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Help with set up

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

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Help with set up

Post by axplayer » Thursday, 09 July 2015, 7:57 AM

I would like to get some advise on my current set up. First, I'm using rg6q for coax. I realize this isn't the best match however Radio shack had these for sell so I picked up a roll. I've read that it's okay to use rg6 but some day otherwise. I have a spoke which I made and also have a set and antenna matcher. I am waiting a uniden grant xt but right now I am using a handheld to check the swr. Swr is below 1.5 across all Ch and 1.3 using the matcher. I did put choke also. What can I do better? Does it matter about the coax? How much per cani run? Thanks all.

-- Thursday, 09 July 2015, 11:50 AM --
axplayer wrote:I would like to get some advise on my current set up. First, I'm using rg6q for coax. I realize this isn't the best match however Radio shack had these for sell so I picked up a roll. I've read that it's okay to use rg6 but some day otherwise. I have a spoke which I made and also have a set and antenna matcher. I am waiting a uniden grant xt but right now I am using a handheld to check the swr. Swr is below 1.5 across all Ch and 1.3 using the matcher. I did put choke also. What can I do better? Does it matter about the coax? How much per cani run? Thanks all.
Sorry, I want clear. I have everything running into a dipole "inverted V" which I put together. Any further suggestions would be helpful. Especially since I'm known to make the mistakes from time to time. also some input regarding the Uniden radio please. This is a factory refurbished unit (still in the box) as described by the seller. I was seriously thinking about an export radio but I'm a bit old school. Plus I've read some bad reviews regarding performance on ssb. I've read that the Grant LT isn't as good as the grant lx or the old cobra 148's, but there's not much going on with ssb with the regular cb radios. I've read both the new Uniden and Cobra units with ssb is lackluster compared to even the grant LT. I'm not sure how good the Grant LT really is when compared to the new radios out there but the price was unheard of so I had to jump on it.

I do plan to get boots for the radio, instead of sticking a screwdriver inside the unit. However, my question is will I have to get inside to radio and adjust anything before putting the boot on? I just want to make sure I don't end up smelling smoke. Thanks again for reading this.




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Re: Help with set up

Post by WK2 » Thursday, 09 July 2015, 11:29 AM

It's always a good idea to have the radio matched to the pair of shoes that you are going to use. I would check the list of sponsor sites and contact them about matching up the radio for you. I am sure that someone else can answer your other questions.

I hope that helps :)


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Re: Help with set up

Post by axplayer » Thursday, 09 July 2015, 13:13 PM

WK2 wrote:It's always a good idea to have the radio matched to the pair of shoes that you are going to use. I would check the list of sponsor sites and contact them about matching up the radio for you. I am sure that someone else can answer your other questions.

I hope that helps :)
Oh...I didn't even consider that! Thanks for the help, I will certainly do that once I get ready to make the purchase.



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Re: Help with set up

Post by southwind » Thursday, 09 July 2015, 18:54 PM

:bounce: John , I would have to agree with previous WK2 statement, make sure your unit and what it's hooked up with, is the best possible match you can have. Not all radio's/boxe's are compatabile. As for the coax you have, I believe it's 50 ohm as well and since you have a pretty good swr, I wouldn't change it unless necessary since it's working. Good luck, and 3's to you/yours from Georgia Dawg country........ :cheers:


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Re: Help with set up

Post by MDYoungblood » Thursday, 09 July 2015, 20:12 PM

RG6 is 75ohm coax and the RS stuff isn't bad but is really only for receiving, transmitting any kind of wattage through it may melt the foam insulator, I'm not saying it can't be used but I would be leery of it. Good RG6 (it has a braided copper shield) is what I have used in the past to make matching stubs, cutting it at a 1/4 wavelength to match the impedance of the antenna to the impedance of the radio. If you got the SWR down to 1.5 you did something right.

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Re: Help with set up

Post by axplayer » Thursday, 09 July 2015, 20:23 PM

southwind wrote::bounce: John , I would have to agree with previous WK2 statement, make sure your unit and what it's hooked up with, is the best possible match you can have. Not all radio's/boxe's are compatabile. As for the coax you have, I believe it's 50 ohm as well and since you have a pretty good swr, I wouldn't change it unless necessary since it's working. Good luck, and 3's to you/yours from Georgia Dawg country........ :cheers:
It sure is a good thing I asked before doing what I planned....lol. I swear, the internet does have has made me lazy, in the old days I would have to go to the libary....anyhow, that's a different topic. Getting back on track, my grand plan was to get a RM KL203P and run an Uniden Grant LT as a base. However, I am using RG6QS for coax so this may change everything. In my defense, Radio Shack was practically giving rolls away and I did search the old interweb and found in general, it was okay, even some swearing the difference in impedance doesn't affect overall performance. I never placed shoes in the equation but since I'm running a dipole in indoor I thought getting some help would help. I have Midland handheld that I'm using to tune the antenna and the Grant should be here tomorrow (kinda excited about it) so the getting an amp was the next purchase but now it may be coax. I'm not sure anymore...lol. BTW, I do plan to contact one of our sponsors about it. Thanks for the insight!

