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New CB Radio Install - Antenna Tuning (SWR)

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  • New CB Radio Install - Antenna Tuning (SWR)

    I am in the process of installing a CB radio in my Jeep and man-o-man has this been a learning experience. for example, proper antenna location, tuning (SWR), and CB radios in general. I have purchased a 4' FireStik II antenna and the manufacturer (http://firestik.com) states that, "Like all CB antennas, the "FS" antennas should be fine-tuned (SWR) in their final mounting location."

    So, that leads me to my question. Does anyone have an SWR meter that I can use to tune my antenna? I assume if you have an SWR meter then you must be proficient in tuning an antenna. Any help would be appreciated.
    2017 Wrangler JKU Big Bear
    Armor: Smittybilt SRC Gen2 Front Bumper, Barricade Rock Sliders
    Winch: Warn ZEON Platinum 10-S Winch with Spydura Synthetic Rope
    Lift: 2.5" Pro-Comp Lift w/ Fox 2.0 Performance Series IFP shocks
    Lighting: Rough Country 3" Wide Angle OSRAM LED Lights, Rough Country 12-inch Cree LED Light Bar (Dual Row | Black Series w/ DRL)
    CB Radio: Cobra 75 WX ST and Firestik FireFly antenna

  • #2
    I have an SWR meter and can help.
    2016 Wrangler 2 Door Willys
    Current Mods: Daystar Hood Wranglers, Cobra 29 LTD, MetalCloak 2.5" Dual Rate Springs, Fox IFP Shocks, Rock Krawler Adjustable Control Arms & Bumpstops, Currie AntiRock Front, Teraflex Front & Rear Trackbar, Synergy 1.75" Wheel Spacers, Teraflex tire carrier, 295/70/17 General Grabber X3

    On Order:
    Rock Hard Crossmember and Oil/Trans Skid

    Comment


    • #3
      I have an SWR meter and would be happy to help as well. Glad to hear you are installing that CB. You will enjoy it on the trails.
      2001 TJ 4.0, 32Rh auto tranny, Dana 44 Trac-Lok 3.73 rear, Dana 30 Detroit Truetrac 3.73 front, Rancho adjustable lower control arms, 2 inch lift, BFG mud terrain 31/10.50/15 tires

      Comment


      • #4
        You guys are awesome! Thank you both for your offer. I will send you guys a private message to discuss things further.
        2017 Wrangler JKU Big Bear
        Armor: Smittybilt SRC Gen2 Front Bumper, Barricade Rock Sliders
        Winch: Warn ZEON Platinum 10-S Winch with Spydura Synthetic Rope
        Lift: 2.5" Pro-Comp Lift w/ Fox 2.0 Performance Series IFP shocks
        Lighting: Rough Country 3" Wide Angle OSRAM LED Lights, Rough Country 12-inch Cree LED Light Bar (Dual Row | Black Series w/ DRL)
        CB Radio: Cobra 75 WX ST and Firestik FireFly antenna

        Comment


        • #5
          Here are the specs on what I purchased:

          > CB Radio (Model: Cobra 75 WX ST) - 40 CB Channel + 10 Weather Channels
          > 4' FireFly "FL" Series (Model: FL4-B) - 40 Channel Plus CB Antenna, Mechanical Tunable Tip
          > Stainless Steel Jeep Hood Channel Mount Mini-Kit (Model MK-J4R) - The kit includes a stainless steel mount, FireRing antenna stud, 18 ft (5.5m) of professional grade Fire-Flex coaxial cable which uses a weatherproof FireRing coax connection at the mount
          > Passenger Grab Bar Hand Held CB Radio Microphone Holder Mount

          I was able to order all of the above listed parts on Amazon.
          Last edited by Grauler; 02-13-2019, 12:50 PM.
          2017 Wrangler JKU Big Bear
          Armor: Smittybilt SRC Gen2 Front Bumper, Barricade Rock Sliders
          Winch: Warn ZEON Platinum 10-S Winch with Spydura Synthetic Rope
          Lift: 2.5" Pro-Comp Lift w/ Fox 2.0 Performance Series IFP shocks
          Lighting: Rough Country 3" Wide Angle OSRAM LED Lights, Rough Country 12-inch Cree LED Light Bar (Dual Row | Black Series w/ DRL)
          CB Radio: Cobra 75 WX ST and Firestik FireFly antenna

