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need some CB antenna advice

Familee

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Location
Long Island N.Y.
Bought parents a mobile CB and connected it in their home
Having trouble getting anyone
We tried 102" whip
We then bought a fiberglass segmented unit I think its over 20' that sits on a tripod

Not getting much if any reception.

Question...
is a standard RG58 30' long TOO long?
We tried RG-8 as well about 30'
Wasn't sure if that was too long for the radio
Was wondering also if cable itself is suitable ground or do I need to run a separate ground out to the base, Not for lightening protection but performance enhancement.

Even tried it on a president Lincoln 2plus and not reaching anyone.

Is CB dead in the Long Island NY region?
 

DaveJacobsen

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Moving...
CB is pretty quiet normally. Listen & make friends is the best way.

30' isn't too long. Your best bet to determine how well it's tuned is to buy an SWR meter & tune the antenna during transmission. Receiving can be done with just about any antenna, but transmitting requires tuning, and it sounds like you're just sticking a mobile antenna in the air and hope it'd work. you should use either two mobile antennas as a dipole or a proper base station antenna. Again: Receiving antenna doesn't really matter, transmitting you want a tuned system.
 

Familee

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Thanks for the feed back,
I really appreciate it .
it is rather quiet just thought maybe it’s my system
I tried getting in touch with someone else as a test about 5 miles away
I tried the 102” steel whip
Then bought a 5’ tripod and this antenna
(Redman CB PT99 Proton CB 10-12 Meter Base cb Radio Antenna)
But no luck

wasn’t sure what else I could do but I’ll check into the solution you suggest.
Thanks again!!!!
John
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Do you have a ground system/counterpoise for that antenna? Make one from wire. You might do better with a CB Ground plane antenna. What is the VSWR? Does the radio have SSB? That is best.

30 feet of RG8 is better.
 

Familee

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so this was just tried on a tripod no ground plane
I guess I can Google how
Someone said you just throw and ground bar and run some pieces of #12 spades into the ground
I believe he said about 5 6’ pieces all attached to a common ground bar and then to the mast?
Does that sound correct
Is there a prefab ground plane that can lay on a concrete patio ?
I prefer not moving it to the grass I was trying to keep on a patio. But I’ll do what ever it takes at this point
Very frustrating as compared to the early 80s I plugged in and heard traffic immediately.

thanks for the tips!!!
john
 

Familee

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Long Island N.Y.
Do you have a ground system/counterpoise for that antenna? Make one from wire. You might do better with a CB Ground plane antenna. What is the VSWR? Does the radio have SSB? That is best.

30 feet of RG8 is better.
Also you mention ssb
It has LSB and USB as a choice
Was unsure if that would work
Is that an option?
 

prcguy

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So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
Do you have a mobile setup you can try to see what kind of range you can get? I would expect at least a few miles depending on skip and local interference. If your not getting any range to your own mobile like less than a mile then something is probably wrong with the antenna or coax.
 

Familee

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I will have to do a test and see how far I can get.
Love the new hobby but wow it’s a bit of a time consuming puzzle at first.

thanks
John
 

138BG

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Messages
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Without a "groundplane", "mirror image", "counterpoise" or whatever it wants to be called, your 102" won't work very well no matter which radio or coax you use. A 102" whip will make a nicely efficient 1/4 wave antenna with three or four (four is better) radials of equal length at the base and electrically attached to the coax shield. Angling the radials downward close to 45 degrees may help with matching the feedpoint impedance to your 50 ohm coax. A second 102" whip would make up a great 1/2 wavelength dipole. Google will lead you to all the info you could need for homebrewing such an antenna. Lots of smart folks here can help also. Properly done it will work quite well and radiate more efficiently than the store bought antenna. Maybe you can return the Redman.

CB is by no means dead in your area. Whenever conditions are right, I hear loads of traffic from the NYC area on SSB here in the Midwest. A large portion of which are some nasty folks.

Good luck
 
Last edited:

WB9YBM

Active Member
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
859
Location
Niles, IL
Bought parents a mobile CB and connected it in their home
Having trouble getting anyone
We tried 102" whip
We then bought a fiberglass segmented unit I think its over 20' that sits on a tripod
Not getting much if any reception.
Well, the whip sounds like you bought a mobile antenna and in general mobile antennas don't perform as good as base station antennas, so you might want to look into one of those. Also when you mentioned "a fiberglass segment"--segment of what? (more importantly why a segment instead of the whole thing?)

check out CB Radio Shop with Accessories & Radios for Sale: Walcott Radio as well as Copper Electronics, Inc. | Copper Electronics
 

Familee

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Well, the whip sounds like you bought a mobile antenna and in general mobile antennas don't perform as good as base station antennas, so you might want to look into one of those. Also when you mentioned "a fiberglass segment"--segment of what? (more importantly why a segment instead of the whole thing?)

check out CB Radio Shop with Accessories & Radios for Sale: Walcott Radio as well as Copper Electronics, Inc. | Copper Electronics
The whip was 102"and that's what google lead me to it was a stainless whip. Then we saw these 18' fiberglass encased antennas that is segmented meaning 3 6" pieces
This was installed on a tripod 5' tall and a mast another 4' above and then the 18' antenna so I achieved about 27 ' above ground
 

Familee

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Without a "groundplane", "mirror image", "counterpoise" or whatever it wants to be called, your 102" won't work very well no matter which radio or coax you use. A 102" whip will make a nicely efficient 1/4 wave antenna with three or four (four is better) radials of equal length at the base and electrically attached to the coax shield. Angling the radials downward close to 45 degrees may help with matching the feedpoint impedance to your 50 ohm coax. A second 102" whip would make up a great 1/2 wavelength dipole. Google will lead you to all the info you could need for homebrewing such an antenna. Lots of smart folks here can help also. Properly done it will work quite well and radiate more efficiently than the store bought antenna. Maybe you can return the Redman.

