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Old 03-07-2010, 12:18 PM   #1
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Should this work?

So I'd like to go wheeling with a local jeep club and one of their suggestions is to have a CB radio so we can all communicate on the trail. Well my dad has this old CB radio that he bought for a road trip to FL almost 20 years ago and hasn't used it since. I stuck the antenna on the jeep and plugged it in and fired right up (just static). Will this work for out on the trail? I don't expect much from it, just enough to communicate with the group. Any cheap easy improvements I can make?

Thanks!


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Old 03-07-2010, 12:49 PM   #2
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i think there are two different frequencies of CBs. i dont remember what they are called. but i would make sure the are guys are using the same frequency. if they are then im sure it would work fine

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Old 03-07-2010, 01:01 PM   #3
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Well, it might work, if it still operates

Using the mag based antenna, which has to go on a METAL hood/roof, you would still need to "tune" the ant/cb using an SWR meter-with EVERYTHING hooked up in normal op status

It probably has 40 channel selectons, but it may noy have a fused pwr connection--ya have to hook it up right, just to tune it !!

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Old 03-07-2010, 01:39 PM   #4
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Should work... but as mentioned, you'll need to hook it all up and tune it and you'll need a different antenna. Otherwise it will most likely be useless out on the trail. I think you can pick up a cheap handheld unit if nothing else.

You can pick up a Midland CB for around $35 at Walmart... and a Firestik antenna for around $20. A good cb radio is worthless with a crappy antenna... a crappy cb radio can work fine with a great antenna. You'll also need some antenna wiring and the connectors. You can pick up everything from http://www.cbradiosplus.com/

(and you can probably get away with that radio assuming it works)
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Old 03-07-2010, 01:57 PM   #5
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Argh...I hate only being allowed to edit my posts for 15 minutes.

You'll also need a short jumper wire (antenna wire with BNC connectors on each end) and an SWF meter (I got a cheap one for around $15) so you can tune your antenna properly...unless your cb radio has a built in SWF meter (not output meter...SWF). And you'll need an antenna mount... I'd prolly just get a basic one to mount to the rear tub...but they also make mounts that go on the spare tire holder. And if you get a Firestik, get one with the tuneable tip. They are MUCH easier to tune...and if you screw up, you don't risk trashing your antenna.
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:06 PM   #6
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It's an "SWR" meter for standing wave ratio. You'll only need BNC connectors if the meter has BNC connections. Most meters used for CB SWR have PL-239 connectors as do the CB radios.
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteyj View Post
It's an "SWR" meter for standing wave ratio. You'll only need BNC connectors if the meter has BNC connections. Most meters used for CB SWR have PL-239 connectors as do the CB radios.
Whoops...my bad. I couldn't remember the name of the connectors and I was trying to find it. BNC was the first connectors I came across on that site...wrong ones apparently.
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:52 PM   #8
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Would tuning still be necessary if I just use the antenna that came with it?
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:56 PM   #9
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ALL antennas need tuned...even the "pre-tuned" antennas still need to be tuned to the application.

The magnetic antenna that is in the picture, won't work... unless you slap it on the hood/fender or something where it has good metal to metal contact outside the vehicle.
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:23 PM   #10
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Okay, on the drive home from my folks I mounted the antenna on my rear bumper and did a radio check on the highway while driving near a big rig. He was nice enough to reply but it was garbled and unintelligible. I'm guessing he heard me just fine, it's just that my reception sucks which is why I couldn't hear him. Guess I'll have to look into getting a better antenna.
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:33 PM   #11
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Yeah, you gotta be careful too...I've heard you can damage the internal circuitry of some radios if you transmit and your antenna isn't tuned properly. Could be wrong on that though...I'm not the most knowledgeable when it comes to cb radios. CB radios are line of site...so what you want to do is get a nice tall antenna and mount it so the tip is up over top the Jeep by a foot or so (the higher, the better I think...but you don't want to go too high or your antenna is gonna snag on low branches...so I'd say a foot or so would be good). Also, you need to make sure it's grounded really well...if you attach a mount to the tub, you'll want to grind down the paint to bare metal underneath the mount so there will be metal to metal contact. If you don't have metal to metal contact, it's not going to be grounded properly and your antenna won't work worth a hoot. Then I would seal around the mount with a good sealant to prevent moisture from being trapped in there and causing it to rust.

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