CB install problems // SWR readings off the high end - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 21 Old 02-13-2011, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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CB install problems // SWR readings off the high end

I just got done with the install of my Cobra 75 wx st, Firestick antenna and Teraflex mount on the tailgate. I ran the coax, verified the continuity of the core and the shielding.

When I hook up the SWR meter to the setup I get a reading off the right end of the meter on both settings.

I have extensive 12V knowledge, but I don't know where to begin with the 'tuning' aspect of the antenna. BTW I bought the whole set up from right channel. . . . .

thanks for any advice!
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post #2 of 21 Old 02-13-2011, 05:53 PM
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I just asked our local CB guru the exact same question right before I saw your post.

I know a bad ground can cause it, but that's not my problem. I"m thinking maybe my radio is fried. I got is used so who knows. I'll let you know what he tells me and maybe that will help you.
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post #3 of 21 Old 02-13-2011, 06:28 PM
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I had issues with mine when I first put it on as shipped (not awful, not great) so I took off the power coat where the antenna metal touched it and again where the bolts went though it into the door so they'd have a ground path.

Perfect signal after that.
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post #4 of 21 Old 02-13-2011, 06:30 PM
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I'll tell ya what he told me. Get a quality grounding strap and make sure the tailgate has a REALLY good ground. He also said that all of a sudden he was getting bad readings with his Firestick. He switched back to a Wilson and now he's getting great readings.


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post #5 of 21 Old 02-13-2011, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j2k View Post
I had issues with mine when I first put it on as shipped (not awful, not great) so I took off the power coat where the antenna metal touched it and again where the bolts went though it into the door so they'd have a ground path.

Perfect signal after that.
I can try that. Did you use any dielectric grease where the fittings met to protect the metal and make for a better electrical connection? Just wondering?

Thanks for the tip!
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post #6 of 21 Old 02-13-2011, 06:42 PM
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grind the paint off the bracket where the antenna meets the bracket and bolt together then paint back so it won't rust..also your antenna mount should have come with a clear plastic washer make sure it is on top of antenna bracket
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post #7 of 21 Old 02-15-2011, 03:45 AM
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This may be a dumb question, but do you have the SWR meter on the calibrate setting? I know you said both settings, but just checking. Other than that I would check the ground for sure.
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post #8 of 21 Old 02-15-2011, 05:37 AM
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I went through three radios till I got it down to a ground issue. Took a dremel to the paint on the orfab carrier and now I have a consistent 1.5 swr

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post #9 of 21 Old 02-15-2011, 06:49 AM
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Once you start tuning the tip, don't be shy. I had to unscrew the tip of mine almost 1.5 inches till I got the SWR in line with where it should be. I got it down to about a 1.4 reading and thats as good as I will ever need it to be. Rings in crystal clear.

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post #10 of 21 Old 02-15-2011, 07:41 AM
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Your antenna isn't grounded.

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post #11 of 21 Old 02-15-2011, 08:37 AM
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There are a lot of reasons you may have high SWR or incorrect readings.

When I hooked up my CB I had high SWR for numerous reasons. Some covered already here by others. I installed a Cobra 19, TF mount, and FS 3' antenna.

Good ground was key. TF mount had to be sanded down. I also needed to go to HD to get some plastic bushings cause the stud did not sit in the hole correctly.

Is the SWR meter hooked up correctly? I watched a few videos online about this and they were helpful. Found out I was doing it wrong.

Is any of your coax bent or coiled up?

Are you tuning the antenna tip correctly? Are you away from buildings and other structures that may be causing interference?

Hope some of that helps as I went through this not to long ago. I thought my radio just sucked but it turned out to be installation error and lack of knowledge on my part. I got it all worked out and my SWR is @ 1.3 now.
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post #12 of 21 Old 02-16-2011, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Update- SWR off the meter

Thank you all for the wonderful advice in trying to help me track down my problem.

