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blakleyfamily

CB Antenna Recommendation

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Look at the Firestix NGP, no ground plane.  At least 3 foot long and 1/3 to 1/2 of the antenna above the coach roof.  Have the antenna tuned or matched.

Spend the money on the antenna and a mid priced Cobra or Midland radio.

Tuning antenna

NGP antenna

Ken

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What ever you get, make sure to tune it using an SWR meter according to the instructions provided by the antenna manufacturer. No antenna, no matter how good, will perform well if not tuned properly.

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TX,

Are you saying that the Firestix NGP does not require a ground plane for good reception? That would be great on a Fiberglass or Rubber roof.

Richard,

Speaking of Ground Planes. Isn't your roof Aluminum?

Herman

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40 minutes ago, hermanmullins said:

TX,

Are you saying that the Firestix NGP does not require a ground plane for good reception? That would be great on a Fiberglass or Rubber roof.

Richard,

Speaking of Ground Planes. Isn't your roof Aluminum?

Herman

Actually steel in the front and rear caps, aluminum the rest of the way. Our antenna is a magnetic mount, so not sure how that plays with the requirement for a ground plane. I did have to move it around a little to find the sweet spot - otherwise I was not able to get the thing tuned. The front cap on my bus has the upper 'Astro Glass' windows behind it, and I suspect that the antenna was getting some interference from those windows and surround metal. In order to use the magnetic mount I needed to stick to the front cap, so luckily I was able to find a good spot. Why the magnetic mount? Simple - no holes means no chance for leaks. I brought the cable in through the side where it could go directly into a wiring conduit and where it was easier to get a good seal.

There are a few really good antennas specifically designed for use on fiberglass or other non-metallic vehicles. Depending on the vehicle the blakleyfamily is going to be installing the CB in they might need to find that type of antenna.

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I suggested a NGP antenna so there is no worry about grounding to the chassis.  As for magnetic mounts,  they are a good compromise, but you have to have a enough magnetic surface  and a good coupling with the surface.

The best antenna would be a ground plane required antenna that is well grounded.  The success of the CB will be directly related to the antenna system.  A poor antenna system will not have much range sending or receiving.

Ken

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Ken says firestick, that is a good antenna, so is a fiberglass K-40 Wilson, the key is that these two are top load antenna's, which does not require a ground plane, the opposition is the lower end of the antenna, which is the other end of a tunable dipole, making it very good for tall vehicles. The top I/3 of the antenna is all that is required to make it work very well. There are also center load antenna's, these are loaded at the center of the mast and are a better choice for shorter vehicles because it is possible to allow more of antenna above the roof line, 2/3 is recommended for a center load antenna. The ground plane version, 1/4 wave must be completely above the ground plane (roof line) and that needs to be metal, or skirted. A skirt can be three rods protruding beneath the load position, this is where the coax is attached to this type antenna, the three rods need to equal a quarter length of the wave length for the intended frequency, which is a total length of 8 feet and 2 inches for CB channel 20 (27.205 megahertz), for this type ground plane which means that you would cut each rod 1/3 of the 98 inches, about 32.5 inches each. A top load antenna is fed into the stick (this is a fiberglass rod with wire wound through the entire length), the coax is fed from the bottom, but coax inside the stick carries the signal to the top of the antenna, which means that it is really loaded from the top down, hence the name top load antenna. The top load antenna is very easy to tune also (get the SWR's) correct because the top end slides up or down on the stick to accomplish tuning. 1.1 to 1 read on the SWR meter is the ultimate goal for the best reception and transmission. Sorry for the long rant, but antenna's is a requirement for us old amateur radio enthusiast to reach out and talk to the world. Kay, N4WQP

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We have steel antennas on top of our Phaeton that may be 3 feet in length but not sure  CB antenna is probably factory mount because the wiring is completely hidden. Both have a spring mount at the base. Hit lower overpasses regularly. Even occasionly on the NY thruway.

"Steel takes a licking and keeps on ticking!"    Could fiberglass survive that? Just asking. 

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9 hours ago, obedb said:

We have steel antennas on top of our Phaeton that may be 3 feet in length but not sure  CB antenna is probably factory mount because the wiring is completely hidden. Both have a spring mount at the base. Hit lower overpasses regularly. Even occasionly on the NY thruway.

