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High Swr on dumptruck

tomhobbs

Newbie
Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
3
Location
St. Clair, Missouri
running a Uniden 980 on a Sterling Dump truck. Antenna is mounted on a mirror bracket. SWR is high. Real question is Is there enough metal for the antenna as the door is fiberglass? Would we need to run a ground from the mirror mount bolts to the truck frame ? This is my sons truck and I have never dealt with fiberglass doors or panels on any vehicle. When I put the antenna on it read 1.7 on a MFJ Antenna meter. Antenna is a Tram, don't remember model number(BR28???). I know those internal swr meters aren't all that good.
any help is welcome.
 

jassing

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Premium Subscriber
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Jan 31, 2012
Messages
282
Location
Shelton, WA
1.7 isn't bad... As long as you're not running an amp, under 2 and you'd be OK. "ideal" is 1.5 or less, but truth is, 2 is ok. (radio will not burn up, but it will affect range)

You could try running a grounding STRAP (not a wire); but I don't think it will help that much, since all the frame is covered under 8' of "stuff".
 

K9DWB

QRM
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Aug 7, 2020
Messages
246
Location
Greencastle, PA, USA
I do remember some drivers needing to add a jumper ground from the mount to the body on some trucks due to issues like this. Some of this was due to fiberglass components and other trucks had an odd door hinge that broke ground continuity. Others yet had odd mirrors that broke the ground. I'd give a ground jumper a try. Also check the SWR with doors closed and while parked away from buildings and other structures.
 

tomhobbs

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Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
3
Location
St. Clair, Missouri
1.7 isn't bad... As long as you're not running an amp, under 2 and you'd be OK. "ideal" is 1.5 or less, but truth is, 2 is ok. (radio will not burn up, but it will affect range)

You could try running a grounding STRAP (not a wire); but I don't think it will help that much, since all the frame is covered under 8' of "stuff".
thanks for response. I was just out in the shop and found a length that I can make work.
 

tomhobbs

Newbie
Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
3
Location
St. Clair, Missouri
I do remember some drivers needing to add a jumper ground from the mount to the body on some trucks due to issues like this. Some of this was due to fiberglass components and other trucks had an odd door hinge that broke ground continuity. Others yet had odd mirrors that broke the ground. I'd give a ground jumper a try. Also check the SWR with doors closed and while parked away from buildings and other structures.
Thats what we needed. Appreciate the help
 

prcguy

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Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
10,013
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
The fix is to get a small maybe 2ft antenna and mount it upside down to the mirror opposite the regular antenna and grounded to the mirror brackets. This will create a tuned dipole antenna that will be ground independent. Your mirror brackets on a fiberglass door will never have enough ground plane to satisfy a CB antenna mounted to it. The upside down second antenna is the best way to deal with it.
 

K9DWB

QRM
Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
246
Location
Greencastle, PA, USA
The fix is to get a small maybe 2ft antenna and mount it upside down to the mirror opposite the regular antenna and grounded to the mirror brackets. This will create a tuned dipole antenna that will be ground independent. Your mirror brackets on a fiberglass door will never have enough ground plane to satisfy a CB antenna mounted to it. The upside down second antenna is the best way to deal with it.
I like your idea better than mine. It makes it seem like I did it the hard way.
 

K9DWB

QRM
Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
246
Location
Greencastle, PA, USA
OK let me clarify my earlier answer, grounding as I was referring to is grounding so as to get the mount grounded which my intent in doing so was to confirm having a ground plane in the vehicle body. Maybe it was not the right way, but so be it.

prcguy, this has nothing negative to do with you, so I mean it positively, your answer is better than mine as it's likely built on better concepts. I had to figure things out my own way and via trial and error. What I did in my own circumstances did work to help make my antenna work better than if I had not corrected it.

As is I think the direction I took, the work put in, and the cost to buy Amateur licensing, is going to be a waste for me.
Signing off.
 

cmdrwill

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Messages
3,771
Location
So Cali
There IS a really BIG difference in "grounding". You want RF grounding / bonding which needs to go to a metal frame.
A simple wire to a supposed ground probably will not work.

Maybe the Larsen on the mirror mount. And that will need some sort of RF counterpoise, aka ground-plane.
 
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