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CB Radio Antenna Help

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cfritos

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Hi everyone, i am new to this forum. I drive an audi S4 and am looking to get a cb radio so I can chat with truckers since I am often going on long trips. I would like to get a big enough antenna so I can get a decent range out of it but I also dont want to mount the antenna permanent. I would like to have some type of magnetic mount that I can attach to the trunk and take it off whenever I am just driving around town. Down anyone know of a antenna mount combo that fits what I am looking for? Thanks in advance for your help!
 

SCPD

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If I was you I'd just get a small CB under $60 bucks or so like the Cobra 19DX IV or similar. I'd get a 'Lil Wil" mag mount for an antenna, not a K-40 type.

I'm running a radio I picked up a number of years ago at Wal-Mart for about $40 bucks. It's a Maxon. It's the best mobile CB I've had... small, sounds and talks great. The 'Lil Wil' Wilson mag mounts whip is only about 3' long. It's a great antenna for its size. I get great signal reports on the road. I don't need anymore than this.

Something like the above is all you need on the road. Don't get talked into spending big bucks on big long antennas or expensive radios or amplifiers.

Keep it simple, save your bucks... it's all you need.
 

robertmac

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You don't mention what area you will be traveling in. And it really doesn't matter what make of vehicle you drive. With crappy band, the number of people on it varies from area to area. And with the current sun spot cycle, during the day, it will be next to useless. And if you do "talk" to truckers, I hope your ears are not sensitive to the words they use. Any crappy band radio and mag. mount with an antenna for the crappy band will work. Decent range will vary. Also, doubtful if the "best" antenna will give any more than 5 mile advantage.
 

mmckenna

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Keep in mind that antennas are governed by the laws of physics, so there isn't anything 'magical' about a particular brand.
Length is key, and trying to shrink the antenna down results in lowered performance. You can't have a small CB antenna that is going to work well.

I've heard a lot of people speak highly of the Wilson brand.
Back when I was using CB's, I used the Larsen NMO-27 antennas with good results:
http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/larsen-nmo27c-699.html
One of the nice things about it is that it uses the standard NMO style mount, which is about as common as you are going to find. Using a standard mount type opens up the options quite a bit, and always allows you to swap things around as you see fit.
For a magnetic base:
http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/larsen-nmommrpl-1097.html
That has the correct connector already installed.

I always did permanent mounts and only used magnetic mounts for testing or very short term installs.
An antenna works best when it has a wide area of metal underneath it. This ground plane is an important part of your antenna system, so antenna placement on the vehicle is important. Mounting it on the top of the car and in the center of the roof will give the best results. Center of the trunk would be your next best choice.

Good luck.
 

LtDoc

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It sounds like you could probably use almost anything to satisfy your desires. A typical mag-mounted antenna ought'a do you just fine. That thing about length is more true than you'd believe so something on the order of 4 - 5 feet tall/long would be your best bet. You'll also have to tune it, or have it tuned.
Lot's of options...
- 'Doc
 

cfritos

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I will be operating it in the North East... I would prefer an antenna that I dont have to constantly tune if there are any out there like that. Does anyone have any recommendations? Thanks for all your help so far.
 

SCPD

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If you buy a "Little Wil", you will set it for lowest swr on channel 19 with an swr meter and you won't have to touch it again.

The radio you link to is fine.
 

mmckenna

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I will be operating it in the North East... I would prefer an antenna that I dont have to constantly tune if there are any out there like that. Does anyone have any recommendations? Thanks for all your help so far.
You only need to tune the CB antenna once, doesn't matter what brand it is. The standard designs are broad banded enough to cover all 40 channels.

Ideally, tuning is done with proper test equipment. That could be an SWR meter, or an antenna analyzer. SWR meters are cheapest, and some CB radios have them built in.
Most good antennas will come with a chart that will let you tune it without using the test equipment. It's not always 100% accurate, but it's usually close enough.
 

n9emz

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I only recommend one magmount antenna for a car....Wilson 1000. For a truck....102" steel whip on a launchpad in the bed or Wilson 1000 on top of the cab as an alternative.
 

mmckenna

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and this mount and antenna would be a good match with that cobra CB? I plan on mounting it on the trunk lip of my car for road trips and whenever I am driving around town, I will just take it of and stick it in the trunk. You guys have been a great help.
Trunk lip mounts can be a mixed blessing. The trouble with them is that you have to tighten the screws down pretty hard to bite through the paint. Getting through the paint gives the connection to the ground plane. They usually require occasional re-tightening and rust/corrosion issues are a possibility. They'll work, but I don't personally think they are much better than a magnetic mount. This mount: http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/larsen-nmotmb-1873.html
would probably be a bit better as you can make a good physical connection into the vehicle body. That physical connection makes for a good ground connection, which helps performance. Mounting these off to the side, where they usually go, isn't as ideal as mounting on center, but it'll work. Putting this mount back by the trunk, or even up by the hood works. Just keep in mind that you have to route the coaxial cable up to the radio. That can be a task on it's own, so keep that in mind when choosing a location.

NMO-27c is a good antenna, like I said in an earlier post, I used and installed many of those back in my earlier days. I set up a lot of friends with permanent mount CB antennas on their trucks. I always used those antennas and never had an issue. Hard to beat an NMO mount for ultimate flexibility.
 

cfritos

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Trunk lip mounts can be a mixed blessing. The trouble with them is that you have to tighten the screws down pretty hard to bite through the paint. Getting through the paint gives the connection to the ground plane. They usually require occasional re-tightening and rust/corrosion issues are a possibility. They'll work, but I don't personally think they are much better than a magnetic mount. This mount: http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/larsen-nmotmb-1873.html
would probably be a bit better as you can make a good physical connection into the vehicle body. That physical connection makes for a good ground connection, which helps performance. Mounting these off to the side, where they usually go, isn't as ideal as mounting on center, but it'll work. Putting this mount back by the trunk, or even up by the hood works. Just keep in mind that you have to route the coaxial cable up to the radio. That can be a task on it's own, so keep that in mind when choosing a location.

NMO-27c is a good antenna, like I said in an earlier post, I used and installed many of those back in my earlier days. I set up a lot of friends with permanent mount CB antennas on their trucks. I always used those antennas and never had an issue. Hard to beat an NMO mount for ultimate flexibility.
if i get that larson mount, should i be getting it with or without a spring?
 

mmckenna

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if i get that larson mount, should i be getting it with or without a spring?
I'd suggest without the spring. The whip is flexible enough that a tree branch strike is absorbed. I've never used the springs on those antennas, and I had them on top of full size SUV's and pickups.
Springs can also create additional failure points and noise.
 

LtDoc

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To 'spring' or not to 'spring' is sort of up to you. If one is needed for whatever reason then by all means use one. Just keep in mind that antennas are 'length' specific. If you add length to an antenna then you need to compensate for that added length by removing some somewhere else. Other wise, it just isn't 'tuned' anymore. (That's not simple by any means so be careful about doing that shortening.)
As already said, a spring isn't always necessary for 'flexible' antennas. If one isn't needed to keep from damaging the antenna or it's installation, then why bother? There's no 'magical' properties to springs.
- 'Doc
 
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