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Old 12-03-2015, 03:46 AM
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Cb(portable) antenna hook up

Hi I have cherokee ah 27 f that I bought used from someone in this group with the short antenna I couldnt talk with another person with another portable 200 yrds away. I bought the antenna mount for the tire carrier from 4wheel and spent the the last 6 hours fooling around and installing it. I bought a 4 foot tunable firestick and installed it. I dont have a swr meter but I tried it anyways just to see if it worked I have the adapter to hook the portable to the antenna cable. On the antenna mount I sanded off the coating around holes and inside the holes too, as well as bottom part were the cable is threaded on the the antenna (Part, that the antenna screws onto). Each bolt that is screwed into the tire carrier is grounded with their own 16g wire, onto their own source for grounding, the wire is what I had on hand. So I plug the cb into the cigarette outlet and tried it. I talked to someone a few miles away he said my audio was low compared to some others but he could hear me lol. Here Is my question, I don't have the spring mounted I know some people don't use them anymore, some do. If I buy a swr meter and adjust the antenna to the portable would it change the swr reading if I add the spring in later? Or, I may end up just getting a real Cb and getting it peaked and tweaked after Christmas, would I have to readjust the antenna again once its been set? Also, If and when I do get a real Cb, I just want to have it wired for a cigarette outlet so I can pull it out when not in use will that work? Thanks

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Old 12-03-2015, 05:32 AM   #2
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if the spring is acting as part of the antenna system or element, the swr will change. anytime length of the element changes swr will be changed. anytime things that are reflective radio wave wise change near the element swr will change. like if you open the doors or hood it can change.
most fiberglass antennas dont req a spring for tuning. a large part of the spring at the base of the antenna was from when people used real steel antennas that were certain wave lengths, like a quarter wave whip aka the 102 inch steel whip. its roughly one fourth the length of an 11 meter wave. the spring could be used to bend the roughly 9 foot tall element out of the way easier and add length for tuning etc.
firesticks are "tune able" or trimmable which is basically just changing the electrical element length of the wire used on the fiberglass.
i would for sure get a swr meter and check things out, anything over 1.5 and you will have poor performance and possibly hurt the radio.
cig lighters will work but they often give poor performance and can pick up things like alternator whine that you may hear in the rx or even folks on the other end may here in your tx audio. pretty much all cb radios from 1976 and newer have a power plug, you can simply unplug the power wire, feedline and remove the radio and then just move the power wire and cable out of your way, vs. the cig lighter plug. i did that in a yj and would just zip tie the wires under the dash when i took the radio out. then all i had to do was cut the zip tie and plug in the power wire, screw in the feedline and i was ready to roll and didnt have to check anything since everything stayed on the jeep but the radio. best bet is hard wired, fused and grounded at the battery to avoid noise issues. if it was me i would keep the hand held as a back up or around camp type of thing and get a mobile cb. im sure folks will argue that all 11 meter radios are limited to the same out put etc etc. so spending money on one is a waste etc. thats fine they can think what they wish. while that is true all 11 meter radios that are fcc complaint are limited to out put wattage that has little to do with audio quality, rx, tx and durability. saying they are all the same due to the out put power limit is the exact same thing as saying any stereo amplifier is just as good as the next as long as they have the same power rating. of course we know thats not the case. you will get much better performance out of a mobile cb than hand held. better communication performance can be a life saver. the big man and good coms saved mine a couple times. hope this answers your questions feel free to pm me if you have more radio questions.

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Old 12-03-2015, 07:14 AM
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thank you,
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Old 12-03-2015, 11:05 PM
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I put my spare tire back on and now I cant get the antenna on lol. The angle or where the tire now sits blocks straight access to the hole so i can't screw the antenna in straight..I guess I have to get a spring after all so i can anle it toward the jeep as I screw in the antenna.. I went to radio shack and they don't sell SwR meters anymore either. I guess I have to order one from on line? Anyone else have the issue with the antenna mount and spare tire besides me?
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Old 12-03-2015, 11:48 PM   #5
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i saw a mount that goes behind the brake lights, might solve the tire in the way issue. ive never tried so i cant say if its good but it looks simple enough. could you add a few washers on the spare mount to give you enough space? shame about radio shack when i was a kid radio shack had stuff to actually build a radio these days its all cell phones and battery stuff.
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:26 AM
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Thanks I was thinking about the washers too. This must be from the Lord but opened the tailgate and for some reason I can put it on and off, so the problem is solved lol that was easy
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:42 AM   #7
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Hmmm well amen
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:45 AM   #8
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Find a local truck stop for a meter. That is where I get all the CB stuff from except for the Ant mount. I do the spare tire mount setup also. I originally had the spring in both of the Jeeps, but the whip kept hitting the wiper arm when going through potholes. With the whips so close to the the tires, having a spring for protection won't really do much good. What I originally was going to do was just have a rope/clamp setup to pull the ant to the side a bit for when I have to go into parking garages. Now I just keep an extra 1/2" wrench in the Jeeps for quick takedowns. You will get lots of practice when tuning the antenna. It only tool me once to fall out of the Jeep to go to unscrewing it when I had tune.

Anytime you change something in the antenna system,the SWR will change. Even the lil rubber cap on/off will change readings. As a side note: both of the Jeeps have the tuning screw of the 4' Firestik at pretty much middle.

Right now I am using the cig lighter power temporarily (1 hardwired 1 plug). I do get additional noise when I turn the heater/ blower fans on high, windshield light pods and bright. Springtime will be re-wiring time.
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Old 12-04-2015, 04:40 PM
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I bought a workman swr meter and jumper wire for 40$ now i will need to play with the adjustment once I check it
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:50 PM   #10
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the workman meters are not the most precise but should do more than fine. if you could post a picture of your mount. ive never put one on a jk and im looking for something strong but not about to drill into a new ride unless i cant help it.
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Old 12-05-2015, 03:56 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by spud1790 View Post
the workman meters are not the most precise but should do more than fine. if you could post a picture of your mount. ive never put one on a jk and im looking for something strong but not about to drill into a new ride unless i cant help it.
Teraflex sparetire mount with the Wilson stud and spring. I have removed the spring since. It was banging into the rear wiper too much when going through pot holes and stopping and starting. I would hate to see what it would be like on a rough trail.


I ground off the paint on the bottom side of where the whip mounts and where the 2 bolts contact the plate. I sprayed the bolts and bottom of the mount with bedliner to help with rust prevention. The stud in the below pic was one had laying around, but switched to the Wilson because it appears to be more stable. Also on my wife's JKU I mounted the stud on the right hole, I gives about a 1/4" more space between the wear wiper, come spring I will be moving mine.

The cable is ran through the grommet below it. Word of advice, I used a drill to make the hole. If you use a razor/Xacto knife to cut a slit, the slit over time may continue until the grommet is spit.
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Old 12-05-2015, 02:46 PM   #12
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Awesome thank you
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Old 12-25-2015, 12:32 PM   #13
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I ran the cable through the grommet on the floor behind the passenger seat, then through the frame to the tire carrier hinge point, following the tire mount frame to the antenna. I took the factory FS mount with 2 45 degree bends and reshaped it to just one 90 bend. It is a 4' Firestick mounted to the rear of the 3rd brake light. I read less than 1 on the SWR. I have not had any problems with it including a cross country road trip to Moab and playing on the rocks. I have a Cobra 75 at the other end and am thinking of an external speaker.
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