1- I removed the TF mount and went to town with the Dremel tool. Ground all the paint down at the mounting / bolt holes.

2- Moved plastic piece to the top.

3- Reassembled the whole mess and got an SWR that is around 5-10.

4- Visually inspected ALL of the antenna cable and found a major kink/bend from where I ASS-u-ME I bounced the folding back seat over the cable by accident. I am guessing that I fucked up the shielding of the coax, so I will be replacing it. . .

5-If replacing it doesn't work, I don't know what to do but shitcan the whole thing.

Its time for beer!
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post #13 of 21 Old 02-16-2011, 05:12 PM
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Just count backwards from 10.

ten, nine, eight, seven , six, five, four, zzzzzzz
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post #14 of 21 Old 02-16-2011, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooter_Trash View Post
Just count backwards from 10.

ten, nine, eight, seven , six, five, four, zzzzzzz
Dude- that is my line-- count backwards from 10. . . .and you wont make it till 7. See you after surgery!
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post #15 of 21 Old 02-16-2011, 07:45 PM
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Bad ground or coax cable is the culprit for high SWR readings. If you buy a cheap coax cable there is a good chance it is bad right out of the package. I have had 100% success with the Firestick cables but not so much with off brand cables. If the cable gets bent and the shielding or actual cable inside breaks you won't see it but the SWR meter will.


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post #16 of 21 Old 02-17-2011, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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The Final Solution!

I spent a few hours troubleshooting today.

I got out the handy-dandy voltmeter and verified continuity to from the chassis to the mount and the antenna stud. All ok (or so I thought- more on that in a sec). I verified that shit that was supposed to be continuous had no resistance and shit that was supposed to be discontinuous had resistance of "1".

I then swapped out the antenna cable that I ran from the CB to the antenna- same problem. WFT?

I then deceided that it was time for Right Channel to earn their profits from the CB setup, so I got them on the horn (after going through their flowchart entitled "Your SWR reading is off the fucking meter".

The guy from Right Channel listened to what I had done and was like "right on". You checked things out! (I was impressed that he didn't argue with me or tell me that I was doing something wrong). He asked me to re-verify some continuity and then asked if he could call me back once he had EXACTLY what I had purchased in his hands. (I was EXTREMELY impressed by this move.) He then said that he wanted me to take apart the stud and cable connector at the TF mount. Sure enuf, as I undid the stuff and he talked to me about the "positive" and "negative" side of the antenna, I realized that I put an extra washer on the underside of the stud, effectively linking the positive and negative together via the TF mount, and not the antenna.

Put the shit back together the CORRECT way and presto, whammoo, SWRs of 0.5 - 1.0.


THANK YOU ALL FOR THE ADVICE AND HELP IN TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT WAS WRONG, WHEN ULTIMATELY, I FUCKED UP!

Peace
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post #17 of 21 Old 02-17-2011, 06:51 PM
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The feeling of fixing such an annoying issue is the best. I had a shake in my wheel for almost a year and finally figured it out two weeks ago. Congrats and the best part of this experience is you learned a ton about your radio.
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post #18 of 21 Old 02-17-2011, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by numb_crna View Post
Put the shit back together the CORRECT way and presto, whammoo, SWRs of 0.5 - 1.0.


THANK YOU ALL FOR THE ADVICE AND HELP IN TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT WAS WRONG, WHEN ULTIMATELY, I FUCKED UP!

Peace
Glad you got it all worked out dude. Sometimes we can funk up the easiest shiz
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post #19 of 21 Old 02-17-2011, 10:34 PM
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x2 on the tail gate ground....also under the hood mine runs very close my lights ect so i needed to insulate it all the way..


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post #20 of 21 Old 02-17-2011, 10:37 PM
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^^ ya gotta love it when people reply without reading the thread.
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post #21 of 21 Old 02-17-2011, 10:42 PM
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Yeah, you learn more from fuck ups than from books!


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