CB Accessories

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Mar 27, 2003
Frederick, MD
I just ordered a new Uniden pro520xl CB to install in my 80. Now, I’m trying to figure out what other accessories I’ll need to get it up and running. I plan on mounting it to one of Christo’s rear tire carriers. I know that this has probably been address many times before, but my search turned up empty and there’s nothing on Uniden’s website.

So far, this is what I think I’ll need. Please correct me if I’m off base or missing something
1. Antenna (3 or 4 ft Firestick?)
2. Coax (18 ft”)
3. Stud Mount?
4. Spring connector?

As usual, thanks for the help. :beer:

I have had excellent luck with my Wilson "flex" FGT antenna :D It's a fiberglass 4' antenna "silver load"??? Anyhow, ask most any CB officinado and they'll tell you that Wilson antennas are excellent.

You don't need a spring with a Wilson "flex" antenna. I don't run one and I have mine mounted on the front of my FJ40 where it gets beat up pretty regularly.

Your antenna will come with all you need to mount it in a 1/2" hole. Christo's tire carrier has a 1/2" hole to put it in. You don't need a stud mount.

Once you get your CB installed and your antenna mounted, go to a CB shop and have them make you a custom cable that is just long enough to reach from your CB to your antenna -- it will be the minimum length required at least. If you don't want to install it in their parking lot, decide how much you need, add 20% and have them cut you a chunk long enough so you can leave excess at each end for them to crimp ends on after you have routed it to your liking. Then, when they've got the ends on, have them tune that Wilson antenna :D to your CB. Then you'll have an excellent performing radio :cheers:

My biggest pet peeve is rigs on the trail with ill-performing CB's :slap: You either can't hear them or they're constantly saying "come again..." Drives me nuts! :ban:

Good luck!! :cheers:

For best transmission/reception, an antenna should be centered on the vehicle, base loaded, and with a metal whip. Wilson 1000 series mag mounts are perfect for this...however, that's a terrible location for offroading.

Offroaders work within limitations. Ideally, a fiberglass antenna will have 2/3 of it's length above the highest point of the vehicle. By this regard, longer is better, within reason. I've run a variety of antenna brands, Wilson has been my favorite, but Francis, Firestik, and others all have worked fine too. A VERY good ground is necessary, as are good clean connections and quality cable.

http://www.firestik.com has a great tech section.

I run a 3' Wilson on the hood cowl opposite the radio antenna on my GMC, a Wilson No Ground on my motorhome, and some other brand on my FJ, a 3'. A SWR meter is a vital tool for a good signal, as is a continuity tester for connections.
Let me give you my experience with an 80. I had a 4' fiberglass antenna (known brand) on a mag mount and I HATE IT!! Aside from it always being banged, falling over etc (even with zip ties) when off road, I find that it flies off while on road at any great speed given the wind loading.

This is what I would suggest (1) get a Wilson 1000 - steel antenna can take the abuse (2) get a good quality gutter, hatch or roof rack mount with a detachable antenna - this is what I'm planning on doing. Antenna mount stays on all the time and just pop on the steel antenna as needed, remove in town.

Cheers, Hugh
I must disclaim that I know very little technically here, but from my extended usage of varying CB antennas both on the water and on land I can say no matter what, the best antenna I have ever used is the 1/4 wavelength big, long whip (on the water, one has no ground, thus generally use 1/2 wavelength long). No frills, good distance, easy, cheap. I have tried the Wilsons, fiberglass ones, marine specific ones, some from Radio Shack, whatnot and the performer at least for me is the metal whip.

Of course TLCA doesn't like 'em, but...
Given that you are mounting to the slee tire carrier, a spring will not provide much benefit. The tire carrier loop blocks rearward movement and the truck body blocks forward movement.

The higher the antenna the better the performance, but if your are driving through the woods a high antenna will be banging on the branches. I would consider 3 feet to be the minimum and 5 feet the max. It all depends on how much dragging on low obstructions you want to deal with. I have a 3 foot and a 5 foot. I am currently using the 3 footer. I think 4 footer would be a better starting point for mounting on the tire carrier.

18 feet of cable was enough for me to run from tire carrier, underneath truck, into cargo area passenger side kickpanel, up to the front row and over to the console area, with some slack left. Dash mounted radio may require a longer length.

I am currently using a Wilson fiberglass flex antenna. You need to buy a stud mount. For 4 foot or longer antennas it is recommended to use a stainless steel stud, as opposed to the more common brass studs. I expect either Wilson or Firestick fiberglass antennas will work fine.

On occasison with the flex antenna, when carrying duffle bags on the roof, the disruptived air flow causes the antenna to swing back and forth and bang on the the air deflector. To prevent this I wrapped the top of the tire carrier loop with elastic cord (like what is used to construct bungee cords, but without any metal hooks) and tied the ends around the antenna. The elastic cord prevents the antenna from touching the tire carrier loop but also secures the antenna to the loop. No more banging on the wind deflecter. Only had the problem when carrying stuff on the roof rack. Consider avoiding the skinny flexible antennas to avoid this problem. The benefit of the flex antenna is that it should take a bit more punishment (trees, etc) without breaking.

For a reasonable amount of money you can buy a SWR meter and then you will be able to tune the antenna yourself. This I recommend. You are then free to switch anntenas sizes and retune as needed. You may wish to run a shorter antenna day to day, and then if you are going on a road trip install a longer antenna. Or, if you know you are going someplace where a tall antenna will be a problem, you can swap in a shorter antenna.

When tuning the antenna be sure to tune it with the tire carrier latched closed. There is a big difference in the tuning if the carrier is open or closed. Even closed, having the latch fastened or not makes a big difference. When fully latched the tire carrier has a much better ground connection than when unlatched.

Here is one internet storefront that sells most of the stuff you would be interesteed in: http://www.bills2way.com/
Thanks for all the replies.
Has anyone tried to mount an antenna off of a Slee front bumper? Seems like there would be less interference than you'd have off the tire carrier.
theres no ploblem at all, and the superstructure of the car is futhur away from the aerial than at the back if you have a hard top. SWR meters are so cheap thay are virtually a must. And the co-ax has to be used in multiples of a 1/4 wave length i think to acheive a low swr.

And for JF. If you are after performance, please, please dont get a uniden. Spend that bit extra and get a GME 4400, or a second hand sawtron or something. And cut the co-ax as short as possible. The AE-409L is a great aerial and will last for 5 years or more with continued abuse.

gme tx4000, gme ae406/9
sawtron kg107, mobile1 col6
sawtron 999
pierce-simpson something or other with 9foot whip.

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