Got a new CB...having problems.

Got a new CB...having problems.

Post by Axl » Wed, 09 Mar 2005 12:08:19

Ok, I had a Cobra 25 WX NW ST.

Lately it was acting strange, like...with the squelch all the way down
on a dead channel, I still would hear no static. After futzing with it,
it seemed like if I jiggled the power cord, it would come in and out.
Later it seemed not to be the power specifically, but seemed like any
time i tapped on the back panel it might come in and go back out.

So I figured this was a short and looked for a new radio. Not being
heavily into this, I went with the Cobra 75 wx st, mainly because its
nice and compact and considering I'm in a Honda accord, the less space
it takes up, the better.

So when I hooked it up tonight, it didnt seem like anyone could hear me.
So I got my SWR meter out and did a test. Both channels 1 and 40 were
peaking well over 3 to 1. I read somewhere that's an indication of a
short in the antenna. Is this ALL that could cause this?

I question whether or not I have a grounding issue. I'm about to try
another antenna...although around here finding a decent one can be
tough. I saw this one from ***shack, which looked like the most decent
tunable one they had:
http://www.redwaveradio.com/%5Fname=CTLG&category%5F...
Magnetic-Mount Mobile CB/Ham Antenna
$34.99
Catalog #: 21-972

Any suggestions? :/ Right now, temporarily, the power is run through cig
lighter adapter. I dont know anything about electrical wiring so I have
it that way until I can have someone do it. Even when my 25 was hard
wired, I still got interference noise from things like rolling up my
windows or my power radio antenna going up and down. Is that normal?

Thanks for your help! I hope to resolve this ASAP.

 
 
 

Got a new CB...having problems.

Post by Axl » Wed, 09 Mar 2005 14:51:31




>>Ok, I had a Cobra 25 WX NW ST.

>>Lately it was acting strange, like...with the squelch all the way down
>>on a dead channel, I still would hear no static. After futzing with it,
>>it seemed like if I jiggled the power cord, it would come in and out.
>>Later it seemed not to be the power specifically, but seemed like any
>>time i tapped on the back panel it might come in and go back out.

>>So I figured this was a short and looked for a new radio. Not being
>>heavily into this, I went with the Cobra 75 wx st, mainly because its
>>nice and compact and considering I'm in a Honda accord, the less space
>>it takes up, the better.

>>So when I hooked it up tonight, it didnt seem like anyone could hear me.
>>So I got my SWR meter out and did a test. Both channels 1 and 40 were
>>peaking well over 3 to 1. I read somewhere that's an indication of a
>>short in the antenna. Is this ALL that could cause this?

> Might also be a pinched coax.
> If you're case isn't grounded, it's relying on the antenna ground which is
> not a good idea.
> Since most new car interiors are mainly plastic, it's difficult to find a
> good ground.
> Find yourself a***or bolt mounted into the firewall and tap that for a
> ground.
> Before you go replacing the antenna, check the coax for a break.
> Use a standard ohm meter on both ends.

> Then again, it could be nothing more than a poor ground on the antenna
> itself.

> If you can, install the radio(s) in another vehicle and see if the same
> thing happens.

Well the weird thing with this unit is, the actual installed component
is no more than a 2x1 inch box almost, since all the controls are on the
mic itself. One of the suggested places for mounting this part is under
the seat...would running a ground to some metal part of the seat track
work you think?

Of course, the other problem with the ground issue is as I said, the
power right now us run through an A/C adapter. Although tech. speaking
that should be grounded as well.

Ive checked the antenna coax, no breaks however the threaded end is bent
where the wire meets the connector since my old CB unit was upright
close to the floor and didnt leave the coax much room, so over time it
kind of developed this 90 degree angle.

What is aggravating is I noticed the coax I connect my SWR meter with is
kinda messed up at the ends...so who knows if its even giving an
accurate reading, although I'd be willing to bet it is since I cant seem
to even get a radio check response on the highway.

 
 
 

Got a new CB...having problems.

Post by Vinnie S » Thu, 10 Mar 2005 00:28:01


>Ok, I had a Cobra 25 WX NW ST.

