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Old 09-19-2020, 10:02 PM   #1
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CB Performance

Many have experienced the less than desirable performance of our Freightliner M2 CB radios. We have tried new antennas and a new head unit but continue to get low range and difficulty tuning.

Decided to do some troubleshooting. I bypassed the OEM CB cable and ran directly from the head unit to the antenna on the mirror. Wow...what an improvement. So, we know itís the original wiring. Time for an upgrade project.

I purchase the FireStik K-9 Fire-Flex Dual Antenna Coax Cable from Amazon and began the installation. Am going with a dual antenna on the passenger mirror...just because I can and it will look cool...and have time between trips.

What I found was incredible.... instead of a solid antenna cable run from the head unit to the mirror antenna...we have 3 connectors linking 4 pieces of antenna wire together(plus a firewall connector)! Makes sense for building the cab on Freightlinerís production line but really not good for how a CB wire should be ran as one continuous run. Iíve included some pictures and will report back when we complete the project.

Connection in the door
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Connection in the windshield pillar
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Connection through the firewall
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Old 09-20-2020, 12:34 AM   #2
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OMG.....get a local ham operator to lend you an SWR meter....it will help immensely
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Old 09-20-2020, 07:26 AM   #3
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The factory wire is only good for so long then you need to replace it. I just sent a couple radios to a shop to get peaked and tuned. If you have a good radio shop near by you are lucky. Go visit them. You can buy everything you need for coax and antennas at any truck stop. You can also upgrade the factory mic with a better one. I have had good luck with the fire stick antennas. They are cheap and work pretty good. Replace them every 3 years or so. I never had the money for the wilsons.
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Old 09-20-2020, 07:40 AM   #4
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Ed, I ran a new solid line from a new Firestick antenna through the firewall up to the CB, used a SWR meter and it actually works. I think you are right, all of the breaks in the cable caused issues. It was not a problem getting the new cable through the firewall either.
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:01 AM   #5
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Folks still use cb's? For what?
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:04 AM   #6
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CBís I use?

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Originally Posted by SlowrideHD View Post
Folks still use cb's? For what?
My question also. I didnt think they were in use anymore
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:32 AM   #7
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They aren't in use. At least my pricey Uniden scanner rarely picks up any traffic.

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Old 09-20-2020, 09:12 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by toshu View Post
OMG.....get a local ham operator to lend you an SWR meter....it will help immensely
Exactly what we did. Only used a local CB Shop. They couldnít get the original cable / antenna to tune.
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Old 09-20-2020, 09:16 AM   #9
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My question also. I didnt think they were in use anymore
We donít on the highway. Use it frequently when someone is out on the ATV and we are not in cell range.
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Old 09-20-2020, 09:24 AM   #10
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We donít on the highway. Use it frequently when someone is out on the ATV and we are not in cell range.
Same here at our cabin when people are out hunting on property. (52 acres) but we quickly found out that Walkie Talkies were just as good and way cheaper.
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Old 09-20-2020, 09:34 AM   #11
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I found it useful once when jammed up in traffic on the I-40. The truckers had all the information to satisfy my curiosity.
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Old 09-20-2020, 12:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
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My question also. I didnt think they were in use anymore
Listening to truckers gab like schoolgirls
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Old 09-20-2020, 01:43 PM   #13
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Listening to truckers gab like schoolgirls
No kidding. On long drives it can be entertaining. Seems to be more CB traffic in the south and southwest.
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Old 09-21-2020, 03:14 PM   #14
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Thanks for the information, I thought I was doing something wrong with the settings. I couldnt get mine to work on the first trip out.
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Old 09-21-2020, 03:18 PM   #15
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Thanks for the information, I thought I was doing something wrong with the settings. I couldnt get mine to work on the first trip out.
Freightliner has a very poor design on our M2s...

I've completed the installation on the driver side antenna. Working on Passenger now. Should have it done and tuned by next weekend and will report results.
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Old 09-22-2020, 02:32 PM   #16
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I actually just completed the installation of my GMRS radio. The Midland I installed in the motorhome is 40 watts on high. My toad has the 15 watt version. Have not had the opportunity to try them out yet.
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Old 09-22-2020, 02:49 PM   #17
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Well, we solved this, we got rid of the CB.

For now, I have left it pre-wired and there is a cover plate.

But, I can add a little cubby for storage up there (losing the pre-wire), but I figured the spot was open if you wanted to add it. Now, I'm not sure having the pre-wire is worth it, if that is what was causing most of the problems.
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Old 09-22-2020, 03:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
Well, we solved this, we got rid of the CB.

For now, I have left it pre-wired and there is a cover plate.

But, I can add a little cubby for storage up there (losing the pre-wire), but I figured the spot was open if you wanted to add it. Now, I'm not sure having the pre-wire is worth it, if that is what was causing most of the problems.
Forget the pre wire. Put a nice indoor outdoor weather console in with appropriate sensors on roof. 2 cents
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Old 09-22-2020, 03:42 PM   #19
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[QUOTE=bclemens;2419015]Well, we solved this, we got rid of the CB.

For now, I have left it pre-wired and there is a cover plate.

But, I can add a little cubby for storage up there (losing the pre-wire),

If you ever decide to do the cubby, Iíll be first in line to buy the insert... assuming it will retrofit.
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Old 09-22-2020, 03:52 PM   #20
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[QUOTE=MoJoe1003;2419045]
Quote:
Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
Well, we solved this, we got rid of the CB.

For now, I have left it pre-wired and there is a cover plate.

But, I can add a little cubby for storage up there (losing the pre-wire),

If you ever decide to do the cubby, Iíll be first in line to buy the insert... assuming it will retrofit.
It is available from Freightliner already. I'm just waiting on a part number.
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