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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I wanted to install a CB radio in the X. I knew that I would only be using it for trail runs and maybe road trips. I figured I didn't need to spend a lot of money on something that won't get used that often. So, I poked around, and found some inexpensive, yet quality products to put together a complete package.

After picking some of the local club members' brains, I bought the following items recently for the setup:

Cobra 19 DX IV Compact CB Radio

Cobra HG S500- Extension Speaker with Talkback

2 Foot Firestik No Ground Antenna Kit

Antenna Fold-Over

Everything looks good, right? Well, my uncle and I started to install it yesterday. At first, I wanted to install the radio in the center console, below the temperature controls. Both my friend Gene and my girlfriend Cindi said that would be a good spot. I agreed, as it was a convenient, yet out-of-the-way spot. Well, when we sat the radio in that location, we noticed that the knobs weren't easily accessible. OK, how about under the dash somewhere? I couldn't find a spot where the CB would be safe from getting kicked or bumped by either me or a passenger. Then we looked up, and I said, well, I never use that top center console. It seemed pretty good there. So, my uncle and I chose that spot, and we drilled. We mounted the CB with its bracket, and started running wires. We talked about where to grab the power from. I know one of the guys in my local club said it would be best to get it from the battery, but we didn't have any extra cable, so, we kind of stopped at that point, and started focusing on the antenna.

We tried to figure out the best way to get the antenna cable from inside to outside without having to drill through the roof. Well, I wanted to have my antenna set up like my friend Gene's, which I believe is attached to the roof rack on the driver's side. We looked around every door, but really couldn't find a place to sneak it out from, without it getting pinched. I know some of you guys have snuck it out the back of the tailgate, but due to the position of the radio, we didn't have enough slack to get it to where I wanted it to be. On top of that, I looked at the mount that came with the antenna, and sure enough, the mount was not going to work with the Xterra roof rack.

By now, it was getting colder outside, and it was starting to snow. We packed up shop, and headed inside. I poked around the boards here and saw different CB setups and antenna setups. Some of you guys have installed the same CB model or similar models inside the center armrest console. It stands up, and the mic hooks perfectly in the coin holder. For that install, my questions are:

Do you have to keep the armrest open the entire time you use the CB? Do you have an external speaker with this setup? If so, where did you mount the speaker? Or is the built-in speaker (on the CB) loud enough from that location?

As I headed home, I kept looking at the mounted CB. I wasn't "feeling it". I didn't like the setup so far. Then when I got home, I saw this thread, and it interested me: Install Guide: Garmin Nuvi 750 w/Nissan docking unit. I thought, wow, that's awesome! It's made to go there, it looks clean, and it's something I may have a use for down the road. Now I was more bummed out about the CB because I had wasted that space.

It got me thinking. Do I want to stick with this CB, or do I want to get a different one, like this: Cobra 75 WX ST. I saw a picture of this installed by someone here, and it seemed pretty simple. It was hanging from a convenient and out-of-the-way spot on the front dash. My questions for this are:

Is there another part to this CB? Does this require an external speaker, or does its built-in one work just fine? Is it easy to use, or is it a bit quirky because everything is compacted into the one mic?

Here are some pictures of the install so far.





I'm on the fence. I'm thinking of scrapping this setup, and going with the all-in-one Cobra CB, but not quite sure. I still need to figure out:

1. How and where to mount the antenna, and with what mount.
2. Where to grab power for the CB.
3. Do I really need/want an external speaker? The locations for that were slim to none, too.

Thoughts? Ideas? Opinions? Help me here. I'm stuck. :(
 

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I have my CB installed in the center console, there is no need for an external speaker and I can use it without having the lid open. As far as the antenna is concerned, I would not use the NGP antenna, it is just as easy to run a separate ground wire (12 gauge) alongside the coax and find a good ground. At one point I was doing this and had my ground going to one of the bolts on the hatch strut mount. I believe this would work better any day than a NGP antenna. The Cobra 75WXST is a pretty nice setup, I kind of regret not going that route, but now that I have what I have, and the limited amount of use it will receive, it's not worth getting one. There is a separate piece that the radio plugs into. Very small, very easy to hide. Every one recommends running power straight from the battery, I did not do this at first, I was getting power from behind the 12V socket in the console. I had a "whine" that matched the RPM's. So I changed it and ran straight to the battery and guess what, I still have that same "whine". So I really can't say how much of a difference it will make.
 

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Finding good mounting locations can certainly be a challenge. Luckily the X is easy to take apart inside to play with. :)

I finally finished mounting my Icom unit above my mirror last week. The front controls have a remote kit to separate it from the radio itself so this won't work for a CB :silent:

Blurry phone pictures:





Custom made metal mounting bracket that is drilled into the roof frame so the faceplate doesn't bounce or rattle. Still perfect mirror view, and very easy to glance at the radio display. Wires go into the roof lining and down the passenger post(vertical one behind passenger seat) to the radio under the passenger seat.