I heard those new cobras suffered from quality problems. The had problems with
cold solder joint and such. Take a quick look.

Vinnie S.

 
 
 

Got a new CB...having problems.

Post by axl » Thu, 10 Mar 2005 01:37:49



>>Ok, I had a Cobra 25 WX NW ST.

> I heard those new cobras suffered from quality problems. The had problems with
> cold solder joint and such. Take a quick look.

> Vinnie S.

Im electrically challenged, can you explain in dumb terms? lol

Well I went out and bought a new antenna....from shit shack. I'm going
to get a new Cobra one tonight, found a place that has them. The antenna
seemed to really help reception, however it seems that I'm still not
heard (at least well). I'm hearing a lot of 'car sounds' in it too.
Windows mechanics, washer fluid spraying, hell, even acceleration, which
actually I heard before too, but this seems worse, probably because I'm
using that A/C adapter. It's driving me crazy though.

I really need to get the power wired properly. With a good ground would
this be eliminated? I wish I knew how to do it. I'm starting to think
half the problem is Best Buy doing a hack job installing some other
components like my new stereo or my XM. Who knows.

ALSO I noticed the original ends of the power wires were soldered. I
stripped some more of the shielding so I could wrap the wires into the
adapter better and noticed further down its just copper. The solder on
the tips doesnt make any difference does it? Is this what you were
talking about.

 
 
 

Got a new CB...having problems.

Post by Jeff Mayne » Thu, 10 Mar 2005 02:19:24




>>> Ok, I had a Cobra 25 WX NW ST.

>> I heard those new cobras suffered from quality problems. The had
>> problems with cold solder joint and such. Take a quick look.

>> Vinnie S.

> Im electrically challenged, can you explain in dumb terms? lol

> Well I went out and bought a new antenna....from shit shack. I'm going
> to get a new Cobra one tonight, found a place that has them. The
> antenna seemed to really help reception, however it seems that I'm
> still not heard (at least well). I'm hearing a lot of 'car sounds' in
> it too. Windows mechanics, washer fluid spraying, hell, even
> acceleration, which actually I heard before too, but this seems
> worse, probably because I'm using that A/C adapter. It's driving me
> crazy though.
> I really need to get the power wired properly. With a good ground
> would this be eliminated? I wish I knew how to do it. I'm starting to
> think half the problem is Best Buy doing a hack job installing some
> other components like my new stereo or my XM. Who knows.

> ALSO I noticed the original ends of the power wires were soldered. I
> stripped some more of the shielding so I could wrap the wires into the
> adapter better and noticed further down its just copper. The solder on
> the tips doesnt make any difference does it? Is this what you were
> talking about.

Look. I mean no disrespect, but, you need to find a competant shop and take
it there and have them work out your problems. It sounds like you have
multiple problems and it most likely will be too difficult to figure out all
of them in this limited forum.

The one thing you can do that will help you more than anything else is to
get a Wilson 1000, magnet mount antenna, or equivelent, and have someone
"hardwire" your radio. Try and stay away from Radio Shaq antennas. You're
getting all that noise because your going through the lighter _plus_ your
electrical connections (antenna) sound like they're spotty at best. The coax
you're using sounds suspect. Your grounding solutions sound suspect. In
other words, you've done the right thing and attempted the install yourself
but you obviously need some help. Don't be stubborn.  ;-)

There are many websites around that give basic information that willl help
you in diagnosing, and repairing your problems. What I would do, First
Thing, like right now, is go to a decent shop, have them install the radio
and tune the antenna. While they do it WATCH every move they make and don't
be afraid to ask questions. Then, do some web-searches and find some info
that will help you understand what works and what doesn't. After reading all
that you can find, start experimenting and you'll learn more. The idea is to
get yourself on the air, right?

The radio you have is a pretty good one for it's type. I had one and stuck
it in several different cars and it worked very well. Had it in, at one time
or another, a Mitsu Lancer, a Land Cruiser, and '95 Probe GT. Worked in all
of them. It is not a radio that you are going to want to spend time
modifying. It's just a good, basic radio that works well as designed.

