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I have a 5' antenna mounted on a spring to the bed of my truck.
a buddy gave me a couple of antenna attachments when I told him I needed to take the antenna down to go to work (low garrage ceiling)

one is a "quick disconnect" and the other allows the antenna to be folded down with out removing it. They both have merrit; but will only use one (if I use them at all).

From the base to the antenna with spring+gizmo would be about 6" -- is this too much "stuff" between the mount and the antenna? or how much can I add w/o screwing the swr ?

I see some people use a "mast extension" is that really all I'd be doing?

Thank you
Darren
 

Misfire

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I've written two replies and deleted both of them because I'm trying to answer this clearly.

Alright, where's your antenna mounted? Mine are mounted in the bed rail holes and I have a spring on it to keep pressure off the mount. The springs make it show up as being "short" with the stud being cranked all the way out so I ordered a quick disconnect to try to lengthen them a little so for me, I'm just using the one accessory as a "mast extension." For you, both would be ideal since the spring relieves pressure from the mount and the quick disconnect doesn't require tools.

It wouldn't be too much stuff since the antenna sees it all as one unit the problem is if your SWR comes in as showing the antenna's too long since both are useful for you, see what I'm saying? You have a choice of taking off a spring and risk breaking your antenna from wind while going down the highway or taking off the quick disconnect and carrying tools with you. You could also lower it from your original mounting location, depending on how they're mounted.

I'm not sure how to explain this I guess since it's not really a black and white answer. Maybe someone will come in here and try to help explain it better.
 

jassing

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FWIW -- I have a 5' firestik -- these things are nearly indestructible -- however, I've had the sheet metal sort of "dimple in" unless I had a spring installed.
I have used quick disconnects but I think; as long as you can get it right; using one of those "90 pivots" is better -- it keeps it attached and no one can walk off with it. It starts to look funny when you have all that at the bottom.

You can buy an antenna tuner which helps get your swr "right" if the spring+disconnect/bender messes up the swr -- if your antenna isn't tunable (Firestiks & wilsons have an adjustment at the top) then you may need a matcher/tuner -- you can shorten whip antenna, but usually fiberglass ones can't.
 

Misfire

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FWIW -- I have a 5' firestik -- these things are nearly indestructible -- however, I've had the sheet metal sort of "dimple in" unless I had a spring installed.
I have used quick disconnects but I think; as long as you can get it right; using one of those "90 pivots" is better -- it keeps it attached and no one can walk off with it. It starts to look funny when you have all that at the bottom.

You can buy an antenna tuner which helps get your swr "right" if the spring+disconnect/bender messes up the swr -- if your antenna isn't tunable (Firestiks & wilsons have an adjustment at the top) then you may need a matcher/tuner -- you can shorten whip antenna, but usually fiberglass ones can't.
An antenna tuner? What is that?

Sorry for the slightly off topic post
 

jassing

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An antenna tuner? What is that?
See here I do own or endorse that model/brand/use of matchers ("Tuners")

They basically play tricks so the cb "thinks" it has the proper antenna. Having the proper antenna (and swr) keeps the cb happy and alive longer.

it will not improve your transmissions tho... just make your radio happier. So if you have a swr of 1:3 or more; you want to get it down; if you cannot cut or add to your antenna enough to make it work; that's where these guys come in to play...

I used one for a mobile mounted antenna that was fiberglass w/o a top loaded tuner built in... You can't cut it... but that got the swr down.
 

Misfire

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I might look into that if adding a quick disconnect doesn't work since my SWR is at 2 on channel 40 and 2.5 on channel 1 with the studs cranked all the way out.

Does it stay inline even after you tune the antennas? Does it work with dual antennas?
 

jassing

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I'm no expert -- but I've read/heard that really if you're under 2.5 you're good; lower = better, but the whole thing about "you must have 1:1" or "1:1.5" isn' t true.

