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CB Base Antenna Issues

Aug 7th 2015, 14:39

GrizBear

Joined: Aug 7th 2015, 14:02
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I apologize if this post is in the wrong location, or if the topic is covered elsewhere (I couldn't find it). I recently installed a 12' fiberglass antenna intended for an old CB base unit (a President-Washington model). The antenna itself is mounted in a military surplus aluminum mast (5, 4' sections, totaling 20'). I've come across two problem I'd like help with.

First, when everything was connected I tried the base unit, and the meter never moved, no matter the channel, no matter if I was keying up or not. And I mean it didn't budge, like it was just dead and lying there.
I'm suspecting a problem with the base unit itself, but I'd like any advice on what the problem could be.

Next I removed the CB base unit and replaced it with a mobile CB, and while the TX light came on when I keyed the mic, all I received was noise, no matter the channel I was on (and I tried all forty channels, plus ten NOAA channels). At this point I'm suspecting the coax itself. It is "Shireen 400 RFC Low Loss 50 ohm 36/13", whatever that means. Yes, I'm new to this, although I got my Technician license in 2005 (long story).

I appreciate any advice or recommendations you fine folks can make.

Thanks, and God bless.

Bear
Aug 7th 2015, 14:54

W1VT

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Does the mobile radio move the needle of the SWR meter?

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/marine/wxradio.htm
The NOAA Weather Radio network provides near continuous coverage of the coastal U.S, Great Lakes, Hawaii, and populated Alaska coastline. Typical coverage is 25 nautical miles offshore, but may extend much further in certain areas.

Zack W1VT
Aug 7th 2015, 19:05

WA0CBW

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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Total Posts: 0
Did you say you put the antenna INside the aluminum mast?
Bill
Aug 10th 2015, 13:50

GrizBear

Joined: Aug 7th 2015, 14:02
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
W1VT: The SWR I referred to is a built-in unit, which is part of the base unit. The mobile unit only has lights, and the TX light lit up when I keyed the mic, but everything else stayed the same, and I never picked up any cross talk on any of the channels.

WA0CBW: Yes, but not the entire antenna, of course. I put the aluminum tail end down inside the mast tube to protect it and the coax from weather. I taped the aluminum tail piece with rubber tape, then wrapped it with quality electrical tape, including the coax connection.

Thanks to both of you for your replies. I've been away from radio communications for too long, and I'm eager to get things up and running. While the CB base station is my current priority (mainly for the SSB aspect), I have plans to run 2-meter and 6-meter, a scanner, and possibly even getting into digital and employing NVIS, God willing.

Again, thanks for the advice. God bless.
Aug 11th 2015, 02:52

W1VT

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
You might not hear anything because people have many other activities during the summer besides playing on the radio. There are also alternatives to CB radio--many families have cell phones that work better than CB ever did.

http://www.wearecb.com/troubleshooting-cb-radios.html
This web page may help--CB radios have functions not normally found in ham radios that may cause operator issues--such as the PA/CB switch.

Zack W1VT
Aug 11th 2015, 19:21

WA0CBW

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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GrizBear you had a good idea in checking the coax and connectors. A shorted connector or coax could give you the results you observed.
Bill
Aug 11th 2015, 20:25

GrizBear

Joined: Aug 7th 2015, 14:02
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Total Posts: 0
Bill: Thanks. I reckon that's where I'll start. By the way, what advice can you give about grounding? Also, how easy is it to break coax if it gets a sharp bend in it? I saw it happen during the install, and figured (hoped) it would be okay.

Thanks again.

Bear
Apr 3rd 2016, 07:11

AF5SX

Joined: Mar 7th 2013, 06:18
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Griz, did you ever get your system up and running?
I have seen on sites that sell coax, they often show a "breaking radius" (?) of each line. (ie: a minimum bend in the coax before there is a danger of some breakage.)

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