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi There...
            I’m planning my CB setup as well. The only thing I have not found is a JK tail light cb antenna mount. I think I saw them in the Backroad trip this past weekend on JKs. Does anyone have any links to buy it? Or are those only for the TJs? Thank you!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Petersticks View Post
              Hi There...
              I’m planning my CB setup as well. The only thing I have not found is a JK tail light cb antenna mount. I think I saw them in the Backroad trip this past weekend on JKs. Does anyone have any links to buy it? Or are those only for the TJs? Thank you!
              I think the tail light mount is primarily a TJ thing. I think most of the JK mounts attach to the spare tire carrier. There are lots of different options available to choose from here.
              2004 TJ ex-X Model :
              3.5" Rock Krawler Springs, Rock Krawler Adj. Control Arms, Fox 2.0 Shocks, 33x12.50R15 MTRs, TeraFlex High Steer System, TeraFlex 2WD Low Range Kit, TeraFlex Extreme Short SYE, Adam's CV Rear Driveshaft, G2 4.10 Gears, Dana 30 front with G2 Chromoly Shafts & Aussie Locker, Rubicon Dana 44 rear with G2 Chromoly Shafts & Detroit Locker, Durango 160A Alternator, Rugged Ridge Nautic 9500lb Winch with Synthetic Rope

              Comment


              • #8
                This is a post from another forum regarding antenna mounting and it made me decide to mount mine on my hood channel. Not fully knowing what is allowed with regards to linking to other forums, I decided to just paste an excerpt from the original post. This the opinion of the JK Forum member named "realjeep".
                ----------------------------------
                Background: I am a commercial two-way radio tech with Ham and marine licenses. I have been doing installs for about 21 years. Like police cars, ambulances utility trucks and the like.

                Guidelines to follow and these are relative to your situation. For example: if you park your Jeep in the garage you can’t put your antennas on the roof rack so the cowl is you next best thing.

                Guidelines:

                1 The longer the better. (Relative to your situation if you have 5000 foot peaks that have repeaters a small antenna like mine will work fine, but if you need to talk on a simplex/direct frequency the longer the better.)
                2 The largest horizontal ground plane the better. A horizontal ground plane is exactly that a flat piece of metal or metal spikes going off in 4 directions from the base of an antenna. (See exception to this guideline later in this post)
                3 The farther away from vertical flat metal the better.
                4 Keep the antennas separated a foot or even more is better. Keep VHF 150 Mhz away from the stereo antenna. If you using a scanner that does not transmit then that’s ok next to the stereo antenna.
                5 Avoid Bumper and license plate mounts if possible.
                6 DO NOT PUT YOUR ANTENNA BETWEEN THE TAIL GATE AND THE SPARE TIRE
                7 DO NOT PUT YOUR ANTENNA BETWEEN THE TAIL GATE AND THE SPARE TIRE
                8 Just to make sure you are reading this correctly DO NOT PUT YOUR ANTENNA BETWEEN THE TAIL GATE AND THE SPARE TIRE.
                ----------------------------------
                http://firestik.com/ has great products and great FAQ and TECH HELP section. Plus they have hood channel mounts that I think will fit the earlier model Jeeps.