I would also suggest, at least until you know a hell of a lot more than you
do now, to resist the temptation to modify your radio or buy any amplifiers.
A lot of guys that I've been on the radio with go out and buy all kinds of
"hardware" before they know what the hell they're doing and end up out of
the hobby after a year because they become dissallusioned, etc. Also, a lot
of guys in your area are going to want to sell you "stuff" to make you
"loud" like them. Resist this! At least at first. You need to find out what
you can about what's legal and what's not, then make your own decision if
you want to go down that road.

Learn the 10-codes, and their local use, and listen to who talks in your
area for awhile and see how folks are. Learn radio etiquette, etc. You'll
quickly find out who is cool to talk to and who's not. If you're up front
and acknowledge you're a newby, most will be cool with you. There's almost
nothing worse than a "new" guy that barges in to conversations that might
have been going on for years without knowing what's what. Stay out of the
radio flame wars and try not to take sides in fights, etc. In other words,
learn who's who in your area.

You'll learn all this stuff. Just be patient and you'll have a great time
doing it.

Get your problems sorted out by a competent radio guy first though. Good
equipment, used in a responsible manner, will make a good first impression.

Sorry for the bucket-mouthing. I just think that if more folks that get into
the hobby knew some of these things upfront, there would be less folks that
get out of the hobby so quickly. It can be fun as hell, or, it can be a
nightmare. Up to you.

Jeff

 
 
 

Got a new CB...having problems.

Post by axl » Thu, 10 Mar 2005 02:56:08





>>>>Ok, I had a Cobra 25 WX NW ST.

>>>I heard those new cobras suffered from quality problems. The had
>>>problems with cold solder joint and such. Take a quick look.

>>>Vinnie S.

>>Im electrically challenged, can you explain in dumb terms? lol

>>Well I went out and bought a new antenna....from shit shack. I'm going
>>to get a new Cobra one tonight, found a place that has them. The
>>antenna seemed to really help reception, however it seems that I'm
>>still not heard (at least well). I'm hearing a lot of 'car sounds' in
>>it too. Windows mechanics, washer fluid spraying, hell, even
>>acceleration, which actually I heard before too, but this seems
>>worse, probably because I'm using that A/C adapter. It's driving me
>>crazy though.
>>I really need to get the power wired properly. With a good ground
>>would this be eliminated? I wish I knew how to do it. I'm starting to
>>think half the problem is Best Buy doing a hack job installing some
>>other components like my new stereo or my XM. Who knows.

>>ALSO I noticed the original ends of the power wires were soldered. I
>>stripped some more of the shielding so I could wrap the wires into the
>>adapter better and noticed further down its just copper. The solder on
>>the tips doesnt make any difference does it? Is this what you were
>>talking about.

> Look. I mean no disrespect, but, you need to find a competant shop and take
> it there and have them work out your problems. It sounds like you have
> multiple problems and it most likely will be too difficult to figure out all
> of them in this limited forum.

> The one thing you can do that will help you more than anything else is to
> get a Wilson 1000, magnet mount antenna, or equivelent, and have someone
> "hardwire" your radio. Try and stay away from Radio Shaq antennas. You're
> getting all that noise because your going through the lighter _plus_ your
> electrical connections (antenna) sound like they're spotty at best. The coax
> you're using sounds suspect. Your grounding solutions sound suspect. In
> other words, you've done the right thing and attempted the install yourself
> but you obviously need some help. Don't be stubborn.  ;-)

What about this antenna
http://www.basspro.com/servlet/catalog.TextId?hvarTextId=45015&hvarTa...

This is the one I was going to get tonight.

 
 
 

Got a new CB...having problems.

Post by Vinnie S » Thu, 10 Mar 2005 06:34:48


>> The one thing you can do that will help you more than anything else is to
>> get a Wilson 1000, magnet mount antenna, or equivelent, and have someone
>> "hardwire" your radio. Try and stay away from Radio Shaq antennas. You're
>> getting all that noise because your going through the lighter _plus_ your
>> electrical connections (antenna) sound like they're spotty at best. The coax
>> you're using sounds suspect. Your grounding solutions sound suspect. In
>> other words, you've done the right thing and attempted the install yourself
>> but you obviously need some help. Don't be stubborn.  ;-)

>What about this antenna
>http://www.basspro.com/servlet/catalog.TextId?hvarTextId=45015&hvarTa...

