CB Install: Replaced AM/FM w/ CB Antenna (done) 56k No way! - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 02-21-2009
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CB Install: Replaced AM/FM w/ CB Antenna (done) 56k No way!

A couple weeks ago I asked a question about mounting a CB antenna at the oem AM/FM antenna location on our trucks. The question was basically asking if anyone has done something like this and if it was even possible. Well of course anything is possible, but what really matters is if the CB antenna will work well in the location.

As it turns out, the CB antenna will work well in the stock AM/FM location!

However, it was no easy task making this set up work. Oh and before I get too involved in the processes I took for my CB install, the whole idea behind this is to be stealthy and still maintain a stock look for the truck! I wasnít worried about receiving am/fm broadcasts because I use my Sirius satellite radio 100% of the time. However, if anyone still wanted to have their am/fm radio operational you could use a splitter sold by Firestik which would allow the CB antenna to receive am/fm radio (with a slight loss of reception) or mount a separate low profile fm antenna.

The equipment I chose to use for this install is:
-Cobra 75WXST http://www.walcottcb.com/cobra-75wxs...dio-p-520.html
-Firestik Firefly FL3B 3' http://www.walcottcb.com/firestik-fl...nna-p-897.html
-Firestik Stud Mount http://www.walcottcb.com/firestik-k4...ion-p-247.html
-Firestik mini -8 (RG8X) 6' coax http://www.walcottcb.com/firestik-r7...ble-p-814.html


After I got my CB radio components I still needed something from the junkyard. What I needed from the junkyard was another stock am/fm antenna base so that I could modify it to accept the CB radio antenna mounting stud. This part was key in making everything look stock.

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stock am/fm ford ranger antenna base

In order to modify this base to accept a CB antenna mounting stud I needed to cut off the cylindrical components and smooth it down so that it was a flat piece of metal.

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The dremel looks cool and all, but I ended up using a hacksaw to carefully cut the metal.

After the antenna base was cut I had to enlarge the previous opening for the am/fm components to 1/2" for the CB mounting stud.

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The plastic that the metal sits on acts like a shim to keep the metal level on the rangers hood (the location close to the hood, obviously are am/fm antennas aren't mounted on the hood.)

Speaking about that plastic shim... I had to enlarge it enough so that it would not interfere with the CB mounting stud as pictured below

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The full view ready to be screwed into the stock ranger am/fm location

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where the CB antenna screws into

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PL-259 connector end

After I made my mount it was time to move on to the truck. I cut my trucks am/fm antenna and my CB coax at the PL-259 connector end so that I could tape my CB coax wire to the am/fm wire. That way I could feed the Coax through as I pulled the am/fm antenna.

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Orange wire=am/fm antenna coax

After I finished running my coax I had to install a PL-259 connector back on the CB coax. Then screw that end into my CB mounting stud and screw that whole unit down to the truck.

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Old am/fm mount

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New CB antenna mount!

The next step to my install was to run the wiring to the junction box of my CB. This was done by using 12awg size wire directly to the battery. The wire was fused about four inches from the battery for safety purposes.

I wired my CB radioís ground wire to the factory ground underneath the center console. This allowed me to run a five-inch ground wire to the CB junction box. I imagine this among other reasons, is why my CB radio has such little electrical noise!

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CB wire fastened to the battery using a ring terminal.

All along I new where I was going to place the CB radioís junction box so thatís why I bought the specific length of CB coax at 6 ft and ran my power and ground wires a certain length.

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This is the Cobra 75ís junction box. This is what makes this CB so practical for me. Also note that the Rangerís insulation had to be cut and removed in order to have access to the Rangerís firewall for mounting (and yes I absolutely made sure nothing was behind the junction box mounting location before I drilled my pilot holes).


So I think I covered all the bases. I explained my CB mount, running coax, power wires and mounting the CB junction box. Now itís time for the finished product!

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Notice the mount is still able to have the plastic cap fit over it.

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Oh and average SWR?
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Ultimately this was a very fun install but time consuming. In total this job took a very solid eight hours of work. However, this was my first CB install so there was a learning curve. Next time Iíll get the job done in four hours haha!
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Old 02-21-2009
 
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Originally Posted by dave11o11 View Post
Oh and average SWR?
Not bad at all.
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Old 02-21-2009
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Cool deal! I like the idea and install looks great
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Old 02-21-2009
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they make a convertor that allows you to use your radio antenna as a cb antenna and radio, i wonder if that would work for the other way, use a cb antenna for radio and cb
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Old 02-21-2009
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they make a convertor that allows you to use your radio antenna as a cb antenna and radio, i wonder if that would work for the other way, use a cb antenna for radio and cb
Yeah you can, with this

