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Old 11-21-2009, 08:53 PM
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CB out put (red zone)

output * (sp)

I just installed a CB on my jeep today!! its a 40 channel Midland and its great! But i have an issue, my output is way out.

There is 5 indicator lights on the CB, which display incoming and outgoing signal. The indicator lights are ( green, green, yellow, yello, red).

When i first installed the CB and antenna, i flicked it on and my output was a little high (both yellows were lit up) so i adjusted my tuneable antenna a hair and got a (green, green,) output, i did a radio check and got somebody about 3 miles away, they said i was coming in loud and clear.

So then i hop in, start up the jeep take off down the road and try it out again, my output was back in the red, and i did get a responce on radio check but they stated that i was coming in real snarly. So when i got back home i tried playing with the antenna again to get my output back in the zone but was unable to get below 2 yellows. At that point i didn't get a responce with a radio check.

Is the adjustment the the antenna real precise? tiny turn by turn movements...

I know i need to tune it with an SWR but it doesn't make sense that i was in the green and was recieving and transmitting good, and then when i take off down the road, and even when i park it back in the yard i am unable to get within range.

Any help would be great.

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Old 11-21-2009, 09:03 PM   #2
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Sounds like you have a loose or bad ground to the antenna.

I don't know about about the midland you have or what the indicators are (post up the model number) but if they are SWR numbers and red=bad then it's a ground issue.

I don't know what antenna you have but if it's a snip to shorten type, don't make it any "shorter" until you track down this issue or you may need a new antenna when you finally do figure it out.

Post up the type/model of the antenna too.

Do you have a SWR meter?

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Old 11-21-2009, 09:50 PM   #3
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This one?
That's not an SWR meter, it's just a signal meter and it should show full power when transmitting.
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:50 AM
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that is the model CB that i have, so all the way Red (-30) is what i should have... I was just given an SWR tuner but i need to go buy another pigtail to go from the meter to the cb.
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Old 11-22-2009, 12:09 PM   #5
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Yes, when you're transmitting the meter should run up to red.
Even when you're receiving, if they're fairly close the meter should be in the red.
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:18 PM
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how often is there chatter around you on channel 19? I dont have a scan feature so i stay on 19 and never here anybody talk... Is there any channel that is "jibber jabber"
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Old 11-22-2009, 08:34 PM   #7
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You probably have a bad ground. I sold my last cb about 6 years ago, I use to tune them and install them for people. Yes they can be a turn for turn adjustment sometimes.
What type of antenna do you have? That makes all the difference in the world.
Also remember that the vehicle itself could be making interference.
Tune a cb antenna is not very hard if you know what your doing.
19 is more or less the jibber jabber channel universally.
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudslinger150 View Post
how often is there chatter around you on channel 19? I dont have a scan feature so i stay on 19 and never here anybody talk... Is there any channel that is "jibber jabber"
How close are you to the interstate? Usually if you're within a few miles, you'll pick up plenty of chatter on 19...as mentioned, that is the main channel for truckers to chat on. They sure make long trips enjoyable too...absolutely hilarious to listen to and if there's a wreck ahead, they'll radio back where it is and what lanes are open. IMO, a CB radio is more reliable than a radar detector when it comes to speed traps also.

If you're not getting any chatter, it could be an issue with your antenna as mentioned...either bad ground or not tuned properly, etc. OR if your antenna is fine, make sure you don't have your squelch cranked way up. I usually would tune mine just high enough to stop the static from constantly coming over the radio. Often times you'll have to adjust it a little. If it's too high, you won't hear anyone unless they're damn near right next to you.
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudslinger150 View Post
how often is there chatter around you on channel 19? I dont have a scan feature so i stay on 19 and never here anybody talk... Is there any channel that is "jibber jabber"
We have chatter around here pretty much 24/7 but we live within 10 miles of 3 truck stops, 2 industrial parks and half a dozen trucking companies.
Out on the interstate things have gotten pretty quiet, too many teams shut their radio down so their co-driver can sleep or solo's listening to books on tape and ignoring the 2way.
The best way to check out what kind of performance you're getting from your rig is to get a buddy with a CB and start driving around, see what kind of range you get over different terrain.

Popular trucker channels are 19(primary) 21, 17, 6, 1. it depends on the state and what the driver is doing.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:58 PM
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what about a handle? what should mine be? Mudslinger?
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:01 PM   #11
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Mudslinger would be fine but most people have moved away from handles. I was lucky, My folks called me Skeeter pretty much from birth so I just use that as my handle.
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:42 PM   #12
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I was Wolfen, way back when you needed a license to operate a cb radio
I was KCYV-0012
they took the first three on your license plate CYV and the three numbers after that 012 and added a K cause I liven west of the Mississippi, and added a 0 in front of the 012 therefore I was KCYV-0012

Did you get it tuned again yet? Let me know if there's any thing I can tell you to help you out with the red zone problem
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:53 PM
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red zone is good, its actually what i want, but i still need to tune the antenna with a SWR tuner.
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:00 PM   #14
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in the red on TX and RX is great, BUT when you tune the swr's try to get as low as possible on both ch1 and ch 40, there's no need to tune all the channels in between, just flip between 1 and backward to 40, and try to get the swr's the same or as close to the same as possible, What kind of antenna are you running ?
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:13 PM
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4' Firestick with a tunable tip
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:20 PM   #16
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WOW!, They still male those?
Not to sound old or anything but I remember in 1988 I traded one of those for a 102" steel whip on a 76 Chevy PU. Are they still black?

