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wont transmit
Topic Started: Wednesday, 8. November 2017, 12:53 (353 Views)
V8 Sam
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hello guys!

total newbie here, (well i say newbie i used to have a cb in the tipper truck i used to work for but that was allready set up)

current truck i drive now i noticed a cb radio mount in the back, no aerial etc just the mount, so i thought why not get one plugged in a set up as it used to be a bit of a laugh way back when i was on the tippers. even chatting to the ocasional home base if in range

so, got a good priced cb unit of a guy from work tti 881 i think? and i bought a mini spinger aerial if thats how you call it? blue one with a spring at the bottom type job.

set it all up wired it in and it receives pefectly, all though not very much range, (for example if someone is chatting on the other side or the road, i can pick them up but the reception goes before they even really leave my mirrors) so about 1/4 to 1/2 mile? not sure if thats good or not? used to be a lot better in my old tipper, up to 2 miles away.

when they are in range though it is very clear reception

how ever, when i was in the yard the other day and one of the low loaders came in, my cb was scanning away gets to channel 6 or something and it picked them up talking about where is best to park in our yard, anwa they decided to park in the wrong place, and i thought id let them know via cb.

but alas no response, i then went over and asked and they couldn't hear me at all.

thought maybe it was the mic but this cb i have has a pa output on the back so plugged some headphones in and it worked perfectly. so im ruling out the mic.

now, i am a UTTER UTTER newbie with this, my knowledge goes as far as press to button to talk. but been doing some digging and read about SWR readings? and how that has to be spot on for the aerial to work, so picked up a relatively cheap one off ebay all though im still waiting for this to arrive

first question.. would a bad swr mean no transmit?

secondly, aerial earthing..the aerial mount is attached to a piece of metal, but that is attached to the plastic wind deflector, im assuming that wouldnt provide adequate earthing? the closest piece of ground mental is quite further down the cab and im sure a eathin strap would end up snapping if i ran it that long.

i have seen these 'electrical earth gound plane' type things on ebay which simulate an earthing.

second question, would a bad earth mean no transmitting? if so, would the swr meter show me this? IF so, are the electrical ground planes any good?

many thanks!

also, remember TOTAL newbie, so any cb jargon is going to go right over my head :D
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26 Charlie Tango 2428

Hi sounds like You could do with a bigger twig then the range will be increased all depends what truck you have got at the moment mate ?

The little springer antenna are not that great the swr may affect it have you chatted to anyone on it yet?

Edited by Carlito, Wednesday, 8. November 2017, 14:57.
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26 Charlie Tango 1555

Hi Sam

Sounds like earthing is your largest issue currently. That should be first port of call to fix. By attaching some thick gauge wire or better, an earth strap from the mount to some bare metal on your cab, you should instantly see improvements in receive and transitions, especially from and to other trucks in your yard. However I wouldn't use it for long. As you say an SWR meter would be your best bet to ensure your setup is okay and plugging one in will likely confirm that the mount needs some work.

However, learning from experience in these matters, it would be wiser for you to perhaps source or install a new mount into or onto a suitable piece of metal on your truck which is connected and grounded to the rest of the chassis. Faffing around with earthwires just leads to alot of swearing believe me :censor: They can be helpful when improving the ground to an area, but if the mount it pretty much installed on plastic, they wont help that much. You still need whats known as a groundplane - an area for the signal to sort of take off from. Usually this is the roof of a vehicle. If this isn't present, you will struggle to improve performance, even if your mount is grounded.

My recomendation for you would be to move that mount to the roof. If your company allows, drill a hole and mount it there. If its a no no to holes through a company truck, id look into investing into a new magnetic mount (magmount) which will save you a whole lot of time and effort. You shouldnt need one much larger than a 5" base for the antenna you have. This will stick to the top of your cab (providing its not aluminium which it shouldn't be) with no need for any holes. All you have to do is screw your antenna in and run the cable into the cab to your radio.