- Russell
 

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:clown: One of the guys did a writeup on this installation and I added a couple of comments on mine, but it's in the "search" ( electrical) post----


--this is perfect, cause it solves ALL THE PROBLEMS---


-
 

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If you are sticking with the CB you have, I like Jimbo's mounting idea. I use the center console too much to fill it with a CB.

I have the Cobra 75 WX ST and love it. It's not a great radio if you want to start hacking and boosting, but for your average person it works great. Since eveything is in the mic, it's a bit heavy, but I have never found it to be uncomfortable to use.

It has two parts, the mic (with all the controls) and a module that all the wires (mic, power, ext speaker, antenna) plug into. It's small and I have mine mounted to the metal cross support under the dash (under the steering wheel). I then drilled a hole in the dash (under the ignition) to run the cable for the mic out. I then bolted the mic clip to the left side of the 4x4 controls. This keeps it out of the way, but very easy to reach. The mic also acts as the speaker so it's pretty easily heard if you are not jamming out to some tunes.

If you want to run an external speaker, you can get a small one and mount it to the drivers side "B" pillar, right above the seatbelt. I have not done this yet, but, that is my plan and I have it all worked out already.

I grabbed my power from a fuse block that I mounted to the drivers side kick panel.

My antenna (4' Firestik II) is mounted to a heavy duty spring mount on the passenger side of my Shrock bumper. This has worked out well. Mounting to the roof rack will work as well, but I agree, do not go with a No Ground Plane antenna, just run a ground. The NGP antenna's do not work as well.
 

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I have the same cobra 19 you have. I mounted mine below the AC plugs. I'll post pics of my setup tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Jason, I actually have several things in the center console. At first I figured, well, I can take them out, and relocate them throughout the truck. However, I went through some of the things yesterday, and saw that they fit fine there, due to size and convenience. So, I think that location is out of the question for the CB.

As for the antenna, well, I already bought it, and others I have talked with said they work fine. Since I'll only be using the CB very little, I'm sure this will suit my needs.

As for that small module with the 75 WX ST, if I were to hide it under the center console somewhere (not in it), is the wire going to the handheld itself long enough to attach to the dash, beside the 4x4 controls?

Has anyone else had any issues stealing power from the 12V socket in the console like USArmy did?
 

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The other place you can mount your CB would be on the passenger side of the center console at an angle. It should be out of the way and easy to access.

If you put the module of the 75 WX ST in the center console (under the cup holders would be a good spot), you won't have enough cord to run the mic cable out the dash, but you could run it out of the drivers side of the console and put the mic hook where I have mine.

You can run the power from the 12V outlet, but it's not exactly clean power. I think it's a crap shoot on if you will have problems or not. I say try it and see what happens. Keep in mind, with most CB's you will want to wire it to an always hot circuit so that it does not lose power when the engine is turned off. The problem this creates is having to always turn the CB back to the channel you were on after shutting the engine off. Becomes real annoying.

Well, I know you said that the antenna mount you bought won't work, so I figured you were looking for another mount and at that point, you could just return the antenna too and get a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Is there anything in the main fuse panel that is hot at all times? If not, I guess I'll have to run to the battery.

Good point about the antenna mount. Has anyone seen a mount that will fit the factory roofrack?

I think I'm leaning more and more to the 75 WX ST. I just wish I had given this more thought before buying and installing the radio. I usually do that before projects. Lesson learned.
 

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Creek said:
mtdewmike said:
Has anyone else had any issues stealing power from the 12V socket in the console like USArmy did?
I can only answer this question...no.
My problem is not that bad, that's why I have given up trying to fix it. It really is a faint "whine" and if I adjust the squelch for no static, I can't even hear it. It just didn't make any difference for me wether it was straight to the battery or tapped into the accessory power.
 

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I don't know of any mount specifically, but give www.wlcottcb.com a look. They have just about every mount you could need there. Worse case, have someone cut you out a rectangular piece of steel (finish off the edges), drill some holes, use some u-bolts to secure it to the roof rack and run a stud mount.

Personally, I would give up on the roof rack mounting idea and mount it to the body where the tail gate closes. There have been a lot of people do this and it seems to work out well. Obviously not the most optimal location, but as you said, for what you will be using it for, it would work well.
 

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Alright, heres my setup. Obviously the antenna mounting location won't work for everyone but it can easily be mounted in other locations.

CB


Wiring running along underneath the trim pieces through the firewall plug


Exit from inside the engine bay. Notice the ground wire underneath the seam bolt.


Engine bay. The wiring I used to hook up off of the power wire was thick enough to hook into the plastic holders along the firewall.


Battery hook up.


Antenna wire leading out to antenna and mount.


Antenna and mount on grille guard.



