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Unread 11-06-2005, 11:03 PM   #1
expat
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Default CB radio and ground planes

I have a 4ft Firestick currently mounted on the drivers side front fender.

I have trouble with sending and recieving from anyone on the left of my truck as the ground plane is towards the right (across the bonnet).

So I have been playing with the idea of relocating the antenna to the roof rack.

1st question - can anyone confirm whether the 4th gen roof racks have a metal contact to the roof? I assume that as it bolts into the roof somewhere along the rail system it must have some metal contact.

2nd question - if the roof rack has a metal contact to the roof, will the roof act as a ground plane or does the antenna have to actually contact the roof directly to make use of the possible ground plane the roof would have?

3rd question - I have made a stainless steel plate "sandwich" that bolts over and under both the cross beams of the roof rack system. The antenna bolts onto this stainless plate sandwich. Do you think that if the roof has indeed got metal contact to the racks and the racks are in contact with my metal sandwich, that the roof will indeed become a ground plane as part of the whole system?

4th question - how does an antenna mounted to a bullbar provide a good ground plane? Is it because the bonnet is close to the antenna to provide the ground plane? In which case wouldn't it suck trying to recieve and send forwards? (5th question!)

I am not interested in drilling holes into the centre of my roof, nor mounting in an inferior location such as the front or rear bumper. I also am not so keen on magnetic base antennas.

Thanks for your input.

Cheers
Mark
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Unread 11-07-2005, 05:47 PM   #2
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Looks like I have to can this project despite having built a pretty cool mount

I believe the roof rack is aluminum and is powder coated (or some other type of coating) that prevents good connectivty.

This means I will relent and buy the Wilson 5000 magnetic mount.

When/if the ARB bumper ever comes, I still have the Firestick although I still can't see how the bumper mount can provide a good ground plane - except maybe towards the rear (good for the trail leader I guess - not that I ever desire to do that!)
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Unread 11-09-2005, 12:49 PM   #3
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Some good questions you have. Unfortunately I dont have answers at the moment. I will need to look into this as I want to mount my proper CB before the end of this year.

I dont think the stock roof rack is the way to go, but I will check into how it mounts to the body. The other questions will take some time for me to read up on. My thinking was to get a good magnetic roof antenna, make a connection point in the rear for it for easy mounting and have it tuned. That is till I have a rear bumper and mount a very long Firestik on it which will go a few feet above the roof.

For best reception and transmission nothing beats the center of the roof, but who wants to drill holes in it
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Unread 11-09-2005, 12:58 PM   #4
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some good info here
http://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.p...389#post766389
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Unread 11-09-2005, 05:03 PM   #5
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Thanks James.
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Unread 11-15-2005, 11:39 PM   #6
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Mark some more reading on antennas. I will be looking into it more this year end for my setup.

http://www.signalengineering.com/ult...na_basics.html

The site seems pretty good.

All these ground planes, etc sounds fishy in a sense. I used to design fricken microwave antennas and satelite comms many moons ago at varsity. Time to get the rust off the brain.
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Last edited by bulldog; 11-16-2005 at 11:30 AM.
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Unread 11-15-2005, 11:58 PM   #7
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SOme more homework for you

http://www.firestik.com/Tech_Docs.htm
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Unread 11-16-2005, 11:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog
Time to get the rust of the brian.
Who is Brian and why is he rusty?


Maybe you really do need to get the rust OFF the BRAIN!
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Unread 11-16-2005, 11:31 AM   #9
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yeah yeah, keep quiet there in the peanut gallery


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Unread 11-23-2005, 03:23 PM   #10
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[quote=expat]Looks like I have to can this project despite having built a pretty cool mount

I believe the roof rack is aluminum and is powder coated (or some other type of coating) that prevents good connectivty.

This means I will relent and buy the Wilson 5000 magnetic mount.QUOTE]

Mark did you end up buying the Wilson 5000 magnetic mount? If so how do you like it? What made you decide on this model instead of the Wilson 500 or the Little Wil? I have read that the whip is 62" long on the 1000 and 5000 models which maybe taller then I would want on top the roof. I also not foresee the need of the extra power handling capability that the larger 1000 or 5000 can handle.

I am going to order the Cobra 75WXST this weekend. I like that it is hidden except for the mike. After much research, I did not find a good place to hard mount an antenna. I was thinking about the front fender as Mark and several others have but after reading this tread and other reasons (distraction while driving, the mount is too close to the hood and chips the paint off) I have decided against it. I was leaning towards the Wilson 500(54 tall) as a compromise between the longer more powerful Wilson 5000 (62 tall) and the compact Little Wil (36 tall).

What do you guys think?
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Unread 11-23-2005, 04:50 PM   #11
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john i have the wilson 1000. from a technical standpoint, i wouldn't be able to tell you whether to get the 500 or 1000 or 5000. i was kind of in the same situation you were in so i just went for something in the middle. the 1000 has been good thus far, waaay better than the $20 antenna i bought from fry's. i picked mine up @ this place called electronic time's out in fountain valley. you might want to give them a call.
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Unread 11-23-2005, 04:54 PM   #12
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I was looking at the Wilson antennas, as the more I read the more I think a magnetic mount on the roof will be the best. I noticed that for Wil500 and bigger you can buy a short load adapter to replace the long stainless steel whip. It reduces the length to about 36" instead of 48"+.

http://www.wilsonantenna.com/short.htm

Just need to get a shorter coax and make a quick adapter in the cargo area to hook it up. That way it will be an easy install for when I need it. Still need to get my Cobra 75 installed. That will leave almost no signs of a CB when installed if the handset and antenna is removed.
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Unread 11-23-2005, 05:13 PM   #13
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Andries, show the quick connectr when you get around to doing that. I would like to leave the coax inside the cabin and have a connector at the rr hatch to easily disco the antenna.