                It's your Jeep though - do as you will.
                2017 Wrangler JKU Big Bear
                Armor: Smittybilt SRC Gen2 Front Bumper, Barricade Rock Sliders
                Winch: Warn ZEON Platinum 10-S Winch with Spydura Synthetic Rope
                Lift: 2.5" Pro-Comp Lift w/ Fox 2.0 Performance Series IFP shocks
                Lighting: Rough Country 3" Wide Angle OSRAM LED Lights, Rough Country 12-inch Cree LED Light Bar (Dual Row | Black Series w/ DRL)
                CB Radio: Cobra 75 WX ST and Firestik FireFly antenna

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Grauler View Post
                  This is a post from another forum regarding antenna mounting and it made me decide to mount mine on my hood channel. Again, no fully knowing what is allowed with regards to linking to other forums, I decided to just paste an excerpt from the original post. This the opinion of the JK Forum member name "realjeep".
                  ----------------------------------
                  Background: I am a commercial two-way radio tech with Ham and marine licenses. I have been doing installs for about 21 years. Like police cars, ambulances utility trucks and the like.

                  Guidelines to follow and these are relative to your situation. For example: if you park your Jeep in the garage you can’t put your antennas on the roof rack so the cowl is you next best thing.

                  Guidelines:

                  1 The longer the better. (Relative to your situation if you have 5000 foot peaks that have repeaters a small antenna like mine will work fine, but if you need to talk on a simplex/direct frequency the longer the better.)
                  2 The largest horizontal ground plane the better. A horizontal ground plane is exactly that a flat piece of metal or metal spikes going off in 4 directions from the base of an antenna. (See exception to this guideline later in this post)
                  3 The farther away from vertical flat metal the better.
                  4 Keep the antennas separated a foot or even more is better. Keep VHF 150 Mhz away from the stereo antenna. If you using a scanner that does not transmit then that’s ok next to the stereo antenna.
                  5 Avoid Bumper and license plate mounts if possible.
                  6 DO NOT PUT YOUR ANTENNA BETWEEN THE TAIL GATE AND THE SPARE TIRE
                  7 DO NOT PUT YOUR ANTENNA BETWEEN THE TAIL GATE AND THE SPARE TIRE
                  8 Just to make sure you are reading this correctly DO NOT PUT YOUR ANTENNA BETWEEN THE TAIL GATE AND THE SPARE TIRE.
                  ----------------------------------
                  http://firestik.com/ has great products and great FAQ and TECH HELP section. Plus they have hood channel mounts that I think will fit the earlier model Jeeps.

                  It's your Jeep though - do as you will.
                  This is why I mounted mine on the front fender. You get a better ground plane there. However, that thing bounces around like crazy on the trails and was starting to rub paint off of my hood. I've since put a tennis ball on it, but the amount of movement get annoying sometimes. It would probably moves just as much on the rear of the Jeep, you just don't notice it as much there.
                  2004 TJ ex-X Model :
                  3.5" Rock Krawler Springs, Rock Krawler Adj. Control Arms, Fox 2.0 Shocks, 33x12.50R15 MTRs, TeraFlex High Steer System, TeraFlex 2WD Low Range Kit, TeraFlex Extreme Short SYE, Adam's CV Rear Driveshaft, G2 4.10 Gears, Dana 30 front with G2 Chromoly Shafts & Aussie Locker, Rubicon Dana 44 rear with G2 Chromoly Shafts & Detroit Locker, Durango 160A Alternator, Rugged Ridge Nautic 9500lb Winch with Synthetic Rope

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I used the Rugged Ridge antenna mount that mounts in the stock radio antenna location. It allows the am/fm stereo and the CB use the same antenna. Works great for both devices.
                    2001 TJ 4.0, 32Rh auto tranny, Dana 44 Trac-Lok 3.73 rear, Dana 30 Detroit Truetrac 3.73 front, Rancho adjustable lower control arms, 2 inch lift, BFG mud terrain 31/10.50/15 tires

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 2001TJ View Post
                      I used the Rugged Ridge antenna mount that mounts in the stock radio antenna location. It allows the am/fm stereo and the CB use the same antenna. Works great for both devices.
                      I really like the setup on your TJ. It is probably the cleanest antenna solution I have seen. I really wish it had been an option for the JK's. Even still, I am very happy with my install.

