Help on new install

This is the place to post your general tips, or need to have a question on your install here.

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Help on new install

Post by darkstar420 » Thursday, 12 September 2013, 20:53 PM

First let me say I am a complete newbie when it comes to CB, but know my way around a volt meter. My wife got me a Bearcat 890SSB and a K40 plus series center load cb/10M antenna with a mirror mount (i am using the mirror mount to attach it to 1986 M1009 K5 blazer using one of the old military antenna mounts). When i first started it up a heard some traffic for about 3 seconds then nothing. I checked the SWR, which is built in and i am off the chart with an 8.5 and a fail on antenna mismatch. I am using some older RG58U cable i had from years back and have not check resistance yet, but will in the morning. The issue I am most concerned with is the initial success and then silence. Also i get nothing on the WX, which i find odd. If you have other suggestions on diagnostics please let me know.


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Re: Help on new install

Post by sonoma » Thursday, 12 September 2013, 21:22 PM

make sure the antenna brkt is mounted properly and not shorted to ground. from the swr reading some thing is very wrong. I would trash the old coax and get some new mini 8 coax, it is a lot better than what you are trying to use. do the obvious 1st such as coax and antenna being as it should be. make sure nothing is shorted since you said you can use a ohm meter.
then post your results of the setup after you verify all is well with the antenna setup.

forgot to say since you have no weather the antenna would be my 1st check. you said you could hear some one talking for a few seconds, they could have been very close why you picke3d them up. I have had a radio on my repair area and some one close key up and I hear them with out a antenna hooked up. could have been the issue.

and that radio is a nice radio. hug your wife for it she got you a pretty good radio as for what is out now a days.

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Re: Help on new install

Post by toober » Monday, 16 September 2013, 8:32 AM

If I remember correctly, you should ALWAYS hear the weather, even with a hangar wire antenna (if you're in a big city at least). If you don't hear the weather, maybe your coax is bad. Does the radio appear to turn on operate normally? It could be it went bad after being on those first few moments. See if someone in your area can help you diagnose with other equipment parts.

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Re: Help on new install

Post by MDYoungblood » Monday, 16 September 2013, 9:19 AM

Hi darkstar420,
Welcome to the forum. I am not sure the mount you are using but here are 2 examples. It sounds like you have a dead short since the weather radio doesn't work. Check the insulators and make sure they are in the right place, on a mount that has the SO239 connector you should have one insulator on the top of the mount if you are using a stud mount than it has 2, one on each side and the center wire of the coax is insulated from ground. Location is also a big deal, the antenna should be high on the vehicle and in the clear, metal next to it will affect the SWR.
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Re: Help on new install

Post by 231 » Monday, 16 September 2013, 10:26 AM

Welcome to the forum.

Sounds like you have a dead short on the antenna system. Or at a minimum, the counterpoise (aka 'ground') is insufficient. Your meter won't tell you if it's a good enough connection for the counterpoise by the way...but pretty likely that's at least part of the problem.

Like has been mentioned I'd get a different mount for starters. I'd also get some new coax probably RG-8x which is almost the same size as the RG-58U. RG-58U is very small and it just doesn't take allot to corrupt it. Moisture, corrosion, and the like will bear it's ugly head. I'm not familiar with the K-40 antenna you have...but it too is not going to want to be mounted next to metal, but above it if possible.

Your problem is common because folks don't understand that the vehicle is the other half of the antenna system. As such, the connections aren't forgiving. And I wouldn't put too much value in whether you hear the WX frequencies or not. Heck, allot of times they can be heard with or without an antenna depending on how strong the signal is.

Good luck


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Re: Help on new install

Post by gunner57 » Monday, 16 September 2013, 20:19 PM

toober wrote:If I remember correctly, you should ALWAYS hear the weather, even with a hangar wire antenna (if you're in a big city at least). If you don't hear the weather, maybe your coax is bad. Does the radio appear to turn on operate normally? It could be it went bad after being on those first few moments. See if someone in your area can help you diagnose with other equipment parts.
That all depend on how close the transmitting station is and how much power they are broadcasting. Picking up a transmitting signal doesn't mean it is doing it well. Many areas are close enough to a NOAA station to pick it up with about anything. Some areas it isn't so easy. A resonant antenna is needed in such area. Yes, it makes a difference for RX as much as TX. I placed an antenna that is resonant at 160 MHz (a full 1/4 wave @17" long) and it picks up NOAA better than when I had my 102" antenna attached.

From what you described, I would say you have a short to ground or the center conductor is broken. To check it, remove the coax from the rear of the radio and from the antenna mount. Take your Ohm meter and place one lead on the center pin of the PL259 and the other lead on the screw on portion. If you read continuity, you have a short. If There is no continuity from the center conductor and shielding, check the antenna mount for a short by placing one lead of the Ohm meter to where the center conductor connects and the second lead to the ground side. There should be no continuity. If you find no ground shorts, than bring both ends of the coaxial cable close together. Place one meter lead to the center conductor of one end of the coax, then place the second lead on the center conductor of the other end. There should be continuity.
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