http://www.walcottcb.com/firestik-ar...ter-p-221.html
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Old 02-21-2009
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That's a cool idea, but what the reasoning in doing this?
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  #7  
Old 02-21-2009
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Originally Posted by Trigger01 View Post
That's a cool idea, but what the reasoning in doing this?
I think the CB antenna looks great mounted there. It also keeps my truck low profile. That way at school I don't have to worry about people messing with my truck. Hence the cobra 75 radio, small and easily removable!
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Old 02-21-2009
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It all makes sense now.
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Old 02-21-2009
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outstanding! well done, I really like this install.. I just dont want to lose or reduce my AM/FM reception
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2009
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Just be forewarned... "Maximum Power Input: 30 Watts". So if you are running slightly modified or with a high power amp, you can't use that device if it is pushing more than 30 watts.
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Old 02-21-2009
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How well do those AM/FM splitters work? I looked at some reviews of one brand, all said it sucked. Any personal experiences?
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Old 02-21-2009
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Originally Posted by FireRanger View Post
Just be forewarned... "Maximum Power Input: 30 Watts". So if you are running slightly modified or with a high power amp, you can't use that device if it is pushing more than 30 watts.
Lol all is good. I'm running barefoot. My friend calibrated his swr meter for what I needed it for, but the 50 watt carrier is not the case

Oh never mind you were answering a question. Well in case anyone else is wondering about the swr meter.
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  #13  
Old 02-21-2009
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Clean install!
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Old 02-22-2009
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Originally Posted by FireRanger View Post
Just be forewarned... "Maximum Power Input: 30 Watts". So if you are running slightly modified or with a high power amp, you can't use that device if it is pushing more than 30 watts.
Matt you of all people would know who in hell regulates this anymore and also finds you to inforce it? really?
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Old 02-22-2009
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Stone I don't think he's saying to not run equipment with more that 30 watts of power. I think he's trying to say that more than 30 watts of power will damage the CB to AM/FM control box.
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Old 02-22-2009
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Stone I don't think he's saying to not run equipment with more that 30 watts of power. I think he's trying to say that more than 30 watts of power will damage the CB to AM/FM control box.
Yup. Its that little "splitter" that is limited to 30 watts. Also, that splitter will introduce some loss to your system on both tx and rx. Do not be surprised if you see a minor reduction in performance.

I fully acknowledge that CB radio rules are a total joke. The FCC does not actively enforce much of anything when it comes to two-way radios of any kind. They are reactive and will only pursue something if someone makes an official complaint and there is harmful interference resulting from said violation. They have gone after people with these 3kw base stations that makes entire neighborhoods lose television and phone service when they transmit. Buy beyond that, CB radio enforcement is non-existent.
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Old 02-22-2009
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It looks great man, I like that idea! Nice install.
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Old 02-22-2009
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Looks great, thanks for posting this up!
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  #19  
Old 03-01-2009
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Just a small update

Last week I was able to do some final SWR tuning on my set up by adjusting the antenna and I got the SWR to 1:1 on all channels! So what that means is that my radio is as efficient as it's going to get. I don't have any reflectance going back into the CB from an improper set up.

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For fun my friend and I tested our CB's out and I got out 4 miles. I felt this was pretty good because I was stationary in my apartments parking lot (in Columbus) with buildings all around me and my friend was driving back home to his house on the highway.

On a separate occasion going down the highway I didn't transmit much but I was receiving transmissions from 5 miles away.

So all in all i would recommend this equipment and this overall set up!
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  #20  
Old 03-20-2009
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How is the Cobra 75 working out for you? I've been thinking about getting one (because i think I may have fried my radio, plus i like the low profile of it), but I've heard mixed reviews on them. How is yours working?
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Old 03-20-2009
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How is the Cobra 75 working out for you? I've been thinking about getting one (because i think I may have fried my radio, plus i like the low profile of it), but I've heard mixed reviews on them. How is yours working?
The Cobra 75 is a great CB. I question a good majority of the bad reviews that are out there for this radio. I have a feeling that there are a lot of people out there that haven't done their research and haven't tuned their set up correctly with an SWR meter. Some of those bad reviews are in regards to the speaker, and from my experience it sounds fine. Now I will say with the windows rolled down on the highway the CB was harder to hear.

As far as transmitting, on the highway I have reached out 9 miles. I would guess the average would be around 4-5 miles. I've also been in my friends truck while he was using my radio and he came across real good.

I love this radio. It's great on the highway, I always know where those bears are.
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Old 03-20-2009
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Awesome, that's what I wanted to hear. My current radio has so much interference it's hardly ever on. I think I'm going to get one of these, and this time wire it straight to the battery. Plus find a better way to ground my antenna (on my toolbox right now). Hope it works better this time.
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  #23  
Old 05-23-2009
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nice install. i just ran dual antennas out back. 2 4ft top loaders on custom brackets. i know i'm reachin out at least 3 miles.
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  #24  
Old 05-23-2009
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^that's it? ditch one of those antennas and i'm sure that'll fix alot of your issues.
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  #25  
Old 12-10-2009
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old thread, i know, but was browsing and found it so im gonna put my .02! lol

yea dual phase antennas on our small trucks doesnt work, they sometimes dont even work on tractor trucks, when you see two antennas on a big rig it is usually two radios or they were able to get them far enough apart to work, or its just a guy who thinks they work.

but in our case dual phase only hurts your CB's performance, you want better performance? get a good radio and have it tweaked and tuned at your local cb shop and have your antenna tuned to your radio, then you will have a good setup, i have a uniden xl520 with i single flex whip tweaked & peaked with the antenna tuned to the radio and i get out a good 3 - 4 miles in the city about 5 - 6 on the open highway.
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