                      My son Denali will be installing a setup like mine on his 2013 JKU. I also plan on doing the same install on my wife's 2018 JL depending on if the hood channel antenna mount is still compatible.
                      2017 Wrangler JKU Big Bear
                      Armor: Smittybilt SRC Gen2 Front Bumper, Barricade Rock Sliders
                      Winch: Warn ZEON Platinum 10-S Winch with Spydura Synthetic Rope
                      Lift: 2.5" Pro-Comp Lift w/ Fox 2.0 Performance Series IFP shocks
                      Lighting: Rough Country 3" Wide Angle OSRAM LED Lights, Rough Country 12-inch Cree LED Light Bar (Dual Row | Black Series w/ DRL)
                      CB Radio: Cobra 75 WX ST and Firestik FireFly antenna

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 2001TJ View Post
                        I used the Rugged Ridge antenna mount that mounts in the stock radio antenna location. It allows the am/fm stereo and the CB use the same antenna. Works great for both devices.
                        2001TJ , do you have a product link for the mount you are using? I have not heard of it and can't find anything online. I may want to switch over to this type of mount.
                        2004 TJ ex-X Model :
                        3.5" Rock Krawler Springs, Rock Krawler Adj. Control Arms, Fox 2.0 Shocks, 33x12.50R15 MTRs, TeraFlex High Steer System, TeraFlex 2WD Low Range Kit, TeraFlex Extreme Short SYE, Adam's CV Rear Driveshaft, G2 4.10 Gears, Dana 30 front with G2 Chromoly Shafts & Aussie Locker, Rubicon Dana 44 rear with G2 Chromoly Shafts & Detroit Locker, Durango 160A Alternator, Rugged Ridge Nautic 9500lb Winch with Synthetic Rope

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          CDE
                          https://www.quadratec.com/p/rugged-r...YaAuBSEALw_wcB
                          1997 TJ. Mostly Stock with a couple bolt on's!

                          "My jeep practically drives its self"
                          "Just Bump It"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ahh ok, thats why I couldn't find it. It's listed as a JK item. Appreciate it ZacT
                            2004 TJ ex-X Model :
                            3.5" Rock Krawler Springs, Rock Krawler Adj. Control Arms, Fox 2.0 Shocks, 33x12.50R15 MTRs, TeraFlex High Steer System, TeraFlex 2WD Low Range Kit, TeraFlex Extreme Short SYE, Adam's CV Rear Driveshaft, G2 4.10 Gears, Dana 30 front with G2 Chromoly Shafts & Aussie Locker, Rubicon Dana 44 rear with G2 Chromoly Shafts & Detroit Locker, Durango 160A Alternator, Rugged Ridge Nautic 9500lb Winch with Synthetic Rope

                            Comment


                            • ZacT
                              ZacT commented
                              Editing a comment
                              I think on extreme terrain it said TJ and JK

                            • CDE
                              CDE commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Yea I don't see why it wouldn't work with either.

                            • Grauler
                              Grauler commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Sweet! I like that! Well, I'm not going to change mine now, but that's a great option for new installs. It's dual function and gets it away from the "no-no zone". @2001TJ's CB is crystal clear using this method of install.

                          • #15
                            By the way, the SWR tuning was a piece of cake. I read the instructions that were included with the SWR meter and the instructions on Firestik.com. It goes back to, "If you don't know, it's simply awful. If you do know, it's awfully simple." Truly, it is a very simple process and I would be more than happy to help anyone who needs to tune their antenna. An untuned antenna can potentially damage your CB (http://firestik.com/Tech_Docs/TUNABLE.htm). If you have a tunable tip antenna then it takes all of 20 minutes.
                            2017 Wrangler JKU Big Bear
                            Armor: Smittybilt SRC Gen2 Front Bumper, Barricade Rock Sliders
                            Winch: Warn ZEON Platinum 10-S Winch with Spydura Synthetic Rope
                            Lift: 2.5" Pro-Comp Lift w/ Fox 2.0 Performance Series IFP shocks
                            Lighting: Rough Country 3" Wide Angle OSRAM LED Lights, Rough Country 12-inch Cree LED Light Bar (Dual Row | Black Series w/ DRL)
                            CB Radio: Cobra 75 WX ST and Firestik FireFly antenna

                            Comment

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