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Discussion Starter #1
When doing a check with a SWR Meter for a CB and Antenna, does one do this after both are installed, or do you do it before you install/mount them? Does it matter? Will a read out require to re mount an antenna if tuning it doesn't work? :confused:
 

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antenna must be mounted as it is what is needed to be tuned, the cb can sit on the seat for testing;) as long as cable from the antenna isnt shortend or anything once antenna is tuned, most dedicated antennas are usually pretuned when bought so tuning is usually not that hard or needs to be adjusted much;)
 

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CB :confused: People still use those things :confused: I have not shouted "that's a big 10-4" since smokey & the bandit was in the theatre ! :banana::banana::banana:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
antenna must be mounted as it is what is needed to be tuned, the cb can sit on the seat for testing;) as long as cable from the antenna isnt shortend or anything once antenna is tuned, most dedicated antennas are usually pretuned when bought so tuning is usually not that hard or needs to be adjusted much;)
Thanks! I've had CB's before, but since this one isn't a hand me down, figured I'd not fry it:)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok, so I was an idiot and didn't order what is strangely referred to as a "Jumper Cable". This jumper cable is just a one foot long CB Coax cable used to connect a CB to a SWR meter. I tried to buy one at a Flying J near by, but all they had was the 18' CB Coax. I bought it to use. My concern is, with TWO 18' CB Coax Cables in line to a SWR meter, will this extra length of cord give me an incorrect reading? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6

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Generally speaking, the coax length should not affect the SWR, if it does there is an issue with your antenna.

Radio > SWR Meter > Antenna

The antenna should be mounted exactly how you will be using it every day. This includes routing of the coax. The meter can then be put into line for testing.

You adjust the antenna element up/down to acheive the lowest SWR, this is usually done on channel 19 (centre of the CB band)

You may consider finding someone who has done this before, or perhaps a Radio Amateur. It is easy to do, however one of those things that if you see it done, that can be very helpful.





Ok, so I was an idiot and didn't order what is strangely referred to as a "Jumper Cable". This jumper cable is just a one foot long CB Coax cable used to connect a CB to a SWR meter. I tried to buy one at a Flying J near by, but all they had was the 18' CB Coax. I bought it to use. My concern is, with TWO 18' CB Coax Cables in line to a SWR meter, will this extra length of cord give me an incorrect reading? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Generally speaking, the coax length should not affect the SWR, if it does there is an issue with your antenna.

Radio > SWR Meter > Antenna

The antenna should be mounted exactly how you will be using it every day. This includes routing of the coax. The meter can then be put into line for testing.

You adjust the antenna element up/down to acheive the lowest SWR, this is usually done on channel 19 (centre of the CB band)

You may consider finding someone who has done this before, or perhaps a Radio Amateur. It is easy to do, however one of those things that if you see it done, that can be very helpful.

Thanks Homac! I just had it installed (along with a VIPER Alarm/auto-start) and I'll have pictures up tomorrow hopefully. I just did a quick test with the meter using both 18' cables. My SWR is through the roof on channel one. The directions that came with the meter didn't say anything about channel 19, but I know what you speak of. The site I purchased from actually has video tutorials that I'm gonna watch.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
CB Installed and Working

I went out to Red Rock Canyon in Nevada (just west of Las Vegas). I took some pics of the CB Set up.

The Junction box is in my Glove Box, as I didn't want to mount it beneath the seat (as I store stuff under there at times). My Glove box pretty much stays empty except for the manual and legal docs. I had seen how Dawson had mounted his in the Shifter Shroud and thought it was great, but I personally like to be able to get at the junction box easily for any reason.

The cable to the antenna runs behind the glove box and down into the interior panels to the the Right Side Tail light.

The radio can connect to the J-box the same way and come up from under the glove box, or through the front (even with the box shut). I ordered a 4 ft extension for the radio so that I can easily connect and disconnect the radio and to cut down on Wear and Tear from going through the front of the glove box.

