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Old 07-27-2016, 10:36 PM
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My How-to on installing a CB radio/Antenna

I have just completed installing my CB radio and antenna and thought I would share how I did it:
How to install a CB in a 2015 JKUR:
1. List of parts
o Radio Shack CB , TRC-479
o Rugged Ridge CB mount, RUG11503.95
o 12 gage wire, red
o 12 gage wire, black
o Wire protective sleeving, 3/8 inch
o 2 ring terminals for 12 gage wire
o Shrink sleeve
o Nylon cable ties
o Power Line quick disconnect
o JK jeep hood mount kit, AUJ1
o Firestik 2’ antenna
o Firestik medium spring, SS-3M
o Firestik, Fire-flex, FireRing, 9’ coax, K-8R9
o Autozone ground strap (15 inches long), 60213, or equivalent
  1. On left side of jeep, remove aft most bolt securing the left front fender to the frame.
  2. Position the hood mount in position and secure using previously removed fender bolt.
  3. In engine bay, on forward part of front left fender, remove nut securing ground wires to ground stud.4.
  4. NOTE: I installed head shrink over the entire length of the ground strap to prevent rubbing on the paint.
  5. Position the serrated end of the ground strap over the stud, and secure with previously removed nut.
  6. On the hood mount there will be a little screw. Remove the screw, position the other end of the ground strap under the hood mount, and secure using previously removed screw.
  7. NOTE: there will be a black, sticky, 1 inch in diameter access hole (mine had an X carved on it for easy perforation) on the driver’s side of the engine compartment fire wall, about 1 foot down.
  8. Route your fire-flex coax through the access hole, from the engine bay to the driver’s compartment (just above foot pedals). The hole is large enough to push the end with the PL-259 coax connector on it on through.
  9. Route some red 12 gage wire from the battery positive lead, along the firewall (under the rubber molding), to the access hole on the driver’s side of the firewall.
  10. Crimp on a 12 gage ring terminal on the battery end of the red wire. I positioned heat shrink on the wire before crimping, and shrunk it up close to the ring terminal.
  11. Crimp on a 12 gage ring terminal on the end of a length of black wire (length shall be sufficient to go from the lower left grounding nuts in the dead pedal area, up the left drivers pillar, and on to the center of the windshield at the top. Heat shrink is not required here as this will be a ground.
  12. Remove the two screws securing the drivers sun visor, and remove the sun visor.
  13. Remove the center plastic fastener from the upper elbow of the driver’s pillar and gently pry the pillar elbow cover off.
  14. Gently pry the lower pillar cover off (from the pillar elbow to the door).
  15. At the center top of the jeep, just above the top of the windshield, position the roof L-clamp to the remove position, and remove the two torx (star) screws securing the center roof mounting loop, and remove the loop.
  16. Using your chosen CB installation bracket (comes with your CB) as a template, mark and then drill two holes in the Rugged Ridge CB mount.
  17. Position the Rugged Ridge CB mount in the mounting location on the jeep, position the center roof mounting loop on the Rugged Ridge CB mount, and secure using previously removed torx (star) screws.
  18. Using the provided screws and nuts that comes with the Rugged ridge CB mount, secure the CB installation bracket to the Rugged Ridge CB mount.
  19. At the lower inboard side of the driver’s pedal compartment, locate one of two ground points. They will be under a cover secured by two screws.
  20. Remove the nut from one of the ground studs (leave existing wires on the stud), position the terminal ring from the recently crimped black wire onto the ground stud, and secure using the previously removed ground stud nut.
  21. Route the red power wire, the black ground wire, and the PL-259 end of the coax to the CB mount.
  22. Solder and heat shrink a power lead quick disconnect onto the red and black wires (remember to place the head shrink on the wires before soldering). It is advisable to solder the red lead to the female side of the quick disconnect as this will be hot (have power applied after connecting to the battery). Solder the black wire to the male end.
  23. Solder the other half of the power lead quick disconnect to the red and black wires that came with your CB. You will need to cut off whatever type of connector is currently on the CB power wires. Ensure the red wire coming from the battery (female end) and the red wire coming from the CB radio (male end) will line up when the power lead quick disconnect halves are connected.
  24. Position the wires and coax in the channel where the front window cover and pillar covers will be installed.
  25. Secure the coax and wires with nylon cable ties, ensuring the red power wire and coax in the engine compartment will not rub on any structure.
  26. In the engine bay at the battery positive terminal, remove one nut from one of the three studs at the battery positive terminal.
  27. Position the ring terminal previously crimped on the red wire, over the stud, and secure using the previously removed nut.
  28. Connect the coax to the CB radio ensuring the coax ring is tight (fingertight only though).
  29. Connect your CB radio to the rapid Ridge CB mount using the two finger nuts (comes with CB).
  30. Connect the two power line quick disconnect halves together and smell for smoke. (Just kidding, all will be fine).
  31. Install the center cover over the wires and coax (snap into position ensuring all clips line up with the clip mounting holes).
  32. Pop the lower pillar cover into position.
  33. Position the pillar elbow cover over the pillar cover and center cover, and secure the driver’s sun shade using two previously removed screws.
  34. Install the plastic fastener into the lower pillar cover hole.
  35. Using a proper SWR meter (suitable for 27 MHz), check for a good antenna match and adjust your antenna per the antenna instructions. If the SWR is higher on channel 40 than on channel 1, the antenna is too long and needs to be shortened (cut small amounts of the antenna tip off in ¼ inch increments, or in my case, screw the top of the firestik down ¼ inch and test again).
  36. You are hoping for an SWR reading of 2.0/1 if possible.Any reading over 3.0/1 will possibly damage your radio, so do some troubleshooting.
  37. Most likely a high SWR reading will be caused by an improperly insulated antenna connection at the hood mount, or a poor ground at the antenna.






















