How to Mount a CB Antenna in a Truck Bed?
Mounting a CB antenna in your vehicle may seem a difficult process but it’s not that difficult. It is only a bit tricky, if you’re not getting the right kind of instructions.
There may be various models of CB radio and antenna available in the market but when it comes to mounting the antenna properly, the rules are pretty much generalized.
So, if you want to know how to mount a CB antenna in a truck bed, then keep reading.
Step 1 – Know Where to Mount
It is useful to know where you will be installing your CB antenna beforehand. For many, it acts as a guide as to buy the best cb antenna for 18 wheeler.
If you wish to mount the antenna, for example, on the roof of your truck, you can buy the magnet mount, base loaded antenna.
The magnetic base sets on the metal and there's no need to fix the antenna. However, these may not work for you if you wish to mount it on the bumper or truck bed.
An ideal location to mount your CB antenna would be the roof of your truck, as it would get the best ground plane coverage.
This ground plane functions as a horizontal surface to reflect the radio waves from other radio elements.
Another popular location are the stake holes lining the truck bed. This is advantageous since this does not require any drilling of holes to fix the mount.
Antenna mounts, specifically designed to fit these holes, are also available, known as the stake hole CB antenna mount.
In the truck bed, you can either mount your antenna in the stake holes or you can also choose the tool box. But this choice usually leads to a hassle of drilling holes.
Step 2 – Fix the Antenna Mount to the Truck
As mentioned earlier, antenna mounts, specific for stake holes are available on the market.
Mount the antenna on the driver's side and as close as possible, to the cab for reception of best possible signal.
One thing to keep in mind is to keep the antenna length at least a foot above the cab, since keeping the length shorter can give you a high SWR reading, which can be damaging for your radio.
You can keep your antenna as tall as you want but not so much that it hits overhead passes.
You should have all the proper instruments that are required.
The antenna mount, after fixing, should be attached to the coax. There are various ways of doing this.
Some antenna are accompanied by studs which will need the ring terminal connector on your coax wires, and others will require the PL259 connector.
Step 3 – R outing the Coaxial Cables
It means getting the cable from the radio to the antenna. Try to keep the cable such that as little as possible is visible to others.
There should be minimum slack in the coax cable and at the end, properly store the excess coax. This should be done in a thin figure 8 and tie it at the center.
It is essential not to store the coax in a coil as it may lead to a rise in the SWR reading.
Step 4 – Tuning the Antenna
You only need to go one step further to start using your radio- the most important step. You need to tune your radio antenna before the antenna can pick up signals and allow an SWR reading.
Keep checking the reading that the SWR meter gives in between adjustments. Compare the reading at channel 1 and at channel 40. The two readings should be more or less, equal or also below 2.0.
High SWR readings can damage your CB radio. And it can also act as a guide for the adjustment of the length of the antenna.
If the SWR reading in channel 40 is higher than that of in channel 1, it indicates that your antenna is too long. And vice versa, in the opposite scenario.
You may need to park your vehicle in an open space, away from trees or buildings.
A distance of 10 to 20 meters between the antenna, the trees and the buildings is appropriate.
The space should be clear of any obstruction and you should be inside your vehicle with the door and windows closed to minimize any interference.
This makes sure that the reading the SWR meter gives is accurate. Now you only have to learn the codes. When that is done, you are ready to go!
Even if you have the best cb radio for truckers, and the antenna isn’t mounted well, you won’t have a good experience. So, the mounting must be done properly.
Now, these steps can be simple or tricky depending on whether you know what you are doing. In case of confusion, please consult your radio manuals.
With these instructions that we have written done for you, and with the help of your manual, we hope that you will get your CB radio and antenna set up in no time at all. Best of luck, and hope you have an amazing experience with it.