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Old 08-14-2015, 07:17 PM   #1
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CB radio antenna help needed

I want to install a CB in my new Forester Class C (Chevy 4500 chassis). I've got the radio picked out but I'm having issues trying to figured out what to do for the antenna. I've got Velvac mirrors so I was going to attach an antenna mount as far outboard as possible on the Velvac arm. Only problem with that is that a 4' antenna doesn't reach to the roof edge and a 5' antenna extends about an inch past the roof edge. From everything I've been able to learn about CB antennas, 2/3rd of the antenna is supposed to be above the roofline.

I don't want to drill any holes in the coach so that's a non-starter for a solution.

I'm a retired LEO and I had a couple assigned vehicles that had antennas mounted on a bracket on the front fender that went under the hood and attached to the inside of the fender. I'm thinking this may be my only option. I can install a 4' or 5' antenna so it's forward of the nose of the coach body overhang. I figure radio coverage towards the rear of the vehicle is going to be slim to none, but as the entire length of the antenna is exposed across the entire vehicle front, I should have reasonable transmission/reception coverage in front of me.

My question for the CB experts out there is this - do I need a No Ground Plane antenna or will a regular ground plane antenna work because I'll be installing it on the sheet metal fender (actually to a metal bracket that goes between the fender and front hood - but bolted to the van metal)? Which type of antenna would work best installing it that way? Is it better to use a No Ground Plane antenna because of the small amount of metal on the front of the Class C?

Advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 08-14-2015, 07:30 PM   #2
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You don't need a "no-ground-plane" antenna. The cab of the rig will provide enough of a ground plane.

Get a 5/8 wave, center loaded antenna. The radiation pattern is circular, (Omni-directional) and the power is radiated at a lower angle, meaning less power is wasted going up in the sky. There's no one up there to talk to.

Any good truck stop will have them.
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Old 08-14-2015, 07:39 PM   #3
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Antenna mount

You should also be able to purchase a custom stainless mount for your antenna. It'll be made specifically for your vehicle and be pretty much plug & play. Just follow the instructions and your antenna will be perfectly vertical as it should be. Should be able to buy the mount for about $20, and it won't rust!
Should mount in the hood lip and may even use existing bolts.

A CB store/truck shop is a good place to look, or you might google or use eBay as a source. As "Radio" commented, you'll have a ground plane with this type of mount so any regular antenna cut for the CB band should work fine.

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Old 08-15-2015, 05:29 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input, I appreciate it. As much as I don't really like the look of the fender/hood mount, I don't think I have any other viable options as long as I don't want to drill into the coach body.

I wasn't sure if I needed a NGP antenna or not, you cleared that up for me.
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Old 08-16-2015, 03:10 PM   #5
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Look at other options

i wouldn't be overly concerned about how much antenna you get above the cab. The cab is probably plastic or some man made product and will not have much affect on your system.

If you have a window in the cap think about a glass mount antenna, they work well for a couple of miles in most directions.

If you really want it up high like an 18 wheeler then most cb shops will have a plastic side mount but will require you to drill holes in your cap. A lot of the newer tractors have these and they get the antenna much higher than the mirror mount.

If the shield of your coax can be at frame (ground) potential then there is no need for a special no-ground antenna.

You know that anything less than a full 8 foot antenna is going to be a compromise antenna, you just have to decide how much compromise you can live with. I use a handheld inside my TV and that gets enough info when the highway turns into a parking lot.
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Old 08-16-2015, 04:36 PM   #6
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Old 08-16-2015, 07:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick M View Post
i wouldn't be overly concerned about how much antenna you get above the cab. The cab is probably plastic or some man made product and will not have much affect on your system.

If you have a window in the cap think about a glass mount antenna, they work well for a couple of miles in most directions.

If you really want it up high like an 18 wheeler then most cb shops will have a plastic side mount but will require you to drill holes in your cap. A lot of the newer tractors have these and they get the antenna much higher than the mirror mount.

If the shield of your coax can be at frame (ground) potential then there is no need for a special no-ground antenna.

You know that anything less than a full 8 foot antenna is going to be a compromise antenna, you just have to decide how much compromise you can live with. I use a handheld inside my TV and that gets enough info when the highway turns into a parking lot.

Thanks - I'm more interested in listening to traffic problems than talking to anyone on the radio so reception is more important to me than being able to talk to someone 10 miles down the road. That and being able to get NOAA weather on the radio and I'll be a happy camper.

I'm thinking a regular (adjustable tip) 4' Firestick mounted on a fender/hood bracket on the left side will do the trick. The nose on the Chevy sticks out a good distance past the the overhead part of the coach so I should have enough antenna to receive with. I just wasn't sure if the amount of metal on the van nose was enough to use a regular vs no ground plane antenna.
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Old 08-16-2015, 07:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MacDaddy View Post
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Old 08-16-2015, 07:57 PM   #9
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Here's what I'm thinking -

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Old 08-16-2015, 10:24 PM   #10
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When I owned our Lexington this was what I did. Worked excellent and I used a 4' antenna with heavy duty spring. Go for it Captain.
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