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SWR calibration issue

cma68

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Joined
May 4, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Batavia, IL
NEW INSTALL: 1999 Subaru Forester (steel body/roof), MCKINLEY cb radio installed in lower din of dash, powered directly off battery, 25” glass mount antenna. I routed the coax from the dash, along the firewall, below the door sills to the rear side window. There is no tint on the window. The coax appeared undamaged prior to install and I don’t believe I damaged coax during install. The weather band is strong and clear on several WB channels. While attempting SWR calibration using the radios internal SWR-meter, the reading was 68 (6.8) on channels 1, 20 and 40. Seems odd but maybe 6.8 is the highest reading on that radio. Just to see what effect it may have, I removed the antenna mast from the glass mount. The SWR readings for 1, 20 and 40 all changed with one value as low as 2.2.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Mike

PS: I realize how poor of an antenna a glass mount is, but it should serve my purpose. That is if I can tune it.
 

cma68

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May 4, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Batavia, IL
I am powering the radio directly from the battery. I read in another thread not to connect the negative wire to the battery. Is that a possible cause of the problem? Or is it ok to connect both the positive and negative wires directly to the positive and negative battery posts respectively?
 

cma68

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May 4, 2020
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Batavia, IL
The manual states to connect both positive and negative leads directly to the battery so that answers my question regarding powering the unit.
 

cmdrwill

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The manual states to connect both positive and negative leads directly to the battery so that answers my question regarding powering the unit.
Always ground the radio's negative power cable to the chassis of the vech near the radio NOT the Neg term on the battery.
This should maybe Etched in Stone.....
 

prcguy

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So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
A problem with many glass mount antennas is the coax is usually hot with RF and it radiates. You can identify and fix the problem by wrapping the right number of turns through some ferrite cores but first I would recommend using an antenna analyzer to really see what the antenna is doing. It could be resonating with a reasonable match way outside the CB band and adjusting the tuning box if it has one might bring it in. You are running blind relying only on an SWR meter built into the radio, you really need to see the entire picture to choose which direction to go next.
 

russbrill

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Sacramento, CA
A problem with many glass mount antennas is the coax is usually hot with RF and it radiates. You can identify and fix the problem by wrapping the right number of turns through some ferrite cores but first I would recommend using an antenna analyzer to really see what the antenna is doing. It could be resonating with a reasonable match way outside the CB band and adjusting the tuning box if it has one might bring it in. You are running blind relying only on an SWR meter built into the radio, you really need to see the entire picture to choose which direction to go next.
Is there still on-glass 27 MHz antennas in production??? The only ones I remember were the old style Cellular look-a-like antennas... The common VSWR with the Cell look-a-like antennas was around 1.5:1 to 2.5:1, that was pretty typical...
 

cma68

Member
Joined
May 4, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Batavia, IL
A problem with many glass mount antennas is the coax is usually hot with RF and it radiates. You can identify and fix the problem by wrapping the right number of turns through some ferrite cores but first I would recommend using an antenna analyzer to really see what the antenna is doing. It could be resonating with a reasonable match way outside the CB band and adjusting the tuning box if it has one might bring it in. You are running blind relying only on an SWR meter built into the radio, you really need to see the entire picture to choose which direction to go next.
I recognized most of the words. The antenna has no method of adjustment besides clipping the length from the top. I did buy a SWR, F.S. & Power Meter. Haven’t received it yet but will watch videos about how to use one before it arrives.
 

cma68

Member
Joined
May 4, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Batavia, IL
Always ground the radio's negative power cable to the chassis of the vech near the radio NOT the Neg term on the battery.
This should maybe Etched in Stone.....
When I get back into the dash to connect the test meter I will ground the radio at that point. Thanks
 

prcguy

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Jun 30, 2006
Messages
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So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
In the 1970s Avanti was the first on the glass CB antenna I ever saw and later they sold to Antenna Specialists. I've installed a number of them in the 70s, maybe a few dozen and I don't remember any major problems tuning them to a good match. Not sure who is making them today.

Is there still on-glass 27 MHz antennas in production??? The only ones I remember were the old style Cellular look-a-like antennas... The common VSWR with the Cell look-a-like antennas was around 1.5:1 to 2.5:1, that was pretty typical...
 

russbrill

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Sacramento, CA

krokus

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Jun 9, 2006
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Southeastern Michigan
I am powering the radio directly from the battery. I read in another thread not to connect the negative wire to the battery. Is that a possible cause of the problem? Or is it ok to connect both the positive and negative wires directly to the positive and negative battery posts respectively?
The manual states to connect both positive and negative leads directly to the battery so that answers my question regarding powering the unit.
It is not a good idea to wire the negative to the battery, in modern vehicles. There is a current sensor between the chassis and the battery on most vehicles, so the computer could start trying to fix a non-existent problem. Granted,a CB doesn't draw much power, but it could be enough.
 

krokus

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I doubt if its the same company and people from the old days and they probably just bought the name and logo along with the Browning trade name.
Exactly. The brands are now owned by an overseas company, with less than optimal quality.
 
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