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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-09-2018, 11:36 PM
   
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Default Uniden 980 trouble with SWR

Hello,

First, I'm brand spanking new to CB's, so be gentle lol. I got a Uniden 980 and a
Wilson 305-38 300-Watt Little Wil Magnet Mount Antenna.

Trying to hook it up, I set the Calibrate to the line on the display. Then going to the swr menu, keying the mic Chan 1 is above 3 and Chan 40 is around 1 on the display.

I tried following the instructions to raise the antenna a little bit at a time, but I can't get the swr to come close to the same on both channels.To the point where raising the antenna as high as the set screw will allow.

As well, and I'm not sure if this is related, but I can't even get the weather stations to come in. I get nothing but static, on any channel. I assume this is because the antenna is way out of whack...?

Did I buy the wrong antenna? I can't raise it any more.

Thanks for any advice...
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Old 02-10-2018, 7:54 AM
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Ok first where is the antenna mounted? It needs to be in the center of the roof. And the swr meters on radios are no good. You need a real swr meter they are not that expensive.
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Old 02-10-2018, 12:23 PM
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It needs to have as much metal under it in all directions as possible.
.......
And if swr is high on ch1 it needs to be made longer by pulling the whip out further.
....
Be aware that you must be parked outdoors in the open and at least 36 feet away from any metal objects to get a true reading.
.....
And since the weather stations are on 162 mhz, a 27 mhz antenna doesn't work very well
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Old 02-12-2018, 9:22 PM
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F-450:

First, welcome to the hobby. The 980 is a good radio to start with, and has lots of features I always wished I'd had when I got started. When you're bored and driving, if there's nothing to listen to on channel19, try 37, 38, 39, and 40 in LSB - especialy 38. When the band is open, you can work all over the place (if you don't get stepped on). I don't run any kind of amplifier, my Uniden 980 has never been "opened up", and I spent about 20 minutes talking to a guy in South Carolina just the other day from my truck in Cleveland.

The posts above are right, built-in SWR meters have a reputation for being a little inaccurate - but if you've bought your Uniden within the past two years, chances are it's pretty good (there were some issues on the first production, according to some reports). If it's showing a low SWR at the top of the band and a high reading at the bottom, you can be pretty sure the meter is in the ballpark.

Short CB antennas (K30, "Little Wil" and those in that family) don't have a wide bandwidth. That is, they will really only tune well in part of the band. I ran one for a while and had the exact same results: high SWR on one end, flat on the other. I simply tuned the antenna for the part of the band I use the most, and dealt with it. The best bet is to get as good of a match as possible in the middle of the band (channel 20), unless you normally use a particular area more than the others ( I use 19 and 38 the most, so I compromise and tune mine around channel 28).

SWR isn't an exact measure of antenna performance, and a perfect match isn't absolutely necessary (or possible). In general, anything less than 2:1 is pretty acceptable, especially with a short antenna. Motex is right, the small roof of a pickup (if that's what you're using) isn't great, and the small whips don't always play well here either. If you try it out for a while and decide you like running the radio, you'll probably want to get a larger antenna like a Wilson 1000 or 5000. The 62 inch (if I remember) whip and the larger diameter coil wire tend to play a little better here.

As to the weather channels, you should be hearing them. Right, a CB antenna isn't tuned to 162 MHz, but neither is the tiny spring on the portable radios they sell at outdoor stores, and they still work just fine. Uniden doesn't print specifications for the weather receiver in the manual (and I don't care enough to put it on the bench), but I've found the weather receiver on the 980 seems to be much less sensitive than other receivers when put side-by side. My guess is that you're just a little too far from the WX TX site to pick it up. Try tuning into weather from different parts of town when you're out, and see if any of them receive.

Hope any of this helps.
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Old 02-18-2018, 2:45 PM
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Sort of a related issue, I have a Uniden 980SSB modified by a shop ( no amp just routine tweaking) I have been using for 3 years with a single Wilson Trucker 2000 antenna on a Mack. . Always had a SWR of 1.0-1.4.
Recently got a 2014 Peterbilt with co-phased coax. Put my existing Wilson 2000 on as well as a fairly new one on the other side. Initial SWR with the internal meter was about 3.0 on ch.1 and 3.7 on ch.40.
I brought in my SWR meter which seemed to be even higher.
I shortened both antennas about a 1/4-1/2" at a time until I took off about 1 1/2" off each. The internal SWR now flucuates between 1.4 and 2.2. I always check my reading in the middle of nowhare also.
Should I take off more, did I trim too much, how do you accurately calibrate co-phased antennas?
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Old 02-18-2018, 4:34 PM
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Tune one antenna at a time..
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Old 02-18-2018, 6:56 PM
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With both ends of the coax yoked together at the PL-259 connector, how do I do this?
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Old 02-18-2018, 8:07 PM
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Replace one antenna with a dummy load, tune the remaining antenna, replace the tuned antenna with the dummy load, tune the other antenna, remove the dummy load, replace the other antenna. You will be as close as it possible.

If you can round up two dummy loads replace both antennas and check the SWR. This will confirm the co-phasing harness is good.

Ran co-phased Hustlers on the sides of the hatchback on my 72 Vega GT back in the day.
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Old Yesterday, 1:14 AM
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A lot of these Uniden 980 radio's aren't accurate on SWR checking. I'd get an external SWR to make your radio is accurate.
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Old Yesterday, 8:31 AM
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jhooten: Thanks I knew there had to be a way. Searched a dozen CB forums and found nothing definitive.

zzdiesel: I have one and I'll double and triple check for sure.
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