4' Firestik on rear bumper vs 5' on front cowl = huge difference - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:24 PM
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4' Firestik on rear bumper vs 5' on front cowl = huge difference

I currently have a 4' Firestik Firefly mounted on my rear license plate bracket (from Cool Tech LLC), and have good SWR readings (1.6 on 1 and 40). We recently installed a 5' Firestik II onto my brother's front cowl using the Firestik flatbar mount. His readings were FAR better than mine, and was picking up transmissions that I could not.

The real issue here is that he parks in his driveway, I park in my garage. A 5' antenna on my front cowl just won't work for me.

My question is, what is his biggest realized benefit coming from? The FS II vs my Firefly? His 5' vs my 4'? Antenna mount location?

Based on that, would I likely see a gain or loss if I were to switch to
- a 3' cowl-mounted Firefly
- a 3' cowl-mounted FS II
- a 4' license bracket-mounted FS II

I could possibly get a 5' license-mounted antenna into the garage, if that turns out to be the best possibility.

Or I could just stop worrying about it.

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Old 08-20-2012, 07:36 PM   #2
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It depends on some other factors, but basically the mounting location is the main difference. Most antenna want a ground plane, a large reflective (metallic) surface to radiate off of. The only one on a Jeep is the hood.

Second to that, overall height wins - I believe this is where he is better at RX, but I dont know much about the differences in those particular models.

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Old 08-20-2012, 07:55 PM   #3
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BuleRidge is right, lots of factors involved. Your brother's set up might have a better ground connection, better coax, better coax connector installation.

The ground plane also points the signal. Ideally, the antenna is in the center of the ground plane, allowing a good omni-directional pattern. In your case, it's possible that the station your brother heard was in the direction from the antenna towards the most sheet metal. With your antenna mounted on the left-rear corner, your maximum signal for send and receive would be pointing towards the right front fender.

On whether or not to upgrade/relocate, why do you have a CB? Is it for keeping in touch with other members in your group? If that's the case, your 4' antenna should be fine. If it's for emergencies, then get a 102" whip and amp.

Regards.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:05 PM   #4
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n6hal,

You mentioned a "102 inch whip and amp" in your post. What type of amp do you recommend and where does it go. Thanks.

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Old 08-20-2012, 10:25 PM   #5
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As I'm sure you are aware, using RF amplifiers on the CB bands is illegal in the U.S. However, a quick search on Google finds several amps, including the KL203. Amazingly, you can even purchase the KL203 through Amazon. I guess that is because it can be used on frequencies between 20 MHz and 30 MHz, which includes 3 Amateur Radio bands.

Personally, I would not use an amp. Too many legal issues. But that's me. Please feel free to do what you want in this regard.

Hope you find a solution that works for you.

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Old 08-20-2012, 10:29 PM   #6
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Mr. Fish,

I just thought of another possible issue. Are you and your brother using the same model radio? If not, one radio may be more sensitive (better receiver) than the other radio.

LOTS of factors involved........
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:30 AM
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Both using 75 WX STs, but yes, there are a ton of variables.

I may end up putting his 5' FS-II + spring on my license bracket to see how it does in and out of the garage. If it works out, and I see a range improvement after re-tuning, I may upgrade.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:36 PM   #8
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FWIW, an amped CB can TX further, but that may only mean you can reach those who can't respond to you (or strong enough for you to hear them respond). It will not RX any more. Again, these are illegal in the US to have hooked up on 11M radios or to use for increased TX on 11M. Simple possesion is allowed. No Ham operator will recommend one to you

For emergency comms nothing beats a 2M ham for the price, and you'll nearly always reach someone who can actually help. Like my Jeep is upside down on fire and my arm is broken kind of help, not good buddy trucker help. No offense, truckers.

For hwy comms/trail comms, CB is still where its at. Frs gmrs is a good option, but then you dont get a cool antenna, and your buddies probably dont have it.

I would swi5ch componants around, like you said, one at a time. The answer should point itself out.

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