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post #1 of 9 Old 02-26-2010, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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cb antenna ground

whats the best place to ground your cb antenna, i have heard its fairly important to have a good ground.

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post #2 of 9 Old 02-26-2010, 07:35 AM
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I have my CB antenna on the rear gate on a custom mount. I have a grounding strap (big black wire) running from the mount through the gate (to the inside of the gate) grounded under the plastic molding.

I am running a cheap Midland CB and a 3' firestick and getting an SWR of 1.1 on Chan 1 and a 1.3 on Char 40.

An important this to remember is that the antenna itself, and the shaft it screws into can NOT touch the mount. You ground the mount itself, basically grounding the bottom portion of the antenna.

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post #3 of 9 Old 02-26-2010, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
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alright thanks, i am also mounting mine on the gear gate. so i will use the same spot, i just bought a cobra 29 and a 3 ft firestick. should be installing this weekend

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post #4 of 9 Old 02-26-2010, 08:32 AM
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Some other things to note is to make sure that what ever you are "grounding" to is i grounded. I have also found in some cases grounding the CB chassis itself help in some cases it didn't. For example on my dodge truck I have a 4 foot fire-stick mounted to the front of my bed rail just ahead of the stake pocket. The antenna mount is grounded to the bed but upon inspection the bed was not well grounded. It did have a strap from the cab to the bed but it was installed post paint. I took the strap off and hit the screw holes with a die grinder to remove the paint, installed the strap and covered with a little rtv for corrosion resistance. Some times you get lucky and don't need to go through all this.

Since there is a lot of threads out there about CB's right now I think I will throw out a couple tuning tips.

When adjusting the antenna: Make sure you take your SWR readings with the vehicle in the configuration you intend to use it in. So if you have doors on make sure they are closed. Make sure the rear gate is closed. etc. Also make sure you readings away from obstructions. I have seen things like power lines, large metal garage doors, and such give odd readings. High school parking lots are good places to tune.

Make sure you or your helper if you have one is not near or touching the antenna when you tune. It will greatly alter your SWR ratings.

Power windows, seats, windshield wipers will more than likely cause noise in your system when they are in use. It can be overcome but most of the time it is not a big deal or worth the trouble.

Don't be afraid to tune for the channel you use most. For my dodge I tune across the spectrum using channels 1-19-40. For the Xj, when was running, and when I do the wifes JK, I will tune with a heavy leaning to channel 4 because that is what most of the people we wheel with use. I will just make sure that it is not way out of whack SWR wise on 1 and 40.





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alright thanks, i am also mounting mine on the gear gate. so i will use the same spot, i just bought a cobra 29 and a 3 ft fire stick. should be installing this weekend
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-26-2010, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medcop View Post

An important this to remember is that the antenna itself, and the shaft it screws into can NOT touch the mount. You ground the mount itself, basically grounding the bottom portion of the antenna.
I don't get it. What do you mean? Got a pic with example... I'm having shifty reception but my swr is showing it's tuned good.

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post #6 of 9 Old 02-26-2010, 09:10 AM
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Ok, lets back up a minute and add some clarification. There are two things that weed need to distinguish between and that is grounding the antenna and grounding the mount , vehicle, etc to forms suitable ground plane. The antenna itself is grounded via the coax to the radio. You will notice most studs for antenna mounting have nylon washers where the bolts pass through the mounts isolating the antenna from the mount it sits in. Normally we take for granted that the true antenna ground is happing at the radio and is sufficient. I have found that sometimes the radio chassis needs some help in this area.

A good deal of the time when we talk about ground here we are actually talking about the mount that the antenna stud that receives the antenna goes into and its ground. This particular ground is what helps build a suitable ground plane and helps pull in your SWR to a reasonable range. The antenna stud in most cases should be electrically isolated from the mount.
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-26-2010, 09:22 AM
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So that plastic washer that I threw out is needed??? ... And can be the chase of my shitty reception... Oooops

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post #8 of 9 Old 02-26-2010, 10:00 AM
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If your using a fire stik antenna, this is how they recommend it be installed.
Hope this helps.
http://www.firestik.com/CatalogFrame.htm

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post #9 of 9 Old 02-27-2010, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by OlegRock View Post
So that plastic washer that I threw out is needed??? ... And can be the chase of my shitty reception... Oooops
That plastic washer is VERY important. You are in fact grounding the antenna to the base by not using it, thus most likely causing your shitty reception.

I have seen good and bad plastic washers, make sure it has a deep collar on it that extends down into the mount. The stud your antenna screws into is NOT supposed to touch the metal of the mount.

The coax should provide enough ground in most situations. We are, however, trying to put CB's in vehicles that are actually pretty crappy for CB use. The roll cage, lack of major body and so on does not make a good ground plane. This is why grounding the CB mount helps make a good ground plane. I got lucky (from what some have told me) and that I just had to ground from my mount to the tailgate door. If this doesn't work you will also have to have a ground from the tailgate door to your body.

My friends Jeep (1992 model) had to have a ground from the mount to the tailgate, from tailgate to tub, from tub to frame...but he is now getting about as close to perfect SWR as one can get.

It was mentioned above....tune the antenna how you are going to be using the Jeep. This includes the Jeep running.

The most important part of a CB is the antenna. Having a $500 CB and a crappy antenna not tuned is like talking with two cans and a string. Spend the money on the antenna and coax.

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