The radio mounts on a bracket. The bracket was easy to install as there are already holes it can be secured to with a screw behind the center facade. This may be different on '09s and up.

The antenna is mounted via a door jamb mount, which yes, I had to use sheet metal screws to secure. Washers were placed behind the back two screws as the body line in the door jamb was causing the mount to flex out and caused rubbing on the back door. The washers corrected this and now there is no rub. The mount is solid and does not flex what so ever.

The CB Cable (which claimed online to be able to go through tight holes made from factory) didn't live up to its hype. An extra hole had to be drilled to fit the cable end through, behind the tail light. This hole was then sealed to prevent moisture from entering afterwards. The cable had to be secured to the mount via 2 zip ties (which cover up what looks like a Stealer's Symbol --- grr since I'm a Colts fan)

The antenna is a 3 foot Firestick II with tunable tip, attached to a heavy duty spring (which can withstand up to 5 foot antennas). I wish I had gotten a Wilson Flex, which would eliminate the need for a spring, and I could just use a quick disconnect. At 65 mph, with the current set up, the antenna is stable and does not wave in the wind.

After a road test, I found that the antenna did add some noise, but nothing that was annoying. I now fit into the crowd of Jeeps out here in NV that also have CB's!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Angle Shot

Forgot 5 was the max per post. Here's another:
 

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Forgot 5 was the max per post. Here's another:
that's an awesome setup!!! do you find that you have to tighten the bolts periodically or does the initial installation seem sturdy?

so all you need now is a UHF (doesn't have to be GMRS frequencies) antenna on the other side, then you would be fully equipped for any "zombie" or "rage virus" (28 days later) disaster.

i hear you on the "being prepared" initiative. it seems the patriot is equipped to handle natural disasters very well but the small gas tank is what kills it. you won't be able to get very far unless you are on cruise control going 55mph. you could always grab a roof-top gas tank with a tube that can be run down to the gas cap gasket if you run out...
 

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ilfyya, very nice looking setup! How well do you find that antenna location works for you, receiving/transmitting-wise?

I was looking at my Jeep in the parking lot yesterday and I started to wonder if perhaps placing the antenna next to the hood, possibly close to the A-pillar would be a good compromise...? Of course, that CB-manual I downloaded claims this location is a bad place to put an antenna. But hey, "bad" is better than "worst" (what said manual had to say on rear bumper installations)... :)

Of course, I'm not about to trust one source blindly. Which is why I'm rather interested in how well a setup like yours works in practice, ilfyya. :)

you could always grab a roof-top gas tank with a tube that can be run down to the gas cap gasket if you run out...
Hello, what's this then? They actually make those? :) And I thought I had just thought up some bizarre setup by myself...

Yeah, the range of operation of a Patriot is an issue, and one I've yet to find a very good solution to. I keep a jerry can in the back but since it is inside the vehicle, I really don't want to store a full (or empty after it's been used, for that matter...) gas can in there so its utility is somewhat questionable. Theoretically I could fill it up if I were expecting trouble in fuel supply, but relying on knowing when there is about to be trouble doesn't sound like a very reliable method to me... And I suppose it beats having to empty soda bottles for transporting gas if I run out and find someone to give me a lift, but that's about it. A roof rack would solve that issue but if I kept full cans of gas up there, how long do you think it would take for some peace-loving nature lover to poke a hole into the cans with a screwdriver and toss a match? (Of course, a roof top tank wouldn't solve that problem either... Except maybe by looking different and thus confusing the hippie to think that its just a generic storage box.)
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I already have been thinking about the roof basket/aux. gas tank idea. That won't happen for a while. I love the Danny Boyle scenario, but I'd love it for the long trips out in the desert:) (still laughing cuz I have both of the 28 Days/weeks movies on my iPod) I've not been able to do a distance test, but the manual states that the average distance to transmit is 4 miles on any CB (unless it has been altered internally). So far, I'm able to hear truckers pretty far away (5 or so miles - known from my GPS to their "flying J" location) As far as anyone hearing me at that distance, as those truckers could have had altered CBs, I have no clue yet.

