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Charlie don't surf..
'92 Ford Bronco XLT
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Discussion Starter #1
I've had a CB for years. Now primarily used for trails, but back in the day when the Bronco was my DD I used it quite a bit when I was doing a lot of highway driving..Anyway, been through several different setups. Originally had a small radio shack unit with a magnetic antenna, then a cobra. Right now I've got a Uniden pro 520xl, running to a 4 ft adjustable fire stik antenna..

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I've metered it with the SWR and it's set up right but I just don't seem to be getting the output I'm expecting on the trail..people have trouble hearing me even at hundred yards away. I'm looking at some other small units to replace this with, but was curious to see what some of you are running.
 

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I've had a CB for years. Now primarily used for trails, but back in the day when the Bronco was my DD I used it quite a bit when I was doing a lot of highway driving..Anyway, been through several different setups. Originally had a small radio shack unit with a magnetic antenna, then a cobra. Right now I've got a Uniden pro 520xl, running to a 4 ft adjustable fire stik antenna..

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I've metered it with the SWR and it's set up right but I just don't seem to be getting the output I'm expecting on the trail..people have trouble hearing me even at hundred yards away. I'm looking at some other small units to replace this with, but was curious to see what some of you are running.
I’ve got one free in the sale section. Worked when I pulled it out of a Defender. You could always try it!
 

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Charlie don't surf..
'92 Ford Bronco XLT
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14,965 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I’ve got one free in the sale section. Worked when I pulled it out of a Defender. You could always try it!
Thanks for the offer..not sure if I want to go back to another one of these..been looking at a more portable unit to swap out for road trips in my other cars..will get more use out of it.

 

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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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Im running a Cobra 29 NW and a 102" whip + a 6" spring. Works pretty good, but not real loud, even with an external speaker. Sometimes have issues hearing it with the engine revving.





I've since removed the shelf-it so im hunting for a good spot to mount the cb again.
 
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Charlie don't surf..
'92 Ford Bronco XLT
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14,965 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I know what you mean about being able to hear the CB..I've got an external speaker on mine but even with it turned up when I'm on the road with the soft top it's tough to hear..I'm getting old too..Lot's of guys around here have those whip antennas (I think mostly for looks) they aren't top loaded so I'm not sure they get as good reception as something like my fire stik.
 

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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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12,676 Posts
I know what you mean about being able to hear the CB..I've got an external speaker on mine but even with it turned up when I'm on the road with the soft top it's tough to hear..I'm getting old too..Lot's of guys around here have those whip antennas (I think mostly for looks) they aren't top loaded so I'm not sure they get as good reception as something like my fire stik.
The whip isnt top loaded because it is 108" long. Thats a key measurement for the wavelength of the CB frequency. I cant remember the specifics. But it gets great reception. Ive had a firestick (2 and 4') and its definitely clearer. At least when the whip isnt tied down for trail riding.

My exhaust is just so loud and i dont have anything on the floor but bedliner. Ive considered using an auxiliary cord and hooking it to the stereo, because I dont generally use the stereo when wheeling.
 

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1986 Bronco, 351w, Edelbrock aluminum top end, Holley 600, 4" BDS lift, 35" Maxxis Razr's, stuff..
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Here's mine, I haven't had a chance to use it much but its
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a Radioddity CB-27 and Procomm 3' Superflex.
 

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This is what I ran during the gambler. Cobra 75wx-st. All self contained. They still sell them though reviews are spotty. I got mine for free. I'm running a little will magnet mount, though it wasn't long enough for this setup. SWR is fine in high channels but under 20 or so it starts to go through the roof. Can't speak much to range or quality, as I only had 3 people I could talk to, one got lost quick on the first day, James couldn't hear me over his engine, and the stock saab in from of me was never out of my sight. James bought a handheld unit that didn't require any mounting right after the gambler.
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Charlie don't surf..
'92 Ford Bronco XLT
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14,965 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
The whip isnt top loaded because it is 108" long. Thats a key measurement for the wavelength of the CB frequency. I cant remember the specifics. But it gets great reception. Ive had a firestick (2 and 4') and its definitely clearer. At least when the whip isnt tied down for trail riding.

My exhaust is just so loud and i dont have anything on the floor but bedliner. Ive considered using an auxiliary cord and hooking it to the stereo, because I dont generally use the stereo when wheeling.
I didn't know that about the whip antennas..learn something new everyday..might need to look into that if I can't get this firestik to work properly, but something tells me it's the CB and not the antenna..I'm the same as you, interior is herculined and while my exhaust isn't super loud with the soft top it's tough to hear really well..

