CB Radio Advice

Topic 33149 | Page 1

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Harvest's Comment
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Back OTR , I got a 2020 Kenworth. Super happy with this truck, very comfortable. Sadly been sitting in the yard for a day waiting for my first load 😕 atleast I have everything moved into the truck and some time to get things set up.

I got my Bearcat 880 installed that I kept from when I used to drive. Kenworth has a very nice CB installment location. However the power wires don’t seem to work. Not sure if it’s the truck, or if a fuse is blown on my power wire cord. So I had to install with a 12v plug. Really ugly having that wire come down, but it will due for now. Not sure how it affects performance either.

Until my first paycheck, I just have the factory antennas installed. This truck has duel antennas on both mirrors. That is one question I had. How different is setting up 2 antennas vs one? I have a really high SWR right now. Channel 19 is 6.5. From my understanding to tune a CB, go to channel 1 in calibrate. Hold mic button and turn the calibration to the line. Then go to channel 40 and do the same thing.

Any advice on what antenna I should be using for duel setup? My last truck, I didn’t know much and got one of the big “terminator” antennas, and always had pretty high SWR even with tuning. Is the factory coax really not that good? I know most people don’t use a CB anymore, but I do always find it pretty entertaining and occasionally useful info.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

BK's Comment
member avatar

I’d like to hook on to this topic by Harvest.

I recently had a CB installed by the shop on my truck. Factory antenna. So far I can’t pick up much. Haven’t heard an intelligible conversation yet. Admittedly, I don’t know how to operate the thing, so I’m very interested in seeing what gets posted here. I know I should get it tuned and also better antenna, but I got it primarily for emergency use.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Dan67's Comment
member avatar

Just a few pointers. As far as I can tell there are not any no-drill mount kits for the Kenworth trucks. So you will be stuck with the factory mounts. Walcott Radio does have a kit that looks like you would need to drill into the mirror arm to mount. They also have a good selection of radios, antennas, coax cables, and all kinds of other accessories.

All pure CB radios use 4 watts of power. You will not get much more range then a few miles. A good antenna and 18' coax cable with a low SWR tuned antenna is your best affordable option just starting out. Lower then 2 is good, 3+ you run the risk of severely damaging your radio when transmitting. SWR issues can be caused from not properly grounding or bad antenna mounting location or too short antenna. Google CB shops in your area and take it in to be looked at. On a little side note if your SWR is that high.. do not talk on it, that high will fry the radio. Receiving won't hurt it at all.

BK's Comment
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Ok, I know I’m exposing my ignorance here, but what is SWR?

Davy A.'s Comment
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On both my kenworths, the 2020 and my present 2022, I've has Goodluck with the stock coax and antennas. I have a bearcat 880. I calibrated it per the instructions. It gets decent range, depending on terrain, factors etc.

I ended up having the stock antenna break on the 2020 randomly while driving and swapped them both out to 4' firesticks. Worked fine. I'm running the stock 4' kenworth antenna on mine and they get the job done.

Ryan B.'s Comment
member avatar

Ok, I know I’m exposing my ignorance here, but what is SWR?

Standing Wave Ratio

There is a setting on the radio where you are able to see what the SWR is when keying the mic. This is a measure of the power output reaching destination in ratio to the power reflected back to the transmitter. The higher the number, the more potential there is to damage the radio. Get that number up to 3 or 4 and it will fry the radio before long.

Harvest's Comment
member avatar

On both my kenworths, the 2020 and my present 2022, I've has Goodluck with the stock coax and antennas. I have a bearcat 880. I calibrated it per the instructions. It gets decent range, depending on terrain, factors etc.

I ended up having the stock antenna break on the 2020 randomly while driving and swapped them both out to 4' firesticks. Worked fine. I'm running the stock 4' kenworth antenna on mine and they get the job done.

Interesting, I wonder why I get such high SWR after calibrating. Truck has duel stock antennas. I wonder if using a 12v dash outlet has a negative effect on performance. I use the plug that like a gps plugs into.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Input power isn’t your problem. Most likely the coax is grounding out.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Agree on the coax. Id also check the whips. If its the stock whips, Id check the mounting connections to make sure they are making solid contact and think about replacing them. Also, check your fuse panels, theres one outside and one inside for a fuse on that power issue. I used to pop my center 12v outlet one all the time, cant remember if I popped the CB, but I thought so. I also periodically will blow trailer light fuses from plugging in a pigtail to bad trailer.

Id take a flashlight and check all the connections in the CB pocket. You can frequently pinch wires putting the cb back in there. In both trucks, according to the stock calibration, mine sits at 1 on 40 and 1 and right at 1 on 19 after calibrating it.

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

Great advice. I’d also like to chime in on the advice to take it to a cb shop. The radio isn’t the issue, it’s the coax and possibly the antenna but even stock antennas will work fine so long as they’re set up properly. The antenna and coax get tuned to the truck, if it’s off, it won’t matter what radio is in it, it’ll act up. The SWR meter on the radio is pretty unreliable and the external is preferred to get an accurate reading.

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