I've not had to tighten anything yet. I still need to silicone the bolts into the Jeep, but I was told that in the current damp weather, the Silicone wouldn't dry anytime soon. I disconnect the antenna when I'm not using it.

Since these pictures were taken, I've added a 4 ft extension cable for the hand unit so now the cb unit cable goes behind the glove box, just like the Antenna Coax, and comes down from behind. This makes it easier to disconnect, keep it hidden, and saves on rubbing against the glove box door.
 

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I already have been thinking about the roof basket/aux. gas tank idea. That won't happen for a while. I love the Danny Boyle scenario, but I'd love it for the long trips out in the desert:) (still laughing cuz I have both of the 28 Days/weeks movies on my iPod) I've not been able to do a distance test, but the manual states that the average distance to transmit is 4 miles on any CB (unless it has been altered internally). So far, I'm able to hear truckers pretty far away (5 or so miles - known from my GPS to their "flying J" location) As far as anyone hearing me at that distance, as those truckers could have had altered CBs, I have no clue yet.

I've not had to tighten anything yet. I still need to silicone the bolts into the Jeep, but I was told that in the current damp weather, the Silicone wouldn't dry anytime soon. I disconnect the antenna when I'm not using it.

Since these pictures were taken, I've added a 4 ft extension cable for the hand unit so now the cb unit cable goes behind the glove box, just like the Antenna Coax, and comes down from behind. This makes it easier to disconnect, keep it hidden, and saves on rubbing against the glove box door.
haha yeah. i definitely would want to be prepared for a scenario like in 28 days later. maybe you could grab an oil drum (doesn't have to be a full barrel of oil...that would be rather heavy!) and roll it up a plank into the cargo area of the patriot.

with regards to the radios...

a CB transmits a maximum of 4 watts. don't expect a CB to get you quality transmissions beyond 5 miles under ideal conditions. granted, you can easily pick up outlying transmissions that are garbled prob around 10 miles. if you are preparing for a 28 days later scenario you will want more than just a CB. you will want a mobile radio that transmits in the UHF HAM/GMRS frequencies (440MHz+) with a minimum of 25 watts. since a CB and a UHF radio transmit different frequencies you will want to have 2 antennas. consider getting the same mounting bracket put on the other side so you can have 2 radio systems. you don't need both antennas screwed on at all times, but the connections are there when the rage virus breaks out ha ha.
in addition to having a mobile CB and a mobile UHF radio, you will want to have portable hand-held versions of the same thing with full legal transmit power (4watts for CB and 5watts for handheld UHF) and enough batteries for a weeks worth of scavenging. i cannot find it at the moment, but in a UHF radio forum i came across a blogger who had a waterproof chest in the bed of his pickup truck. inside he had a panel with cut outs and charging ports connected to the electrical system for several radios that always maintained a charge. granted, this may be taking it too far, but you never know. as far as portables are concerned, you at least want to have 2 portables in case you have to split up, and enough batteries for 3 days of use. at least grab an extension antenna that either folds up or retracts up in case you have to abandon your jeep patriot and head for the high hills to call for help. these are easy to find, just check out a California vendor called Smiley Antenna.

those recommendations are only from a communications standpoint...of course if you are really preparing for a "rage virus" outbreak you will want to have plenty of firepower + ammo ha ha
 

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a CB transmits a maximum of 4 watts. don't expect a CB to get you quality transmissions beyond 5 miles under ideal conditions. granted, you can easily pick up outlying transmissions that are garbled prob around 10 miles. if you are preparing for a 28 days later scenario you will want more than just a CB. you will want a mobile radio that transmits in the UHF HAM/GMRS frequencies (440MHz+) with a minimum of 25 watts.
Not that I have any practical experience (yet :) ), but "5 miles under ideal conditions" sounds rather short. I've read people say they've reached other countries and even other continents(!) with a CB radio when the radio weather is optimal! Perhaps you meant "under normal conditions"? :) And of course one must remember that the biggest issue is the antenna - a better and longer antenna would result in longer range.