Ok enough showing my age, when you tune the stick make your adjustment and move your hand completely away from the antenna, the human body can interfere radio tuning. I don;t know how or understand it but it can happen, when you get the matched channel tighten her down put the cover back on and call it a win. Just keep the swr meter around cause every now and then CB's get "out of tune"
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Old 11-30-2009, 01:56 PM
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So i got a hand me down SWR tuner, its old but works great! I plugged it in, between the antenna and the CB. I calibrated it, and then tested channel 1 and channel 40, both were descent but could have been better, so i adjusted my antenna so my meter was right on to 1.5

Now I'm sure it is because of this but i put my rubber cap back on the end of the antenna, and now it seems the CB isn't working at hardly any distance. I cannot even get a successful "radio check radio check on 19" and i notice that my output signal went from very very strong to mediocre at best.

Now I'm going to re adjust my antenna using the SWR with it in mind that i need to throw the rubber cap on the end of the antenna after.

any tips, have you herd of this amateur mistake before?
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:54 PM   #18
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I've heard of it happening,. but I never believed it, my old roommate told me he had that problem in his MG, but I thought he was just drunk.

1.5 I good if you have that on both 1 and 40, Too high ( 2 or over) could do harm to the CB radio itself.
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Old 12-03-2009, 03:58 PM
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Now when i went to re adjust my antenna using my SWR meter, all i got was a pegged out meter, with my antenna tip all the way out and all the way in....do i have a bad ground?? It worked great for about a week...

my power is run to the cigarette lighter, and the cigarette lighter is running my gps. would power be an issue??
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Old 12-03-2009, 04:18 PM   #20
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Where is the radio grounded?

And, when you say it's power is from the lighter, do you mean you've spliced into that line or are you using an actual lighter plug?
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:49 PM   #21
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I don't think its a power problem, if you pull too much power with that particular CB radio you will burn out the fuse first.
you may have a bad ground or the mic could be wired wrong, is the mic the stock one that came with the radio?
Personally the first thing I would check is the ground to the jeep, make sure there is no paint or primer between the grounding surfaces, next check the coax cable itself, the inner copper wire should go all the way to the tip of the connector and the outer shielding should be evenly distributed around the cable when it is attached. If you had to cut the antenna end off for your mounting the inner and outer of the two CANNOT touch at all and should be as far away from each other as possible.


Is there any way you can take a picture of the CB hookup points and post hem on here? if you can post each piece as it is attached currently and good angles of it please
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Old 12-03-2009, 07:39 PM
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is there such thing as having the antenna's stud mount too tight to the stud mount mounting bracket? I noticed that i snugged that up tight and when i did my swr would get pegged. If i loosened it up a tad i was back in the 1.5-2.0 range. I will take some pics and post them later.
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:07 PM
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The bottom of the bracket and the top of the bumper are not painted and are bare metal, so is the bottom of the bracket where the stud mount is mounted.
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:08 PM
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:10 PM
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some CB action shots
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:45 PM   #26
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I've never heard of anyone tightening it too tight. But I guess it could be possible.
looking at that bracket, I have to ask did you make it? If so nice work man The mounting bolts to the bumper can be tightened as tight as you want without snapping the bolts, the antenna mount should be a little more than snug, just enough to keep it from coming undone.
Did you put the ends on the Coax cable? Those look like the ones I used to get from rat Shack, if they are try redoing eh cable end, cot the shield 1/2 and inch longer than required so that it sticks out eh bottom and trim it from there, make the inner lead 1/4 inch longer than required and trim off whatever is sticking out of the hole in the cable connector. then try the swr meter again.
If you did this already then you might have a bad end on the cable (happens).
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:42 AM
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Yeah i needed a mount for the antenna, and instead of spending 30 big ones i made a quick one with some scrap from the garage. It seems to work fine for now, its sturdy but will band away if i get it caught up on something. My CB seems to work a lot better now that i loosend up my connector at the antenna (but its still snug, just not tight). The cable came to me with the PL259 connectors on it (18' cable).

I guess i thought there would be more chatter on the CB than there seems to be. You'll get a few guys talking every once in a while but nothing constant. I've yet to grab a radio check from any place impressive, only within 2 or 3 miles if that.

My buddy asked for one for christmas, same type of setup i got. We'll be able to talk to eachother cruzin the roads so that'll be fun, and when we go on the trails it'll be nice, so we wont have to pull up to eachother or get out of our vehicles.
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:49 PM   #28
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I'm glad you got the thing set right, Pl259's are standard inexpensive connectors, but you might have tightened one past its ability to make a connection, I don;'t know for sure but that's all i can think of, but as for chatter, that depends on where you are, here in the city I can turn on a cb and never be able to get a word in edgewise, but when I lived in NW Arkansas I could go weeks without hearing a single bit of static, I found out that a stock CB is a basically a line of sight unit that only goes about 5 miles at good strength, to do what the really big ones do that sound like they have all kinds of power you need all kinds of power, and the skip shooters, well.....forget that on a Jeep the antenna setup you need for that is impossible to do with a Jeep, but if yours is like the one that is in the picture just below your first post then you will probably be able to hear way farther than you can transmit, sorry its like that, but its the nature of the beast with a cb radio, the 27mHz band isn't known as the best wave band.

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