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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I just finished buying everything I need for my cb radio install. I know that all the sources on the internet say that the SWR meter is a necessity (but they may just be trying to get me to spend more money). From experience do you guys know how important it is? Any info is appreciated.
 

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Your swr is like your cb's radiator. If you swr's are too high you will burn up your radio . You definitley need one and they need to be below a 2 I like them to be more around one with 1.5 being the max for me. Also the lower they are the better your cb will sound. The next problem is if you are going with a fixed length antenna and they end up high you will have to buy another one and try it. For a fiberglass whip the 8' Francis will work on over 80% of vehicles. A 9' steel whip will work on 60-70%(the longer the antenna the better your chances of getting a good swr). The weird thing is you can have 2 indenical trucks and the same antenna will not work both. Its weird. If you go with a Wilson type antenna the Lenght is adjustable so Yoou can Adjust your swr's somewhat. The best chance you have is to buy a 8' francis which is a fiberglass antenna to hit it perfect the first time. I am lucky enough to have what many believe is the best cb radio shop in the nation and this info came from him. TC's radio in Wallace, NC
 

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I forgot one thing that is crucial. Low SWR's start with 18' of coax .Even if you don't need but 3' buy 18' and hide it somewhere. Your swr starts at the back of the radio where the coax screws in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thats what i figured from what I have read. Just wanted to make sure. thanks a lot. Do you know if you can pick these up at any type of store? I have tried radio shack with no success. Anywhere else you can think of so i don't have to order one online?

By the way: I already have a 3' firestik (adjustable) and an 18' coax. So hopefully I can get a reasonable swr.
 

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You can still get them at Radio Shack, online at least. CB/High-Frequency Ham Power SWR Meter - RadioShack.com
I have the older version of this, still works Great.

Also, try Ebay, Astatic makes one you could get refurb for under $20.
Just like DavidApplewhite said length of Coax is extremely crucial, I think the Waves actual length is 9 feet. So, with a 9 foot whip and 9 feet of coax, you will get 18 feet. Just remember "9" or multiples thereof (18,27, Etc.) and add your antenna length too.
A reputable CB shop should be able to fix you up.
 

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I still haven't put an SWR on mine and it works great. I think its fine because the guys I bought mine from said its a good idea to put the meter on it still, but I bought that certain length 18' pr whatever coax and my firestik antenna was pre-tuned for it.
 

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Basically using a SWR meter tuned the antenna to your radio install. Bad SWR = Bad news
Thankfully we have now gone to UHF and no more SWR meters needed.

Just for the record if you use a 9 foot whip it will be a perfect 1/4 wave antenna .
Well it was when we used to use 27mhz radios
 

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Local Radio shops are the best but they are hard to find. I guess they don't advertise because of the linears and stuff. The one I deal with is cash only. And if you take your truck there they put your antenna on and check it to see if it works before you buy it! I NEVER EVER NEVER EVER buy from Radio Shack unless its an absolute emergency. I've had nothing but bad experience there equipment.
 
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