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Camping, Hiking and Outdoor Activities Camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities within.

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  #1  
Old 11-14-2012, 5:46 AM
vega vega is offline
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Default Help with CB.

My son got a free CB from work and it's a Uniden PC68 Elite with firestick antenna. We set it up but it will NOT receive and can only transmit. A friend told me it could be the crystal but how would I check that? I tried a friend's antenna but it would still NOT receive and can only transmit.

I should add it's a used CB.
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Old 11-14-2012, 9:48 AM
mej16489 mej16489 is offline
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Switches set to Up Down Down Down Down?

SQuelch on minimum, Volume at mid-level, RF at mid level, weather knob to off. Do you hear absolutely nothing or static?

Do you see the meter move when someone nearby transmits?

Jiggle both knobs, does that change anything?
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Old 11-14-2012, 9:54 AM
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Adequate ground?
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:15 AM
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Keep the firestick and just get a 40$ CB and be done. The CB's input and output the same.Its just the bells and whistles they have that makes them cost more. The important pieces are how its grounded and the antenna.
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Old 11-14-2012, 9:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mej16489 View Post
Switches set to Up Down Down Down Down?

SQuelch on minimum, Volume at mid-level, RF at mid level, weather knob to off. Do you hear absolutely nothing or static?

Do you see the meter move when someone nearby transmits?

Jiggle both knobs, does that change anything?
Switches set as you mentioned.

Squelch, volume and RF played from low to high. Weather knob at off. Totally no static.

We have a handheld radio which we transmit at the same channel but Uniden's meter will not move.

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Originally Posted by paul0660 View Post
Adequate ground?
I connected the power to a cigarette lighter plug with 10A output. Do I need to connect directly to the fuse box (+) and truck body (-)?

The antenna base (firestick) was not connected to the truck when I tried it but I also tried a magnetic mount antenna which was on top of the hood but also produced negative result.
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Old 11-14-2012, 9:40 PM
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http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...uctId=3875401#


This is the plug.
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  #7  
Old 11-14-2012, 9:41 PM
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Have you tuned the antenna to the radio? Does the radio have a built in SWR meter or do you have access to one that you place in series with the radio and antenna. A defective microphone can cause seemingly unrelated problems also.

As stated above make sure that the antenna mount is grounded, the antenna above the mount should not be grounded. Make sure there is no continuity between the coaxial cable nut and inner wire, there should be continuity from the coaxial cable nut (radio side) to ground, with the coaxial cable screwed into the antenna.
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Old 11-14-2012, 9:48 PM
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I do not have a SWR meter. Hopefully someone near me can lend me one. How do you check a mike? But if it transmit ok doesn't that mean that the mike is ok? I will have to attach the base of the antenna to my truck bed and try again.
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Old 11-14-2012, 9:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vega View Post
I do not have a SWR meter. Hopefully someone near me can lend me one. How do you check a mike? But if it transmit ok doesn't that mean that the mike is ok? I will have to attach the base of the antenna to my truck bed and try again.

To check for problems with the microphone, I switch with a known good one. For optimal performance, the radio must be tuned to the antenna. I tune the SWR on our radios to below 2, with the SWR as close together as possible on channels 1 and 40 . Here is where I found my information on tuning the antennas when I started working on the ones at work.
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Last edited by cranemech; 11-14-2012 at 10:25 PM.. Reason: additional info
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  #10  
Old 11-14-2012, 10:09 PM
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Try this: disconnect the antenna's coax cable from the radio. Now find yourself a piece of wire and touch it to the center conductor of the jack that the coax connects to. Do you still hear nothing? Any piece of wire will do for the test, you can even unplug some appliance/light/whatever from the wall and touch one of the plug prongs to the center conductor of the antenna jack.

