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 > 2018 F350 CB Antenna Front Bumper Mount

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BradW

Mayor of Flat Rock

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Posted: 04/29/19 06:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

[image]

2018 F350 CB Antenna Front Bumper Mount Photos

Finally finished up installing my CB radio in our 2018 F350. Antenna location would have been a lot easier without the truck camper in the bed. Ended up mounting on the very front of the truck so it stays in the same place with or without the truck camper in the bed. Got a good SWR up there, but have not tried it with the camper in the bed.

On our last truck I had two antennas mounted on top of the camper ladder. When the camper was off the truck I had a single antenna in the bed. So far, I think I like this better.

bradw


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Posted: 04/29/19 07:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Are CB's making a comeback?


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dave17352

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Posted: 04/29/19 07:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I bought a good cb about 15 years ago. I didn't find to many people using them so I leave it at home now. I think I wuld find that antenna would be driving me nuts right in middle of the windshield! With the antenna there i would think you would get fine reception in front of you and almost no reception in back with the truck camper mounted. JMHO
So is it mostly truckers you talk with on the road?


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Lantley

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Posted: 04/29/19 08:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree that location would drive me nuts. I would opt for some sort of mirror mount similar to what the truckers do.
Nevertheless it it works for you, that's all that really matters.


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BradW

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Posted: 04/29/19 08:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our jeep club use cb radios a lot, both in our jeeps and tow trucks. I don't think truckers use them as much as back in th 70's, but they stil use them and I've found them very useful when encountering wrecks and road construction. Our cb saved us hours of travel time last summer when a fallen boulder blocked i25 at Raton pass, co.

jaycocreek

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Posted: 04/29/19 09:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CB's are a must around here in the mountains..If you can't follow the logging trucks where-abouts,your likely to be in the ditch or side swiped.

My last TC I had the antenna on the TC roof with a magnetic antenna with a good metal plain glued to the roof...It was always getting knocked off from tree branches..I spent more time putting it back than it was worth..

I have two 40 channel walkie talkies I use when camped and I am temporarily using one in the truck cab until I can find the best place to mount an external antenna..They get out better than the hand held two ways most of the time.

I'm just not sure where I want to mount one where the wind won't push it into the metal of the truck or TC when driving...I used to be into CB's heavily working back in the mountains and used high wattage linears to boost the signal to get out..


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BradW

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Posted: 04/29/19 09:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My buddy was talking about adding a 100 watt linear amp to his cb. Seems like it would only help if whoever you were talking to also had a linear amp.

jaycocreek

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Posted: 04/29/19 10:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BradW wrote:

My buddy was talking about adding a 100 watt linear amp to his cb. Seems like it would only help if whoever you were talking to also had a linear amp.


It's been a while but mine had a pre-amp(guessing the name) that brought in reception also,not as good as the output but it did make a difference.

One can also have his CB radio tuned and peaked by a specialist..So many things are in play and there are alot of things that can be done to get out better than the standard off the shelf CB...Most of which are supposedly illegal..I never used my linear around town so it wouldn't bleed on others CB's..Just in the hills.

A tuned CB and a high quality antenna properly tuned with an SWR meter makes a pretty good difference over an off the shelf CB and a bargain antenna not tuned in properly.

I have an SWR meter but I always had a certain guy tune mine for me..I just use the meter for when my antenna gets knocked around or off.

Heck,I even have a certified CB handle from the old days..I was a CB junkie at one time..Laffin

twodownzero

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Posted: 04/30/19 07:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can think of so many reasons why I would not have used that antenna or mounted it in that manner. Check out the ARRL's antenna book or google the term "ground plane vertical" for details.

The ideal antenna for you would likely either be some sort of shortened vertical design on top of the truck camper (assuming metal roof for ground plane), or a low mounted 102" whip if you can figure out a way to mount it without it crashing into everything. The antenna you have has essentially no ground plane and instead of assisting in antenna performance, your vehicle is blocking the radiation pattern in basically the worst way possible. You'd honestly be hard pressed to find a worse place to mount the antenna than you have done.