If it's just trail use for caravans, the Lil Wil might be a great, economical option without sacrificing too much performance.

I believe all the Wilson ss whips are some of the top performers so you really can't go wrong w/ any of them.
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Unread 11-23-2005, 05:56 PM   #14
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I was thinking of using something like this mounted through the back plastic near the access door to the jack. I found a nice selection of these connectors at Radio Shack.




I used this same part to re-route the antenna connection on the cb in my pick up. With the radio mounted there was no room for the antenna to be connected in the back. So I drilled a hole in the bottom of the radio housing, attached this fitting and soldered jumper wires from the back of the original antenna connector to this. I then used a 90* connector to attach the antenna wire. It works well so far.
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Unread 11-23-2005, 06:02 PM   #15
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That's about perfect, I'll visit the Shack this weekend
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Unread 11-24-2005, 01:48 PM   #16
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Sorry...I have not got any further than reading all the info posted above, and finishing off my "little project" which I have not installed as I don't think it will work.

Here's what I have determined.

I'm going to get a Wilson magnetic mount with ss whip. I will prolly get either the 1000 or 5000. I am basing this on the following experience - losing contact with others is a pain! I want the best reception possible (might mean incerasing power a little...shhhhhhh without blowing other people's units!). I will order the Wilson in the next week.

Currently I have rerouted my coaxial along the headliner to the rear of the cargo area where it comes thru a rectangular looking wiring loom. It then runs up between the tailgate and the rear of the roof, to the roof and forwards toward the antenna (whichever method I go for). When not in use I just pull the coaxial back into the headliner so its out of the way. The only time you see coaxial is when using the cb and then you only see cable from the tailgate to the antenna.

I also need to buy a SWR meter then I'm going to compare the three systems for SWR, reception and sending. The three systems I will test will be the front fender mount, my "little project", and the magnetic mount Wilson. I am hoping to do this testing early next year - hopefully Andries will arrange another Death Valley trip which will be an ideal place to test as it has good open distances, canyons, roads and dirt trails. I just hope that some people will lend me some co-operation with testing eg separate trucks over a mile - swap each of the systems and test reception and sending.

I know I might be wasting some money along the way, but I like the process (experiment) so shall see what happens.

I also like the idea of load adaptors so will look into this.

Cheers
Mark
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Last edited by expat; 11-24-2005 at 01:50 PM.
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Unread 11-24-2005, 05:21 PM   #17
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What am I missing here?

Price variation from $68 to +$100 for the Wilson 5000 magnetic mount

http://www.rfwiz.com/Wilson5000.htm

http://www.bellscb.com/products/ante...ilson_5000.htm

http://radioproshop.com/wilson/wilson5000.htm

http://search.ebay.com/wilson-5000_W...Z1QQsofocusZbs

$68 seems good to me!
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Unread 02-06-2006, 08:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05sport4x4
I was thinking of using something like this mounted through the back plastic near the access door to the jack. I found a nice selection of these connectors at Radio Shack.




I used this same part to re-route the antenna connection on the cb in my pick up. With the radio mounted there was no room for the antenna to be connected in the back. So I drilled a hole in the bottom of the radio housing, attached this fitting and soldered jumper wires from the back of the original antenna connector to this. I then used a 90* connector to attach the antenna wire. It works well so far.

John (or anyone else who has used this fitting....)

What connector did you use on the male end. I can't find any connector that will fit. It has no lugs, threads or twists to make a connection.

What I'm assuming is that you used a common male connector (or with a 90* elbow) to thread into the female end, but I don't get what you used on the male end.

If you in fact soldered the wire directly onto the male end, how did you do this?

Thanks


Mark
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Unread 02-06-2006, 08:54 PM   #19
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Maybe this is the answer... an RCA hood????

Now install a quality SO-239 type "PL" or UG-58A/U type "N" chassis connector and a "hood" referred to as UG-177/U to produce a totally shielded connection.

Thing is Radio Shack don't carry it
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Last edited by expat; 02-06-2006 at 09:41 PM.
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Unread 02-08-2006, 11:30 PM   #20
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Mark,

In my case I attached this connector to the metal housing of the CB unit to re-route the antenna connector from the back to the bottom side. Since at that point the fitting points down and I needed the cable to point forward towards the firewall I added the 90* fitting (it should also relieve some stress on the cables not having to make that tight 90* bend). Since the male end is inside the unit I soldered 2 pieces of wire from the circuit board to the connector.

It is possible to solder the cable directly on to the male side of the filling. I do not remember exactly but you would need to strip the center conductor insert it into the center of the fitting and solder it. Then you would need to solder the shielding also to the outside of the fitting.

In your case (and I am needing to do this to the 4runner also) I think this other fitting that is male on both ends with hex nuts might be better.


http://www.shakespeare-marine.com/el...s/pl-258-l.htm
I need to do more searching because I like the fitting that has the 4 holes for mounting but would like it with 2 threaded PL-259 ends. I need to do more searching for parts.
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