"Steel takes a licking and keeps on ticking!"    Could fiberglass survive that? Just asking. 

Probably not, but the top load would only need to be 1 foot above the root, most AC's are taller than that.

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Byron.  If you know where the low overpasses are.  Why not go around?  I'm sure they have OTR by pass on all of them!

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Not really. Besides it does not hurt our two steel antennas. There are still many bridges over interstate highways that do not fit the new standard. Most states just do not want to spend the money to raise overpasses. Most are broke or nearly there. There is one in our end of York county that was notorious for knocking equipment off of flatbed commercial trailers on I-83. Sometimes cars on a rattler also.Usually some guy new to the trade that did not properly chain things down. The bucket on a backhoe would bounce letting fluid into lift tubes and they would climb until disaster struck. Made for entertaining pics in the local paper. Local towing company just down the street from us made out well over the years.

The state finally decided to install new and promised that it would be finished quickly. Old bridge was quickly removed with steel going to a scrap yard, but spending money for the new bridge was really slow. Caused a detour for we locals lasting close to two years

So knocking the top off of a fiberglass antenna won't hurt it. Then why do manufacturers make the longer lengths? Guess that they just look cool that way?😎

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Wayne/I like that!  

I remember a home made radio in the Boy Scouts using copper wire around something close to the cardboard tube of a roll of toilet paper with other parts I have forgotten.

One watt on a wet string around the world. Don't doubt it for a minute.👌

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What I don't understand, is the  SUV's at the Rally in Gillette, that had a long, thin antenna mounted at the rear bumper, X braced at roof line and 10+ feet up, had a transceiver/receiver with 4 more feet of antenna!  Going down the road, it was a whip! Is that suppose to look cool?

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On ‎8‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 5:41 AM, manholt said:

What I don't understand, is the  SUV's at the Rally in Gillette, that had a long, thin antenna mounted at the rear bumper, X braced at roof line and 10+ feet up, had a transceiver/receiver with 4 more feet of antenna!  Going down the road, it was a whip! Is that suppose to look cool?

Carl, I doubt that it was a transceiver/receiver mounted there, those are usually mounted inside the vehicle, LOL.:) Probably a HAM using either 40 or 80 meters, requires a very long antenna to work effectively. He probably doesn't intend to look cool, just wants to work all states.

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Byron,

Back in or aroumd 1970 or so I had my first CB radio. Can't remember the name but it was a tube type antique, maybe now but not then. I went to Syracuse University Research Center for some testing and evaluation of radio equipment. One of the tubes gave out i the CB and I was explaining to the engineers there what I  had. One of the engineers said to bring it in and he would change the finals out to transistors. I did, he did.

Then to test it he took a metal coat hanger, cut it to about 19 inches, stuck it into the RF Output connector and started calling. Got a couple replies from passing motorist and said I was good to go.

In todays world we still call it "Antenna Theory."  I spent 3 years in GTMO before I got my= ARC sign. Took some RG-8, took of the insulation with the length removed corresponding to the center frequency of the CB band, skinned the shield back down over the insulation to act as a ground poise, hoisted it up into a tree and communicated many a day by "skip" back to the states.

Antenna Theory - we are still learning, but there are things that are proven to work.

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Wayne.  Thank you, that explanation, made as much sense to me, as "why does domesticated turkey's, crowed into a corner of the yard in a hard rain storm, lift tier open beaks to the sky and commit suicide by drowning" ? Sheep will do the same!  Geez :(

Kay.  Not a he!  So, what was that, white round, approx foot long barrel, maybe 4" across?

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Carl, we just trying to edicate you, a transceiver is a radio designed to both transmit and receive, a receiver is a radio designed to receive only. If you put those out in the elements they would probably drown like those turkeys trying to commit suey side. I am truly sorry that I called it a he, maybe an it.;) Let's see, a foot long 4" across, white, maybe a balun, that's a coil of wire wound around a dielectric sleeve placed inside a dielectric sleeve used capacitively to shorten an antenna, 80 meters requires about 80 feet of antenna to become resonet at the frequency, it would be hard to get under a bridge if it were that tall. LOL! Now go have another drank on me, I think I'll have a big orange.

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Aw Carl! I'm sorry. I should have realized that Kay and I were most likely having a private exchange of information not suitable for virgin ears. :lol:

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