First off I have a uinden 520x and a 4 foot firestik. I used a bare aluminim bracket that I made and I just had the CB tuned but all I hear is static, I can hear voices but I can't make out words. I wasnt sure if this was because I dont have my mount grounded or because perhaps Im not near any truckers that are talking. When I had the guy tune it he just tuned and didnt say anything so I assumed it was fine. He runs a good sized shop and seems to have a lot of business so I guess he knows what hes doing. What do you guys think?
Radios work better when the antenna end of the coax braid has a good RF ground. An RF ground is not the same as a DC ground. When I installed my CB, I noticed that the tailgate was not grounded to DC. I have no idea the quality of the RF ground, if any. I have no way to measure that.
Whereas DC current will travel through the entire cross section of a conductor, RF energy travels on the surface of the conductor. The larger the surface, the better the conductor. Because of that, braided ground straps are better RF grounds than solid or stranded wire.
So, I went down to the local auto parts store and got a ground strap. One end is screwed to the body tub and the other end has two terminations. The first connection is screwed to the tailgate inner. This is the main RF ground. The braid goes on from there to a butt splice connector and to a piece of 10 gauge stranded wire. It is nowhere near as good as a braid but is better than nothing and I used it because it was available. That wire (red in the picture) goes through the door to the bolt that mounts the aluminum channel to the spare tire carrier.
Notice the big loop of coax in the picture below. This is to prolong the life of the coax. The loop minimizes the flexing that the coax has to repeatedly endure with the opening and closing of the tailgate.
The antenna mount is made from 1/8x2x2 aluminum angle. The shorter pieces of aluminum are there to make the main angle less flexible.The CB antenna on the left is a Wilson Flex 3. The 2 meter/70cm dual bander on the right is a Diamond SG7500A.
I don't know if a lack of a ground is hurting your reception or not. Have you tried getting a buddy to go a block down the road with his CB and try to talk to you? That's really the best test. Just talk to your friend on the radio while you or he are driving away from each other and see what kind of usable range you have.