CB Tuning

Topic 31079 | Page 1

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Andrey's Comment
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I have some points on my Pilot card, and would like to install a CB radio. I am not very picky about it, all cheap electronics are more or less the same... many people say they like their Cobra, so if Pilot has it, let it be Cobra. My question is about tuning. Is it something you can do yourself or it requires an expert? Also, I see an antenna in my truck, not sure whether it is a factory Volvo equipment or aftermarket. If it is original, how good it is? Does it make sense to upgrade? I think that 5 miles on a highway is what I need.

Steppenwolf 's Comment
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Hi. Get the Cobra Holds it's value and is a great CB.

Should come pre tuned so just hook it up to the antenna and power. Try it out should work fine.

Never had any problem with both my trucks and sticking CB in. Worked fine, I Think the mechanics at shop could help you if there is a problem.

Good luck, stay safe Steppinwolf

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
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The radio comes set up from the factory although many will spend a few extra bucks to have it fine tuned which will improve overall performance. The antenna is relatively unimportant as the coax cable is generally the culprit when a radio isn’t working to full potential. A lot of people get a bit confused thinking the radio gets tuned to the antenna and that’s simply not the case. The antenna has to be tuned to the truck for the radio to function at full capacity. The cb shop in Walcott Iowa (across the Highway from the Iowa 80) does a very good job of setting everything up and making sure it all functions properly. If you do need a new antenna, the Wilson 2000 is really all you need. Don’t worry about high wattage, it’s a scam and aluminum antennas are horrible conductors for RF signal. Copper coated with silver is your friend.

TCB's Comment
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A cb is a valuable tool and highly recommend. Especially in Winter driving conditions. I have been in situations where I knew to get off the Interstate , due closures, from listening to my CB. Those without a CB got stuck on the hwy, and had to spend the night there. As far as tuning, it usually also includes turning up the modulation to give more transmission power. Make sure that you choose a reputable tuner, who won’t over modulate it and turn it into a splatter box.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

SeaDog's Comment
member avatar

The radio comes set up from the factory although many will spend a few extra bucks to have it fine tuned which will improve overall performance. The antenna is relatively unimportant as the coax cable is generally the culprit when a radio isn’t working to full potential.

I have to disagree with you RobertB. The antenna is more important than the coaxial cable. Being an RF technician for the past 35 years, I know the value of a good antenna! If you have a choice, you want the best antenna you can afford. The radios are tuned and tested at the factory, so there is no need to have it retuned unless there are issues with reception (which are extremely rare). There really isn't much difference given the length of RF cable involved in a truck installation. I would assume you have less than 100 feet of cable (more like 25 feet or less). Cable losses are minimal at these distances. You will start seeing issues over 100 feet of cable depending on the cable type (RG-8 vs. LMR400 for example). Don't believe in a truck installation that would be an issue. Go with the good antenna! You won't regret the decision! I do agree that if you do have a problem, the first place I would look would be the RF cable for connector issues on either end (moisture) and smashed dielectric or breaks in the cable.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

I bought a cheap uniden bearcat 880, it was like a hundred bucks I think. Hooked it up, works great, I finally after a couple months adjusted settings per a video for it, didnt notice any difference. Just the stock dual whips on my KW. One of them broke in a wind storm, so I replaced them both with firesticks, which looked a lot like the stock ones. I dont think it broadcasts really far, but it gets the job done, gets adequate reception. Ive had it in 3 loaners, worked fine, one of which was a Volvo, If I recall correctly, the antennas were on the back of the cab, seemed to work ok to me.

Ill probably get a good cobra and those fancy coil tuneable antennas at some point and have a shop set it up and tune it. My dad was a ham op. and we grew up with CBs and 10 meter rigs as well as ham gear, but Ive long since forgotten set up and tuning, so Ill leave it to a professional. But yeah, you can plug and play with most modern CB radios, antennas and trucks.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

The radio comes set up from the factory although many will spend a few extra bucks to have it fine tuned which will improve overall performance. The antenna is relatively unimportant as the coax cable is generally the culprit when a radio isn’t working to full potential.

double-quotes-end.png

I have to disagree with you RobertB. The antenna is more important than the coaxial cable. Being an RF technician for the past 35 years, I know the value of a good antenna! If you have a choice, you want the best antenna you can afford. The radios are tuned and tested at the factory, so there is no need to have it retuned unless there are issues with reception (which are extremely rare). There really isn't much difference given the length of RF cable involved in a truck installation. I would assume you have less than 100 feet of cable (more like 25 feet or less). Cable losses are minimal at these distances. You will start seeing issues over 100 feet of cable depending on the cable type (RG-8 vs. LMR400 for example). Don't believe in a truck installation that would be an issue. Go with the good antenna! You won't regret the decision! I do agree that if you do have a problem, the first place I would look would be the RF cable for connector issues on either end (moisture) and smashed dielectric or breaks in the cable.

I should have been more specific and said factory antenna there. The factory ones work just fine with a stock ratio and use copper in the whip. You see a lot of these guys running out and spending money on friggin long shark fishing rods with big coil bases. Sure, they look great but they’re made of aluminum which in comparison to copper, is horrible when dealing with RF. The factory coax is much more likely to be the culprit when having radio issues in these trucks, so I’ve always been a bigger fan of upgrading that first.

Bird-One's Comment
member avatar

Which antenna do you usually run Robert? I’m currently running a predator 10k with a Galaxy but I’m having issues with the antenna I think. Might switch it up.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Which antenna do you usually run Robert? I’m currently running a predator 10k with a Galaxy but I’m having issues with the antenna I think. Might switch it up.

I’ve always been a fan of the Wilson 2000 or 5000. Fun fact, the Stryker antenna is a re branded Wilson 5000. I ran a pair of the 2000’s when I had my big ratio with a linear amp and never had an issue.

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