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Ultra 19, Wilson 305-4FD Silver Load = Insanity

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insanitylivz

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Ok. Just got back into CB's for 4 wheeling purposes. I forgot how much I loved using one when I was a kid and my Uncle would get a layover for a few days. Man, I would sleep in his cab talking on his CB to distant lands. Those were the days before automatic log books and GPS, the ones I consider the good old ones.

But I digress. I had this little 19 mounted on the front driver fender of my Durango with a pro-comm cut to tune 3' whip. Needless to say I couldn't get swr under 2.5 My buddy upgraded his rig and let me use his Firestik FS4 3' Tuneable tip and we got in the high ones. 1.8 on 1 and right at 2 on 20. Checked the grounding and everything was good on the multi meter so we chalked it up to antenna too small and I ordered a Wilson 305-4FD Silver Load.

Silver load got here today and we were completely unable to get it out of the high 2's. Checked continuity and it was fine, nothing in the way, all was as should be. I decided to hook up the jumper cable of the Wilson to a ground because the packaging recommends doing this if you are too high to drop "20 channels". I connected it to a grounding strap to my frame by soldering another length of strap to the washer of the Wilson jumper cable. Swr shot to 3's grounded to the main grounding strap on the firewall. I unhooked the wire from the strap and just randomly left it hanging and when I got in the truck my buddy said to check my readings now. I was hitting 1.3 on 1 and 1.8 on 20 rolling about perfect on 20. After antenna adjustments I got below 1.5 on 1 and 40.We played around with it for a while and realized that for some reason, lengthening the cable on the Wilson but NOT grounding it to anything, just taping it off and sticking it under the hook under plastic not touching anything conductive was the key.

Why? I want to understand why lengthening that cable and not connecting it to a ground worked, but connecting it to a ground as instructed before and after being l;lengthened killed my swr. My grounds are fine on the mount, everything is in order. Someone who understands this stuff enlighten me please. Thank you.
 

jonwienke

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PA
When your cable length is an odd multiple of a 1/4-wavelength (taking into account the velocity factor of the cable), it will cause the SWR readings to be falsely low. You cannot improve actual SWR by changing feed cable length.

What "jumper cable" are you referring to?

Post photos of your antenna mount.
 

NC1

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Surry County, North Carolina
Oddly enough, I was just reading last night about the issue you are currently experiencing. It applies to most all installations, but is written for CB.

Note the difference between antennas that need a ground, and ones (like the Firestick) that are negatively affected by having one.

This is a lengthy but very informative article, and you should be able to find a solution in short order. There are lots of diagrams, illustrations, and a few links.

SWR AND COAX
 

wyShack

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Campbell County, Wyoming
A SWR meter measures the voltage SWR at a point on the transmission line. This can be different than the SWR at the antenna. The meter reading will actually change depending on the length of the coax with the readings 'repeating' every half wavelength (with wavelength measured 'in' the coax-adjusting for the speed of the signal in the coax -known as velocity factor). The SWR at the antenna does not change. The losses caused by SWR mismatch under 3-5:1 are almost negligible for short runs of coax. The actual 'problem' is that most transmitters have a circuit that 'turns down the power' over about 2:1 to protect the finial from the higher voltage/current caused by the mismatch.

VSWR is easy to measure but really does not say much about how effective an antenna is. Like most test equipment, understanding what the reading means it the given situation goes a lot further than just the reading.

Have fun and never stop learning
 

NC1

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The meter reading will actually change depending on the length of the coax with the readings 'repeating' every half wavelength (with wavelength measured 'in' the coax-adjusting for the speed of the signal in the coax -known as velocity factor).
I think on such a short run as this is, length of the cable is insignificant and inconsequential.

The install is probably around 8 feet, so any "tweaking" of the cable, would in all likelihood show no visible improvement, if there even is any at all.

If it were a base station pushing 100 watts UHF over an 80ft. line, then it could get a bit involved, then again probably not.

I think the answer lies within getting the antenna installed, hooked up properly, and tuned. That should not take any more than an hour using the tips outlined on the link I provided above. Also, the grounded vs ungrounded antenna is a factor here. Firestick antennas do not need the counterpoise.

Of course I could be completely wrong, which is why they call it "Antenna THEORY". lol
 
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insanitylivz

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Location
Sevierville, TN
The cable coming off of the antenna I am referring to is not the coax the coaxial hooked up correctly it has a 10 feet of coax that runs directly to the back of the CB however in this Wilson Silver Load antenna there is a second wire that comes off that is a grounding wire. the instructions state that once you have the coaxial hooked up to your radio and your radio installed and your antenna installed if you are still unable to get a good SWR reading then and only then do you hook up the cable lead running from the antenna not to kill locks but a separate little 14 or 16 gauge wire to a grounding strap on the body. that is the wire that I'm referring to that is not actually hooked to anything but once I went in there and just let it lay it's giving me good reading

Sent from my SM-G900R4 using Tapatalk
 
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