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CB Beginner: What Setup Would You Use with a Uniden Pro520XL

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Blenderite

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Hello,

I am brand new to the CB radio world. I have never installed or used any type of mobile radio system. A friend offered me a Uniden Pro520XL. All I have is the radio, no antenna or coax cables. The radio is brand new in the box. I am going to install it on my truck but am a little unsure of my best option for antenna, as from what I am reading, is hotly debated online!

I know that I do not want a 102" whip, I don't want that on my vehicle. What is my best option for a smaller antenna. I keep seeing people talking about the Firestick brand. I have also seen dual antenna setups. What is the best brand I can go for? I like the idea of the shorter fiberglass kind, like the firesticks. I also don't mind a dual setup. If I read correctly, dual 4' could reach 7 miles (is this accurate?).

I will be installing them on my 06 F150. Where would be the best place to mount on the truck? From what I have already read, the higher the better. Should I go ahead and get a headache rack, which I am wanting to do anyway, and install ontop of that?

Also, does anyone know if there are an region specific rules? I live in Charlotte, NC.

Any help is appreciated! Thanks!
Nathan
 

Astrogoth13

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Feb 22, 2008
Messages
146
Location
City of Angels, CA.
If you have a good use for a CB great, just don't go to all the effort then find you have nearly nobody to talk to. It's not like it was in the 79's. Cell phones almost killed it. If you offroad race or boat or camp you have a good use.

In the olden days a "peaked and tweaked" Cobra 148 with a D104 power mic hooked to a 102 inch SS whip was the gold standard. Now, with so little demand and so mush Asian junk on the market who knows.
 

scanman1958

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Aug 28, 2003
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757
Location
St. Louis
Try the Little Will????? And mount it on top of the trucks cab. You will get the best reception and transmission up there.
 

xxdanielt3

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Location
PA
Citizens Band radio also known as CB doesn't have any region specific "rules". There are some FCC regulated rules regarding power output and such if you wanted to familiarize yourself with them. You'd be fine hooking up the CB and talking(if you hear anything that is). You wouldn't come close to violating any of the power rules desginated. CB isn't like it used to be, and if your interested in radio you could further broaden your interests if you looked into amateur radio.

As for antenna options you have a few options. Firesticks are popular in the Jeep community. You also have the option of mag mounts which could be easily removed. Only downfall is you run the risk of the base damaging your truck(not very likely for it to blow off, but putting it on and off and sliding it could cause scratches).




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gary123

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Sep 11, 2002
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For a basic no nonsense install get a K-40 antenna. they are rugged and simple to install either hard or magnetic. many of the antennas can be found at a local truck stop.
 

jhooten

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Mar 6, 2004
Messages
1,512
Location
Paige, Republic of Texas
There have been thousands of 520s installed in patrol cars all across the country with a NMO-27 for the antenna. The combination seems to have been designed for each other. My Suburban has a 510/NMO-27 combo that does what I need it to do.

Do you have any qualms about drilling holes in the roof panel?
 

mmckenna

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Jul 27, 2005
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14,747
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SNCZCA01DS0
Larsen NMO-27. Professional antenna, will easily outlast your vehicle if installed correctly. If something breaks, you can purchase the individual parts rather than a whole new antenna. I used those for years when I was on CB, never had an issue.

Benefit to going with the NMO mount is that it's the de-facto standard in the commercial/public safety radio industry. Once you install something as standard as the NMO mount, you'll be able to easily swap out the antenna if your needs/interests change. The issues with Firesticks and Wilson's is that they are going to be limited to mostly CB radio use.

If you find you really like CB's and two way radio in general, or if you find that there just isn't any CB traffic in your area, you can easily reuse the NMO mount for a scanner, amateur radio, etc.

Pretty easy to install one of those on a headache rack. There's a very wide selection of mounts that will adapt to dang near anything.

Since the NMO-27's are a coil base/stainless whip type antenna, they'll take a lot of abuse. Abuse like you'd find mounted on the top of a full size truck, you know, low tree branches, parking garages, etc. I've run those antennas on top of full size 4x4 trucks and never had one break.

As for the NMO mount, I've got one on the back of the roll cage on my Polaris Ranger. I'm using a VHF antenna on it, but it's about the same length as the CB antenna. I've run down trails at nearly 50MPH and hit tree branches. The whip just folds back and pops right back into position. You won't get that from a Firestick.
 
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