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Old 07-28-2016, 01:08 PM   #2
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Nice job, I like your use of an aluminum antenna mounting bracket which makes it far less likely to have an RF ground problem.

My only two suggestions would be 1) on step 35 to add that you can use channel 20 to do all tuning since once the SWR is as low as possible on 20, that it will also be as low as possible on channels 1 and 40. Checking the SWR on 1 & 40 can as you said tell if the antenna needs to be made longer but I just do it all from channel 20 which saves time. It only takes a split second to know if turning the adjustment tip up or down improves lower the SWR.

And 2), on step 36 I would just add that you want the SWR to be under 2.0:1, with 1.5:1 or lower as the goal.

Nice job too of showing how the CB should be powered from either directly at or very close to the battery.

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Old 07-28-2016, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Nice job, I like your use of an aluminum antenna mounting bracket which makes it far less likely to have an RF ground problem.

My only two suggestions would be 1) on step 35 to add that you can use channel 20 to do all tuning since once the SWR is as low as possible on 20, that it will also be as low as possible on channels 1 and 40. Checking the SWR on 1 & 40 can as you said tell if the antenna needs to be made longer but I just do it all from channel 20 which saves time. It only takes a split second to know if turning the adjustment tip up or down improves lower the SWR.

And 2), on step 36 I would just add that you want the SWR to be under 2.0:1, with 1.5:1 or lower as the goal.

Nice job too of showing how the CB should be powered from either directly at or very close to the battery.
Thanks for the tips. I also used heat shrink solder sleeves at the power line quick disconnect ends. Way easy to use, but can cause problems if installed in a high heat area like the engine bay (my area was not), as the solder has a lower melting point. It solders and seals in one operation using a heat gun.
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Nice job, I like your use of an aluminum antenna mounting bracket which makes it far less likely to have an RF ground problem.
It is stainless steel. https://www.amazon.com/Accessories-u.../dp/B00IHMZT1S
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ULEWZ View Post
Great choice of material. It's those powder coated brackets that cause more problems for antennas than they're worth.
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