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Different SWR reading with Bearcat 980 ssb

Yetijr

Newbie
Joined
Oct 11, 2020
Messages
3
Please help. I have a new 980 that is giving 4+ SWR readings on 1 and 40. My separate swr meter reads 1.5 on 1 and 40.
Setup is a f250 with 3' firestick behind drivers side cab. (I know this is not ideal and getting a better antenna setup higher above cab). Also have separate ground wire to mount.
I have also done the following:
-disconnected and reconnected the antenna to ensure good connection
-ohm'd cable to ensure continuity
-ohm'd antenna grounding
-changed power sources
-tuned another antenna on separate vehicle with meter to ensure function
-yes, I did calibrate before checking swr on both the radio and meter

Any thoughts out there?
Thanks,
 

MDScanFan

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Messages
137
Location
USA
That is a pretty big difference in swr. Are the two measurements using the same piece of coax that runs between the antenna and the radio?

Do you happen to have another cb antenna available that you could measure for another comparison? Or even a dummy load.
 

jassing

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
270
Location
Shelton, WA
Internal SWR meters are usually pretty horrible. A good external SWR meter is a lot more trustworthy. So I would trust that measurement a lot more.
The key is: Can anyone hear you? I would think at 4+, no one a mile away should be able to hear you clearly... How far can you get transmit?
The 3' firestik is a pretty minimal antenna, but should work for short distances, provided you tuned it.
 

Yetijr

Newbie
Joined
Oct 11, 2020
Messages
3
Internal SWR meters are usually pretty horrible. A good external SWR meter is a lot more trustworthy. So I would trust that measurement a lot more.
The key is: Can anyone hear you? I would think at 4+, no one a mile away should be able to hear you clearly... How far can you get transmit?
The 3' firestik is a pretty minimal antenna, but should work for short distances, provided you tuned it.
I tested it and was able to talk to a Cobra 19 and mag mount antenna about 1.5 miles away on channel 1.
 

Yetijr

Newbie
Joined
Oct 11, 2020
Messages
3
That is a pretty big difference in swr. Are the two measurements using the same piece of coax that runs between the antenna and the radio?

Do you happen to have another cb antenna available that you could measure for another comparison? Or even a dummy load.
Yes. using the same coax. Only difference was the jumper to the external meter. Using a cheap (untuned) mag mount on top of aluminum cab, I got 3/4 swr with radio and 1.2/1.8 with meter.
 
Last edited:

WA0CBW

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2011
Messages
1,354
Location
Shawnee Kansas (Kansas City)
Leave the jumper in line for both readings. Replace the external meter with a double female adapter. The extra coax can change the reading. This usually indicates you have a mis-match impedance between the coax and antenna.
bb
 

jassing

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
270
Location
Shelton, WA
My 980 SWR always varies on its internal meter. I wouldn't trust it. That's just me.
Getting out 1.5 miles is pretty good with a 3' antenna. I would trust the external meter & say you're good to go.
at 3 or 4 watts, you really won't have a problem blowing out the radio. I would venture to say most people do not tune their antennas, so radios need to be fairly stout when it comes to high power reflection back into radio.
 

Ravenkeeper

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2016
Messages
189
Location
Antelope Valley, CA
Please help. I have a new 980 that is giving 4+ SWR readings on 1 and 40. My separate swr meter reads 1.5 on 1 and 40.
Setup is a f250 with 3' firestick behind drivers side cab. (I know this is not ideal and getting a better antenna setup higher above cab). Also have separate ground wire to mount.
I have also done the following:
-disconnected and reconnected the antenna to ensure good connection
-ohm'd cable to ensure continuity
-ohm'd antenna grounding
-changed power sources
-tuned another antenna on separate vehicle with meter to ensure function
-yes, I did calibrate before checking swr on both the radio and meter

Any thoughts out there?
Thanks,
1.5 SWR is actually a pretty good reading for your configuration. i would work on getting the tip of your antenna to at least 2' above your cab.
 

slowmover

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
105
Location
Fort Worth
Agreed with above that the focus should be the antenna SYSTEM.

The whole story at: K0BG

I spent yesterday — first day off the road in almost a month — doing nothing else but making RF Bonds from woven (tinned) copper flat braid for the pickup.

Later today I’ll crawl under the Peterbilt to find some attach points for same.

OP, when one avenue seems to be closed, come at it from a different angle. I miss simple stuff sometimes, and I think everyone does until a particular is routine. Habit and experience combine to make ones PRACTICE reliable.

There are no real dead-ends at the beginning. It’s perspective.

.
 
Last edited:

jhooten

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
1,429
Location
Paige, Republic of Texas
Do you have access to a dummy load?
If you can come up with one put it on the radio, then use the internal meter.
After that put it on the antenna connector of the SWR meter, swr meter and jumper on the radio, check the reading with the SWR meter.
You should get the same reading. BUT wait. Before you remove the jumper/meter use the internal meter and make a check with the jumper and SWR meter in line. Again you should get the same reading.

Move the dummy load to the antenna end of the coax and do it all again. After all of that you should have a better idea of where the problem is.

Hope this all makes sense.
 
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