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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some friends picked up a Uniden CB for me and gave it to me as an early Christmas present. So this was my weekend project.

Decided to take a stab at a hood channel antenna mount. I picked up the Firestik MK-74 hood channel mounting kit, which came with an 18' flex-fire coax cable. I think I could have used the MK-74S, which is about 1/2 inch shorter. I had to cut a notch in the the lip of the fender (where it meets the side of the hood) and bend it back so it was flush. This was kind of tricky, and likely why I haven't seen anybody go this route.

I also had to grind the base of the mounting bracket so that it would be a little bit more narrow and squeeze in between the fender and the hood hinge bracket. I had to drill my sheet metal screw pilot holes (for the antenna bracket) at bit of an angle. Be careful if you try this, it's real easy to nick the fender. Make sure you have some touch of paint.



I mounted a 3' Firestik II on it;



I decided to mount the transceiver in the center console between the seats. Seemed like a nice place to mount it and keep it out of the way. Running the wiring for this took quite a bit of time. I removed the cup holder tray and the large plastic piece of the shifter with the shifter boot. I had to drill a couple of pretty big holes in the bottom of the console to run the wiring through.

Here's where I ran my excess coax cable, and I had a LOT OF IT, given that my antenna mount was within about 6-8 inches of the grommet in the firewall. I drilled some holes in the sides of the lip to run some zip-ties through so that I could keep the cable somewhat elevated. It probably doesn't make any difference, but I didn't like the thought of it laying on top of the sheet metal directly over the tranny, or laying on the shifter boot. I can run the stick through all the gears and it doesn't even come close to the cable.



For ground and juice, I spliced into the wiring for the power outlet in the center console. If you remove the cup holder tray you will see the red and black wires running past the e-brake handle assembly.

Some of you may have noticed that there is actually a gap on both sides of the center console latch, even when it's shut. This is enough to run your mic cable through. When I'm not using it I can coil it up inside the center console.



I ran an external speaker under the drivers side seat. I still need to take it to the CB shop next week and have them check the SWR and adjust the antenna. I'll let you know how it works out.

Merry Christmas....
 

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Cool install. Let us know how well that whip does right there when you start offroading. Im curious how bad it smacks your windshield.

Thanks!

Jordan :)
 

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If the Ant. bounces too much you have two options, One is a rubber bungee you buy right size and pull one end down on Ant and the other end you put a screw through it and go to the roof rack, That slows down the slap back, OR a tennis ball, it's light and placed right will bump it back and not slap anything.

Nice install, but, be advised a coil is a resistor and a CB coax should never be Coiled but instead run lengthwise as long as you have room to as little as possible. Think of a signal the same as water running through a hose, what flows better a coiled hose or a straight one? I'm not going to go into any more than that, Ask a Ham operator or a CB shop they will tell you same thing. The radio will preform better if you stretch that Coax out in long loops, as long as you can get.

MC
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
usmc xterra said:
Nice install, but, be advised a coil is a resistor and a CB coax should never be Coiled but instead run lengthwise as long as you have room to as little as possible. Think of a signal the same as water running through a hose, what flows better a coiled hose or a straight one? I'm not going to go into any more than that, Ask a Ham operator or a CB shop they will tell you same thing. The radio will preform better if you stretch that Coax out in long loops, as long as you can get.

MC
Any suggestions as to where it could be run?
 

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I assume you used an 18' coax?

Just run it back and forth under the dash. You should be able to get a good 4 foot or so of cable run back and forth.
 

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OregonX said:
Any suggestions as to where it could be run?
Why not just run it straight to where it needs to go, and cut the cable there and put a new end on it? If you don't have the tools, you're going to a CB shop anyway, so have them do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
muzikman said:
I assume you used an 18' coax?

