CB Radio Info - Page 2 - Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums (2005+)
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post #11 of 88 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 02:34 PM
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Skibum315's suggestion that you consider the Diamond K400-3/8C and K400-3/8C2 adjustable hatch mounts is a good one. In my opinion it would be a far better choice than the commonly used fixed mount behind the tail light.

K400-3/8C


K400-3/8C on Xterra


Tail Light Mount:


Another mounting option is to use the factory roof rails. This can be as simple as using stainless steel muffler clamps with a flat piece of steel for the antenna stud mount or a commercially produced tube mount such as a Fourtreks mount. If you go this route you will need to address proper antenna mount grounding to achieve an adequate ground plane as the factory roof rails are not grounded to the Xterra body.

Muffler Clamp Mount:


Fourtreks.com Mount:



Here is my antenna system, utilizing antenna tabs welded to a DepHep drop in roof rack basket: Mr. Bills' DepHep Roof Rack Modifications/Antenna Mounts for Ham and CB



Close up of CB antenna mount:


Grounding strap to body:


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post #12 of 88 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, thanks guys for adding that information. I hope this helps others. Now on to the buying process.
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post #13 of 88 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 10:47 PM
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I went with a full size CB, the Cobra 29 LTD Classic. The main reason was that it had a built in SWR calibration. This let me know immediately that I had a short in the antenna mount and was able to correct the issue before I put everything back together. As a full size unit, you are limited to where you can mount it. I attached it to the headliner with some fairly large washers to keep in snug on the headliner.



I mounted the antenna on the side of the rig in the back. This involved drilling a hole in the sheet metal for antenna cable.




Make sure you get a tunable antenna. With this setup, I was able to dial in the lowest SWR and it works quite well. Good luck
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post #14 of 88 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 11:21 PM
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Regarding antenna location: PaulXYZ posted a great chart in this thread - CB Antenna Questions and Firestik Mounts / Locations (Post #2). Keep in mind that with the lower mounting points, the vehicle body will serve as a mask to any portion of the antenna running parallel (or nearly so) to a body panel ... in extreme cases - like a 2' Firestik mouned low between the taillight and rear corner - communications to anything on the opposite side of the vehicle will be limited/spotty.

This is not meant as a knock against tomrejzek or anyone else using that location ... clearly if it works for your setup, go for it! However, I've noticed that those that do claim adequate (or better) performance from that mount location seem to be running longer antennas with some portion extending past the roofline. When I first attempted to install my CB, it was with a 3' Firestik in that spot (off of the top of the rear corner) and I never could get it to tune ... I ultimately chalked it up to too much body interference and switched to the whip - though, presumably a longer antenna or other location would have also worked.

ETA: As is wont to happen sometimes, I've oversimplified the mask/ground-plane interaction between the vehicle body and antenna aerial ... Paul does his typical great job explaining in the link above, which I read further after I made this post initially; but suffice to say: an asymmetric mounting will result in an asymmetric antenna pattern.

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-- Leonardo da Vinci --

Last edited by skibum315; 04-21-2015 at 12:17 AM.
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post #15 of 88 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 11:44 PM
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post #16 of 88 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skibum315 View Post
This is not meant as a knock against tomrejzek or anyone else using that location ... clearly if it works for your setup, go for it! However, I've noticed that those that do claim adequate (or better) performance from that mount location seem to be running longer antennas with some portion extending past the roofline. When I first attempted to install my CB, it was with a 3' Firestik in that spot (off of the top of the rear corner) and I never could get it to tune ... I ultimately chalked it up to too much body interference and switched to the whip - though, presumably a longer antenna or other location would have also worked.
Yeah, ideally the best place to mount is on the roof. The higher the antenna, the better the transmission and reception. I personally wanted a "set it and forget it" setup. I felt that if I mounted it on the roof, would have to use a fold down or removable antenna, which wouldn't meet my needs. Just my personal preference. I suspect that the reason my set up works well is, as you say, a good portion of the antenna is above the roofline (the firestiks have a closer winding spacing toward the end, which puts more of the antenna toward its tip). That and having a low SWR helps.

When I install a ham radio later this year, I am going to install that antenna on the driver side hood. This location will keep all the antennas as far away from each other as possible to prevent interference. I look at CB as short distance communication versus ham for long distance. Therefore, the ham antenna will get the best spot for wave propagation. Again, just personal preference.
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post #17 of 88 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 01:34 AM
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This is where I put mine, fits perfect. The little cubby underneath directs the sound outwards, no need for an external speaker.

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post #18 of 88 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomrejzek View Post
I went with a full size CB, the Cobra 29 LTD Classic. The main reason was that it had a built in SWR calibration. . . .
From CB Radio Magazine:
"An SWR meter is a required piece of equipment for every serious CB'er. While most radios come with a built in SWR meter in most cases they are neither accurate or offer a large enough scale for proper measurement. This is why most CB shops or CBer's who know the hobby will recommend for new CBer's to purchase their own external SWR meter. . . ." [http://cbradiomagazine.com/Accessory...R%20Meter.html

I have tried to use the built-in SWR meter in several CB radios I have owned to "tune" the antenna. As noted above, it does not work well.

The usual advice given by veteran CBers to people installing their first radio is to borrow a good SWR meter, buy one online ($20-25 on Amazon), or pay a few dollars to have a nearby CB shop do the tuning. Since CB shops seem to be going the way of the dinosaur I now carry my SWR meter with me when I attend offroad events to help those who are getting poor performance from their antenna systems by checking to see if they are properly tuned. Typically they are not.

.

Last edited by Mr. Bills; 04-21-2015 at 09:59 AM.
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post #19 of 88 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 11:59 AM
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Killer info! I've been looking for a convenient way to mount an antenna for my nearly useless midland hand held.

Now I have a question about the Diamond k400. The "c" comes with 6' of cable. Is that enough to run from the hood through the firewall and into the center console or do I need the c2 with 13.5' of cable? And the Wilson Flex antenna, I assume the little ground wire attaches to the K400 which sinks it's little teeth into the metal on the hood, and grounding is complete?

Last edited by IM1RU; 04-21-2015 at 12:09 PM. Reason: to subscribe to thread
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post #20 of 88 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IM1RU View Post
Killer info! I've been looking for a convenient way to mount an antenna for my nearly useless midland hand held. Now I have a question about the Diamond k400. The "c" comes with 6' of cable. Is that enough to run from the hood through the firewall and into the center console or do I need the c2 with 13.5' of cable? And the Wilson Flex antenna, I assume the little ground wire attaches to the K400 which sinks it's little teeth into the metal on the hood, and grounding is complete?
I would go with the C2.

While it is the opposite direction, I have. 12' cable going from my dash, through the centre console, under the rear seat through a hole in the rear storage and only had about 8in to spare.

Better safe than sorry


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