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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can I use a Motorola-type Y adapter in order to plug both the OEM antenna and my CB radio antenna into the antenna jack of the car radio? Will this work -- or damage anything? Some of you EE types must know the answer.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by sinbad:
Can I use a Motorola-type Y adapter in order to plug both the OEM antenna and my CB radio antenna into the antenna jack of the car radio? Will this work -- or damage anything? Some of you EE types must know the answer.</font>
OK, I'm an EE, so I'll bite. Why do you want to hook up your CB radio antenna to your car radio? If you're looking for more signal strength or other reception enhancement (reduction of multipath interference, for example), this is probably not the way to do it. I have heard of mobile TV tuners (add-ons to the iVES and other similar mobile theater applications) that have what sounds like an antenna array input (multiple antenna inputs). I think these have some circuitry in the tuner that selects the antenna path with the highest signal strength (which would tend to change as one drives down the road), but I'd be surprised if they actually use the combination of antennas in an additive way to increase overall signal strength. The in-dash radio has neither of these features, but since both antennas would go into the same input, it is somewhat moot. Also, most antennas (TV, FM, ham radio, etc) are designed to be some fraction (or multiple) of the average wavelength of the incoming signal, so you may not get optimal FM/AM reception with your CB antenna, if that is what you are looking for-I may be wrong here because I don't remember how close the CB frequency bands are to either FM or AM radio. I doubt if you can hurt your radio with multiple antenna inputs, but it's not clear you will get any benefit, either. If you are trying to pull in weak signals, I would start looking at the antenna gain specs for a single antenna (possibly your goal with the CB antenna?) or consider an in line amplifier to boost the signal strength to the head unit. Fellow EEs are welcome to weigh in to support/refute my opinion. :)

------------------
2001 EX
iVES
Infinity 652s/452s/105ts
Honda Wood Dash
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Coming up: Foglights,CD Changer,Glove Box Light
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by sinbad:
Can I use a Motorola-type Y adapter in order to plug both the OEM antenna and my CB radio antenna into the antenna jack of the car radio? Will this work -- or damage anything? Some of you EE types must know the answer.</font>
Your factory radio is designed to recieve only. When you use a splitter or Y adapter and xmit from your cb you are sending rf power out from your cb into the Y going to your am/fm radio and the antenna. I would think that you run the risk of overloading the input side of your am/fm tuner. Also your SWR (standing wave ratio) on your cb will not be optimal when using your stock antenna. An other thing to consider is power output, I had a '87 toyota 4Runner and the Toyota manual stated that anything over 5 watts of RF power could damage the ECU (electronic control unit). Things might have changed since then, but be carefull with RF and today's sensitive electronics.

I would suggest if you really want to use a cb, keep it seperate and keep the antenna as far back on the vehicle as possible.

JMO, hope it helps.

AA
2002EX-GG (sept. delivery)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your input, Odyfox. I have a 12" magnetic base Radio Shack "floppy" CB antenna now, that I put on top of the Accord (for road trips), with the antenna cable running accross the roof and between the weatherstriping between the front and rear door, and then into the interior to join the radio.

Rather than drill a hole in the Odyssey body for a separate antenna, or otherwise clamp mount an antenna -- I figured it might be easier to patch the CB antennna input into the existing AM/FM antenna, and forget it. But, since the two antennas are so specifically designed for their respective wavelengths, the CB will probable not receive much over the AM/FM antenna.

It looks like the only solution is to mount a separate CB antenna.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
AA, thanks. I overlooked the fact that the CB also transmitts, and would therefore be inputing into the AM/FM radio, which is not designed to accept the input.
 

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Sinbad,

I don't want to drill any holes or add any more antennas to my Ody, either. This can be avoided, but it is *not* optimal. You need a diplexer to separate the CB signals from the FM/AM broadcast signals. This will keep your CB from trashing your head unit and your head unit from interfering with your CB. You also need a combination CB/AM/FM antenna and may need to drill holes for even that.


If you try to transmit over the stock radio antenna you will soon kill your CB from driving the mismatch. As you've discovered, the wavelength of the stock antenna is all wrong for transmitting (and receiving) on CB frequencies.

Even with a diplexer and combo antenna, you will not be able to transmit or receive nearly as efficiently as with a dedicated CB antenna. Choices, choices...I'm not sure yet what I want to do myself.

