Author Topic: CB Radio Help, Please  (Read 583 times)

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Offline Paniolo

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CB Radio Help, Please
« on: September 12, 2017, 02:23:50 PM »
2006 CVO Ultra. The bike came with long whip antennas, and I swapped them out for the rubberized shorties.

On my recent trip to Yellowstone I tried to use the CB Radio with a hand held mic. When parked, or in close proximity other riders could copy me. But when moving or at distance all they got was signal break and squelch, but no audio. I am thinking perhaps the antenna for the CB is not the correct one.

Is there a way to check for proper modulation to make sure the system is attenuated?

Can a dealer do it?
Can other shops do it?
Where can I go, what else can I do?

Thanks!
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Offline Coyote

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Re: CB Radio Help, Please
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2017, 02:28:09 PM »
Put the stock antennas back on. Those short rubber ones are not very good. The ones I checked (JM) were not tuned well. And if you got the wrong one on, it will really be bad. Your problem is signal strength, not modulation (since you can be heard close up)
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Offline UltraNutZ

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Re: CB Radio Help, Please
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 03:49:26 PM »
most any quality audio install location should have a power/attenuation meter.  But realistically speaking, what Coyote is telling you is the truth.  Think about it, how many truckers do you see sporting a cool shorty antenna for their CBs?  None.. The better the windings, the better the modulation, the correct length is paramount when dealing with CB antennas.
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Offline moose

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Re: CB Radio Help, Please
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2017, 02:32:52 AM »
size does matter   along with a 400 watt linear booster
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Offline FurryOne

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Re: CB Radio Help, Please
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2017, 07:45:15 PM »
size does matter   along with a 400 watt linear booster

She could tell by the length of my antenna... oh, never mind...   :wink:

I installed the HD OEM CB antenna on my 17 SGS (custom mount) and the news wasn't good.  I'm getting a 3:1 SWR.  It's better than the 8:1 or worse I was getting with a J&M.  No adjustments for SWR that I can see (they say take it to the dealer).  Next up will be a 3 foot black FireStik 2 with top adjuster.  I'm hoping to get the SWR under 1.5:1 where it should be.

Offline FurryOne

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Re: CB Radio Help, Please
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2017, 06:11:47 PM »
Well, I finished installing a 3' FireStik 2 on my '17SGS, and after correcting an installation error (don't ask!) we tuned it down to about 1.1:1 SWR using a Comet CAA-500 Antenna Analyzer.  Then we put the plastic cap on the end and the SWR went to hell.  So we had to take the cap off, tune it, put the cap back on, analyze it, tune it again, etc. until we got it correct with the plastic cap installed.  The 90 degree mount that comes with the Antenna Kit needed about 1/8" shaved off to fit between the frame of the SGS, then with the antenna at the right angle and the mount clamped to the frame I marked the mount through the top frame hole and drilled it out for a 1/4-20 bolt.  Remounted the plate, and drilled a hole through the frame strut & the plate for another 1/4-20 bolt.  This antenna is the one to get if you want good CB reception and transmission compared to the H-D factory junk.

Offline mkrtl

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Re: CB Radio Help, Please
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2017, 08:23:06 PM »
I wasn't happy with the SWR of 3:1 on channel 20 with the HD stock antennae which I bought for my 2018 Limited, so I began to trim the antennae length.  To get down to 2:1 I had to cut off about 1 1/2", which began to be noticeable compared to length of the FM/AM antennae.  I trimmed the rest from the center conductor of the coaxial cable (which is part of the antennae length from where it splits off from the shield) under the metal plate, (good ground plane) in the tourpak until it was almost too short to reach the mount.  I re-soldered a new eye on the wire, hooked it up and checked it and found an acceptable 1.5:1.   I guess "Bike to Bike Communicators" don't need a low SWR  :idunno: but I want to be able to talk to the truckers while riding alone. 

Offline FurryOne

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Re: CB Radio Help, Please
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2017, 07:01:36 PM »
I wasn't happy with the SWR of 3:1 on channel 20 with the HD stock antennae which I bought for my 2018 Limited, so I began to trim the antennae length.  To get down to 2:1 I had to cut off about 1 1/2", which began to be noticeable compared to length of the FM/AM antennae.  I trimmed the rest from the center conductor of the coaxial cable (which is part of the antennae length from where it splits off from the shield) under the metal plate, (good ground plane) in the tourpak until it was almost too short to reach the mount.  I re-soldered a new eye on the wire, hooked it up and checked it and found an acceptable 1.5:1.   I guess "Bike to Bike Communicators" don't need a low SWR  :idunno: but I want to be able to talk to the truckers while riding alone.

