Well I got my antenna hooked up to my cb and got the antenna tuned to the cb today. I also went ahead and hard-wired the cb to the first battery so I wouldn’t have that small battery in the glove box bouncing around making noise.
I bought a 12′ pre made cb antenna cable from the local truck stop for $8 – perfect size to run from the antenna along the wheel well, below the gas tank filler neck, following the sending unit wire (tie wrapped to it actually) and up into the factory hole in the glove box. I have 1 – 3″ loop in the glove box before it connects to the cb. The truck stop did not have the PL 259 elbow that I needed to make the 90 deg turn from the bottom of the antenna though. I will check another (larger) truck stop tomorrow for that.
I started out by removing my mast base from the MP50. I screwed all of the mast sections into the flexible mast base. I measured from the bottom of the flexible base up to 110″. I figured that would be on the long side, so I would be safe. I took my tubing cutter and cut the top mast section on that mark. I reassembled everything and hooked up the antenna wire with the SWR meter inline. I ran the test, and it actually wasn’t bad at all! Channel 1 was 1:1, channel 40 was 1.5:1. Power output was about 1.7w. Not too bad for the first try – it would actually work there if I wanted to leave it alone. I removed the top mast section and cut another 1/2″ off and reassembled. This time I was showing 1:1 on channel 1 and 1.2:1 on channel 40, with a power output of 2w (what the cb is rated at) – good enough for me!
I looked through my junk drawer in the tool box and found a small rubber cap for the cut end of the mast section that almost fit, put a little silicone caulk in it and slipped it over the cut end. Then I played around listening to different broadcasts on the radio.
Mast section with cap on top and section that I cut off on the bottom (I couldn’t find the 1/2″ section I cut off).
I took a ride down the road with the radio going and never lost reception, so I stopped and tied the antenna down and went for another ride and didn’t lose reception – good to go! This was a really easy mod to do and would recommend anyone to do it if you want to run a cb and have the look of a military antenna (and not a chrome whip).
Next, I wanted to get rid of the noisy 12v battery I had in the glove box powering the cb. It vibrated around making a bunch of noise even though I put foam tape everywhere it could contact anything. It did a very good job powering the cb though – I charged it 1 time (last October)! I ended up running the wires that came on the cb out through the hole in the back of the glove box, under the dash and through the top hole in the battery box (the one under the dash). The cb wires were the perfect length – I put spade connectors on the ends of the wires and stuck them between the large battery cable ends and the lead battery connectors on the left battery and tightened them down. When I find some large ring terminals that will fit the bolts I will do a more permanent wire install. Only problem with hooking it up this way (instead of to a switched power supply) is that if you leave the radio on for a while (like days), you will kill the battery. I am contemplating installing a small 12v fuse block at a later time – it will run from a 24-12v converter from a switched power source (probably off of the spider harness). With this I can run the cb and a 12v outlet for charging phones or whatever.
I went ahead and washed her, since I will be leaving for the NC Steel Soldiers rally the day that I get off next week. I guess I need to check all the fluids and everything for tightness tomorrow. I took her for a ride after the wash – up and down the road a couple of times, then I took her farther than I ever have around here. I drove about 6 miles down the road, took a back country road that led over to the highway, then took the highway back to the interstate (I didn’t get on the interstate of course!), then turned around and went home – it was about a 25 mile trip at 40-45mph. She did great!
I guess the next trip will be to North Carolina next week for a little trail riding (maybe – if the trails aren’t 20 miles from the rally!) and riding around the at the rally. I’ll post some pics and video (if I take any – I will be by myself) when I get back.