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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering attending the Pinelands Jeep Jamboree in October. CB radios are mandatory.

Where do you have your radio and antenna mounted? Should I even consider a handheld (I think I already know the answer...).
 

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Handheld is fine as long as you add a real antenna. That’s what I did and it works just like any other CB. The advantage is that you don’t have to live with it cluttering up your interior the 99.9999 percent of the time you’re not using it.

I mounted an antenna bracket to the stock spare tire carrier.

I snaked an 18’ antenna cable through the tailgate vent, along the right side of the cargo area (mine’s a 2-door) and under the carpet beneath the pax seat. Pulled it out on the pax side of the console, coiled it up and it sits down there between the pax seat and the side of the console all the time.

I keep a Midland portable CB (looks like a walkie talkie) in the seatback pouch of pax seat. It has a little external antenna fitting slipped over the smaller fitting made into the top of it. (All this came from Amazon.) When I want to use the radio, I grab it, pull the antenna cable out from its hiding place, plug it into the top of the Midland, and ready to go.

(Note) I have also added a conventional coily-corded mic/speaker that plugs into the side of the Midland, allowing me to clip the midland to a bracket I have mounted to the grab handle and only deal with the little mic. But this is just a convenience and not necessary.

All this is slightly more trouble than a permanent rig — it takes me about 30 seconds to go from nothing visible to fully set-up. But that’s well worth it to me, who cares nothing about the CB other than occasional trail use, and with a roll-cage taking up dash/windshield space, no good mounting location that doesn’t eat into existing space.



 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That sounds like a good way to go. I would prefer something non-permanent as well. If you have a photo of your antenna mount I’d like to see where you installed it.
 

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I had a permanently mounted one in my TJ and when the time came to add a CB to the JK, I gave serious consideration to a handheld, but after talking with several friends went with the Cobra 75: https://www.rightchannelradios.com/collections/equipment-by-vehicle/products/jk-jeep-cb-kit
With the mic removed and stored, there is no visible interior apparatus so no temptation to a would-be thief. I also have a quick-disconnect for the antenna and the antenna lives bungee corded above the center hoop of the sport bar when not in use.
For ease of installation, I opted to mount it behind the glovebox and not the center stack as they show.
The Right Channel Radio folks are tremendous.
I couldn’t be happier with my choice.
 

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I am considering attending the Pinelands Jeep Jamboree in October. CB radios are mandatory.

Where do you have your radio and antenna mounted? Should I even consider a handheld (I think I already know the answer...).
We went with a Cobra 75. It is somewhere between a handheld and a standard CB. It has a small box that mounts out of the way, out of site. The antenna is wired to that box. The Mic contains the majority of the radio, and it plugs into the box you mounted (mine is mounted behind the glove box). Once you plug the mic in you can turn it on and use it like a normal CB.
We used to run a hand held with an external magnetic mount antenna, it worked ok but the cable through the Jeep to the antenna was annoying and the power was a little lacking compared to others in our group (like my brother / sister in-law that was running a Cobra 75). So we bit the bullet and upgraded. I really though the hand held was going to be fine, and it is nice still carrying the hand held with us. If someone goes for a walk they can take it with them and be able to communicate with whomever is still back at the Jeep. But it was not working out for us as the only CB we had.
You can get a Cobra 75 with an antenna for only a little more than a hand held and add on antenna.
 

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If you want the Cobra 75, take a look at CoolTech.
https://www.cooltechllc.com/wrangler-parts-accessories/45-cb-all-in-one-kit.html

They have an optional mount that uses the license plate bracket. It looks very factory.
I had it on my 2008 but not my '14. I have the gate mount and can't open the rear hardtop window with the gate shut. :(

It's not a great radio, btw. I have a full-size Midland mounted to the soundbar now. It outperforms the Cobra in every measurable way. But if you don't need your cb often, it's okay.

I also have a couple of ham radios in the Jeep. That's a different level of radio geekdom though.
 

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Get a hand held Midland or Cobra that plugs into the vehicle power and uses a magnetic mount antenna that you can stick to the cowl. This is the best temporary option.
 