I know it's hard to believe, but the FireStik2 (w/mounting kit) is cheaper than the factory antenna, and actually will tune correctly using the top screw.  #FS364A8A-B  $$70 shipped, from CB World.  (don't use the spring)

Offline Paniolo

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Re: CB Radio Help, Please
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2017, 11:04:45 AM »
I wasn't happy with the SWR of 3:1 on channel 20 with the HD stock antennae which I bought for my 2018 Limited, so I began to trim the antennae length.  To get down to 2:1 I had to cut off about 1 1/2", which began to be noticeable compared to length of the FM/AM antennae.  I trimmed the rest from the center conductor of the coaxial cable (which is part of the antennae length from where it splits off from the shield) under the metal plate, (good ground plane) in the tourpak until it was almost too short to reach the mount.  I re-soldered a new eye on the wire, hooked it up and checked it and found an acceptable 1.5:1.   I guess "Bike to Bike Communicators" don't need a low SWR  :idunno: but I want to be able to talk to the truckers while riding alone.

I know it's hard to believe, but the FireStik2 (w/mounting kit) is cheaper than the factory antenna, and actually will tune correctly using the top screw.  #FS364A8A-B  $$70 shipped, from CB World.  (don't use the spring)

This one?
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Offline FurryOne

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Re: CB Radio Help, Please
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2017, 08:31:35 PM »
This one?

Yup!  You'll need an SWR meter to tune it. and don't forget to recheck the SWR again AFTER you stick the cap on the end.    :smiled:   If you know a ham operator he might have a good antenna analyzer to help you get it perfect.  We borrowed a friend's Comet CAA-400 ($400) Antenna Analyzer, but we could have used my old Mr.CB SWR meter ($30) if we had to.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 08:36:14 PM by FurryOne »

Offline Paniolo

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Re: CB Radio Help, Please
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2017, 08:33:33 PM »
This one?

Yup!  You'll need an SWR meter to tune it. and don't forget to recheck the SWR again AFTER you stick the cap on the end.    :smiled:

Is that something only a dealer would have? Who else tunes CBs with an SWR?
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Offline FurryOne

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Re: CB Radio Help, Please
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2017, 08:40:46 PM »

Is that something only a dealer would have? Who else tunes CBs with an SWR?

Any ham radio operator should have an SWR meter.  They're only about $20 for a cheap one.  Walmart sells a cheap one for $16 & $5 shipping (Astatic-PDC1)


Offline Templer

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Re: CB Radio Help, Please
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2017, 11:32:42 AM »

Is that something only a dealer would have? Who else tunes CBs with an SWR?

Any ham radio operator should have an SWR meter.  They're only about $20 for a cheap one.  Walmart sells a cheap one for $16 & $5 shipping (Astatic-PDC1)
You get what you pay for!!! Most swr meters Rad shack ,PDC etc can be off by .2 to .4 if checked with a calibrated Bird meter. 1.1:1 is a real 1.5 or so. Most check antenna at the feed line. IF possible check antenna tune with 6in  cable to meter. max can be 3:1 @ 50 ohm load (you only lose a little wattage.) Hard on finals with more then that. If you look at Wilson and others the co-x cables are way longer then you need but are part of the radio/antenna matching. most 15ft or more in length. the better the antenna tune the better the ears are!!
How long is the factory co-x cable length? KRR5529 (1976) Ask me how I know The "STRANGER" Sacramento Ca. ADD a FOOT/Fairing warmer with preamp? Possible but they pull 20 amps or more when transmitting HARD on charging system with HK/class "D" amp(s)/400watt kicker Thank someone for LED lights!!!!!

Offline FurryOne

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Re: CB Radio Help, Please
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2017, 05:58:09 PM »

You get what you pay for!!! Most swr meters Rad shack ,PDC etc can be off by .2 to .4 if checked with a calibrated Bird meter. 1.1:1 is a real 1.5 or so. Most check antenna at the feed line. IF possible check antenna tune with 6in  cable to meter. max can be 3:1 @ 50 ohm load (you only lose a little wattage.) Hard on finals with more then that.

I use a RigExpert AA-30 for CB, and I test at the CB end to be sure I've accounted for the cable.

Offline moose

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Re: CB Radio Help, Please
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2017, 05:27:13 AM »
ok now that we covered antenna's    what would be the best amp for use on a Harley ? and not kill the electrical system
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Offline FurryOne

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Re: CB Radio Help, Please
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2017, 05:50:27 PM »
ok now that we covered antenna's    what would be the best amp for use on a Harley ? and not kill the electrical system

You got me on that one.  I'll be getting a headset comm system so that I don't need an amp.