This is what I ran during the gambler. Cobra 75wx-st. All self contained. They still sell them though reviews are spotty. I got mine for free. I'm running a little will magnet mount, though it wasn't long enough for this setup. SWR is fine in high channels but under 20 or so it starts to go through the roof. Can't speak much to range or quality, as I only had 3 people I could talk to, one got lost quick on the first day, James couldn't hear me over his engine, and the stock saab in from of me was never out of my sight. James bought a handheld unit that didn't require any mounting right after the gambler.
That's the same Cobra I was looking at along with the midland unit..saw the same spotty review which made me hesitant...
 
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I don't remember what James got but I wanna say it was a Uniden with a BNC connector so it was ultra portable. It runs like $200 on amazon.
 

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Man of endless projects
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i got the Midlands 75-822. its only 90$ on Amazon and can be either handheld or plugged in. i ordered twin Firestik 3' antennas for my F250 but because they came in a day late i was unable to use them and had to use it portable. i dont mind the antenna being on the truck but since i rarley use a CB i wanted soemthing i can stow away for when i need it. i wanted to get the Cobra 75wx-st like Pfun but i saw iffy reviews on them and it cost more so i went Midlands.

when wired its plugged into cigarette lighter but has to use antenna. so if portable, it has to use battery. but i had it on all day and it didnt kill battery but i dont know how much battery life was left either. as handheld im not sure of range. when the Saab broke down they called out to me when i was like a mile or 2 ahead but past that i couldnt hear them. as he said, i struggled listening because my engine was too loud, id have it against my ear and i still couldnt understand them. that i dotn think is the units fualt, ill have to plug it into my AUX of my stereo next time i guess

i installed the Antennas the next day. i did not run the coax but i may leave coax uninstalled and then jsut run it when i know im going to be using the CB. or i might go ahread and run it in future. my engine blowing up kinda killed my prioreties

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84 Bronco, 351w, c6, custom doubler, np208, 5.13’s, TTB44, 9”, locked f/r
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I used to run a Cobra 75 and 4’ firestick, but nowadays I just run a vhf/uhf handheld radio. Much more clear and just easier to use for trail communication
 

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Jer,
I have that same radio and firestick in my cough(Rubicon)cough.
It works pretty good. It was grounded up under the dash and the power is straight from the battery.
When I had my blue bronco and my current silver one, the cb radio always sucked. Common denominator there was probably the crappy cobra radio and the antenna was mounted to the stock tire carrier. Maybe not a good enough ground plane there?
 

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Charlie don't surf..
'92 Ford Bronco XLT
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14,965 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Jer,
I have that same radio and firestick in my cough(Rubicon)cough.
It works pretty good. It was grounded up under the dash and the power is straight from the battery.
When I had my blue bronco and my current silver one, the cb radio always sucked. Common denominator there was probably the crappy cobra radio and the antenna was mounted to the stock tire carrier. Maybe not a good enough ground plane there?
Good to know..I've got mine grounded under the dash as well and the antenna is also grounded to the body..could be a problem with that ground but I doubt it..now my power is coming off of what was previously the chime module harness. One of the wires carries 12 volts that's always hot so I tapped into that, but that's the one I've always used. Maybe the CB is just crapping out..
 
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SWR problems are usually ground related. Broncos are terrible for ground plane because of the fiberglass top. The best place for ground plane is dead center over the front cab, but that doesn't work for a lot of folks. We almost always end up with a mount on the bumper, tire carrier, or somewhere else on a rear corner.

The 108" whip is 1/4 wavelength for CB frequencies, which is ideal, plus they have separate leads which makes good grounding easy. I had to add an extra chassis ground wire to my mount to get a good SWR, even though the mount was tied into the bumper, which is bolted to the frame. I'm not a fan of mounting these to sheet metal, because there's a lot of movement that can flex and bend the bodywork.



I'm running a chicom VHF/UHF Ham mobile, with the antenna mounted center cab roof, and a Uniden PC78LX CB, which replaced a Radio Shack branded Cobra Professional that died after 20 years. I really think most of the CBs on today's market are identical (or at least very close) guts in different branded cases. None of them seem to work as well as my old one did, but for close range trail comms they work OK. The only reason I have the CB is to talk to folks that don't have Ham radios.

As noted above by NickOille, the little handheld uhf/vhf chicom radios work really well and are cheaper/easier, but you need a Ham license to legally operate them. It's not at all hard to get licensed, though.

I'll try to post pics of my radios later today...
 

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I actually tried grounding the trunk on my gambler to improve swr but it actually made it higher. I have no clue why. Grounding the metal box the handheld connects to did help a bit though.
 

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Finally got time to take a pic today. Please excuse the nasty headliner... I'll get around to replacing it at some point.

VHF/UHF on left, CB on right. External speaker for each.

 
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