So now that I’m slowly catching up with side projects, I was able to get around to completing the install of a different CB radio antenna setup. I used to run a short 12″ magnetic mount above the rear hatch that was pretty much useless. I use my 2m HAM radio much more, but wanted to still have a good CB radio setup for when I run trails with other people who don’t have 2m radio equipment.
The radio is just a plain-jane Cobra 19 compact. I didn’t need anything fancy for my uses, and it fits very well mounted to my MPAC Saddle Rack I use for mounting all my radio equipment.
It stays out of the way, while also being convenient to adjust and use. The radio is small enough to leave just enough room behind it for mounting my Benchmade Rescue Hook, which is perfect for cutting seatbelts or clothing in an emergency.
When it came to mounting an improved CB antenna, the problem I had was figuring where to mount it. I was already using a Boztec mount on the rear door for my 2m antenna, and I didn’t want to mount it on the front bumper or drill into anything since this antenna will only be semi-permanent until I get a roof rack and move my mounting locations around. I ended up taking to the guys at DB Customz about modifying their pillar light mount, and he was happy to sell me a single bracket that he drilled out to fit a CB antenna stud. Since the mount is very low-profile, I decided to use the innovative Fire-Ring coax cable from FireStik, which allowed me to have a no-stress 90 degree angle as well as facilitate easy grounding.
This mount does require the removal of the cowl/fender piece, but DB Customz can include the necessary clips since they generally break upon removal. It requires some firm, steady pressure to remove, but it’s not too difficult. The mount bolts onto the hood hinge bolts very securely without any flexing. I ran the coax and ground through protective wire loom to prevent any chafing.
From behind, you can see how nice the Fire-Ring coax cable fits with the mount, and allows for a clean installation and look.
From the front, the install is clean with the majority of the wiring hidden. For this installation, due to the size of the coax cable, it would be very difficult to run it completely through the cowl gap due to how the clips are attached. I would have preferred no wiring to be visible, but I’m not disappointed in the least. It makes potential troubleshooting and replacement easier down the line.
For the antenna, I chose a 2 foot Wilson tune-able fiberglass antenna. Wilson has been around for ages, and I’ve never heard a bad thing about their products. So far the antenna works great for my uses, and while you won’t be talking 5-10 miles with this very easily, for trail and convoy use it works perfectly while still being able to fit into a garage without removal.
In all, I think the mount worked out really well. Total cost for the mounting, clips, powder-coating, and shipping was right at $75, which I think is totally reasonable. My CB was right around $40, the Antenna was $22, and the Coax was about $16. All said and done, I’d estimate the install at around $150. I do have a short spring on order that can be attached for when I’m travelling on tight trails with lots of branches and foliage.