Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: 2018 F350 CB Antenna Front Bumper Mount
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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: 04/30/19 03:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The main reason I posted this was to give other truck camper owners an option on mounting a CB antenna so it could work with or without the camper in the bed. On our last truck, we had dual antennas on the top of our TC ladder and they worked great, but I also had to use about 70' of coax to hook them up. I also had to disconnect them when we removed the camper and install another antenna in the bed. This time, I didn't want to do any of that.

I tested the 5' Firestik bumper mounted setup out to about 3 miles on flat ground and it worked fine, SWR was 1.2 - 1.3. I had to stop at 3 miles because that was about the limit of the radio in my jeep. I thought the front bumper mount would make the transmission pattern very directional. I turned the trunk at different angles back to the jeep and had a strong signal at all angles. It may be noticeable at greater distances, we are seldom talking over a mile or so.

If I were putting the antenna on just the truck and not concerned about the truck camper, I would get one of those new SuperDuty mounts which goes between the back of the truck cab and the high mount third light.

As for getting a ham license, I have one. Problem is only one or two others in our jeep club have them; but they all have CBs. Those ham radios are nice if there is a repeater around. Our jeep club was in Silverton, Co last year and we could talk to each other 20 or 30 miles apart.

bradw


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ronday

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Posted: 05/03/19 07:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I use it when traffic comes to a slowdown or stop. Such as yesterday on I-70 in Colorado when a truck burned and closed the east lane. Spent 2.5 hours going 6 miles down a 6 percent grade. Was handy to know what was going on. Ron Day


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K Mac

Lower Hudson Valley N.Y.

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Posted: 05/03/19 08:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Does this serve a dual purpose ? The round ends look as if they could act as a receiver for a small rack/deck. You had me flippin back n forth on your photos because the reflection from bumper made it look like it was chrome in pic.#1. Funny just today I passed a house that had a shingle for sales and installations, got me to thinking back to the 70's when pops had a rig, and my bro's n I thought the CB's were the coolest things in the world. Good memories.

BradW

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Posted: 05/03/19 08:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The bracket is unpainted in some photos and rustoleum black painted in others. I made that bracket out of 1-1/2 HREW round tube and 1-1/2 X 1/4 flat bar.

It attaches using 2 of the factory bolts which hold the two tow points on the bumper.

burningman

Seattle, WA USA

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Posted: 05/04/19 12:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Because of the groundlplane effect, mounting an antenna all the way forward like that will make it directional toward the rear.
Way back in the CB heyday when we used to hold weekly “rabbit hunts”, we’d set up cars for tracking a signal by mounting an antenna at the extreme rear, which made it highly directional toward the front. We’d mount a super large S-meter in a box and tap it into the radio. We’d drive in a tight circle and the direction we got the strongest signal was the direction the signal was coming from.
Technically, linear amplifiers are illegal on CB... but the reality is the FCC gave up and quit caring about CB many years ago.
Tuning and peaking a CB is all psychological. Going from maybe 3 watts up to say 5 watts doesn’t have a measurable effect. We did all that stuff and tested it in the field.
Optimizing an antenna involves not just SWR, but size and placement.
Bigger is better, higher is better, and centrally located within the groundplane (in this case the metal vehicle body) is better.
If you can stand how that front and center antennal looks, it’s practical because it fits around the camper, but it’s performance will not be best toward the front like it might seem.
I’d go with one of those brackets that comes through the seam between the fender and hood, up by the cowl. That has a number of advantages: your coax cable is much shorter (and that’s a significant performance factor), it’s up higher, it’s a little more central to the groundplane.... and it looks a whole lot better too.


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Clarryhill

Midcoast Maine

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Posted: 05/04/19 07:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey Brad, got to agree with Lantley on this one. Think that mount would drive me nuts sitting out there. But, totally off topic here...Dang that is a purty truck!! [emoticon][emoticon]


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jaycocreek

Idaho

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Posted: 05/04/19 09:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is alot involved in tuning a CB radio if you know what your doing..Most don't and there are shops that will rip you off..

There are many well known modifications that can be done to many radios. These modifications involve changing resistor values, adding resistors, or even replacing the stock final transistor with an aftermarket transistor.

These more complex tune ups are going to be more expensive but they can result in a radio with better receive, louder modulation and increased output wattage.


I always ran Cobra CB's because I think there the best..My job when driving truck was talking to my fellow drivers to avoid trouble on old narrow logging roads in the mountains and Cobra's just did a better job than the others.

CB radios can be spendy to set up right but when it is your livelihood and not just a hobby,the extra range and clarity could save your life way back in...

Your stock Cobra 29 LTD classic may have an peak output from the factory of around 12 watts if you're lucky. After a very good tune from a shop that particular radio will max out around 25-30 watts.

You can have someone replace the finals and do some other modifications and maybe it will do 40-50 watts. But now you're talking $50 or more just for the work done to the radio. If the original cost of the radio was $80 you've now invested $130 to have a radio that will do 40 watts. That may not be the smartest decision when there are dual final export radios available on the market for only $30-50 more that come factory designed to do 30 watts without any modifications.

There are also small amplifiers available for sale that can give you 100 watts of output for less than $60.

Yes both the export radios and amplifiers are illegal, but so is having a CB radio that will do more than 4 watts.



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burningman

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Posted: 05/04/19 06:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Louder audio will do more for you than the insignificant power gains had by “turning up” a stock radio. The mod limiter on those Cobras is a little potentiometer on the circuit board you can twist with a small screwdriver... you just want to turn it up a bit, short of a distorted overmodulated mess bleeding over across four channels.
If you want more power, just get a 100-watt amp. That will work a whole lot better than so-called peaking a stock set.
And get a better mic. The stock mic is usually marginal.

BradW

Mayor of Flat Rock

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Posted: 05/04/19 07:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Clarryhill wrote:

Hey Brad, got to agree with Lantley on this one. Think that mount would drive me nuts sitting out there.


I already don't see it. Its amazing how the human eye can tune out things that's aren't important.......and after nearly +40 years of marriage, I can attest that human ears work exactly the same way. [emoticon]

bradw

Edd505

Elephant Butte, NM

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Posted: 05/04/19 07:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lantley wrote:

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.


+1 I would not like watching that driving for hours.


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