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CB Radios and Antennas


maveric

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How many still use and listen to the CB radio?

What CB and style of antenna do you use?

My truck came with a Cobra 29 and the dual mirror mount 4' firesticks. I never use it, so pulled them off. But a couple months ago, we took the truck on a 3500 mile trip to the Washington coast, and part of the route was on interstate highways. It got me thinking that I should put it back in service.

One thing I have noticed, (or I think I have) is that the mirror mounted antenna's seem to make the wind noise more noticeable. In my mind, this is because they add leverage to the tops of the mirrors, which in turn, causes the top of the door to pull away from the weatherstrip. I did notice it was quieter when they were removed.

That being said, I installed a VHF 2 way radio in the truck, and used a roof mounted antenna with a wire whip. I mounted it to the cab, above the door, where the sleeper and the cab connect. it is out of the way, but doesn't make any noise.  I am considering using something similar for the CB, but wanted to see others thoughts on the matter. Or if it is even worth the effort for something that isn't used anymore.

Chris & Tonya

'99 Freightliner FLD120, '01 Wabash Toyhauler (32' garage, 20' LQ)

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I only use mine when we’re convoyed with friends or when there is a traffic jam. The language I hear most of the times from “the pros” is just too repulsive. 

2006 Volvo 780 "Hoss" Volvo D12, 465hp, 1650 ft/lbs tq., ultrashift

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Thanks for bringing this topic up. Invariably we end up needing the CB to find out what the traffic mess is ahead of us. As it stands our new radio only works close up to another truck. No we did not tune the antennas yet to it.

We also monitor it in case there is a malfunction we miss due to our own error (dragging a dolly chain!) or system malfunction we cannot see (leveler valve mount broke and we were wearing the tread off a tire at night in the rain) In both cases the CB helped a lot.

My question is if we bother to go buy a SWR meter we may as well optimize the radio, we have a high power export model that is doing no good without the antennas set up. If you were going to make optimum CB radio service a priority, what would be the best choice of antennas etc on a VNL? Mounting points, wire etc?

Thanks all.

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I got a Cobra 29 off Amazon and plugged her into the OEM wires and antennas in my Volvo.  It works acceptably.  Like Carl said, most of the time it's turned off because the constant unpleasantness broadcast by the other operators.

Av8r3400
2012 Volvo VNL 730 D13 iShift & 2021 Grand Design Momentum 397TH

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I leave mine on all the time. Its mostly dead air anymore. It has come in handy at times. Save me from sitting a few traffic jams.

Farmer, Trucker, Equipment operator, Mechanic

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same, leave on all the time, hardly ever any traffic on it. If you have cobra classic 29 for example, built in SWR meter for tuning, no need for external tuner. 

To help with the wind noise, you can put springs on the mounts (in between mirror mount and the antenna (be sure to retune after) and that allows the antennas to bend more in the wind and the lay back a bit and it cuts down on the noise. In my old corn binder, antenna noise is the least of the noise worries. :)

 

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I tried leaving mine on all the time but hardly ever heard any talking so now I just leave it off. I do use it when I go Jeeping to talk to the other Jeeps.

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1 hour ago, Imurphy907 said:

 the state still requires they use CB for oversize loads. 

So if my mother-in-law is on board, I have to have my CB on?🤣

2006 Volvo VNL 780, " Arvey"  Volvo D12, 465hp, 1650 ft/lbs tq., ultrashift

2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

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47 minutes ago, Parrformance said:

So if my mother-in-law is on board, I have to have my CB on?🤣

Now that’s funny.

2006 Volvo 780 "Hoss" Volvo D12, 465hp, 1650 ft/lbs tq., ultrashift

Bed Build by "JW Morgan's Custom Welding"

2017 DRV 39DBRS3

2013 Smart Passion Coupe "Itty Bitty"

 

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first!"

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Cobra 75WX all in one on right side mirror antenna and Yaesu FT8900 quad band on the left mirror antenna. Only turn on the CB if we have someone in the group that isn't a ham operator.