Wiring it into the cigarette lighter jack is fine for now, the radio won't be drawing very much current in receive mode (probably less than 1A). It will draw more when you transmit. If it worked and you were going to keep it, connecting the red wire directly to the battery is the best way to go.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:17 PM
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You're going to need to tune it with an SWR meter. Find a local 4x4 club and I bet someone would come tune it for you.
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Old 11-15-2012, 7:40 AM
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cb's are so cheep better to just buy a new one.
go to a truck stop and ask were the radio shop is at, they will set your rig up right.
and the antenna must be grounded. mag mounts hurt your set up. bolt it to the body of the car. and also make sure the rig is grounded right. and yes direct wire to the battery. (both + and - ) through a power control via your key is ok, but not the best.
best to do a fuse block (fuse both the + and - ) for any and all add ons to any car/truck/etc.
need a specific length of cable, and NEVER coil it up. kills the transmit and receive. a rf thing.
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Old 11-15-2012, 8:43 AM
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GrizzlyGuy, I tried the wire trick but still no movement from the meter and no sound at all.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vega View Post
Switches set as you mentioned.

Squelch, volume and RF played from low to high. Weather knob at off. Totally no static.

We have a handheld radio which we transmit at the same channel but Uniden's meter will not move.
No audio at all and no movement on the meter from a nearby transmitter likely means the receiver stage is dead. Its likely repairable, but from a cost/benefit analysis its probably not worth it.
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  #15  
Old 11-15-2012, 12:30 PM
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Even a CB that is not tuned will pick up a close-up transmission. The CB is probably shot. They're so cheap now, you might as well just dump it, go to frys, and pick up a brand new Uniden or Cobra for $40.
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Old 11-15-2012, 8:17 PM
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Thanks for all the replies and suggestions.
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  #17  
Old 11-16-2012, 2:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_weirdo View Post
You're going to need to tune it with an SWR meter. Find a local 4x4 club and I bet someone would come tune it for you.
^^^this, u gotta tune the antenna....
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m98 View Post
^^^this, u gotta tune the antenna....
I want to make sure I understand your suggestion.

If the antenna is tuned using SWR meter, would that correct the problem I have with the radio? If it's properly tuned it would start receiving?

Or as DJ Skillz mentioned even if it is not tuned it should pick up a close transmission. The handheld radio was about 10 feet away from the mobile unit and the mobile did not pick up anything and no movement on the needle.

I would not want to spend money on the SWR meter if the radio is busted.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vega View Post
I want to make sure I understand your suggestion.

If the antenna is tuned using SWR meter, would that correct the problem I have with the radio? If it's properly tuned it would start receiving?

Or as DJ Skillz mentioned even if it is not tuned it should pick up a close transmission. The handheld radio was about 10 feet away from the mobile unit and the mobile did not pick up anything and no movement on the needle.

I would not want to spend money on the SWR meter if the radio is busted.
Yes, spend $30 on a radioshack swr tuner. It will make ur cb come alive. My buddy had bought a brand new cobra lcd and firestik and did not tune it while trying to transmit and receive to no luck. I took my truck over to his place and parked behind his blazer while we tested his radio. He could not receive my tx but I can pick up his tx horribily so much static like as if his truck was 5miles out in the sticks. Anyways that swr meter will come in real handy in tuning ur cb ant as once in a while ur ant may need tweaks
here n there
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  #20  
Old 11-17-2012, 3:40 AM
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Even a just piece of wire sticking out of the antenna jack should be able to receive a 4w transmission from 10 feet away, considering it's a good quality CB and the squelch is off. I'm not too convinced it's just an out-of-tune antenna.

I also just noticed that you said you're not even getting static. You should get static all the time, antenna or not, if you have the squelch turned off. Are you sure it's not just a bad speaker? Most CBs have an ext. speaker jack on the back. Maybe try plugging in a speaker or even headphones just to test it out.

If you were closer to SD, I would be more than happy to help you out. I've got two SWR meters, and the equipment to put a modulated signal straight into your CB, and that would tell you for sure.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:00 AM
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An untuned antenna is going to have no bearing on the ability to receive a signal from the immediate vicinity. For reception you could stick a coat-hanger into the center receptacle for the antenna and it would work. Heck even no antenna and it would work.

Tuning an antenna is primarily about Transmission, not Reception. I regularly use an untuned long-wire antenna for reception only. Its roughly 800 ft long. Its not particularly unusual for that antenna to receive better then a high gain/high directional antenna.

Don't get me wrong, there are certainly benefits to a tuned antenna for reception, but for the OPs scenario of testing the radio its not a factor.
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