>This is the one I was going to get tonight.

If you are just running your CB with no amp, then a Wilson 1000 or K40 will do.
They are probably the best. If you are running power, get the Wilson 1000.

Vinnie S.

 
 
 

Got a new CB...having problems.

Post by Scot » Thu, 10 Mar 2005 08:23:46

Quote:> What is aggravating is I noticed the coax I connect my SWR meter with is
> kinda messed up at the ends...so who knows if its even giving an
> accurate reading, although I'd be willing to bet it is since I cant seem
> to even get a radio check response on the highway.

If it's a crimped end, the ground has pulled loose. Put a PL-259 on
it. You'll need an RG-175 reducer for RG-58 and an RG-176 reducer for
RG-8X or RG-8M. I never trust a crimped PL-259. Too many bad ones.
 
 
 

Got a new CB...having problems.

Post by Jeff Mayne » Thu, 10 Mar 2005 18:56:22






>>>>> Ok, I had a Cobra 25 WX NW ST.

>>>> I heard those new cobras suffered from quality problems. The had
>>>> problems with cold solder joint and such. Take a quick look.

>>>> Vinnie S.

>>> Im electrically challenged, can you explain in dumb terms? lol

>>> Well I went out and bought a new antenna....from shit shack. I'm
>>> going to get a new Cobra one tonight, found a place that has them.
>>> The antenna seemed to really help reception, however it seems that
>>> I'm still not heard (at least well). I'm hearing a lot of 'car
>>> sounds' in it too. Windows mechanics, washer fluid spraying, hell,
>>> even acceleration, which actually I heard before too, but this seems
>>> worse, probably because I'm using that A/C adapter. It's driving me
>>> crazy though.
>>> I really need to get the power wired properly. With a good ground
>>> would this be eliminated? I wish I knew how to do it. I'm starting
>>> to think half the problem is Best Buy doing a hack job installing
>>> some other components like my new stereo or my XM. Who knows.

>>> ALSO I noticed the original ends of the power wires were soldered. I
>>> stripped some more of the shielding so I could wrap the wires into
>>> the adapter better and noticed further down its just copper. The
>>> solder on the tips doesnt make any difference does it? Is this what
>>> you were talking about.

>> Look. I mean no disrespect, but, you need to find a competant shop
>> and take it there and have them work out your problems. It sounds
>> like you have multiple problems and it most likely will be too
>> difficult to figure out all of them in this limited forum.

>> The one thing you can do that will help you more than anything else
>> is to get a Wilson 1000, magnet mount antenna, or equivelent, and
>> have someone "hardwire" your radio. Try and stay away from Radio
>> Shaq antennas. You're getting all that noise because your going
>> through the lighter _plus_ your electrical connections (antenna)
>> sound like they're spotty at best. The coax you're using sounds
>> suspect. Your grounding solutions sound suspect. In other words,
>> you've done the right thing and attempted the install yourself but
>> you obviously need some help. Don't be stubborn.  ;-)

> What about this antenna
> http://www.redwaveradio.com/

> This is the one I was going to get tonight.

Never had anything to do with the Cobra line of antennas. Probably OK, but
I'd be willing to bet not as good as the Wilson or K-40. You know that's
opinion talking so use your own, best judgement. Vinnie says K-40 and that's
most likely because he's had some experience with them. I have not. Of the
commercial magnet mounts I've used that were any good, again in my opinion,
it's been the Wilson. I've had better luck with a couple of home made
antennas but you're not there yet. You will be eventually and in the mean
time, the Wilson or the K-40 will do you right. You get what you pay for in
this hobby _and_ your antenna is a very important piece of the puzzle. Don't
get cheap and try and save a few bucks. If the Wilson, or K-40, is 10 to 15
more dollars than the Radio Shack, or the Cobra,...Spend it.

