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Sould I even bother...CB Antenna

4x4junkie

Explorer
^^
Just FYI, that little antenna looks to be about 8" long... It might work marginally better than a hand-held CB with a rubber duck on it only because it's outside the vehicle. If you're looking to communicate over any sort of distance, you'll need an antenna that is much taller than that.
 

owyheerat

Adventurer
^^
Just FYI, that little antenna looks to be about 8" long... It might work marginally better than a hand-held CB with a rubber duck on it only because it's outside the vehicle. If you're looking to communicate over any sort of distance, you'll need an antenna that is much taller than that.
Thanks 4x4junkie. I only want the CB to communicate with other rigs on trail rides, which I do very few of. I usually go solo, and have a Delorme Inreach for communication and safety. Will that 'shorty' antenna work for my needs (wants)?

Durwin
 

MOguy

Explorer
What is the back of the roof rack like, any place back there? You can always ground the mount to the body.
 

prerunner1982

Adventurer
Thanks 4x4junkie. I only want the CB to communicate with other rigs on trail rides, which I do very few of. I usually go solo, and have a Delorme Inreach for communication and safety. Will that 'shorty' antenna work for my needs (wants)?

Durwin
Maybe...barely. At that point you might be better off buying some of the FRS radios and throw one in each vehicle rather than worrying about mounting a CB and running coax and where to put an antenna. http://www.amazon.com/Motorola-MD20...TF8&qid=1463498273&sr=8-11&keywords=frs+radio
 

MOguy

Explorer
Maybe...barely. At that point you might be better off buying some of the FRS radios and throw one in each vehicle rather than worrying about mounting a CB and running coax and where to put an antenna. http://www.amazon.com/Motorola-MD20...TF8&qid=1463498273&sr=8-11&keywords=frs+radio
I used a hand held for a while and also tried radios like the ones above. They work just OK but not everybody has them like they do CBs. The problem I have had with handheld is they always seem to slip around and I can never reach them when I want them. If you do go hand held it is nice to either be able to recharge them in the vehicle or run them off vehicle power. The little ones like in your link aren't too bad on batteries but the hand held CBs suck them down.
 
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owyheerat

Adventurer
prerunner1982 and MOguy, thanks for the info. I really appreciate it. I'm a 'CB' greenhorn, and I'm trying to figure out the simplest, most cost effective way to communicate with others on the trail.

Sorry to hijack thread.

Durwin
 

4x4junkie

Explorer
Yeah the info given above is right on.

You should stick with an antenna that is at least 60" tall if you want any decent range of communication.
You did mention only wanting it to talk to others during a trail ride, for which you could probably get away with a 48" or even a 36" antenna, but keep in mind this will limit you if you or someone needs to stay in touch with the group while another leaves to check out a spur road or go into town to get parts, supplies, etc. For that reason I almost always say it's never worth compromising your antenna setup no matter how you intend to use your radio.

This page should be helpful if you're looking to learn more about CB antennas:
http://www.firestik.com/Tech_Docs.htm
(in some places they may suggest 3 & 4' tall antennas are OK, but keep in mind they (Firestik) also sell such antennas, so they aren't going to tell you don't ever buy our antenna lol. 5' and taller is what you always want if performance (range) is important)


Hope that helps
 

MOguy

Explorer
It is all about compromise. Top dead center with a long antenna will work the best but will be in the way. Shorter antennas won't be in the way but won't performs as well.
 

4x4junkie

Explorer
It is all about compromise. Top dead center with a long antenna will work the best but will be in the way. Shorter antennas won't be in the way but won't performs as well.
I wouldn't necessarily say it would be "in the way" (not very often anyway)...
If you put a spring on it, it simply deflects out of the way when it hits a low tree branch, drive-thru overhang, etc.

I have my 5½ foot tall Francis right atop the roof mounted on a Firestik #SS3H spring. Only time it's ever presented an issue is the exceptionally rare occasion I take my wheeling rig into a parking garage (that is if the rig even fits to begin with), which technically I could let it skim along under there too, though backing up might present an issue. It's easy enough to just unscrew it and throw it in the back for those rare occasions.
 

MOguy

Explorer
I wouldn't necessarily say it would be "in the way" (not very often anyway)...
If you put a spring on it, it simply deflects out of the way when it hits a low tree branch, drive-thru overhang, etc.

