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Old 02-23-2011, 10:18 AM   #1
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Question CB Antenna - grounded or non-grounded???

At the end of last summer, we had Camping World install a nice handheld CB in our 2003 Fleetwood Providence. It already had the antenna wiring and connection from a previous install, but was missing the antenna. We purchased a 5' antenna from Radio Shack for the CB that just screws into the connection. However, in reading the material that came with our daughter and son-in-law's CB, it talks about a "grounded" or "non-grounded" antenna. How can we tell which one we need??? We haven't even tried the CB out yet, but will be taking the motorhome out of storage in a few weeks to head to Florida from Michigan and we'll need it to converse with our family. What should we look for?? Do we also need a meter to set it up?
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:25 AM   #2
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what i run is a no ground plane antenna camping world sells them
basics are say on a car to get the best range in all directions you want the antenna in the center of the roof (the metal car is the ground plant noy my rv is fiberglas so i have no ground plane no matter where it is mounted did you but the no ground plane (bet you did)
dave
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:06 PM   #3
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Hi Born2RV,
Your situation is a difficult one. There is no way to tell if the antenna wire is for a ground plan or no ground plane antenna. The antenna and wire are usually purchased as a set. The best antenna system for a motor coach is a no ground plane antenna and wire. A ground plane for a CB is any metal surface radiating perpendicular to the antenna (about 9'X9' is needed). On a motor coach that is not possible. This means a no-ground plane antenna/wire is needed. The RV favorite supplier seems to be Firestik. Go to Firestik Antenna Company Home Page and read about their products. They also have a very good tutorial on antennas.

No matter what you use, the installation should have a SWR meter put on it and the antenna adjusted for optimum transmitting.

For me the best installation is a:
1. top loaded no ground plane antenna and wire kit.
2. 2/3 of the antenna is above the coach roof line. Go to CB Antenna - 3' Firestick No Ground Plane Needed - iRV2.com RV Photo Gallery to see my antenna.
3. Tuned with a SWR meter.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:45 PM   #4
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thanks gary
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:20 PM   #5
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Red face

Thank you! My husband is afraid he's going to have to take some panels down and wire a whole new antenna and wire. If we purchase the kit (antenna and wire/cable) and try just the antenna first, we'll know if it works - right? Then we wouldn't have to rewire? So you would recommend a no-ground? Shouldn't the installer at Camping World have known this?

My husband and son-in-law are wiring a new CB, antenna and cable in their Windsport, so they should have plenty of practice by the time they're done. Thank you again!
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:26 PM   #6
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On most RV's I recommend a NO GROUND PLANE type antenna

These will work if you happen to have one of the very few RV's that can easily provide a proper ground plane.. But they work even if you don't.

Ground plane required antennas.. Only work with a proper ground plane.

NOTE: A ground plane is not the same as a ground,
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:08 PM   #7
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Fiberglass motorhomes generally require a no-ground plane antenna. No metal up on the roof to reflect the signal.

A good source of no-ground plane antenna is Firestik CATALOG Main Page (Frame Setup)
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:44 PM   #8
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Where is the antenna already installed on the coach mounted at? If you really want it to preform well you can put another antenna on the opposite side of the coach and use RG-59 coax to feed the antennas this is called co-phase and it works best when you don't have a ground plane. When useing a no ground plane antenna, it needs a specific length of cable or it won't tune. Use a SWR meter to check the match. Make sure it is below 3.0 to 1 or you will ruin your radio.
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AB7OH View Post
Where is the antenna already installed on the coach mounted at? If you really want it to preform well you can put another antenna on the opposite side of the coach and use RG-59 coax to feed the antennas this is called co-phase and it works best when you don't have a ground plane. When useing a no ground plane antenna, it needs a specific length of cable or it won't tune. Use a SWR meter to check the match. Make sure it is below 3.0 to 1 or you will ruin your radio.
Here is a good description for a two antenna installation.
CHOOSING SINGLE OR CO-PHASE ANTENNA SYSTEM
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:37 PM   #10
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Since my motorhome has an aluminum roof would mounting a piece of angle iron (actually aluminum or stainless) near to top, above the drivers window and using a K40 with radio that puts out about 12 watts (I also have a 300 watt linear) work well or should I try to mount the antenna on the roof somehow?

Thanks for any advice.

Larry
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:53 PM   #11
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Never had much luck creating a ground plane myself. I found a Firestick NGP antenna worked a lot better.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:52 PM   #12
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I just use a "Through-The-Window" CB antenna. I'm only looking for a few miles down the road or less. If I wanted to talk further I'd put in a HAM radio.

Oh! Speaking of ground planes, take a length of 50 ft piece of RG-8, cut off a 1/2 wavelength of the plastic cover, skin the braid down over the remaining cover. Leave the phenolic (plastic white inside) attached to the wire. Notch the very end of the phenolic, just a little, tie a string on it, throw it up over the tree branches, and you have a CB antenna with a ground plane. The skinned back braid acts as a ground plane. Note: don't throw it up in the trees if you are moving down the road.

The point is, just about any antenna is going to work. Some more efficiently and some not as efficiently. That is why it is called antenna "THEORY." If it works, it works, if it doesn't try something else.
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:00 AM   #13
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The radio itself could care less if the antenna is a properly grounded ground plane required type or a No Ground Plane required type.. SO LONG AS THE ANTENNA IS PROPERLY TUNED (Resonate)

Performance will be different between them however.. Alas, the best antenna, is not practical on an RV. and practical antennas tend to be far from the best, also tend to be NGP. (no ground plane)

Some locations to consider.

Many motorhomes have Velmac mirrors, the arms of these are fairly THICK base metal, Not enough there for a ground plane but you can drill it and snake (with a little work) a PL-259 bulkhead connector with cable attached into the arm and through the hole.

Good strong mount. DO NOT MOUNT ON THE MIRROR HEAD.

This will let you use a longer (Up to a point longer is usually better) antenna than a roof mount. would.. Remember a 12 foot RV with a 5 foot antenna is going to have a 4 foot antenna after a few 16' bridges if it's roof mounted.
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