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post #1 of 13 Old 03-02-2011, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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CB tuning issue

So ordered a CB kit from Right Channel Radio. Came with everything I need, Uniden Pro radio, teraflex mount spare tire mount, and 4' Wilson Flex antenna. Got everything hooked up and mounted the CB in my center console.

So here is my problem. Went to tune the antenna, got bad readings. Figured it was a grounding issue. I already had the ground wire from the antenna connected to one of the mounting bolts for the mount. So I ran a 10 ga wire and connected one end to the tube and the other end to the tailgate. Tested it again and I am still getting SWR readings around 5.

So turning to the Jeep Gods.... what else could be the problem?
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-02-2011, 06:53 PM
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Try another antenna? Wouldn't be the first bad one out of the box..Any local Jeep friends that can pop theirs on for you?

I had a wilson flex fail within 3 mo of use.

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post #3 of 13 Old 03-02-2011, 07:48 PM
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Got the same bracket and antenna from right channel as well. I ground off the paint on the bracket and ran my grounding wire from there to the vehicle tub. Sheetmetal screw right into the metal under the carpet. SWR readings of 1.2 and 1.5 after tuning. By the way, I also have my CB wired directly to my battery. How is your CB power grounded? Also, check right channels technical support pages for other ideas. As mentioned before, you could possibly have a bad antenna right out of the box but this would be my last hunch. Good luck.

PS - One last thought....You don't have your excess antenna wire coiled up somewhere in the vehicle do you? This can cause problems as well.

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post #4 of 13 Old 03-02-2011, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Jimmy,

I ran my grounding wire from from the tub just like you (minus the carpet) and right into the tailgate, the antenna should be grounded to the tailgate.

I have my radio wired directly to the battery, and I have it gounded to the same ground point I put in for my KC lights.

As for excess coax wire coiled up. I don't have much excess, maybe 5 or 6 inches after my routing. May see if I can get ahold of another antenna to check out.
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post #5 of 13 Old 03-02-2011, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gruf View Post
So ordered a CB kit from Right Channel Radio. Came with everything I need, Uniden Pro radio, teraflex mount spare tire mount, and 4' Wilson Flex antenna. Got everything hooked up and mounted the CB in my center console.

So here is my problem. Went to tune the antenna, got bad readings. Figured it was a grounding issue. I already had the ground wire from the antenna connected to one of the mounting bolts for the mount. So I ran a 10 ga wire and connected one end to the tube and the other end to the tailgate. Tested it again and I am still getting SWR readings around 5.

So turning to the Jeep Gods.... what else could be the problem?
Use a grounding strap, not a wire. RF works different than DC (or even 60Hz AC), the signal travels on the skin of the conductor, so surface area matters. Like Jimmy2x says, grind some paint off the antenna bracket, mount your ground, run it back inside the tailgate and across (or through) the existing fabric wire wrap sleeve, then grind some paint off the tub and screw in the other end there. Touch-up with rattle-can paint job to prevent future rust.

Also check your coax for any kinks, which would cause the inner foam insulator to distort, allowing the center conductor to come to close to the outer braid. Check the connectors at each end to make sure they are firmly attached. In my experience, if you have a good ground then it's usually a kink in the coax or bad connectors.

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post #6 of 13 Old 03-03-2011, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
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So, just to put out more information, I am currently getting an SWR reading of about 4 across all channels, no matter how much I attempt to tune my atenna this does not change. Is there a chance that I might be having a problem with a short?
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post #7 of 13 Old 03-03-2011, 04:05 PM
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Go to the RightChannelRadios website. There is some great videos and tech articles there. Also if you look on youtube for SWR tutorials, antenna installation, etc you will figure it out.

I had high SWR when I first installed my CB and realized I connected the radio and the antenna to the wrong sides of the meter. It was a cheap meter and not labeled very well. I also found that I did not have my antenna installed correctly and was not tuning it correctly.

Last bit, I would not use your radio with that high of an SWR, minus troubleshooting. You may end up damaging the radio.
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-03-2011, 06:41 PM
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Try doing a search on this site for ideas. There is a ton of tricks and information. I am out of ideas but maybe you can find something. I find the pics to be very helpful with stuff like this. Good luck

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post #9 of 13 Old 03-03-2011, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gruf View Post
Jimmy,

I ran my grounding wire from from the tub just like you (minus the carpet) and right into the tailgate, the antenna should be grounded to the tailgate.

I have my radio wired directly to the battery, and I have it gounded to the same ground point I put in for my KC lights.

As for excess coax wire coiled up. I don't have much excess, maybe 5 or 6 inches after my routing. May see if I can get ahold of another antenna to check out.
New thought here. Did you ground your tailgate OR your bracket. My ground runs right to where I ground the paint off my bracket. The tailgate is completely out of the equation. If you just grounded the tailgate and hoped that the bracket is making good contact you are probably looking at your problem. Hope this helps.

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post #10 of 13 Old 03-03-2011, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy2x View Post
New thought here. Did you ground your tailgate OR your bracket. My ground runs right to where I ground the paint off my bracket. The tailgate is completely out of the equation. If you just grounded the tailgate and hoped that the bracket is making good contact you are probably looking at your problem. Hope this helps.
Well I grounded the tailgate. And connected the extra ground wire on the antenna directly to the teraflex mounting bolts. Tested the ground and it is fine. It is not a grounding issue. After doing more reasearch I have found out that the plastic washer was in the wrong spot on my attenna mount. Fixed that, but curiously the lock washer is already rusting.

So checked my ground, fixed the short I have created, and was all ready to tune my antenna. Hooked in the SWR meter (making sure to correct it properly) and....... F***ing peace of S***!!!! Still screwed. Oh well back to the searching.
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post #11 of 13 Old 03-03-2011, 09:45 PM
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Perhaps posting some photos of your actual setup will help?

The TF mount that I got did not fit the stud I purchased correctly due to the hole being to large so I had to go to Home Depot and get some new hardware (plastic gromets, washers, etc) to make it work correctly.
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post #12 of 13 Old 03-05-2011, 11:20 PM
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You should not need to run an antenna ground wire while using the TF mount and that antenna. That little wire at the base of your antenna IS NOT A GROUND. It is an impedance transformer connection wire. Most folks cut that off. These antennas usually run worse with that wire grounded.

1) Make sure you have the antenna mount washers stacked and placed correctly, this is the #1 cause of new installs not working.

2) Grind off some of the paint on the back of the TF mount where the holes recess into the tailgate. Ground off some paint from the tailgate around the mounting holes.

3) Be sure that your excess antenna cable is not coiled up. this creates RF choke and will give you bad SWR readings.

4) Sometimes cables are bad, and I have seen several bad antennas, even new out of the wrapper. My last Wilson was bad - right out of the package.

5) If your antenna has an adjustable tip, just a little adjustment can make a huge difference.

6) Make sure that the radio itself has a good ground and a clean power source.
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post #13 of 13 Old 03-07-2011, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I took everything apart and put it all back together. Don't know what I did different but now I am getting readings of 1.3 to 1.5 across all channels. Thank you for your help in this process.

P.S. I did not know that that wire should not me grounded. I will have to try disconnecting it to see how it affects my SWR reading.
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