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Help me get started

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Jul 15, 2014
Scottsdale, AZ
I have to drive from Phoenix to Telluride this next week. We're taking two cars. I just installed in each car a Midland 5001Z radio with a Cobra magnetic mount antenna. Problem is, the range of the radios is only about .5 miles before all goes to static. I have to believe this is an antenna issue, but I can't be sure. I haven't used a CB radio since 1993. Any suggestions or inout?
Dec 13, 2007
Mojave Ca
Hello Pinhead: Its hard to try and make a good suggestion to help you out not being there to look over the installations. But I will give it a try.

The Cobra Antennas I see on the net here are short antennas meaning the range will be less than a longer antenna say 62 to 102 inches. Its is possible that the 5 mile range is what your going have to live with, but 5 miles isn't all that bad. Those FRS UHF type cheap hand held radios will never make a 5 mile range.

If your able to get one car up on a hill or mountain and the other car drives off and try the distance test again this may have a longer range, indicating the CB's and antennas are working correctly. Limited by the limited performance of the shorter antennas. A better antenna would be a Wilson 1000 or 5000 these are good antennas and I use a Wilson 5000 on one of my trucks with a magnetic mount.

Good luck.

Jay in the Great Mojave Desert, .... just down the road ah ways from miss Dinah's fillin station.
Jun 25, 2014
Hull, Ga,
I see the Midland 500Z is a standard CB not a handled and should be working well.
Di you have a problem with BOTH vehicles or just one?

Check to make sure you gave a good power connection and ground,

I feel the problem most likely is the antenna.

Check for loose connections first.
Both at the radio and the antenna.
Also check for a pinched coax cable.

Did you check the SWR when you installed the antenna?
High SWR will kill the power.

The location of the antenna will affect the performance.
Is it on a good metal surface with as much metal around it as possible?
Higher is better, fewer obstructions is better.

Hard to diagnose long distance.

Hope you find the problems quickly.


Premium Subscriber
Jan 4, 2009
Grove City, Ohio (A Bearcat not a Buckeye)
With CB get the best antenna you can, and definitely get a good SWR.

A high gain antenna like one of these would be better.

A CB with SSB would have given you better range too.

JayMojave: The OP was referring to .5 as in half a mile.
Last edited:
Dec 13, 2007
Mojave Ca
Yes I stand corrected.

"JayMojave: The OP was referring to .5 as in half a mile."

Ten-4 a half mile something is not right, need to check the installation and radios, and SWR.

Maybe check each car with a base station to see how they are working and compare.

Thanks for the correction

Jay in the Mojave
Apr 19, 2014
I'm willing to guess that someone is in Colorado by now. But I would like to add to this for tech ideas for those to come lol.

I had a Frontier pickup with a Hustler Mag Mount. I couldn't get the SWR down after moving the coax through the doorway. I opened up a spot weld under the plastic trim to let the coax through from the outside to inside.

It seems that coaxial does not like to get bent around sharp corners. The plastic stretches and the center wire comes too close to the shield and throws everything off. Coax getting pinched in doors causes more problems than most people know. Make sure the coax has smooth transitions through body panels and weatherstripping in doors.
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