At this stage I would still recommend the use of an SWR meter to make sure the setup is fine. If you buy a brand new magmount, the only issue I could see there being if there is a high SWR is if the antenna you have is a bit old and battered. But otherwise, something like that should get you at least an 6mile transmission range, and more on receive from other stations who might run more power or through a homebase antenna.

Plus, magmounts are easily movable, so if you want you can move setups from cab to cab or even stick it in the car for the commute home.

Hope this helps :thumb:
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Nik Gnashers
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26 Charlie Tango 573

What is confusing me, is :

If the antenna was showing a terrible SWR, the other trucks in the yard should still be able to hear you transmit, as it is so close.
They should still hear you if you unplugged the antenna completely, and were transmitting on just the coax to be honest !
An SWR meter will show you if you are actually putting any power out of the radio, because although it may receive ok, if the finals are blown in the radio, you will not transmit any power out of it.
Good idea by you to test the mic on the P.A. though :) as that rules out a mic issue.
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Northern Crusader
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26 Charlie Tango 1760

Given that you didn't tune the antenna the chances are that transmitting into an antenna with high SWR has eventually killed the finals as Nik suggests.
26CT1760 / M0GVZ
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V8 Sam
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hello again chaps

thanks for the info

the truck is a MAN TGA XLX, the top of the cab is fiberglass and thus a magmount wont stick to it, the rear of the cab though is metal and should be better

is there anyway to test if the 'finals' are blown? the cb wasnt that old when i purchased it.

i havnt really used it that much to transmit into, only a handful of times, just to see if it made contact. since it didnt ive left it mainly just on receive up there scanning away. and then left this message on here

will wait for my swr meter to arrive and see what that shows up one i worked out how to use it :D

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Hi connecting up the swr meter and trying to test the swr reading will tell you if radio is transmitting or not . if its not you wont get any movement on swr meter.
Does the radio show its transmitting or not.
Hope fully its just a very high swr could be caused by no earth connection to the vehicle body on the antenna mount or could be old bad damaged coax it can get water inside from antenna end and it rots the braid very quickly.
Hope it test out okay.
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mick 320
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26 Charlie Tango 3320

hi, while you are waiting for the swr meter, you can give the coax a quck test with a multimeter , check for a short between
inner and braid and continuaty between both ends of outer
and the same for inner
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V8 Sam
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swr meter arrived, not entirely sure how to use it or if its even any good (second hand ebay one) but checked a few youtube vides and followed those..

how ever instead of the needle moving smoothly up the gauge to the 'set bit it goes right off the scale, if you bring the calibration dial down a tiny tiny tiny bit, it drops right down to zero

absolutely no way of having the needle move smoothly up to set, either off the scale of nothing.

dunno if thats the swr meter thats knackered or the cb

the cb shows a meter on the lcd display when i press the button. looks like phone signal bars thats alwas done that though

Edited by V8 Sam, Tuesday, 14. November 2017, 21:15.
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Sounds like a duff meter I have a couple of old ones do the same.
The good news is the meter does move as this shows the rig is outputting rf.

You should be able to put the switch in the forward position key the radio up and adjust the calibrate knob to read set on the scale, release the mic key switch meter to reflect then key radio up again and this will give you the swr reading.
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108 Charlie Tango 188

The swr meter may not have been used in a long time and the control maybe needing some switch cleaner to lubricate the pot.

What to try is rotating the calibrate dial from full left to full right to see if this cleans the contacts. you may have to continually do this for say 30 seconds to wipe the pot inside.

Then try to put the meter to calibrate and transmit setting the needle to the set position.
The flick the switch to see the swr of the antenna, you would like to see 1.5 or less, any higher I would recommend adjusting the length of the antenna using the grub screw to adjust up or down.

If you see full scale swr then it could indicate a problem with the coax or connections.

If you were local to me Id happily help but I am near Edinburgh.

Hope this works out for you. My mag mount in the car sees me easily work 20+ miles and much more when on hill tops.
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