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Old 06-27-2018, 09:05 PM
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Curious SWR Readings

Took the hard top off and put the soft top on earlier this month. But I had tuned the CB antenna wsith the hardtop on and wanted to see what it would read on teh SWR meeting with hte soft top. I suspected it wouldn’t change a whit, but it actually did.

And I saw kind of a...curious...pattern in the SWR readings.

With the hard top, I was consistently getting a 1.5 to 1.8 reading between channels 1 and 40, with 40 being the higher and the tunable tip tightened down completely.

I put the soft top on, same antenna configuration, and after setting the SWR meter on FWD, I got a perfect 1.0 on Channel 1.

Up on Channel 40, I got a 2.0

Can’t reduce the length of the antenna any more, so I went to Channel 20 and took a reading after “zeroing” the meter. Solid 1.0

Curious, I went to Channel 30. Rinse, repeat, I get a 1.2 (No joke; I did the check four or five times).

Channel 35 I see a bump to 1.4

Channel 38, the SWR reads 1.8

Channel 39, it reads 1.9

Channel 40 reads 2.0

Went back down and started at Ch 1 again. Every channel up through 28 was a 1.0 and at 29 gets a 1.1 or 1.2

I’m going to do this again another day, this time with a pad of paper and pen.

Any ideas how to drop that upper end? Firestik says to cut the adjustment screw in half if the reading is high and the screw is bottomed out.

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Old 06-27-2018, 09:55 PM   #2

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we only use channel 4 when we go out. I always try and get the lower channels tuned in. What are the odds you will be talking on any channel higher than 30?

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Old 06-28-2018, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jadmt View Post
we only use channel 4 when we go out. I always try and get the lower channels tuned in. What are the odds you will be talking on any channel higher than 30?
I don't know. The last time I had a CB in a vehicle was 1994 (the same radio I'm putting in this Jeep). Saying "good buddy" to someone had just become offensive.

This is for use on the trail, so I guess it will depend on where the other radios are tuned.

I also picked up a Midland 75785 for vehicle to person talking (scouting blind curves on a one-lane shelf road, recovery work, camp comm, etc. and as a backup) which works better than I thought it would. It goes in the recovery gear bag. Not good to use while driving, but at least something.
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Old 06-28-2018, 03:17 PM   #4

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hardtops do funny thing to SWR.. on mine I could not get much below 2.0 with it mounted in the back by the tire.. moved it up front in place of the Am/FM antenna and 1-1.5ish SWR all channels..

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Old 07-01-2018, 01:03 PM   #5
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I'd leave it alone, especially if you don't normally use the upper end of the band. Anything 1.5 SWR or below is considered just about perfect; and 2.0 ain't that bad.

I don't think you'd hurt your radio by talking on it with a 2.0 SWR, although some amplifiers want it to be no higher than perhaps 1.5 probably because of the potential for heating things up with big wattage at play.

About the only thing a 2.0 SWR value normally does is to potentially cut the transmit range by maybe 10% compared to a 1.0 SWR. Big deal.

You could follow FireStik's advice about how to get it down lower, but make sure it doesn't screw up your use of the hardtop later.
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