CB radio suggestions?

Discussion in 'Old Dominion Freight Line' started by wawtrucker, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. dalesr

    dalesr Well-Known Member

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    I run a Ranger in my Cascadia with factory antenna (one for CB, other for am/fm) with no SWR issues. My radio adjusts automatically. I don't know the numbers, but I know the needle doesn't move much. I have never heard of an xpo driver having an issue with grounding or antenna problems. The coax does get pinched and have had that replaced on a couple, but that's it. Our tractors are set up to "plug and go".
    To the original poster, radios are good for info and to talk if you run with someone regular, but they can be temperamental and tough to troubleshoot. As a couple have said, it depends on how much you want to spend and if you need the full set up, radio, mic, coax and an antenna. A cheap Cobra will be $100 for the radio, but you could spend $500 or more if you want something with more range, bells and whistles. Other equipment needed can also vary in price a lot. I would ask someone at your barn who runs one what they have, if they like it, and go from there.
     
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  2. radman

    radman moving and grooving

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    Thats what I run, a cheap Cobra. Gives me enough power to talk to drivers a few miles out so I can find out whats ahead of me and let them know what I left behind. It has saved my bacon on many occasions.
     
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  3. gomer2969

    gomer2969 Member

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    You can most certainly get a good ground on the Cascadia. Run the antenna on the airline/pigtail grab bar behind the cab. Remember height is might when it comes to antennas so the higher the better. Running on the bird perch causes reflection issues. I run a Predator 10K with a 9in shaft and rarely hit anything overhead with it. My SWR is 1.1 You also need to understand you never ever ground to the battery!!!! An RF ground isn't the same as an electrical ground!!!! I dont have to nor have i ever ran a ground wire/strap to my antennas. I talk skip from The Bermuda Islands to California and everywhere in between. Straight mobile to mobile I've hit 50 miles with another driver out of my barn that I pass everynight. There's quite a few of us chatting it up nightly on I-70 in Indiana and Ohio. Holler for Grasshopper and I'll holler back!
     
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  4. kenneth

    kenneth Well-Known Member

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    Remember the old freight shakers .All you had to do is touch the ground wire to the seat mount and bang there was ground.lol
     
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  5. gomer2969

    gomer2969 Member

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    Back in the day I used to run a lot of power. I'm definitely a CB nerd and really enjoy the hobby. I have owned about every radio out there at one time or another. I'm a big Galaxy fan and that's all I run now.
     
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  6. gomer2969

    gomer2969 Member

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    I loved my Freightliner Classic back in my super trucker days!
     
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  7. Dlinniy

    Dlinniy Active Member

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    Yep. With factory set up on my 2013 twin screw SWR peaks at 1 on every channel, I just hate the factory coax so I use my own.
     
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  8. suicidejockey

    suicidejockey Active Member

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    I run a galaxy 48t in a Volvo the factory antenna is USLESS and the city driver chops it of on a regular basis. I upgraded the CB connection fuse in the fuse box from a 10 amp to a 30 amp ran a good piece of Wilson 18' coax to the back of the cab then I took one of those bird Perch Volvo mounting studs and put a tap and lock washer on it and bolted it to a little angled tab on the frame for the air dam (it already had a hole in it )It's angled back just a little the angle lets the top of the trailer act like a ground plain. I've tried all the antennas the best I have found is a Wilson 2000 or an old hustler I got of of a junked out truck. I have talked mobile to mobile 22 miles away swr is a1.0 if you hear 5 string on I-85 in Georgia or South Carolina at night mon- Friday that's me 10-4
     
  9. Bob in NJ

    Bob in NJ New Member

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    Cobra 29. I plugged mine in right out of the box (2016 Freightliner), and it works great. It has a built in SWR meter and read below 1 out of the box.
     
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  10. Steveo2486

    Steveo2486 Sure Why Not

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    Figured I'd put my two cents in here haven't read all posts in here but I drive a 17 cascadia which has two stock antennas and coax already ran to the box above your head where there is a sun glasses holder covering it up this just pops off and your CB mount and wiring is in there but as everyone has said there are many swr and grounding issues with these trucks so here's what I did since it is a company truck and not my own of course I cannot do anything to crazy so I took the antenna mount off the drivers side there is a hole where the current coax runs disconnected it and ran fresh rg59 coax in to the box didn't have to take much of anything apart just remove the a pilar cover take out a couple screws and run it through took me maybe 20 min to do. Then I connected the new coax to the mount and put it back on the truck bought me a Shakespeare solder less pl259 connector from Amazon that's the end that screws into the CB put it on and hooked it all up I run a uniden pc787 CB with a Wilson 2000 antenna and I get out 8-10 miles and can hear out about 15-20 with swr under 1 so it sounds like a lot of work but it's actually pretty easy to do and you don't need to worry about buying mounts running coax through the window or grounds mine works fine
     
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  11. hotrod987

    hotrod987 New Member

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    I realize this is somewhat of an old forum but I just stumbled across this. What are the details of your setup how much power are you running and do you pull a flatbed or do you have a big old box behind you? Do you tilt the antenna? I have been racking my brain for a very long time to figure out how to get a mid load to work on that bar great luck with the five foot Firestik top-load but can't get any contacts with it I'm running a Galaxy 98.
     
