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  • CB Radio

    OK...I need a CB for my rig but what one to buy. I need advice on CB and antenna and mounting locations for antenna on CJ7.

  • #2
    I got tired of having the CB sorta work or quit on the trail so I made sure to research and do it right once and for all. Here's what I know:

    1. Power isn't too critical, but make sure the hot (usually red) side is fuse protected. Also make sure you've got a good chassis ground.

    2. Use a pre-terminated CB antenna cable. For the CB to "match" the antenna the cable has to be a specific length (I think it's 12 feet). Just coil up the excess cable behind the dash with some zip ties. DO NOT SHORTEN IT! Make sure it's got the right ends on it - the radio end will have a screw on fitting and the antenna end will have the same or two leads with terminals. Get the one that will work with your antenna. If the antenna end has leads then the bare braided lead goes to ground and the center insulated lead goes to the antenna.

    3. Get an antenna that can be "tuned". Your radio should work okay if you just hook it with the right cable. However, if you want to tweek it to work better us an SWR meter to tune the antenna to match the radio. On the "Fire Stick" brand fiberglass whips there is a screw in the top of the antenna under the cap that can be used to shorten or lengthen the antena.

    4. Make sure EVERYTHING is tight before hitting the trail.

    So, all that being said I recomend:

    Radio: Compact Uniden - around $60.00
    Cable: Coaxial, pre terminated CB antena cable.
    Antena: A tuned Fire Stick 4' whip - $30.00

    I run a Uniden with a 4' whip similar to the Fire Stick on a spring/ball mount on the rear driver's side body of the Jeep. I've found that the spring mount lets the thing swing around like a fly swatter when I'm rock crawling and it's smacked some rear seat passengers on several occasions. I am considering taking out the spring. You might try to find a HAM/CB store and go there. I went to one near a TA truck stop and got a really good deal. I also installed a Uniden kit from Quadratec on a buddy's 2000 TJ. It works well but I thought it was pricy.

    That's what I know

    Good luck!


    • #3

      I agree.
      Uniden and fiberglass are the way to go. If cash flow allows, a cable split for two antennas will range farther.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Sylvatus
        I agree.
        Uniden and fiberglass are the way to go. If cash flow allows, a cable split for two antennas will range farther.
        Only problem with splitting two antennas is you need 8 feet of seperation to make the correct wavelength and you will still have a rather directional rig.

        Plain english: It'll work, but not as good as it could. You'll be about the same off with a good tuned Firestick. 102" steel whip antennas work ok too, but I had much better results with my Firestick. It held up great to off-roading too. I did mount mine without a spring; it worked better, tuned easier and didn't kill anyone buy swinging all over the place. (The antenna swing and hit another car once after a panic stop in town!)

        I used to run a Cobra 25 LTD Classic radio with a power-mike (powered microphone) and the 7 foot Firestick II off a fender mount. I had it all tuned to a 1:1 SWR and reached out all over the place very well.

        (SWR, or Standing Wave Ratio, differs according to what channel you are on, and varies across the band. So, if you mess with setting your SWR by tuning your antenna, just set it for whatever channel you use most, or just set it at channel 20 and you will be covered well for all 40 channels. You tune your set with an SWR meter. They are not too expensive and many radio shops will tune it for you for a minimal charge, if any.)

        Tower has the info you need right on. Any radio can reach out just fine with a good, solid power and ground connection, and a correctly tuned and installed antenna. Bigger is better with antennas, but if you do not want to drill holes in your Jeep, you may consider a magnent-mount. About the only place it would work is on the cowel, in front of the windsheild, but they do work. Try a K40 brand for that...the best "bottom-load" magent mount IMHO. (Firesticks are still better tho! IMHO You can always try a mirror mount for a 4' 'Stick with no spring. My old 7 foot broke out the lights in a McDonalds drive thru one night!


        • #5
          Thanks for all of the info. I am going to a truck stop today at lunch and try to buy all of the stuff I need.


          • #6
            I mounted mine on the spare tire stop


            • #7
              oops, no DELETE?
              Last edited by gonzojohn; 08-08-2005, 01:30 PM.


              • #8
                If you do alot of mudding or water-running, check in with a marine store every now & then. They generally have Shakespeare Antennae (tin/copper wire) on sale or clearance on a fairly regular basis.

                Here in South Jersey, all of the pines & cedar water (highly acidic) can wreak havoc on metal. You should see the pits in my 23 yr old D44 ring gear from local water damage. We do get the best tomatoes in the country, though!



                • #9
                  Here is what I bought at lunch time.
                  3' Wilson 5/8 wave tunable fiberglass antenna. $24
                  50 OHM 18' mini 8 cable (RG8?) $26
                  Wilson flat mount base. $14
                  $70 total with tax.
                  Ordered a Cobra 18wxst radio $58 with tax and shipping (walmart).

                  Will I notice a difference between a 3' or4' antenna? I plan to mount it to my tire carrier and my CJ barely fits in my garage as it is now. I thought I would tear the 4' antenna off going into my garage. I plan to hard mount with no spring. I only plan to use this for trail since I probably won't be able to hear this while driving on the road.