1999 Peterbilt 385 C12 430/1650 13spd

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I run a Cobra 29 with weather radio and replaced the factory whips with Francis 300 5.5 ft Hot Rods. I do monitor the radio to find out about traffic ahead and other road issues. Most of the time it is silent but there are areas where I turn it off when the idiots get on the air. Sometimes though the conversations are quite comical to listen to and do provide a bit of entertainment. We have also used them to communicate with others while in a caravan

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Y'all do realize that your responses to the original question are about as helpful as you make out CB radios and their users in general.

In other words the signal to noise ratio is dropping with every comment.

CB's a tool, most of the time an annoying one until traffic stops dead on the freeway and traffic remains so as far as the eye can see. Then it would be really helpful to hear what mile marker it is at and which lane you need to be in.

In order to do that as well as possible it would be helpful to have some recommendations from those who have optimized their antennas and installations as to what has worked or not worked for them, in our case in a VNL.

We have Volvo antenna splitters etc possibly degrading the signal, but needed for a FM radio signal or have you bypassed the splitter and installed a separate radio antenna? If so, what and where?

I watched a YouTube on replacing the wiring and antennas in the mirrors, looks doable and the video is helpful but still looks like a PITA.

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32 minutes ago, MsChrissi said:

 

We have Volvo antenna splitters etc possibly degrading the signal, but needed for a FM radio signal or have you bypassed the splitter and installed a separate radio antenna? If so, what and where?

I watched a YouTube on replacing the wiring and antennas in the mirrors, looks doable and the video is helpful but still looks like a PITA.

1

If and when I have time to install a decent stereo system, I'll go with independent antennas.  For FM radio you can install a booster behind the ashtray/cup holder (Gen 1 Volvo).  Sirius or XM radio antennas can be run to the passenger A-pillar, up the pillar and back across to the center of the windshield at the top.  This leaves the original coax the factory ran for the CB antennae in the mirrors.  

We have the all in 1 Cobra handheld.  It works several feet....

Feeding the new antenna cable thru the door, into the mirror arms and up is fun..... It can make for an exciting and colorful Saturday afternoon.

Alie & Jim + 8 paws

2017 DRV Memphis 

BART- 1998 Volvo 610

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If you're going to pull new antenna wire, do yourself a favor and get a set of crimps and new ends. Lot easier to fit a 1/4" cable through a grommet than the connector.

I have been wrong before, I'll probably be wrong again. 

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35 minutes ago, Darryl&Rita said:

If you're going to pull new antenna wire, do yourself a favor and get a set of crimps and new ends. Lot easier to fit a 1/4" cable through a grommet than the connector.

Yes, have one of those hex hydraulic crimpers for that purpose.

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54 minutes ago, Alie&Jim's Carrilite said:

If and when I have time to install a decent stereo system, I'll go with independent antennas.  For FM radio you can install a booster behind the ashtray/cup holder (Gen 1 Volvo).  Sirius or XM radio antennas can be run to the passenger A-pillar, up the pillar and back across to the center of the windshield at the top.  This leaves the original coax the factory ran for the CB antennae in the mirrors.  

We have the all in 1 Cobra handheld.  It works several feet....

Feeding the new antenna cable thru the door, into the mirror arms and up is fun..... It can make for an exciting and colorful Saturday afternoon.

"Colorful"... my thoughts exactly but probably worth ripping off the duct tape and getting it over with.

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You see such a variety of aftermarket antennas on big rigs I have to wonder what works best, I suppose if you asked you are going to get the same variety of answers.

I suspect the ones with more technical antenna arrangements are also running 1000 watt amplifiers?

 

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Do you really need to get out on a cb. I only want to know what the traffic is stopped. I don’t need 1000 watts for that. I also have a 2 meter radio in the cab.

Ron C.

2013 Dynamax Trilogy 3850 D3

2000 Kenworth T2000 Optimus Prime

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It appears that most don't run them anymore. I used to run a cb in all my vehicles when I was in and just out of high school, cuz it was the cool thing to do in a small town. I still have them in my crawlers, but mostly because some of the events we attend require them. We use handheld race radios for most of our comms. For most trips that we run with friends, we use these instead of cell phones or cb.

Guess I am just seeing if it is worth getting the cb working correctly. Almost seems to be a wasted effort.

Chris & Tonya

'99 Freightliner FLD120, '01 Wabash Toyhauler (32' garage, 20' LQ)

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