I have my 5½ foot tall Francis right atop the roof mounted on a Firestik #SS3H spring. Only time it's ever presented an issue is the exceptionally rare occasion I take my wheeling rig into a parking garage (that is if the rig even fits to begin with), which technically I could let it skim along under there too, though backing up might present an issue. It's easy enough to just unscrew it and throw it in the back for those rare occasions.
The OP has a roof rack. It is in the way. I agree about with you on location but I won't work for everybody. I have a cloth top, won't work for me. I would rather be able to go top less than have my antenna be in the optimal location.
 

Airmapper

High-Tech Redneck
Before the RTT I had a 4ft Firestik on a spring up there. It deflected well but I dang near pulled down a low hanging wire once. When the RTT isn't up there I might have kayaks up there as well, so an antenna on top was just becoming a nuisance. Maybe one day if I move to an off-road trailer type setup, I can move all that junk to the trailer and have a clean roof again.

I tried out the antenna (as shown in the OP) while driving the other day, that whip sure curves in the wind. The base is more solid than I figured, which is good because it doesn't jitter around bad, just leans with the wind. At 4x4 trail speeds, it shouldn't be a problem. As long as I can hear and be heard within a typical convoy spread, I'm happy.

My main gripe is I just don't have any enthusiasm about having a CB. I have HAM radio, so to me the CB is a nuisance because it has horrible audio quality and deplorable range. The antennas are finicky and hard to accommodate properly. You can stick a 2M antenna about anywhere and it will work decently. I have one on my fender and in a favorable location can be heard over 100 miles away clearly. I have a 50 watt mobile, and a handful of handhelds, so if I'm with other HAMs, comms will be no problem. It's just that most people won't do HAM, so you have to use the lowest common denominator to keep everyone in touch which is CB.

The sad thing, is most people that get CB's don't even know what they don't know about radio, which means they don't install them properly enough that they even work. That's why I'm even asking the question, I know enough to know I've got a poor setup, just wanted input on making the best of it. What is ironic, is Ham requires a license, proving you know a thing or two about radio, but setting up a 2 Meter radio is a piece of cake compared to a CB. No one will get their Ham license because it's "too hard and I got to take a test." Weird.
 

Ray_G

Explorer
My main gripe is I just don't have any enthusiasm about having a CB. I have HAM radio, so to me the CB is a nuisance because it has horrible audio quality and deplorable range. The antennas are finicky and hard to accommodate properly. You can stick a 2M antenna about anywhere and it will work decently. I have one on my fender and in a favorable location can be heard over 100 miles away clearly. I have a 50 watt mobile, and a handful of handhelds, so if I'm with other HAMs, comms will be no problem. It's just that most people won't do HAM, so you have to use the lowest common denominator to keep everyone in touch which is CB.

The sad thing, is most people that get CB's don't even know what they don't know about radio, which means they don't install them properly enough that they even work. That's why I'm even asking the question, I know enough to know I've got a poor setup, just wanted input on making the best of it. What is ironic, is Ham requires a license, proving you know a thing or two about radio, but setting up a 2 Meter radio is a piece of cake compared to a CB. No one will get their Ham license because it's "too hard and I got to take a test." Weird.
So much truth in this. At the end of the day it is theoretically possible to get good performance out of a CB but to what end? HAM is so much better, I'd rather run a handheld Baofeng than install a CB in my trucks but unfortunately too many folks run the CB and thus, as you stated, its the lowest common denominator.
r-
Ray
 

MOguy

Explorer
So much truth in this. At the end of the day it is theoretically possible to get good performance out of a CB but to what end? HAM is so much better, I'd rather run a handheld Baofeng than install a CB in my trucks but unfortunately too many folks run the CB and thus, as you stated, its the lowest common denominator.
r-
Ray
The question is how good of performance do you really need? I bought my first radio at a Wal-Mart about 6:00 am on the way to a trail ride. I got it with a magnetic antenna, installed it in the parking lot and it worked just fine for the ride. The radio didn't last long so I took it back and got a better one and I still am using it today. It has been tweaked and peaked, I mounted antenna that is has been tuned. It does work much better now, I am often the only guy that can reach that other only guy when we are running around in an off road park.

The problem with the HAM is when you realize you want a radio for that trail ride tomorrow there just isn't time to get your license and the radio. CB is the perfect choice for trail rides because they are quick, easy, cheap, plentiful and take very little thought, effort and money to get it good enough and take no extra money and only a little though and time to get set up right.
 
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