Don't you guys in the US have more or less the same frequency bands available as in Europe? If so, I am a little confused as to why you recommend such a high frequency for a second radio? I assume you are talking about getting more range, but if that were the case wouldn't it make more sense to remain in the HF range and just change the CB to a HF ham radio? When everything else is the same (transmission power etc.), lower frequency radio transmissions are supposed after all to travel further, right?
 

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Not that I have any practical experience (yet :) ), but "5 miles under ideal conditions" sounds rather short. I've read people say they've reached other countries and even other continents(!) with a CB radio when the radio weather is optimal! Perhaps you meant "under normal conditions"? :) And of course one must remember that the biggest issue is the antenna - a better and longer antenna would result in longer range.

Don't you guys in the US have more or less the same frequency bands available as in Europe? If so, I am a little confused as to why you recommend such a high frequency for a second radio? I assume you are talking about getting more range, but if that were the case wouldn't it make more sense to remain in the HF range and just change the CB to a HF ham radio? When everything else is the same (transmission power etc.), lower frequency radio transmissions are supposed after all to travel further, right?
yes, i guess i meant to say "normal conditions", but regardless you aren't going to be able to have a normal non-garbled transmission using a CB with someone that's more than 5 miles away. anything past 5 miles and it gets very difficult to have a stable conversation. CB's are great for short range communications...i think when you are talking about when people transmit to each other all over the world you are referring to Amateur HAM. you can't have a conversation with someone using a 4 watt transmitter to different continents. HAM radios, transmitting at 10-20 times the output of a CB...now then you're able to talk to someone in a different country.

so to answer your question about bands...the U.S. and Europe use bands for different purposes. For example, the GMRS UHF band in the U.S ( approx 460-470 mhz) which is used for regular day-to-day communications is actually used for emergency response communications in some parts of Europe. hence, it is illegal to operate a FRS/GMRS radio in the EU. my recommendation to use such a high frequency for a secondary form of communication (UHF) is due to the reliability of UHF transmissions, and the popularity of these types of radios. you can grab a pair of FRS/GMRS radios at walmart for under $30. granted they are cheapy, but the fact is they work and can transmit a few miles since they usually are 1-5 watts. in an emergency crisis or if a "rage virus" breaks out, then you will have more of a chance of communicating with people using UHF/GMRS frequencies than if you stuck with HF or VHF. does that make sense? in fact, there are thousands and thousands of Amateur HAM towers across the united states that in case of an emergency have the ability to switch to FRS Channel 1. there is an initiative to make FRS Channel 1 the official emergency channel in a time of a crisis. thus, in my opinion i would rather have communications that the majority of people have which will make things a HECK of a lot easier...

as far as distance...yes, VHF will get you a better range however with the recent advances in UHF technology the UHF radio is no longer just a LOS (line-of-sight) radio. UHF transmissions are of higher quality and offer more channels and sub-channels, and spacing etc. again, as i mentioned above i would rather have a radio that works with more people...thus i would go with a CB + UHF hook-up in my patriot.
 

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Not that I have any practical experience (yet :) ), but "5 miles under ideal conditions" sounds rather short. I've read people say they've reached other countries and even other continents(!) with a CB radio when the radio weather is optimal!
Some operators use equipment to boost the output of their CB unit to illegal levels and with large base type antennas under good conditions with what I think is called skip can reach across continents and farther. using this type equipment even mobile units can far exceed the reach of a legal unit.

I believe some have done this in the past due to not being able to pass the code part of the Ham Licensing requirements. However now you no longer are required to know Morse Code for a ham license. there still are restrictions on what you can do as a Ham though and even with the relative ease of obtaining a Ham license some will still mess it up for the rest of the CB operators by operating illegally. When they operate with excessive power they walk all over anyone else close to them and make the use of the CB Band for it's correct purpose difficult.

