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Richie 06-19-2021 03:16 PM

CB radio install
 
Has anyone installed a CB radio in their RV? If so, where did you install the antenna ( best place for reception ) and how did you run the cable without having to tear up walls? I want to mount mine around the dash someplace where its convenient while driving. Thanks in advance. By the way, I have a class C Entegra Esteem 29V

TXiceman 06-19-2021 03:33 PM

On our class C, i used one of the through the glass antennas on a window in the side of the overhead bunk area. If that is not good for you look at the FireStix NGP antennas.Firestik Antenna Company Home Page

You can read about the different grounded or non-grounded antennas. In any case, I would not go shorter than a 3 ft antenna wit h1/2 to 2/3 of it above the roof. Also use a spring mount on the antenna.

You will also need to get the antenna SWR (standing wave ratio check and the antenna tuned for your installation. With improper SWR, the antenna can back feed into the radio and run the radio and performance will be poor.

As for the radio, you can mount it on the side of the engine cover. I carried a CB under the back seat for 15 years and finally tossed it in the trash. It was never very useful for me. Too much trucker garbage for me.

Ken

Winterbagoal 06-19-2021 03:42 PM

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f55/cb-r...ll-533460.html

Stannman 06-20-2021 03:07 PM

CB antenna mount
 
1 Attachment(s)
I have an older Class A RV. It came with a CB antenna already installed above the driver side mirror (Iíve included a photo). Back in the 80ís people would mount CB antennas on both mirrors of their pickup trucks (totally overkill).
I still have a small magnetic mount CB antenna in my garage. That might be a good option for you. Walmart sells them for around $15. I would think the most difficult part is routing the wire inside the cabin.

Healeyman 06-24-2021 12:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richie (Post 5797963)
where did you install the antenna

My antenna is centered on the hood. I ran the cable under the hood and in the driver's door.

I have a pair of Midland hand-held units that I use in the RV and in the car.

They work VERY well.

Tim

https://i.postimg.cc/VNJ2x1C6/Antenna.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/brTD86tR/CB1.jpg

SLOweather 06-24-2021 12:48 PM

Quote:

Back in the 80’s people would mount CB antennas on both mirrors of their pickup trucks (totally overkill).

Not necessarily. A properly designed and installed co-phased 2 antenna system creates some directionality at right angled to a line drawn between the 2 antennas. On a vehicle, this would be in the direction of travel.

SLOweather 06-24-2021 12:57 PM

Consider a marine CB antenna. They are designed for no-ground plane installation, and come in an adjustable ratchet or a lift-and-lay mount. I did a lift-and-lay on our last motorhome. Here's the base of a Tram L&L mount. The antenna itself is 3' long, top loaded. It should be able to be mounted vertically, and the antenna raised vertically up, or lifted and swung 108 degrees down for clearance. I like Tram marine antennas. I have a Tram marine Sirius XM antenna on my current motorhome.



https://ic.boatid.com/tram/gadgets-e.../1650-hc_1.jpg

BCam 06-24-2021 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TXiceman (Post 5797983)
As for the radio, you can mount it on the side of the engine cover. I carried a CB under the back seat for 15 years and finally tossed it in the trash. It was never very useful for me. Too much trucker garbage for me.
Ken

I agree with Ken on CB in general. The only reason I can see for having a CB is to communicate with a companion RV, or with a family member or friend who's away from the RV while parked, in which case a handheld FRS radio (no license required).

https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides...-keeping-touch

Magnetic mounts are fine if there's a metal attachment point. Tim's hood solution kills two birds with one stone, presumably it's a magnetic mount but, even if it's not, being on the metal hood, provides a good "ground plane". The same antenna, mounted on the fiberglass roof wouldn't be nearly as effective unless you added a sufficiently large metal plate to provide the ground plane.

The link Winterbagol posted gives some pretty good info.

CB and other radio antennas are affected by everything around them so location, grounding, etc. all have an effect on them. You'll find that it's part science and part "magic". This is especially apparent as the frequency range increases. CB at 27 mhz is just below the VHF (very high frequency) range which starts at 30 mhz which means it's relatively sensitive to these issues.

