Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

CB Education

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by HBIII, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. HBIII

    HBIII Wilsonville Active Member

    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    86
    So I picked up a CB for my truck recently to expand my preparedness communications and now I am itching to install it. My issue is that I have next to no idea what I am doing. I am semi comfortable with the power piece (though i am open to direction here too) and physically installing it, but I don't know where to get educated on the radio piece. I.e. how to tune it and such. I plan on getting a 3 or 4 foot firestick, but not sure what else to do/get.

    Any direction is appreciated.
     
  2. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,043
    Likes Received:
    2,188
    Be sure to buy quality cable for the whip and once installed use a meter to adjust the antenna using the screw under the tip on the firestick.
     
  3. BVB

    BVB PDX Active Member

    Messages:
    880
    Likes Received:
    227
    those are great instructions for a permanent set up. buy the coax with the ends already installed. make sure you have a GOOD GROUND on the power supply and the antenna mount! if no ground no SWR. i have an SWR meter to adjust your radio to your antenna, when you get it all installed. if you do get a good antenna, get one with an adjustable tip on it as well.
     
  4. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,350
    Likes Received:
    1,726
    If you're willing to drive a bit D&R communications in Clackamas can help you with the tuning part.

    D & R Communications Inc

    11491 SE Highway 212 Clackamas OR 97015
    (503) 655-4155

    You may want to give them a call and be sure. It's a while since my Dad or I have been out there, but for the setups we are both currently running, thats where we got them.
     
  5. Puddin99

    Puddin99 Scappoose, OR Member

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    10
    Definatley make sure the swr is set correctly.
    Setting the SWR of Your Antenna© - Firestik® Antenna Company
    If not, it can really hamper performance. Be sure to close all doors on the vehicle and if it has a cap like a firestick on top for the adjustment screw make sure it is in place before testing. If the cap is removed when tested and looks ok, when it is put back on, the swr will change.
     
  6. HBIII

    HBIII Wilsonville Active Member

    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    86
    Ok lots of information to sort through. Thank you all!
     
  7. parallax

    parallax eugene, or-gun Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    770
    Likes Received:
    411
  8. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    12,912
    Likes Received:
    19,569
    Ya'll forgot the three most important words in CB language...


    Convoy (and) Rubber Duck. ;)
     
  9. HBIII

    HBIII Wilsonville Active Member

    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    86
  10. AZBang

    AZBang Oak Harbor, Washington New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    2
    The Radio Shack SWR meter is good for the money and it has gotten good reviews. I use it and it works fine.

    Bang
     
  11. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    2,804
    Likes Received:
    1,859
    We really need a sticky on communication stuff...

    I will contain my complaints about CB and try to post something useful - just wanted to get that out of the way.

    CB's put out 4W AM, you don't need to worry about burning up your CB with a bad SWR, the problem comes in in that you will not have good signal getting out.

    First, Yes, firestix does make a very good toploaded antenna, I use several of them for 10m applications and they work great. My suggestion is get the tunable one (if you pull the little cap on top off, there's a screw where you can change the tuning of the antenna without having to cut)

    Antenna location is a very important aspect of this, my suggestion is to put it dead center on top of your vehicle. If you have a pickup with a shell, especially if it's a metal shell, that's the perfect place to mount your antenna, you are creating a good groundplane, and now you just have to tune the antenna system so you get an impedance match with your feedline/radio.

    I agree with buying pre-cut feedlines, crimping PL259 connectors is one of my least favorite things in the world.

    The one thing you need to make sure you're doing is isolating the feed portion of the line (the center conductor) from the ground (the outside of the connector). Most CB mounts come with a little plastic washer that goes on the top part of the hole. if you don't install the plastic washer you are creating a dead short, and you will have all kinds of chaos and your system will never get into tune. If you go to one of the local ham-radio swapmeets you may be able to pick up a directional wattmeter (bird is a popular brand) for about $20. You don't need the big expensive one, usually there is a name-plate that says what frequencies it's good for. I have one that's 15mhz to 170mhz that I got.

    You will also need a little pigtail of coax to hook up the wattmeter/swr meter.

    Note: when adjusting SWR you're adjusting the whole antenna system, the SWR meter will have some affect, so your SWR will change once you pull it out of the system. So try to have everything as close to "same" as you can after install.

    To get your feet wet, you may want to just pick up a magmount CB antenna, usually these things already have their impedance set, so you don't have to screw around with them too much.