SWR tells you very little about antenna performance. A 50 ohm resistor would show 1:1 everywhere but I doubt you'd be happy with how it worked.

CB is mostly a 4 watt AM affair on a frequency that is absolutely terrible for what it's being used for. If the CB were never invented, we would all be using mobile UHF-FM radios, which even at 5 watts with the right antenna would be clear as a bell over 30-50 miles and the mobile antennas would be 6-7" (that's inches) long. Because the frequency is in the wrong place in the spectrum, some pretty extensive compromises are necessary for at best kinda efficient use. Unfortunately, CB was invented in a time when these radios were thousands of dollars. Today you can get one for $25 on Amazon and if CB could be reinvented, that's what we'd all be using.

Focus on your antenna and not the radio, as the radio isn't going to make any difference in performance at all. You can't talk to someone if you can't hear them, and nothing is going to improve receive performance more than fixing your antenna install.

BradW wrote:

My buddy was talking about adding a 100 watt linear amp to his cb. Seems like it would only help if whoever you were talking to also had a linear amp.


Amplifiers are illegal on CB frequencies for a reason. 100 watts isn't going to change anything in how your radio performs in your car. For one, it won't improve receive at all. And as a practical matter, nobody on CB is trying to listen to someone whose signal is way down into the static, and so the improvement in transmit performance (assuming the antenna system was set up correctly and didn't just reflect most of that power) is not going to make the transmission more intelligible.

When conditions are right, and with the right antenna, it is possible to talk to someone on the other side of the world with frequencies very near the CB band. When they are not (which they haven't been for years), all the power in the world won't get you there. The CB world spends a lot of time focusing on all these illegal power modifications, but if those same people focused on antenna systems, they'd certainly appreciate the improvement in performance. It is illegal to talk to people over a certain distance away on a CB, though, so if distance is what you're after, get yourself a license and a nice HF ham radio rig. Although once you learn about the kinds of antennas that work well on these frequencies, you may not be interested in running HF mobile anymore.

jaycocreek

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Posted: 04/30/19 09:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A standard off the shelf CB radio is capable of far more contrary to some beliefs.

If you're asking the question "Should I buy an amplifier?" then you've probably decided you need more power output, or someone you know has told you to buy one. Before we get into a discussion on buying an amplifier, first let's pose another question. Do you actually need an amplifier?

A standard CB radio is going to have an AM carrier (also know as deadkey) of around 3 to 4 watts. Once the carrier is modulated, output on the radio may reach 10-12 watts on average with some models hitting around 15-18 watts. Single Sideband models (SSB) will normally have output of 12 watts, with some models hitting around 18-20 watts after tuning. These output numbers are more than enough for basic local in-town communications if an operator has properly set up their antenna.


Getting on America's most wanted using a Linear..Laffin

If you use your amplifier wisely you most likely could be on the radio for 100 years and never have an issue with the FCC, but if you plan to be an idiot and play music through your 1000 watt amplifier you might just get a visit from the man.

So while adding an amplifier won't put you on America's Most Wanted it's best to be smart in how you operate and try not to cause problems for yourself or others. If you are still fuzzy on the legality you might read through my article Legal Mumbo Jumbo, or better yet read through the FCC rules on amplifiers.

Still want to add an amplifier? Okay...read on at your own risk.

2) Have you optimized your current setup?

This is the starting point for most CBer's and if you're reading this article I'm guessing you want an amplifier because you want to talk further. More power = more distance right? While this is definitely true you can also achieve more distance with a properly tuned radio and antenna system. If you currently have a wilson 3 ft fiberglass antenna on the bumper of your truck, you might easily gain a 30% improvement in performance and distance by moving to a longer antenna such as a Wilson 1000 or Wilson 5000 mounted in the center of the roof of your vehicle. Adding an amplifier might also give you a boost of 30% or more with your current system but what's the point of adding nitro to a station wagon? Get your current system set up correctly and if you still want to talk further...add the amplifier.


And yes,the RCVR on a Linear does work in bringing in reception,just nor as good as the output,atleast on the Linear I had.

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