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Get a hand held Midland or Cobra that plugs into the vehicle power and uses a magnetic mount antenna that you can stick to the cowl. This is the best temporary option.
Personally, I tried this route with my handheld (i.e. the mag mount Wilson antenna). Never could get it to work very well. Spend considerable time on the phone with Wilson engineer (they give you an actual product engineer when you call tech support, not some person in India named “Tommy” reading from a script). Still couldn’t get it to work well enough. When I switched to a permanent mount 4’ Firestick antenna all problems went away. I just leave the antenna unscrewed and in the garage when I won’t be needing it.
 

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That sounds like a good way to go. I would prefer something non-permanent as well. If you have a photo of your antenna mount I’d like to see where you installed it.
Not my Jeep but this is what the install looks like.

 

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A permanent mounted properly matched antenna will almost always outperform a mag mount, although a mag mount that is positioned as close as possible to the center of the ground plane and matched to the vehicle will do a good job too. Never had a problem with my hand held with its K40 mag mount. I carry it as a backup unit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That looks like a great setup jaysong. I like that the radio is portable but easily plugged into the lighter for power. Seems like a perfect solution. I can keep it out of the Jeep for the 360 days a year I’m just cruising around town or going to work.

A number of you have pointed out tuning the antenna- how important is that step? Were talking about a convoy of jeeps that might stretch out a quarter mile or so...
 

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....

A number of you have pointed out tuning the antenna- how important is that step?...
Quite important.
You can ruin a radio with a poorly matched antenna. Plus your signal won't get out much.

Get an SWR meter or find a friend with one.
Or, better yet, a spectrum analyzer. That's what I use.


You might like the cb (children's band) too. I leave mine on all the time. Get road reports from truckers, talk to state troopers and other Jeeps. There have been so many times that I've learned about wrecks ahead by hearing the truckers bitch.
 

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That looks like a great setup jaysong. I like that the radio is portable but easily plugged into the lighter for power. Seems like a perfect solution. I can keep it out of the Jeep for the 360 days a year I’m just cruising around town or going to work.

A number of you have pointed out tuning the antenna- how important is that step? Were talking about a convoy of jeeps that might stretch out a quarter mile or so...
SWR over 2:1~ 2.5:1 can ruin the finals in the radio when transmitting. You can listen all you want but transmission requires a tuned antenna for performance and to not damage the radio.
 

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Quite important.
You can ruin a radio with a poorly matched antenna. Plus your signal won't get out much.

Get an SWR meter or find a friend with one.
Or, better yet, a spectrum analyzer. That's what I use.


You might like the cb (children's band) too. I leave mine on all the time. Get road reports from truckers, talk to state troopers and other Jeeps. There have been so many times that I've learned about wrecks ahead by hearing the truckers bitch.
You beat me to it. lol :)
 

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Most modern radios will throttle back the power to protect against a high SWR ratio. That being said, you really do need to correctly match the antenna to the radio.

When I ran a full sized radio, I used the Rugged Ridge mount for ober the rear view mirror. That actually held my Bearcat 990 and the control head for my Kenwood TMV-71A. Since the addition of the roll cage, I have moved to a Cobra 75 WXST and mounted the antenna box in the cage tray. I can stick the mic in the tray and it's hidden.

I use a 3' firestick mounted to a tailgate antenna bracket (like the ones previously shown). Once matched, it works very well (for a CB).

My CB has saved me several times, the most memorable was hearing a report from a trucker about I85 north of Charlotte being completely closed due to a wreck in the construction zone. I was able to get off at the last exit before being stuck in a 4 hour blockage and get around it. My ham rig may have done that also but it wasn't programmed for the Charlotte repeaters.
 

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Cobra 75 mounted behind glove box. They make a mount to hold it that attaches to the grab handle above the glove box. Easy install lots of you tube videos.
 

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The wife's Jeep we use a Cobra 75 mounted below the glove box. It can unscrew and be completed removed in seconds.

We carry a GMRS handheld as well for the clubs/rides that communicate with them.



My Jeep we use a full size mounted front and center on top of the dash :)
 
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