CB Radio help

Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
173
Location
Wishing I was in Paraguay but currently in Oregon
I've been using CB's for the last few years w/the Forest Service and thought that I would like to get one for my FJ62. It is more for emergency/safety on the highway. my fam and I are going to do a week trip to San Fran and then back to Oregon. Most of the comments that I have read have been with the Cobra brand. I'm not into spend a $*%&load of cash on it as I probably won't be using much. I was hoping that I could get some suggestions from you all. Also, how hard are they to install?:steer:
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
5,294
Location
North of LA California
You can get a $34 CB at Walmart if price is an issue. They all transmit at 4 Watts max so the only difference in CB’s is features and quality of the components. You also need an antenna and you have to make the choice to have a hard mounted one or a magnetic one that can be taken out when not needed.

Installing isn’t hard. Mount CB box in your dash or get the Cobra unit that has all the controls in the actual handheld mic if dash mounting is not wanted. The important part of installing is wiring and antenna placement.

Wiring: You need a good ground going from the antenna to the frame or directly to the battery. The power wire coming from your CB should be fused near the battery and be attached directly to the battery and not through any other power splice (i.e. don’t wire it into the cig lighter.)

Antenna Placement: Find a friend or local with and SWR meter to calibrate your antenna. This is mostly checking to see if you have a really good ground to the antenna. Ideally you would wire in the CB and then use the SWR meter and move the antenna around while watching the meter. It will let you know what places are bad to mount the antenna and what places are good. Every car is different and antenna mounting is very important for CB transmit and receiving quality. If you have a bad ground or bad antenna position people won’t be able to hear you well and you won’t be able to hear other’s talking to you until they get a lot closer.

If you are going to be on roads I don’t see why a standard cell phone wouldn’t be the best for emergencies. Assuming you’re out of cell range then the CB can only transmit about 2 miles which means someone would have to be listening within that range. I don’t see a CB as being a worthwhile time investment for safety alone although it is better than not having it. First aid kit, flares, and other items would be a better primary plan. I’m not you and only you can choose if you want one or “need” one. Hopefully the above information will get you going should you pursue that avenue.

Try searching a bit more first and then if you have more questions post them up here. Good Luck.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
173
Location
Wishing I was in Paraguay but currently in Oregon
OK, please forgive my ignorance, I'm trying to learn how to do my own work because eventually my 62 will be heading down to Paraguay.

So, the ground has to go from the antenna to the frame and not the CB to the frame? How do you connect the red to the batt? What's the easiest way to do this?:steer:
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
5,294
Location
North of LA California
:grinpimp:
You have two grounds: One is the antenna which needs to ground to the frame. There are two spots on the top of the frame looking down on the passenger side that have bolts that would work great for this. The second ground is from the actual CB box and can be grounded anywhere in your cab. The CB purists say that both the antenna ground and the CB electronics box ground should both be ran direct to the battery to improve signal performance.

The positive 12V power that comes from your CB box should also be direct to battery (again as the purists say, for maximum performance.) The best way to run the CB box ground and power is through the firewall grommet on the passenger side above the glove box. Once ran through that grommet it’s a straight shot to the battery. You can run the wires through the fender away from any parts inside the engine bay. The grommet is easier to access if the wiper fluid bottle is removed (three 10mm bolts I think.)

If I have time tonight I will take pictures of my CB and the way I installed it. That way you have a general overall picture. I installed mine in 1 hour and it worked for the trip I rushed to install it for but the range sucked. Getting proper grounds and wiring increased it to the proper quality.

Anyone can install a CB and talk to others that are a few 100 ft away. All the extra work going into antenna placement and direct wiring to the battery helps improve signal.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
5,294
Location
North of LA California
I have attached six pictures showing different parts of my CB installation. It's not completely done but it works and it gives you a baseline to go off of. Make sure all wiring is the same gage or bigger to prevent heat or fires. Fuse 12V power near the battery for the same reason.

Here's my antenna mounted on my ARB bumper:


Routing the CB wire:


Routing the CB wire along the fender:


CB wire goes through the firewall next to the driver's side:


The Cobra 75 WX ST box:


Mic with all controls that can be unlugged and stored out of view when not in use:
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2009
Messages
55
(get one with ssb,,when the solar cycle gets to rollin agian you can shoot some skip from your mobile...yee ha,,cq skip land,,,cq dx,,,,)

cobra or uniden will be pretty affordable rigs,,,
its all about the antenna,,,get your swr's flat on the freq you plan to operate on most,,
 
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