-- Friday, 10 July 2015, 5:49 AM --

Just a follow up. I did get a reply from the sponsor and it wasn't good news. He basically said the amp will not work with RG6, which was not wanted to hear...lol. So now I guess I need to find some RG8....but I think I'll try and run the radio (minus the shoe) in the meantime. The only place I know that sells rg8 around here is a HamOutlet but their prices are on the high side. Hopefully I'll find it cheaper somewhere.

-- Friday, 10 July 2015, 8:36 AM --

Thanks for the information! I'm looking for coax right now. But of course, I am still uncertain about a few things. Primarily, what type of coax should I be getting (keeping in mind my future plan to get shoes)? I see RG8, RG8X, RG59 and some other variants. I'm pretty strapped for cash so cost is big factor for me....kinda makes me wonder if getting back into this hobby is worth the cost but everything has a price so I'm carrying on.

Thanks to everyone's input, I'm realizing that the RG6 I'm using may cause damage when running an amp. On a side note, the sponsor emailed me saying that RG6 will not work the amp but did not answer the main question about matching the amp to the uniden Grant. Should I go ahead assume the amp is good with the radio and the only issue is the mismatch in impedance?

The radio is out on delivery! Can't wait to get off work...hopefully I will have nice package from USPS when I get home.

Thanks again guys! I'm glad I joined this forum, it is very different from the others I've seen. My only only pet peeve is not being able to view attachments in certain post (say's I'm not authorized) but I chuck it up to the fact that I'm new here and must pay my dues before certain privileges are available to me.

73 all around and have a safe weekend!

(edited by MDY, removed double post)



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Re: Help with set up

Post by MDYoungblood » Friday, 10 July 2015, 10:10 AM

You are right about privileges, they will come in time and post count, it's a spammer safeguard. The ham store in Woodbridge is a little high but the guys there are nice and helpful. There are a couple other places not far from you also, let the internet find them for you. If your interested and can wait a couple weeks there is a great hamfest in Berryville VA, the first Sunday in August, you'll be able to get everything you need and meet some CBRT members, (I'm there all day), if you go just look for an old man in a orange tee shirt and yellow hat with Greg written on it , that's me, (with the exception of Greg on the hat that describes half the old men there), lol.

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Re: Help with set up

Post by ogdoa » Friday, 10 July 2015, 11:42 AM

Ive been told over and over again....spend your money on a good antenna and good coax before you worry about a kicker. It is so true. A kicker will not help you if you have a poor antenna and cheap coax. I have talked all over the country barefoot because I listened to that advice. I saved up and bought the best coax and then one of the best antennas I could. Then I bought my kickers. I didn't buy my base until last. I ran a cheap radio until I had everything else perfect. It worked out for me. Just my two cents though. Good luck on your adventure. The cb hobby is a blast but it does cost a little money to get started right. Look around for used stuff. I found some really good coax that a friend sold me cheap. I use it for my scanner antenna now but it was the first coax I used.


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Re: Help with set up

Post by axplayer » Friday, 10 July 2015, 14:31 PM

Greg, thanks for the invite. I not sure if I will be working that day but if I'm not....I'm going (although I think I may feel out of place with all you Ham guys....and a little intimidated,lol.) But the trip may be worth it just to be able to see the old man in orange and yellow and meet some new people. Also, I have spent alot of time searching on the internet for places that sell or deal with cb/ham equipment near me and all I'm able to find is the Ham Radio Outlet....everything else has pretty much been a dud. If you can point me in the right direction, I would certainly appreciate it.


Ogdoa, Yes. You are certainly correct. The antenna, I knew I could build or at least try to so I didn't plant to spend money on that part. I may have been misguided on the coax part, I don't know. But certainly, I knew before hand that RG6 was not the regular coax used for cb....my mistake was believing the internet.

Thank goodness I can get some good advice here....maybe there is hope for me yet.

Thanks guys....I can't wait to actually catch you guys on the air.