Also, you mentioned Best Buy. If you buy your radio equipment from a
retailer like them I would be very careful about having them install. You
may save $ on the purchase over a CB Shop, but, in the long run the CB Shop
may do a much better job on the install. Also, something to think about is
that the CB Shop is a small business owner and it's probably better to keep
him in business than throw your $ at some big corp that wont be very
personal with you. The shop in my area charges a few more $ for equipment
but I usually pay it 'cause I want to help keep him in business. I've saved
mucho $ in free advice over the years just by*** out and buying the guy
a couple of hamburgers and fries now and then. Can't do that with a big
corp.

Jeff

 
 
 

Got a new CB...having problems.

Post by Axl » Thu, 10 Mar 2005 23:27:26







>>>>>>Ok, I had a Cobra 25 WX NW ST.

>>>>>I heard those new cobras suffered from quality problems. The had
>>>>>problems with cold solder joint and such. Take a quick look.

>>>>>Vinnie S.

>>>>Im electrically challenged, can you explain in dumb terms? lol

>>>>Well I went out and bought a new antenna....from shit shack. I'm
>>>>going to get a new Cobra one tonight, found a place that has them.
>>>>The antenna seemed to really help reception, however it seems that
>>>>I'm still not heard (at least well). I'm hearing a lot of 'car
>>>>sounds' in it too. Windows mechanics, washer fluid spraying, hell,
>>>>even acceleration, which actually I heard before too, but this seems
>>>>worse, probably because I'm using that A/C adapter. It's driving me
>>>>crazy though.
>>>>I really need to get the power wired properly. With a good ground
>>>>would this be eliminated? I wish I knew how to do it. I'm starting
>>>>to think half the problem is Best Buy doing a hack job installing
>>>>some other components like my new stereo or my XM. Who knows.

>>>>ALSO I noticed the original ends of the power wires were soldered. I
>>>>stripped some more of the shielding so I could wrap the wires into
>>>>the adapter better and noticed further down its just copper. The
>>>>solder on the tips doesnt make any difference does it? Is this what
>>>>you were talking about.

>>>Look. I mean no disrespect, but, you need to find a competant shop
>>>and take it there and have them work out your problems. It sounds
>>>like you have multiple problems and it most likely will be too
>>>difficult to figure out all of them in this limited forum.

>>>The one thing you can do that will help you more than anything else
>>>is to get a Wilson 1000, magnet mount antenna, or equivelent, and
>>>have someone "hardwire" your radio. Try and stay away from Radio
>>>Shaq antennas. You're getting all that noise because your going
>>>through the lighter _plus_ your electrical connections (antenna)
>>>sound like they're spotty at best. The coax you're using sounds
>>>suspect. Your grounding solutions sound suspect. In other words,
>>>you've done the right thing and attempted the install yourself but
>>>you obviously need some help. Don't be stubborn.  ;-)

>>What about this antenna
>>http://www.redwaveradio.com/

>>This is the one I was going to get tonight.

> Also, you mentioned Best Buy. If you buy your radio equipment from a
> retailer like them I would be very careful about having them install. You
> may save $ on the purchase over a CB Shop, but, in the long run the CB Shop
> may do a much better job on the install. Also, something to think about is
> that the CB Shop is a small business owner and it's probably better to keep
> him in business than throw your $ at some big corp that wont be very
> personal with you. The shop in my area charges a few more $ for equipment
> but I usually pay it 'cause I want to help keep him in business. I've saved
> mucho $ in free advice over the years just by*** out and buying the guy
> a couple of hamburgers and fries now and then. Can't do that with a big
> corp.

> Jeff

Well I got the Cobra one...I can def. tell the quality is far superior.

I paid a friend of mine, who is an installer, to re-do everything last
night, including install the new CB. I have a much better ground and can
tell my receiving and transmitting signals are good.

The only thing I'm kicking myself in the ass for was he did such a good
job, he installed the remote power/antenna jack under the dash....and it
dawned on me I cant easily get to it to do the SWR measurements. I'd
have to remove some panels again to get to it...and I really dont know
what I'm doing...so in due time I may have to have him do that for me
real quick.

Otherwise I think I've finally got it good to go. Phew.