  12. vongrimmenstein

    vongrimmenstein Well-Known Member

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    If you run out west, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, large wide open spaces, I would put one in the truck. 2 antennas are just for show. 1 is all you need. You never see Ham operators or CB shops running 2 antennas side by side. There is a reason for this. Get a well tuned 'peaked' radio a decent antenna with a mount that gives you a good ground & you are in business. Any other crap is just that, crap. What effects your signal more than anything else is the HEIGHT of your antenna. @ home your are allowed 60 feet by the FCC. On a truck you are limited because of clearance issues. Keep it simple, keep the cost down. If you slip seat a lot, the vice grip antenna mount still might be the best. Ask @ the CB shops. Sometimes a used quality radio in the CB shop is the best. They have usually gone thru them versus out of the box in the truck stop. von.
     
  13. vongrimmenstein

    vongrimmenstein Well-Known Member

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    I forgot. 2 antennas mounted on each side does help a little on straight ahead & behind you range, but not enough that you would notice. Kind of like a directional antenna versus 1 antenna being omnidirectional. Potato patoto. von.
     
  14. Ump

    Ump Big Dave's and Billy Lo's love child.

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    I beg to differ.. I'm easily getting out a good 3 miles more with my double Francis 5.5!! The biggest benefit is keeping contact with radios going the opposite direction. I catch them about 5 miles out front and hang on about 4 miles behind. The reason most guys don't see a difference is because the run r58 coax with a cheap "T" splitter. Get some good 75 ohm coax a couple $20 antennas. Our city boys can strip an antenna bear so i don't spend much on them. Dual also helps with the gp issue the Freightliners have.
    Thing is, everyone has a different opinion on this because everyone is expecting different results from their radio.
     
  15. eBiTDa

    eBiTDa ¡Taking care of business!

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    Just running a wire to a ground is not enough. You will be able to hear some one twenty plus miles forward or aft of you with the stock set up (on a good day) on most trucks, getting out is the challenge. Stock setup might one day get you out five miles, next day you can not talk to some one in the yard, atmosphere plays a large roll. Grounding the mount will get you a good SWR, but does not guarantee your signal getting out far. A ground plane is a chunk of steel below your antenna to reflect the signal up. A co-phase dipole is the best compromise on a truck. Best swr you will get on that is probably about 1.5. The signal pattern is different with the different waves these antennas are built to work on. Half wave, quarter wave, full wave and so on. Getting the load as high as possible will also help get you out (less negative effect of reflections from the back of tractor and the trailer).Anything other than a (what is it, 109" {don't quote me on that}) whip is a compromise. These plastic fantastic trucks are just not built with this in mind.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
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  16. gomer2969

    gomer2969 Member

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    The radio puts out about 265 watts and no I don't pull a flatbed I pull doubles. The antenna is tilted back slightly.
     
  17. Dlinniy

    Dlinniy Active Member

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    Indeed, since our antenna height is limited, the only way to increase range is running two whips. Keep in mind that most single antenna set ups have the antenna on the passenger side, this way your truck blocks the signal when talking to the traffic going in opposite direction. So having two antennas not only improves your range in general, it significantly improves your range when talking to the opposite traffic.
     
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  18. gomer2969

    gomer2969 Member

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    Running a single whip on the grab bar behind the cab will out perform an antenna mounted on the bird perch and running co-phased. The single whip will have better TX and RX since a true co-phased system needs to be a minimum of 9ft apart or the antennas will radiate in a figure eight pattern and reflect off one another. I have no problem talking over 20 miles and some nights with good conditions I've hit over 40 mobile to mobile. My RX is absolutely killer and I will hear and talk to stations that guys around me can't hear. I get asked every night "what kind of radio are you running...?" and "I can't hear who you're talking to."
     
  19. eBiTDa

    eBiTDa ¡Taking care of business!

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    Cb tales are like fishing tales. Don't put to much trust in them.
     
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  20. kenneth

    kenneth Well-Known Member

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    :hysterical:
     

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