You may just want to keep going with the mag-mount antenna if you use the CB only occasionally. I haven't done much research, so I don't know what combo antennas are out there nowadays, either. Please let us know if you find an elegant solution.


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advice, Mike. Looks like I will stay with my Radio Shack magnetic mount rubber ducky antenna for now.
 

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I wouldn't give up quite yet. As I am sure you already know, the mag mount will scratch up your paint over time. I would look for a glass mount unit that looks like the cell phone antennas of yesteryear. In fact, most don't require drilling of the glass for mounting.

While these antennas may not give you the reach the a 102" whip would give, it will certainly be "good enough" for 1-2 miles of TX/RX.

They range in price from $10 to $50. I assume, like everything else, you'll get what you pay for!

Good Luck,
-Kurt
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
After much surfing, I finally got a Wilson "Little Wil" mag mount cb antenna. The SWR adjusted down to 1.2, and it works great TX and RX -- much more range and clarity -- truckers can actually hear me! I found my Radio Shack antennas were in the SWR range of 3! -- which means I was only putting out one watt or less, and possibly damaging the radio!

I pushed all my Radio Shack antennas off a cliff. The Little Wil is $30 and 36" tall -- it's all that I need. Total height when mounted on the ODY roof is 9 feet. Go to their web site in order to find a local or mail-order dealer.

I also got the Radio Shack SWR meter for $35 -- it made tuning the antenna really easy, plus it has a power meter function to measure the radio power output. You can keep it hooked up in the antenna line to monitor performance. Contrary to the RS antennas, it got good reviews.

Has anyone mounted a 102" whip? SSB? I'm ready for more stuff.

http://www.wilsonantenna.com/lilwil.htm

http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog_name=CTLG&product_id=21-534
 

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Two way radio antennas

If you have a trailer hitch you can usually get a hitch mount that will work for any antenna with a standard thread, including the 102 inch whip. If you ever decide to get into ham radio you can use the same mount for HF.

If you decide to go VHF and UHF, probably with a 2M/440 rig, then a mag mount will work pretty well. I would suggest however that you look into using NMO hole mounts. These require a single 3/4 inch hole, preferably in the center of the roof.

This usally gives a great ground, reduces the height of the antenna a bit and allows the use of a variety of antennas.

I would also suggest that you splurge a bit and bring you $35,000 van to a professional installer for the mounts. They have the correct type of drills and access to the manuals that allow them to avoid drilling into an AC vent, airbag sensor or other critical item. They can also route your cable to the location of the radio and even run a decent power run for them.

Look for a company that builds police and fire vehicles, this type of thing is their speciality.

I just bought a 2005 Touring with Nav/Res, and as soon as I can get rid of my wife for a few days (so I can use her car) I plan onhaving my installer put in 3 NMO mounts. One will be for the Kenwood dual bander, another for a Uniden BC796 scanner and a third for use on whatever handheld I chose to bring that day. I now have 2 mag mounts that work well, but not as well as NMO's will. Plus, the NMO's will look much better, with no visible wires and a lower profile.
 

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Re: Two way radio antennas

n9jig said:


...

I just bought a 2005 Touring with Nav/Res, and as soon as I can get rid of my wife for a few days (so I can use her car) I plan onhaving my installer put in 3 NMO mounts. One will be for the Kenwood dual bander, another for a Uniden BC796 scanner and a third for use on whatever handheld I chose to bring that day. ...
Wow! drill 3 holes on a new Ody !
My wife wont let me do it, so I just have to stick with 3 mag mounts, one for the Icom dualband, another one for APRS and another one for 6M vertical element for the Icom 706.
Take a picture when you're done with the 3 NMO mounts.
 

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Re: Re: Two way radio antennas

jono said:
Wow! drill 3 holes on a new Ody !
My wife wont let me do it, so I just have to stick with 3 mag mounts, one for the Icom dualband, another one for APRS and another one for 6M vertical element for the Icom 706.
Take a picture when you're done with the 3 NMO mounts.
My wife won't let me either, that's why I have to wait til I can get her out of town a few days.