You install them
[transciever]-[amp]-[matcher]-[antenna(s)]

yes -- it will work with cophased antennas... if you have co-phased antennas -- you've tuned them both and they are both the the exact same antennas, right?
 

nonperson

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I might look into that if adding a quick disconnect doesn't work since my SWR is at 2 on channel 40 and 2.5 on channel 1 with the studs cranked all the way out.

Does it stay inline even after you tune the antennas? Does it work with dual antennas?
Sounds like your antenna(s) might be too "long." If you are talking about the tuning screw on the top of the antenna when you say "studs cranked all the way out" then try screwing them in some. Also if you are using two antennas you may want to consider just using one with the radio (you can leave them both up if you desire). If you want both of them to work with the radio you need a 75 ohm coax running to one antenna and 50 ohms to the other antenna. I've read co-phased antennas are hard to tune. Never used them myself because I prefer the 1/4 wave whip (102" with pot belly spring).
Also consider your mounting location and surrounding structures when checking your SWR.

I'm no expert -- but I've read/heard that really if you're under 2.5 you're good; lower = better, but the whole thing about "you must have 1:1" or "1:1.5" isn' t true.
Actually it's recommended to keep it under 2:0. I prefer to keep mine less than 1:5 but that's my preference.
 

LtDoc

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If you lengthen an antenna by adding a spring or some other 'doo-dad', then to keep that antenna tuned you will have to shorten the antenna. Add 4 inches here, remove 4 inches there, that sort of thing. With any helically wound antenna that reducing the length thingy isn't as simple as it sounds. The whole antenna is a coil so reducing the number of coil turns is the idea. It won't be a straight length sort of adjustment, coils don't work that way, and it'll take some checking to see when you've shortened the thing enough.
If you were talking about a stainless steel whip and added 4 inches to the bottom, removing 4 inches from the top is a pretty straight forward thing, keeps the length the same. Those helically wound antennas do make things more convenient, but are more difficult to adjust correctly. You always 'pay' for convenience...
- 'Doc
 

Misfire

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I'm no expert -- but I've read/heard that really if you're under 2.5 you're good; lower = better, but the whole thing about "you must have 1:1" or "1:1.5" isn' t true.

You install them
[transciever]-[amp]-[matcher]-[antenna(s)]

yes -- it will work with cophased antennas... if you have co-phased antennas -- you've tuned them both and they are both the the exact same antennas, right?
Alright, thanks. I've also heard that, along with getting it below 2.5 doesn't produce any noticeable range extension, for lack of a better word.

Sounds like your antenna(s) might be too "long." If you are talking about the tuning screw on the top of the antenna when you say "studs cranked all the way out" then try screwing them in some. Also if you are using two antennas you may want to consider just using one with the radio (you can leave them both up if you desire). If you want both of them to work with the radio you need a 75 ohm coax running to one antenna and 50 ohms to the other antenna. I've read co-phased antennas are hard to tune. Never used them myself because I prefer the 1/4 wave whip (102" with pot belly spring).
Also consider your mounting location and surrounding structures when checking your SWR.



Actually it's recommended to keep it under 2:0. I prefer to keep mine less than 1:5 but that's my preference.
The antennas are "too short," the SWR is higher on 1 than it is on 40. I didn't have a spring on it and got the SWR down to 1.8 on 1 and 1.5 on 40 so the spring threw it out of whack. Unfortunately, going 75mph down the highway puts way too much pressure on the mount and forces it loose so I require the spring on there.
 
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nonperson

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Alright, thanks. I've also heard that, along with getting it below 2.5 doesn't produce any noticeable range extension, for lack of a better word.



The antennas are "too short," the SWR is higher on 1 than it is on 40. I didn't have a spring on it and got the SWR down to 1.8 on 1 and 1.5 on 40 so the spring threw it out of whack. Unfortunately, going 75mph down the highway puts way too much pressure on the mount and forces it loose so I require the spring on there.
Yea I did get that backwards. :) But it appears the spring should have help a little. Are using the correct coax? Where are they mounted on the vehicle and are the antennas top, middle or bottom loaded?
I used a 4' Fire Stick before with a tuning screw and spring. I had to adjust the screw out as for as it would go to get the SWR at a comfortable level and leave the little cap off. Withe the cap on over the screw the SWR would jump up again.