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Re: Help with set up

Post by MDYoungblood » Friday, 10 July 2015, 15:56 PM

Don't be intimidated by hammie's, they pull their pants on one leg at a time just like you and me, I was going to hamfests long before I became a hammie.
I only hammie to worry about is Bombero, he has a Image button. :biggrin:

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Re: Help with set up

Post by axplayer » Friday, 10 July 2015, 20:40 PM

Great news! The radio is here. The not so great news, it's been modded. It came with a road map so I am thankful for that. Not sure if it has other mods. Too tired to open the case....13 hr shift today and another in about 7 hours. I will check tomorrow night.
All Lights work
All dials track
RX: Check
TX: Not sure. May have some thing to do with the dipole being in the attic and not enough signal getting out. However skip is still possible even with the antenna being inside, so I'll keep trying.
One thing I found is that there is no swing in AM. It dead keys about 4 but when spoken into, it actually swings backwards a tad...Hmmm. First thought...lower the dead key and see what happens. Am I on the right track or is something seriously wrong with the radio? Btw, it swings fine on sbb (thank goodness) peaks at 12 watts.

Uniden Grant LT Made in Philippines
Stock mic
It also came with a superstar DM-152 Echo mic which I wont be use, at least not until I figure out how to keep the power and lose the echo and change the mic element. Yeah, I know...it's called a slid switch and there's one on the mic.
Anyhow all three for about $63 which I thought was a great deal for what was described as a new old stock factory refurbished radio. Gut feeling is that even if i't's just an old modded Uniden, I still got a decent deal.
But I think I'll sleep on it before making a final determination.

Any insight would be welcome...


Thanks and g'night.

-- Saturday, 11 July 2015, 14:26 PM --

Ok I decided that the crew would be okay this morning so I stayed home and used the time to do the following.

1) Set dead key down to 2 watts from 4.
2) adjusted the AM Mod to swing to 4 watts (that's all I could get out her cap't!). Should I be able to get more than 4 watt peak ?

So what now?



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Re: Help with set up

Post by 1206FL » Sunday, 12 July 2015, 3:33 AM

You have one of the later models correct?? Still good radios, and don't toss that DM152 mic so fast they are good power mics with some adjustments to the VR pots located inside the mic, back side. Might be 1 or2 can't remeber . One for Echo and one for the power, use your PA function with a speaker plugged in and check it like that. Move the VR pot and see what happens, you can pretty much cut all echo out and make it a power mic only and they are clear and loud mics. Not noise canceling but work well for what they are. The stock mic for your radio if it's the silver front with the red bear paw on it, those are some darn good mics and are clean and clear!! Use one on my uniden 980. It came with an older uniden 68 I bought. But at any rate, if you don't have alignment tools and equipment leave that alone, if the radio is off freq, send it to a good tech and have the radio aligned and tuned. You can try to find the modulation VR and turn it up to 100% if you have a modulation meter or one built into a meter you may have. If the radio is on frequency on SSB, get the modulation to 100%, if you want turn the power on SSB up a bit, doesn't or won't make a difference to the other end but I will throw it out there. I would first see what all has been done to the radio. Might be chopped up inside and that is why it was cheap. Just sayin. Hope you got a good one and it works well. The uniden grants are good radios. Anyway these are JMO. Have a good day.



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Re: Help with set up

Post by MDYoungblood » Sunday, 12 July 2015, 8:38 AM

CB Tricks has a bunch of info on your radio. I'm not sure which pots you turned or the equipment your using. Dropping the wattage to 2w DK, the radio should still swing to around 10w on a 1K tone. If it is a newer model with SMT, the pots will turn 360deg , no stops, so you really need a meter to see what is happening as your turning them. Use only plastic tools inside any radio for adjustments, metal will react with the components and possible short them out. 1206FL is right about th DM542 mic, VR1 is the modulation and VR2 increases the echo, I have seen some where the owner drilled holes in the back so they didn't have to remove the cover.
I would get your antenna squared away before even opening the box with the amp in it, hooking it up now will turn it into a crispy critter in no time.

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Re: Help with set up

Post by axplayer » Sunday, 12 July 2015, 18:30 PM

You guys are right about the echo mic. I did take it apart and adjusted the echo to it's lowest setting. Unfortunately, it causes a low hum unless I'm holding onto a certain part of the mic cord. Bad cord? Getting a a new one should be easy enough. The mic is loud but it's sits on the shelf due to the hum.

As for the radio. The only thing I adjusted was VR7 (AMC) and VR10 (Deadkey). Also the pots did not spin all the way around. Should I be getting more than 4W when adjusting VR7 ?

As for getting the radio tuned and aligned. I did check one person who quoted me a $300.00 fee just to "undo and return to original" before evening doing any work on the radio and a 6 month turn around! I don't know....sound steep to me. I don't know if I can even ask this question but on average what would one expect to pay for a tune and alignment?

No amp for now. Not until I get some proper coax....lol. But I will say, the RG6 isn't doing that bad.

I've been hearing some skip on 38 LSB!!! Sounds good!



