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Old 08-08-2009, 01:43 AM   #1
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Default cb radio's

I am wondering where to put a cb radio in my dodge freedom camper van, and where to attach the antenna? Has anyone ever used a splitter to the am/fm/ radio
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Old 08-08-2009, 05:05 AM   #2
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Default Re: cb radio's

If you are thinking of using the am/fm antenna to transmit the cb on I don't reccomend it. Transmitting antennas are tuned to the frequency you are transmitting on and I don't think those antennas are not even close. Depending on how far off they are, it is just a matter of time before you toast your cb. I suggest to check out a magnet mount antenna that way you can always take it off. I have seen a person have one on the corner of their hood.
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: cb radio's

CB antennas are very different from FM radio antennas. For one thing, they have to be much longer (which is why they usually have a coil built-in). As g1g said, they also have to transmit. Getting one antenna to work for all requires a splitter and some knowledge of electrical engineering. See http://www.firestik.com/Tech_Docs/am-fm-cb.htm.

I've always used magnet mount for the CB antenna; take it off when done with it. Of course, you have to route the wire in at a window...

Getting the best reception requires putting the antenna in the middle of a large metallic surface: the roof of the van. That can be hard to reach!
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: cb radio's

There are many options for your CB antenna. Many converted van-type RVs have fiberglass roof extensions. A magnet won't stick to that. And, with no more power out than a CB allows, a dedicated antenna beats any attempt to cmpromise any other antanna.

I have six antennas permanently mounted on my van for amateur radio and scanners. All mine, except for the large Hustler amateur radio antennna mounted on the spare tire carrier, have NMO-type mounts which makes them interchangable as needed or wanted. But, for just CB, you have the option of a hood-lip mount with the major makers. It is a little "L" bracket you can screw into the fender-side metal of the hood opening. Yuo can then route the coaxial lead into the engine compartment and through the firewall at some advantagous spot (and there are a lot if you poke around at the various sites where other stuff goes through the firewall. The antenna will then sit out over the fender and out of the way of opening the hood, but makes a sturdy mount for one of the fiberglass CB antennas that are no more than 40 inches or so tall. Then there are mirror mounts, such as many truck drivers use. I'm sure you'll find many applications and varieties as you do your research on the web. Just remember that a dedicated antenna for CB is the way to go for best performance.

Stick with a major brand to avoid the many cheap and poor performing knock-offs that are out there.
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: cb radio's

It's been a while since I've played with CB Radio antennas but there are quite a few options. All antennas must be grounded (mounted on a metallic surface) to work properly. If the antenna is centered on the vehicle, it will give the CB close to the same range in all directions. If you mount it on the rear of the vehicle, it will direct the CB signal to the front. There are "Twin Trucker" antennas that connect to the door mirrors but I don't think they would work on a "B" van. The twin trucker antennas direct the signal to the front and rear of the vehicle but make almost none to the sides.

You can get AM/FM/CB antennas that have a CB radio coax connector or wire. They are suppose to be matched so the CB will work. The problem with this is, the range is decreased because the antenna is small and it is rigged to fake a real CB antenna. A CB radio 1/4 wave antenna is 9ft long. CB antennas have coils inside them to make the 9ft length. An AM/FM/CB antenna, I think used trimmer capacitors to fake the proper wavelength.

Another thing to note is not to cut the coax wire for the antenna to make it shorter. The length of wire can effect the match of the antenna and effect the performance of the radio.
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: cb radio's

I put one in my RT190 - and space is everything. I mounted it via a "long cb mount bracket" and mounted it right along the drivers seat, so I could just glance down and see channel, wx station info, etc. I run the coax under the seat, under the carpet and out through the firewall. I also used the 4' Firestick, which I mounted on a bracket that I picked up at a truckers cb repair shop. It has worked well for us, and the wife made a "bag type" cover for when it is not turned on. I like the idea of having the weather information avail at a minutes notice.
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: cb radio's

I went with a handheld Cobra - priced at about $80US.
No antenna mounting required for the simplest model, it has a quick connect
shorty antenna that's about 8 " long.
I just plug it into the cigar lighter with the DC power adapter (included) and I'm on the air.
I believe you can get a magnetic externally mountable antenna for it, but
so far I haven't needed it for what I use it for. It works just fine as is.

However in hindsight, I think it qualifies as a handheld communications device, like a cell phone,
as does the mic handle/cord for a fixed/built in CB, so there may be legal implications involved with
operating CB radios in some jurisdictions. I suppose hands free CBs will soon be required, too.

They can be a lot of fun, and are a useful tool out on the road (traffic jam updates to name but one ).

Mike.
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: cb radio's

Get that VE3/VA3 ham radio license, Mike, and you'll be exempt from all those rules about radio on the fly, Scanners too. So far, that is.
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: cb radio's

Thanks for the tip Vern.
I have a feeling a ham/amateur radio license won't get me off the hook in Ontario, though.
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Old 08-12-2009, 07:30 PM   #10
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See: http://www.geocities.com/wd9ewk/ve-license.html

Ontario can't be to hard on you. They even let me operate up there earlier this year as "portable/mobile VE3." Kept the guys at home appraised of my travels. Made 'em all jealous.
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