I just am happy she is too short to see the roof. If any of you show her the pictures after I post them I will hunt you down (assuming she doesn't hunt me down first)...:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: Two way radio antennas

n9jig said:
I would also suggest that you splurge a bit and bring you $35,000 van to a professional installer for the mounts. They have the correct type of drills and access to the manuals that allow them to avoid drilling into an AC vent, airbag sensor or other critical item. They can also route your cable to the location of the radio and even run a decent power run for them.

Look for a company that builds police and fire vehicles, this type of thing is their specialty.
I would welcome a professional install -- but I imagine that the Memphis police dept does their installations in house. Also, I dropped by a couple of those auto stereo shops and was not impressed.

You are right about proper tools, etc. You have got to drill in the roof where the sheet metal will support the stress of antenna movement.

I am not really looking to get into Ham at this point -- too many other pursuits. In the meantime, I have installed a Wilson 1000 mag mount with improved reception over the "Little Wil," and have a Galaxy DX959 on the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: Two way radio antennas

I just bought a 2005 Touring with Nav/Res, and as soon as I can get rid of my wife for a few days (so I can use her car) I plan onhaving my installer put in 3 NMO mounts. One will be for the Kenwood dual bander, another for a Uniden BC796 scanner and a third for use on whatever handheld I chose to bring that day. I now have 2 mag mounts that work well, but not as well as NMO's will. Plus, the NMO's will look much better, with no visible wires and a lower profile. [/B]


n9jig: The Uniden BC796 is the "Cadillac" of scanners. Am I wasting my money on the BCT8 or BC898T? -- both about $200 less expensive. I want something to use on long trips. Are any of these models of any value intercepting HWY patrol transmission? These days I know you have to have a scanner that supports trunking -- which all the LEO's have gone to.
 

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Re: Re: Two way radio antennas

sinbad said:
n9jig: The Uniden BC796 is the "Cadillac" of scanners. Am I wasting my money on the BCT8 or BC898T? -- both about $200 less expensive. I want something to use on long trips. Are any of these models of any value intercepting HWY patrol transmission? These days I know you have to have a scanner that supports trunking -- which all the LEO's have gone to.
The BC796 has a worthy competitor, the Radio Shack Pro-2096. Either one will perform pretty much as well as the other. Each has a similar feature list and capabilities, but there are differences. The Pro2096 fits into a DIN enclosure and even comes with a DIN sleeve. The BC796 however has LTR trunking and a couple other modes the 2096 doesn't have.

For casual monitoring that requires digital modes, either one will work, it is a matter of preference mostly. (I have both...)

Enjoy!

Rich Carlson, N9JIG
Director:
CARMA, the Chicago Area Radio Monitoring Association.
(CARMA is the largest scanner club in the USA)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: Re: Re: Two way radio antennas

n9jig said:
The BC796 has a worthy competitor, the Radio Shack Pro-2096. Either one will perform pretty much as well as the other. Each has a similar feature list and capabilities, but there are differences. The Pro2096 fits into a DIN enclosure and even comes with a DIN sleeve. The BC796 however has LTR trunking and a couple other modes the 2096 doesn't have.

For casual monitoring that requires digital modes, either one will work, it is a matter of preference mostly. (I have both...)
Nice to know I have reached the mother lode of scanner information!

The RS Pro-2096 is still too close to $500 for my comfort zone.

What about the BCT8 or BC898T at around $200? Are they any use in tracking LEO in interstate travel? Or would I be more satisfied in the long run by spending the extra $, and getting the BS796?

What is LTR trunking?
 

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Two way radio antennas

sinbad said:
Nice to know I have reached the mother lode of scanner information!

The RS Pro-2096 is still too close to $500 for my comfort zone.

What about the BCT8 or BC898T at around $200? Are they any use in tracking LEO in interstate travel? Or would I be more satisfied in the long run by spending the extra $, and getting the BS796?

What is LTR trunking?
The BCT8 is a pretty good radio but is lacking the digital capabilities of the BC796 or 2096 as well as some other features. For general listening it is pretty good. The 898 also lacks digital and the form factor is not really suited to a mobile enviornment.

If the states you travel in do not or will not be using digital then you are OK. If you are travelling in MI, KY, IN, OH, SD, IL, CO, MT or some other states you will need digital modes now or soon.

LTR trunking is a form of trunking that is most popular with business band users, most public safety agencies use Motorola or EDACS.
 
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