Anyone used a SWR Meter used to tune CB?

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by orange68, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. orange68

    orange68 Member

    50
    16
    0
    I have a 2009 ultra and I just installed a J&M CB on my wifes road king. Seems the radio contact between all bikes that I have riden with or anyone I talked to states the CB doesn't transmit very far. I have read you can tune the CB antena using a SWR meter and increase the distances you can transmit and receive. Anyone ever done this and what were the results?
     
  2. kemo

    kemo R.I.P

    1,690
    48
    5
    If you have a high swr (over 3) you can burn your radio out. What this means is that when you are transmitting with a high swr the power is staying in the radio causing it to overheat (lay mans language). The lower the swr the better. You check the swr on channels 1 and 40.
    Kemo
     
  3. ultra...good

    ultra...good Banned

    302
    0
    2
    You can get an SWR (Signal to Wave Ratio) meter from Radio Shack for around $20. The antennas and systems are supposedly set from the factory and unless you make changes to the system, you should not have any issues. For your wifes bike, you may want to check it or have it checked by someone. But, I have also heard that beyond about a mile, the stock c/b system is no good for transmitting, and that would have more to do with the amount of output by c/b radio, which is measured by wattage, then it is an issue of the antenna. If your SWR's are out of line though, it only gets worse from there.
     
  4. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    7,198
    0
    34
    I would use the meter. It quickly identifies other problems as shorted coax, open center conductors, bad or oxidized coax connectors etc. If the SWR has a good low value, it tells you that everything from the radio out=> is good. As Kemo says, saves the radio from burning up the final transmit Xsistors.
     
  5. lorne

    lorne Senior Member

    2,426
    58
    18
    is this a ant that does not need a ground plan?
    if so check your ant cable with a ohm meter you could have a short in the connector.
    if your ant needs a ground plan (it is for a car) then make sure the ant mount is mounted to a conducting metal.

    these would explain your problem

    i would do this before a swr
     
  6. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    7,198
    0
    34
    So True. Excellent point.
     
  7. mlrc10

    mlrc10 Active Member

    107
    26
    0
    LOL ,I did learn something today ....Do they really make a watt meter that cost $20 ? That has to be a precision piece of equipment . The elements of my watt meter are like $85 bucks apiece . They can "set" an antenna at the factory all want ,unless it is mounted in the exact same place ,with the exact same object around it . The antenna will " see " the difference , therefore changing the tuning.
     
  8. ultra...good

    ultra...good Banned

    302
    0
    2
    SWR meter, not watt meter.
    radio shack swr meter items - Get great deals on Electronics, Business Industrial
    They are as low as $5, and up, so I guess I was wrong.
     
  9. lorne

    lorne Senior Member

    2,426
    58
    18
    if your check out some of the Ham Radio web sites you can get some decent prices. Byrd meters are very good probably one of the best, but it is for someone who would use it every day. the Hams sites have some decent quality swr meters that would do the trick.

    when using a swr meter make sure your meter is rated for the frequency of your radio. example police fire etc mainly are on VHF where as CB is HF so you could not use the same meter. although it has been done if you are able to manually turn down your output power
     
  10. orange68

    orange68 Member

    50
    16
    0
    I did install the ground on he antena as the instructions indicated and this helped. But, I think the output should be a little better. Seems the other day when we were riding out the the country near no buildings, etc we could only reach about 2-300 years.
    Even whenwe ride with the HOG group, the distance for all radios seems to be pretty short. May just be a wattage thing, I just don't know. Sounds like I need to get a meter and check things out.