Drivers' Corner - Layover CB Shop

Installer's Choice

By Stan Wells

It seems that every day we get a customer who wants to change his antennas. But no matter how good antennas are used, they just become impossible to tune-that means get a good SWR. This happens because the antenna system is just that.

Most modern trucks use an antenna system that includes specially designed antennas and a diplexer box. What is a diplexer box? It's a device that splits the antenna signal and lets some of the signal go to the stereo. Sometimes some of the signal goes to a TV and the remainder goes to the CB radio. Before I go any further, this is a simplified explanation. If someone with a background in electronics wants more information, it will be provided. No use confusing the concept with too much information.

Here is what we usually do to cure the problem and leave the stereo and TV still working. We remove the coax from the driver's side and install a new coax from the antenna stud to the CB radio. Then we tune the CB antenna to work with that vehicle by passing the diplexer box so it can still feed the stereo. It sounds simpler than it is. When properly installed, you would never know that the coax has been changed.

Why doesn't someone make a coax with connectors that can be pulled through the mirror arms? Right now you need to cut one end off and install the coax and solder on the other end. I recommend you install the coax with the molded end outside. Then solder the new end on the inside of the truck. There's less corrosion of the solder points.

Now I come to the name of this article: "Installer's Choice." There is a new coax coming that will be made with mini adapters to make installing easier and not need soldering. Still, you will need to take the time to install it correctly. Even if you don't care what it looks like, a neat job with all wires hidden will last longer and not tangle with your feet.

Remember, any questions or suggestions for future articles would be appreciated. Even a better idea.