CB is by no means dead in your area. Whenever conditions are right, I hear loads of traffic from the NYC area on SSB here in the Midwest. A large portion of which are some nasty folks.

Good luck
Thanks Funny you knew it was redman Ill try and research the second whip Appreciate the tip and I know what you mean NY not the friendliest state. I apologize on behalf of my neighbors :)
 

138BG

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This was installed on a tripod 5' tall and a mast another 4' above and then the 18' antenna so I achieved about 27 ' above ground
How far above ground level is the feedpoint of this antenna? Since that type of antenna radiates most of the EMF in the lower half or so, it may help to raise the feedpoint higher if possible. 1/2 wavelength or about 18' is kind of a loose "minimum" for a lower angle radiation pattern. Much lower and a fair amount of your signal goes upward rather than outward.

Absolutely no need to apologize for your neighbors, you aren't holding a gun to their heads. I'm sorry for you if you have to deal with that on a regular basis. I don't know how I could listen to that every day if it was local to me, would probably have to chuck the whole mess out of the window.
 
Last edited:

Familee

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Location
Long Island N.Y.
Thanks

Wow
That high?

well at present it is in a tripod which stands about 5 foot then an adjustable 5’ mast which sticks about 4’ above the tripod then the segmented fiberglass 18’ antenna which u bolts to the mast so bottom of antenna where The coax connects is about 7-8 feet
So I guess I would need to elevate this

so to get counterpoise or ground plane
Is it achievable on a roof or should I pour a footing erect a steel pole about 18, and then mount antenna ?
This way I can do the wires scratched into the surface of the ground?
Thank you for the advice
 

138BG

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Familee,

Roof mounts, gable mounts, etc. are available and quite doable. But they need to be done properly and with some research and planning ahead of time. There are some factors such as wind load of antenna, safety grounding, structural integrity of mounting location, and more that you should consider beforehand. It's not as daunting as it sounds but needs to be considered. Loads of info on the WWW to help you. A read through of the Amateur Antenna forum here on RR is also a great source, lots of intelligent, experienced folks there.

Above all and most important is being aware of and staying well clear of power lines that may be nearby. Way too many people have died while installing antennas. Never mount an antenna of any kind that can fall on a power line if something fails. So many died that the FCC banned the retail sale of metal base station antennas for 11 meters (CB) years ago. Doesn't mean you can't homebrew though.

Best of luck. Homebrewing antennas that work well can be a lot of fun.
 

138BG

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Messages
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Familee,

A couple extra thoughts I should have included earlier. If you go the route of using a second 102" whip to make a dipole you wont need any radials or RF grounds. Have made a dipole this way and it worked quite well. Can be mounted horizontally rather than vertically which is sometimes easier to do and to get the coax to it. Mounted horizontally will work very well for longer distance (DX) but may slightly effect local comms ( but that might help with the neighbors we spoke of :) ). Vertical dipoles work fine also but are trickier to run the feedline (coax) to.

Another type of antenna that's mostly looked down on by CBer's are dipoles made from simple electrical wire. They're super easy to make and install and work very well. Better in fact than a lot of the commercially available CB antennas. I have used nothing but various dipoles for 40+ years. When conditions allow I make contacts hundreds and more miles away on a wire dipole. My current wire is only 17' above ground and one day last week I made contacts in the UK from the Midwest. Talk about fun!
 

mrweather

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Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,004
One small nit to pick: 108" is actually 1/4 wave on 11m not 102". The 102" whip exists because it's supposed to be mounted to a large spring which gives it the required 108" electrical length.

Using a 102" whip alone won't work well because it's too short.
 

138BG

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Messages
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One small nitpick back. Do some math using the long accepted antenna design formula 234/MHz and you'll see that the ancient "you need a spring" myth is just typical CB misinformation that continues to be spread around. I have broken the "spring rule" for years using 102"ers for mobile and for horizontal dipoles and they worked very well. They also looked very good on antenna analyzers. Had to trim one I was using as the radiator on a 1/4 wave groundplane for use on 27.385. Those extra 6" make it resonant way down in 26MHz. Stop the myth.
 

prcguy

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The end length of the antenna will depend on the ground plane and other surroundings. On a vehicle with inadequate ground plane at 27MHz you might need the 108" overall and with three or four ground radials at 90 degrees to the whip you might need closer to 102"

This is because a 1/4 wavelength monopole (whip) over perfect conducting infinite ground plane (think acres of copper sheet) will be down in the 35 or so ohm range and not a perfect match to 50 ohm coax. Shorten the whip a little and de-tune it and the resonant frequency will move up some but the impedance will also raise up and closer to 50 ohms at the same frequency because you have reduced some capacitance between the whip and ground plane.

Go the other direction with an insufficient ground plane and lengthening the whip will add capacitance to the ground plane and lower its impedance. This is also why you see some ground planes with the radials drooping downward away from the whip, it lessens capacitance between the whip and ground plane bringing the antenna impedance closer to 50 ohms with the correct length whip to resonate at 27MHz.

One small nitpick back. Do some math using the long accepted antenna design formula 234/MHz and you'll see that the ancient "you need a spring" myth is just typical CB misinformation that continues to be spread around. I have broken the "spring rule" for years using 102"ers for mobile and for horizontal dipoles and they worked very well. They also looked very good on antenna analyzers. Had to trim one I was using as the radiator on a 1/4 wave groundplane for use on 27.385. Those extra 6" make it resonant way down in 26MHz. Stop the myth.
 

138BG

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Messages
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With all due respect Prcguy, the OP that I was trying to assist had a 102" he was attempting to use for a base antenna. 'Nuff said by me.
 
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