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Re: Help with set up

Post by MDYoungblood » Sunday, 12 July 2015, 19:55 PM

VR7 should be turned all the way clockwise to get the most out of the modulation with the stock mic, would have to back it off a hair for a power mic. VR10 is the AM power so you have that right and VR11 is for the ALC (SSB) power. Peak and tune, 300 is an outrageous amount, probably his scare tactic to get you to buy a new conversion radio. Your receiving a lot better than transmitting, the RG6 is rather lossy so that could be the problem there. The mic hum could be coming from the battery touching one of the wires at the PCB, take a piece of tape and put it on the battery so it can't short those wires.

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Re: Help with set up

Post by axplayer » Monday, 13 July 2015, 5:53 AM

Thanks 321. I'm going to try taping the battery on the mic as you suggested. And yes, I am recieving better than transmitting and the RG6 and the location of the antenna has alot to do with it. I may have to experiment more with the dipole to see if I can improve my signal. If all fails, I guess I can just put the antenna outside.

This tech guy I was talking about runs a shop out of TX and has some good reviews and that was the reason I called him. Still, like you said....kinda high with the price. I remember taking a double take when he quoted me the price.
"Three hundred to tune and alignment?", I asked.
"No, three hundred just to undo any mods and get the radio ready for tune and alignment", he replied "I can't give you an actual price for the service since I dont know the condition of your radio is in."

Never did call him back. There's no way I was going to fork over that kinda money, regardless of how many glowing reviews he's posted about himself. If these are typical prices to get things done on a radio, I think I'm pretty much SOL.

-- Friday, 17 July 2015, 12:48 PM --

Well after 2 weeks on not being able to make any dx contacts, I decided to go ahead and to relocate the dipole outside. So yesterday was spend doing exactly that.

First try- I placed the the dipole feedpoint at the apex of the my roof and the legs down along the roof line to form an inverted V. It was a little hairy laying on the roof trying to mount the centerfeed. One wrong move and I'll rolling!!!! Once set up, I checked the SWR and it showed 3+ on all channels. Damn! Maybe the electrical wires, just a few inches away from one of the legs was causing that, I guess I should have known.

Second try- moved the dipole to nearer to the center of the house. Used a 1.5 inch PVC pipe as the center post and again formed an inverted V. Go back down stairs to check the SWR. 3+ again!! I was wondering if the radio pooped out on me since I double checked all the connections and coax (using a meter). Than I notice my window was shut (it was open, to allow the coax into the room). Looking at the coax, I saw the immediate problem. The window must have slammed down and nearly cut trough the coax. Bummer....lucky, I still had 50ft left, so I was okay. Tomorrow is another day.

Third try (next day)- Double checked the coax and fittings with a meter....all looks good. Rehooked the coax and checked the SWR. Nothing higher than 1.3 on all channels....great! Tried calling dx (no luck) for a few minutes this morning but I had to go work. I manage a doggie day and the whole idea of getting back into cb was the thought that I could install a base at work so I can keep tabs on my guys. We currently use FRS radios on site but are useless beyound a mile or so.

I will be up all night tonight calling dx. I can only hope Mother Nature will be in a good mood.

As for the 50 to 75 ohm mismatch, I've been thinking about making a simple converter using coax. Something like this -- Radio - 75ohm (2.93 ft) to 50ohm coax (2.93 ft) than back into the 75ohm to the antenna. BUT....the dipole is nearer to 75ohms than it is to 50 so the only time I'll be using the 12th wave transformer if I'm going to run a regular vertical base antenna.

Even though I haven't had the pleasure of making a dx contact (yet), I'm still excited about getting back into the CB thing. Some of my fondest childhood memories involved CB radios!!!! Again, it's good to have access to CB forums and better yet if it's CBRT. I feel much more confident about moving forward since I know I can turn to CBRT for help. I don't think I would have gotten this far without insight from the members...I don't know how I can repay (unless you have questions about your dog) but I think a donation is in order.

Things are looking better!

-- Friday, 24 July 2015, 9:49 AM --

I've finally decided to get things done "right" and get some RG58 coax instead of what I'm using right now RG6. I've found some locally but it's listed as Video coax. It is 50ohms but I wonder if the shield is copper. Does anyone know anything about this? The guy is selling a 100 ft for $20 bucks and I need to jump on that wagon fast but won't do any help if the shield is aluminum (just too much problems getting a contact with the connector).

A quick reply would be helpful regarding the coax question.

Another question I have is regarding my RM203p. When switched to SSB, the signal bleeds into my car radio (FM). The funny thing is it only starts after about 5 seconds after keying the mic. The 203p is connected directly to my battery (with a fuse, of course). The jumper coax is a 50ohm 3 ft section. My swr is well within acceptable limits so I'm not sure what is causing the interference.

Any insight would be appreciated.




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