Ken also mentioned SWR. You can get a relatively inexpensive SWR meter on Amazon, which will help you in determining the best setup (you want to be as close to 1:1 SWR as possible. There are several here for under $30:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=swr+meter...l_4lsgufldx6_e

Ken and I are both amateur radio operators or "Hams". If you find you really get interested in this radio stuff, the FCC Amateur Radio Technician's license exam isn't too difficult. Local Amateur radio clubs offer training sessions, in some cases, one day sessions culminating in the exam.

One more thing - The type of coaxial cable you use between your radio and antenna is critical:

https://www.rightchannelradios.com/b...ide-to-cb-coax

Bob
KJ6SVX

Richie 06-24-2021 01:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BCam (Post 5804503)
I agree with Ken on CB in general. The only reason I can see for having a CB is to communicate with a companion RV, or with a family member or friend who's away from the RV while parked, in which case a handheld FRS radio (no license required).

https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides...-keeping-touch

Magnetic mounts are fine if there's a metal attachment point. Tim's hood solution kills two birds with one stone, presumably it's a magnetic mount but, even if it's not, being on the metal hood, provides a good "ground plane". The same antenna, mounted on the fiberglass roof wouldn't be nearly as effective unless you added a sufficiently large metal plate to provide the ground plane.

The link Winterbagol posted gives some pretty good info.

CB and other radio antennas are affected by everything around them so location, grounding, etc. all have an effect on them. You'll find that it's part science and part "magic". This is especially apparent as the frequency range increases. CB at 27 mhz is just below the VHF (very high frequency) range which starts at 30 mhz which means it's relatively sensitive to these issues.

Ken also mentioned SWR. You can get a relatively inexpensive SWR meter on Amazon, which will help you in determining the best setup (you want to be as close to 1:1 SWR as possible. There are several here for under $30:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=swr+meter...l_4lsgufldx6_e

Ken and I are both amateur radio operators or "Hams". If you find you really get interested in this radio stuff, the FCC Amateur Radio Technician's license exam isn't too difficult. Local Amateur radio clubs offer training sessions, in some cases, one day sessions culminating in the exam.

One more thing - The type of coaxial cable you use between your radio and antenna is critical:

https://www.rightchannelradios.com/b...ide-to-cb-coax

Bob
KJ6SVX

Thanks guys. What if I mount the antenna on the very top of my roof ladder and run my coaxial wire under the MH to the engine compartment and go through the firewall to my dash. Would my ladder be a ground or do I still have to use an antenna that does not need a ground? I am trying to get distance. Thanks for any help on this topic.

BCam 06-25-2021 06:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richie (Post 5804570)
Thanks guys. What if I mount the antenna on the very top of my roof ladder and run my coaxial wire under the MH to the engine compartment and go through the firewall to my dash. Would my ladder be a ground or do I still have to use an antenna that does not need a ground? I am trying to get distance. Thanks for any help on this topic.

I've never tried it but, from what I've read, the ladder won't be that effective. You'll have to connect to either the chassis or install a sheet metal ground plane on the roof. Personally I like the sheet metal approach. You can easily experiment with different sizes of metal plates without permanently installing them, just don't drive. A big advantage is you can install it over your cab, shortening your coax run.

Here are two sites that may help:

https://www.thunderpole.co.uk/cb-rad...oundplane.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwoYJljT9Ww

The video is about a ham radio installation, but the principles are the same.

Mark_K5LXP 06-25-2021 07:36 AM

If the RV has an aluminum skin, that makes for about as good a ground plane as you'll ever get for a vehicle installation. If it's fiberglass, then you can either add a sheet metal groundplane as the guy did for his VHF/UHF mag mount in the video but for CB this would need to be much bigger (think the size of a trunk lid or car roof). Or just attach the antenna to something that's part of frame ground and call it done. Part of the definition of success here is what the expectation is. For CB if you can make contact with anyone for about a mile that's about as much as you may ever want or need. To get much more than that would require a more involved installation which I would guess is far beyond the interest level or attention span for most people. So skip "ideal", screw the antenna to something handy (ladder, A/C unit frame, roof gutter) and see if that meets the need. If it doesn't work you move it somewhere else. Once you hear what's on CB and the few times one may actually use it I wouldn't go through any extraordinary measures to create an ideal installation.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM

Richie 06-25-2021 07:45 PM

Thanks guys. You all have provided a wealth of information. I am going to try some of your ideas and hopefully one of them will serve my needs. Thanks again


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