As for the SWR issue.... I once used an improperly tuned antenna on a radio when I was young and it eventually ruined the radio. Some one checked it out for me and explained to me about SWR readings and such. Since then I try to get it as low as I can for the extra piece of mind. It is true that the differences may not be noticeable to a distant station(s). Also SWR isn't the end all be all to your system but it's my understanding as long the SWRs stay low, the less problems you'll have.
 
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Misfire

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Yea I did get that backwards. :) But it appears the spring should have help a little. Are using the correct coax? Where are they mounted on the vehicle and are the antennas top, middle or bottom loaded?
I used a 4' Fire Stick before with a tuning screw and spring. I had to adjust the screw out as for as it would go to get the SWR at a comfortable level and leave the little cap off. Withe the cap on over the screw the SWR would jump up again.

As for the SWR issue.... I once used an improperly tuned antenna on a radio when I was young and it eventually ruined the radio. Some one checked it out for me and explained to me about SWR readings and such. Since then I try to get it as low as I can for the extra piece of mind. It is true that the differences may not be noticeable to a distant station(s). Also SWR isn't the end all be all to your system but it's my understanding as long the SWRs stay low, the less problems you'll have.
No problem. I thought the spring would help it too and was surprised it made it worse. The antennas are mounted in the stake holes on the bed rail of my truck. I haven't tried seeing what it's like without the cap so I might try that tomorrow if it's not raining or too cold. I am also a fan of getting the SWR as low as I can get it because this stuff isn't cheap haha.
 

nonperson

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No problem. I thought the spring would help it too and was surprised it made it worse. The antennas are mounted in the stake holes on the bed rail of my truck. I haven't tried seeing what it's like without the cap so I might try that tomorrow if it's not raining or too cold. I am also a fan of getting the SWR as low as I can get it because this stuff isn't cheap haha.
I tried a stake hole mount on my Dodge with that same (single) 4' antenna and it worked better than I thought it would. What kind of coax are you running?
 

Misfire

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try different stake holes..... Make sure the antenna is well grounded.
I have a 2.5" wire (can't remember gauge) running from one of the mounting bolts to a self tapper using eyelets to connect them. I also scraped paint where the eyelet is so, it should be grounded good.

I tried a stake hole mount on my Dodge with that same (single) 4' antenna and it worked better than I thought it would. What kind of coax are you running?
It's a FireStik FireRing co-phasing harness. Here's a link: Amazon.com: Firestik Antenna FireStik MU9R18 18-Foot 3-Piece EZ-Install Co-phasing Harness: Automotive
 

nonperson

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I have a 2.5" wire (can't remember gauge) running from one of the mounting bolts to a self tapper using eyelets to connect them. I also scraped paint where the eyelet is so, it should be grounded good.



It's a FireStik FireRing co-phasing harness. Here's a link: Amazon.com: Firestik Antenna FireStik MU9R18 18-Foot 3-Piece EZ-Install Co-phasing Harness: Automotive
Not sure about the cable but the stuff I read on it said 75 ohms. I never tried dual antennas like that but read you need 50 and 75 ohm coax. Maybe someone else can explain that.
Try removing the grounding wire you installed. The few times I tried experimenting with ground wire to the mount I got a higher SWR reading. Like I said before I tried a single antenna stake hole mount and it worked fine with no extra grounding. I have read reports of folks further bonding / grounding the truck bed to the frame on all four corners as well as the hood and doors but not the mount itself.
 

Misfire

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Thanks, I'll try some of that stuff later on today when I'm feeling froggy. Maybe tomorrow, either way I'll report back.
 
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