antenna help

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mwk9807

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i drive a frieghtliner cascadia day cab for work. the factory mounted antennas a broken and i need to use something else. the truck has mirrors that do not permit clamping an antenna mount on and the body is aluminum i think since a mag mount wont stick to the roof. i cant drill any holes and permanantly mount anything. does anyone have an suggestions? also on a side note, i have a cobra 29 chrome, is it true that these radios dont like to worked on and are unable to do anything other than the 4 watts out of the box?
 

LtDoc

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If you can't use a mag-mount, and you can't drill a hole, then about the only resort you have it to clamp an antenna to something (already attached to the metal of the cab). Any 'grab-handles', metal wind fairing on the cab? The truck have a metal 'nose', hood? And then, you could always just replace the 'factory' antennas?
- 'Doc
 

mwk9807

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i didnt even think of the grab handles, deedeedee, lol. im gonna check and see what kind of mount i can find to put on there. thank you. still cant drill holes for the coax, but i suppose since no one else is in the truck with me i can run it in the passenger door like it was a mag mount.
 

n9mxq

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Can you get the stub out where the factory antenna broke? I assume this is a mirror mounted antenna.. Depending on the trim level you may need to disassemble the mirror body to access the stub..
 

mwk9807

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it is not a mirror mount, it is on the body of thruck rear or the door. i dont see any way to take that arart, and the stub is still in there but loose. i dont know were the actually problem lies in the antenna set up in the truck but no matter what i try it keeps kicking on the antenna warning light on the radio.
 

n9mxq

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If the mount was damaged when the antenna snapped, that would explain it. Stick something on a grab handle as previously mentioned.. Or, you could mount it to the slide tube on the back for the air hose/pigtail support.. Let us know what you come up with..
 

n9mxq

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Usually mounted on the back of the cab, looks like a long grab bar.. You must have a pogo stick supporting your hoses/pigtail.
 

mwk9807

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there is a grab handle on either side of the back of the cab and a small L shaped bar behind the drivers side with the hoses and electrical line hanging off of it. i picked up a 4' fiberglass antenna yesterday it had 9' of coax and a clamp with it. i tryed to put it on the grab handle since there isnt enough cable to reach the other piece. unfortunately i couldnt mount it right because the clamp was designed for a mirror and not an upright mount. i did have it on for a little while but it was angled back some. i had the same problem with that antenna as with the rest i tryed. it would kick the antenna warning light on, this time from channels 1-18. i got tired of having this issue and said the hell with it, i dont know if it is a radio or antenna problem, butit seems odd that i would have the same issue with four different antenna attempts now. i returned the radio yet again and got one that i know is very popular and i used to have in the past, a cobra 29ltd classic. i hooked it up to the mag mount on my own vehicle on the way home from work and it seemed to work perfectly. i calibrated it the best i can with the built in adjustments. i did it as the directions say, set to calibrate, key the mic and adjust till the needle is on the mark, then switch to swr while still holding the mic and see what it reads, repeat for chanels 1/20/40. i did this and each time i switched to check swr the needle bottemed out. the lower the reading the better right? oh, and no antenna warning light. also i picked up a new mounting bracket so i can put the fiberglass whip on the grab handle the right way.
 

n9mxq

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Anything below 1.5:1 is good.. The fact that you have FLAT SWR on all channels is worrisome. It should vary some from one end of the band to the other.

The problem with the grab handle mounts will be grounding. Without a good ground, your SWR is gonna be high..
 

mwk9807

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it does vary some, but it stays pretty low. i dont know the exact numbers. i think i should have a good ground on the grab handle, it is bare metal connected right to the body of the truck. the needle dropped on the three channels i adjusted as the instruction said, but it doesnt sit at the bottom all the time. there is a little fairly constant movement from it as well. unfortunately, being fairly new to all of this i can only do what instructions tell me to or other people tell me to try. im hoping this works this time on the truck, it worked fine in my jeep on the way home.
 

n9mxq

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The other variable in this is the internal SWR meter. They're notoriously inaccurate. An external meter is your best bet. Find a local shop and have them check it if you can.
 

mwk9807

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i was planning on picking up an external eventually if i can find one again. i think the local truck stops should have them and they arent expensive. i used to have one but i dont know were it ever went. that was like ten years ago. i used to have the same radio then that i just got for the purpose of talking to friends localy, now its for work. lol. i had a fiberglass whip on my blazer, my radio, a power supply, and an 18' base antenna at home. when my radio got stolen and i moved i sold some things and lost track of others. now i wish i still had it all.
 

mwk9807

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well, no friggin luck. i know it has a good ground because it is clamped to a bare metal bar now, but i cant get it to work right no matter what i do with it in the truck. it is still kicking on the antenna warning light, but it worked just fine with a mag mount on my jeep. what am i doing wrong? im getting frustrated with the whole thing and am getting ready to "gently" take the stuff out of the truck and nicely "toss" is on the side.
 

n9mxq

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Good thought BB.. Did that in my Freightshaker once.. Ruined a perfectly good $20 coax in under 2 seconds...
 
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