And for your viewing pleasure, my X's dirty ass. The black bracket underneath my license plate is a flag pole mount. :D
 

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RussellB said:
Finding good mounting locations can certainly be a challenge. Luckily the X is easy to take apart inside to play with. :)

I finally finished mounting my Icom unit above my mirror last week. The front controls have a remote kit to separate it from the radio itself so this won't work for a CB :silent:

Blurry phone pictures:





Custom made metal mounting bracket that is drilled into the roof frame so the faceplate doesn't bounce or rattle. Still perfect mirror view, and very easy to glance at the radio display. Wires go into the roof lining and down the passenger post(vertical one behind passenger seat) to the radio under the passenger seat.

- Russell
that thing looks impressive (and expensive :laughing6: ) does that thing pick up the Men in Black Frequencies???
 

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contenderv07 said:
that thing looks impressive (and expensive :laughing6: ) does that thing pick up the Men in Black Frequencies???
Well, I haven't heard any aliens but I can talk and listen to satellites and traffic bounced off the moon with it. :)
 

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Hey Mike

I installed the 75 WX ST in my X. I have the the box under the Shifter. ( I didn't like the way it mounted under the cup holder.
The hand held is mounted to the left of the 4x4 shift switch. ( Already scratched up from those stupid metal clips in the dash. So no big deal putting 2 screws to hold the hand held clip.)
I ran an 18' coax from the shift area under the center console towards the back. then went under the carpet and along the Pas. Side and behind the side panel in the rear of the X. ( Panel where the rear pockets are.) Then drilled a hole the size of the coax Plug behind the Pas. Side tail light. ( Used a rubber grommet to seal and protect the cable from the metal edges of the hole.) Then the cable goes down behind the bumper cap and over to the Shrock bumper hole ( where the wire comes thru for the plate light on the swingaway.)

Side note - You can also mount the antenna to the side of the rear tailgate. This is the way John ( Creek ) mounted his and it holds up pretty well.

I'll have to take some pics tomorrow so you can see how I did it.

The down side is I'm having problems dialing in the CB with the SWR Meters. Stupid things don't come with instructions.

Time to find a CB shop to have them tune it.
 

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You know what - I have to say sorry to you all.

I am the worst when it comes to taking pics of my mods during the instillation for a "How To "

I'll try a little harder in the future

Again Sorry
 

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VT, you don't tune the CB, you tune the antenna. What antenna do you have?

Here is the quick and dirts on tuning. I have posted it else where, but it's important, so I'll post again.

1. Make sure the antenna is properly grounded (this is the #1 problem when people can not get their SWR down).
2. Hook SWR meter up between CB and antenna (use a short 3' length of cable from the CB to the SWR meter and then the normal antenna coax (18') from the SWR meter to the antenna.
3. Close all doors and start the vehicle (be sure you are out in the open).
4. Turn the CB on and set it to channel 1.
5. Flip the switch on the SWR meter to FWD.
6. Key the mic and hold it.
7. Use the adjustment knob on the SWR meter to move the needle to "Set"
8. Unkey the mic.
9. Flip the switch on the SWR meter to REF.
10. Key the mic.
11. Look at the SWR meter and note the SWR reading (it should be below 3 and 1 is optimal).
12. Unkey the mic.
13. Change the CB to channel 40.
14. Repeat steps 5-12.
15. Compare the numbers.
a. If they read the same and are around 1, you antenna is tuned.
b. If they are the same and they read 2 or above, your antenna either has a bad ground or is really located in a crappy spot.
c. If the SWR on channel 1 is higher than the SWR on channel 40, you need to lengthen your antenna until they are the same.
d. If the SWR on channel 40 is higher than the SWR on channel 1, you need to shorten your antenna until they are the same.

NOTE: The goal is to get the SWR on channel 1 and channel 40 as close to 1 as possible.
NOTE NOTE: If when you try to adjust the SWR meter in the FWD position and you can not get the needle to reach "Set", you most likely have a bad ground at the antenna. Make sure your mount is properly grounded and that the mount is put together correctly.

I think that is about it. If you have an SWR meter, there is no reason at all to take it to a shop to be tuned. It's a simple process. I have tuned many CBs sitting in a parking lot and even on the trail.
 

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I have the Cobra 75. The little box is mounted under the cup holders, zip-tied to outside of the center console box. We drilled a hole and zip-tied the connector to the front wall of the console box. The coiled mic cable runs out via that cut out in the box lid that is designed to let cables pass through while it is latched closed. When not in use I can just put the mic in the console box, and the only thing you see is the mic holder.



For power we tapped into the constant-on lead going to the lower power outlet. It seems to work well, no engine noise, but I do get a blast of noise if I activate the power door locks while the radio is on.

For the antenna we ran the coax under the center console, under the rear seat area carpet, the behind the driver's side panels and out the rubber cable boot at the upper left of the hatch. I used an NGP antenna, but have never been able to tune it well. I seems to work OK, but one of these days I may switch to a regular antenna.
 

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I have my Cobra 18WXST mounted below my Pioneer head unit in the factory radio position. All flush mounted using the factory radio bracket. As far as power I pulled the 12v Hot off the radio harness same for switched 12v and grounds. That way all the wires are bundled up under the dash.
 
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