter but much lower volume now. Stood next to my JK, set antenna on top of hood, 50' from the house. Plugged antenna into adapter and into Midland. Volume picked up a tiny bit from "no antenna," but not nearly as loud nor as clear as with stubby. I was perplexed.

I also ordered an SWR, but discovered that it didn't come with a jumper cable, so no way to plug the radio and the antenna into it. Waiting for a short jumper to come in.

But the Wilson instructions say that to tune the antenna, you loosen the set screws on the base and slide the shaft up and down (stop it, you filthy minded people!) So even without the SWR I can slide it up and down, and didn't notice any difference.

I even removed the antenna from the hood, and just walked around with it, and that made no difference, where I was led to believe the performance should deteriorate when the antenna loses that ground plane of the hood.

So I'm wondering what I've done wrong? Makes no sense that the Wilson, even if not perfectly tuned, would be way worse than the stubby. So I figure I must have left off the "right obtuse 90 degree Staley pin" or something else you CB people all know about and the rest of us are clueless to.

Again, this seems like less a matter of fine-tuning and more a matter of I've done something totally wrong in this set-up. It seemed so simple!

Thanks in advance for any help you can render.

And yes, I know that handhelds are not the preferred method, but I don't see why I wouldn't get better reception from the Wilson than the stubby??

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Old 07-17-2014, 10:58 PM   #2
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Wow, I'm amazed that 41 people have looked and nobody has an opinion. In every other subject I participate in forums on, 41 looks would equal 82 different opinions.

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Old 07-18-2014, 06:01 AM   #3
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Is the adapter the pl-259? If I remember right. You say you plugged in the adapter, it should be one that screws onto the coax, with a twist adapter for the handheld. Could also be the coax is bad, which sometimes happens, but not often.
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Old 07-18-2014, 06:18 AM   #4
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http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00006JPES/...190_TE_3p_dp_1

Here's the adapter. I think it's what you're talking about. Everything screws in easily, and yeah, it's a twist-on connection to the radio.

I hate to take this to Radio Shack or something, since I bought online. Any ideas how best to find somebody (I'm in a suburb of a big city) who wouldn't mind fiddling with it a few minutes to make sure I'm not doing something stupid? Kinda hate to start just sending parts back.
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Old 07-18-2014, 06:39 AM   #5
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That should be the right adapter. The only other thing I can think of is checking the coax and the connector on the coax. That will require a multi meter. Have you been able to check the swr? A good on-line resource is rightchannelradio.com. They have a cb resource section which has a lot of trouble shooting tips. Any good size truck stop should be able to refer you to a cb shop andcsome of them had cb shops on site.
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Old 07-26-2014, 06:54 AM   #6
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Okay, got back from out of town and my 3' jumper had arrived, so I could use my SWR meter.

Results: way above 3, in the DANGER! DANGER! zone.

Instructions for the Wilson say, "Insert the antenna 1" into the base. You should not even need to use an SWR meter, but if you have one check it. If Ch1 is higher than Ch40, pull antenna out 1/4. If Ch40 is higher than Ch1, push antenna in 1/4." So obviously not a lot of tuning is available. But I dutifully slide the antenna in and out while keying mic and there is no difference in SWR reading.

After doing all this this morning at 7am, I pulled the antenna loose and stuck the rubber one back on and immediately could hear a convo that had been going on on ch6 that I didn't even know anyone was talking when I had the Wilson hooked up.
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:13 AM   #7
Knows a couple things...

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That symptom is a clear sign that a short exists somewhere between the Wilson antenna and its connector that plugs into the CB. That short is between the antenna cable's center conductor and outer shield wire... and the short itself could be located in the antenna mounting base, in the coax cable, or in the connector.
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Old 07-28-2014, 02:14 PM   #8
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Thanks for the diagnosis, Jerry. Is that something that I can troubleshoot, or is it a case of "needs to go back to Wilson?"
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:06 AM   #9
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Take it back. Too much of a hassle to repair it.
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Old 07-30-2014, 04:15 PM   #10
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Do you have a multimeter? if not they are cheap
set it to continuity setting, looks like wifi symbol.
touch leads to each end of coax inside connectors if it beeps its ok then to outsside screw parts again if it beeps its ok if it doesn't beep there is a short
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:14 PM   #11
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Thanks, will do, NPR.

I did talk with tech support at Wilson Antenna. Super nice guy, btw, Alfa enthusiast so we hit it off.

Anyway, he said the antenna is "floating" because it's not grounded, since it's got a mag mount plus I'm using an ungrounded CB. That part makes sense. He first said to start "nibbling" bits of antenna off to see if the SWR goes down. I took a total of 9" off and never saw the reading change. So he's sending me a new whip to replace the now-53" one.

Next suggestion: ground the antenna. Test this theory by a) plug Midland in through ciggy lighter (gives it a little bit of ground), and b) wrap some wire around the antenna's shield (apparently the outer "tightening nut" with which you screw the connector into the radio is part of the shield, or grounded to it), and then attach that to a seat rail or something grounded. If that runs the SWR down below 2, then I know the problem. Solution would be to replace the magnet mount with a Wilson trunk mount bracket, which would allow me to ground it to the spare tire carrier or the underside of the hood.

All this makes sense. I'll try it when the new whip gets here tomorrow.

Thanks again for the help guys.
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Old 08-01-2014, 01:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
That symptom is a clear sign that a short exists somewhere between the Wilson antenna and its connector that plugs into the CB. That short is between the antenna cable's center conductor and outer shield wire... and the short itself could be located in the antenna mounting base, in the coax cable, or in the connector.
Well, I think you nailed it, Jerry. I finally got to my multimeter (stored somewhere else) and ran continuity check. The 3' jumper from the SWR to the radio was perfect. The Shield side of the Wilson cable was perfect. The inner source part of the Wilson cable? Nada. Dead as a stone. That cable just disappears into the base of the antenna, below the coil, but I disassembled and the cable ends are both soldered up nicely, so it's somewhere in the cable.

Wilson CS is shipping a new one and I'm returning the old cable and base. We'll see if that makes it all better.

Thanks again for your knowledge.

Figures this would happen to someone who doesn't know what the h he's doing.

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