Just run it back and forth under the dash. You should be able to get a good 4 foot or so of cable run back and forth.
I've been told to do everything you can to keep it away from other wiring in the vehicle to limit the possibility of RF interference. I'm not quite sure that under the dash would be the best spot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
dpatton said:
OregonX said:
Any suggestions as to where it could be run?
Why not just run it straight to where it needs to go, and cut the cable there and put a new end on it? If you don't have the tools, you're going to a CB shop anyway, so have them do it.
I did some research on that but never could find a straight answer on whether or not coax cable length was in issue or not. I've heard a lot of people say that most CBs are "tuned" for 18 feet of coax. I was a little more sold on the theory when I looked at the Firestik antenna package and it read "use with 18 feet of coaxial cable." Maybe I'll ask the people at the CB shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Looks like I'm not done yet. Got this off the Firestik site;

Excess coax between your radio and antenna mount should never be wound into a circular coil of less than 12" in diameter. Doing so can cause system problems. Your best option for handling excess coax is to serpentine the cable into a 12 to 18 inch yarn-like skein. Secure the skein in the center with a wire tie and tuck it away.

Time to cut some zip-ties.....

Thanks for the feedback, everybody.
 

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:clown: -Mine is in the center of the roof a couple inches behind the top bin--

--One of the NO-NO's suggested by CB radion gurus is to never (coil) the 18' run of coax because of "Gauss" ambient signal dampening--

-- :geek: :geek: --JIMBO
 

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You are fine where you are at with the CB cable, just uncoil it and run it in long lengths fwd and rearward in the same place, under the center console and you will be fine.

Don't cut, as you notice CB coax is sold in multiples of 3, Like 9 12 18 21 it should remain that way. It can be cut but you have to know what you are doing and have a super quality antenna that can deal with it or be real lucky. Not something any CB tech would suggest. Highly not recommended. It will jack your SWR pretty good, possibly beyond ever getting it right again. Think of it as a guitar string, once you shorten it, it won't play the right note ever again. Although I have turned a Swr using the coax, it's a lot of work and unnecessary if you have a good antenna.

MC
 

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:clown: My top antenna is approx- 3 ft long and I have used the SWR meter to "tune" the rec/trans ratio to a little over 1/1.5--

--the antenna is adjustable in/out of it's base and locked by two allen screws--

-- :drunken: :drunken: --JIMBO
 

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JIMBO said:
:clown: My top antenna is approx- 3 ft long and I have used the SWR meter to "tune" the rec/trans ratio to a little over 1/1.5--
--the antenna is adjustable in/out of it's base and locked by two allen screws---- :drunken: :drunken: --JIMBO
Yea that is the correct way to do it. I was saying I have done it using the coax in a pinch. Such pinch would be adding in a Linear and a Power/swr meter-matcher. Once you change the length of the cable from a multiple of 3, you have to get creative. The easy way to avoid that is don't install the illegal linear. Kind of like tires, add too much and you will have problems. MC
 

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:clown: --Right Marine--I cut it off twice and it was still too short !!!


-- :drunken: :drunken: --JIMBO
 

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FWIW, the FCC has recently ended the code requirement on the test to be a HAM radio operator. I know this is a little off subject, but I figured people coming to this thread looking for CB info might be interested in the news. I know that the code requirement is what made me too lazy to get a HAM license.

Have fun :bom:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Alright... I got rid of that goofy coil I had around the shift boot and roped the cable into a "skein" and tucked it against the left side of the shifter and cup holder consoles.

This really isn't the best location for having to undo your coax at the back of the CB to plug in a SWR meter and jumper cable, but it works.

Tuning it was a little more time consuming than what I thought, but I've got pretty much perfect SWR across the first 20 channels. It starts to creep up to 2:1 as you get closer to the higher channels.

Also, I've got a medium strength spring at the base of the antenna. I've bounced the rig around pretty good and the antenna hasn't hit anything yet. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
 

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Oregon, do you think I could get away with using the 9' coax for this application? I don't want to have to coil, and wonder if that is long enough, or if there will be any adverse effects.
 

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I just did the very same hood channel mount, with a 2" Firestik. I am using a Midland 75-822. I chose the Midland because it has NOAA channels, and allows me to attach a battery pack to it and pull it out of the truck, and use it with a stub antenna.
I will say, that OregonX's instructions were pretty spot on, down to the recommendation to get touch up paint. If I had it to do over again, I would have taped off the fender to cover it from nicks. After my wife expressed to me how unexcited she was about holding the hood up, I grabbed a ratchet strap and attached it to my roof basket to hold the hood up. I found that using a step bit, I was a little less worried about punching through the fender.
Thanks for the idea!!!
 
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