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
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.