No matter what you do in life there are always those (Bullies or self important people) That do what they want with no regard for the needs or rights of others.
 

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Some operators use equipment to boost the output of their CB unit to illegal levels and with large base type antennas under good conditions with what I think is called skip can reach across continents and farther. using this type equipment even mobile units can far exceed the reach of a legal unit.

I believe some have done this in the past due to not being able to pass the code part of the Ham Licensing requirements. However now you no longer are required to know Morse Code for a ham license. there still are restrictions on what you can do as a Ham though and even with the relative ease of obtaining a Ham license some will still mess it up for the rest of the CB operators by operating illegally. When they operate with excessive power they walk all over anyone else close to them and make the use of the CB Band for it's correct purpose difficult.

No matter what you do in life there are always those (Bullies or self important people) That do what they want with no regard for the needs or rights of others.
i agree...it's a big pain in the @$$ when people starting modifying CB's because then what happens is they crowd the channel and you can't even talk back to them since you are only transmitting at 4 watts.
 

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The difference in distance is less because of the power output and more because of the antenna. I would take a CB over the FRS/GMRS stuff if a good antenna is used.

The problem is a full sized antenna on CB is 102" as opposed to a full sized FRS/GMRS antenna is less than 12". If you put a good quality CB antenna on your Patriot you will cover much more distance. Having both is even a better idea.

Below is how I would rank things, keeping in mind you need a licence to use the Amateur band (pretty easy to get):

  1. Amateur 2m Band
  2. CB
  3. FRS/GMRS

Having Amateur Radio HF access is better yet but that antenna will be a real bugcatcher !




haha yeah. i definitely would want to be prepared for a scenario like in 28 days later. maybe you could grab an oil drum (doesn't have to be a full barrel of oil...that would be rather heavy!) and roll it up a plank into the cargo area of the patriot.

with regards to the radios...

a CB transmits a maximum of 4 watts. don't expect a CB to get you quality transmissions beyond 5 miles under ideal conditions. granted, you can easily pick up outlying transmissions that are garbled prob around 10 miles. if you are preparing for a 28 days later scenario you will want more than just a CB. you will want a mobile radio that transmits in the UHF HAM/GMRS frequencies (440MHz+) with a minimum of 25 watts. since a CB and a UHF radio transmit different frequencies you will want to have 2 antennas. consider getting the same mounting bracket put on the other side so you can have 2 radio systems. you don't need both antennas screwed on at all times, but the connections are there when the rage virus breaks out ha ha.
in addition to having a mobile CB and a mobile UHF radio, you will want to have portable hand-held versions of the same thing with full legal transmit power (4watts for CB and 5watts for handheld UHF) and enough batteries for a weeks worth of scavenging. i cannot find it at the moment, but in a UHF radio forum i came across a blogger who had a waterproof chest in the bed of his pickup truck. inside he had a panel with cut outs and charging ports connected to the electrical system for several radios that always maintained a charge. granted, this may be taking it too far, but you never know. as far as portables are concerned, you at least want to have 2 portables in case you have to split up, and enough batteries for 3 days of use. at least grab an extension antenna that either folds up or retracts up in case you have to abandon your jeep patriot and head for the high hills to call for help. these are easy to find, just check out a California vendor called Smiley Antenna.

those recommendations are only from a communications standpoint...of course if you are really preparing for a "rage virus" outbreak you will want to have plenty of firepower + ammo ha ha
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have a VHF hand radio that I used as a back up when I used to fly. I suppose if I were very worried about getting lost when I'm backpacking, I could use it, but it is only line of sight, and a range of maybe 50 miles, so if I'm down in a valley, I may be limited. It would be nice, if you knew what freq, some airliner was on as it flew over, you could talk to them! If you weren't in danger, I'm sure the FAA would be wanting to speak to you after that... At my old FBO, airliners would fly over, and tune our airport in, and ask to speak to the owner, ends up that the FBO owner taught a lot of them how to fly! It was really cool:)
 
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