Let me say something
right from the start here. There are probably a whole lot of readers
out there who know a who know a lot more about CB radios than I
do. I've owned a ton of them, but I've always been an "off-the-shelf"
kind of guy who uses what he buys as-is. In other words, there are
many people who buy CB radios and tweak them until they can talk
to their friends in Timbuk 2 and everyone within 20 miles can hear
their conversations over their favorite cable tv show. Tweaking
CB radios is against the law. The FCC says so. So what I'm going
to write about in this column are two of Cobra Electronic's hottest
new radios on the market, which are the 18WXSTII and the 19DXIII
and how they work in their off-the-shelf fashion. I'll also touch
on Turbo City's windshield CB Radio Mounting Plate and a few things
to think about when buying yourself a new radio.
for a new CB radio, one of the biggest questions you can ask yourself
is "how and where am I going to mount this thing?" You
basically have several options, which include:
- Under the
- In the dash
- On the dash
- In a center
console, such as a Tuffy
- Over your
head on a roll bar or CBrack
- Mounted to
the windshield frame
The Turbo City CB Mounting Bracket is about as simple as can
That's a lot
of prepositions, but it's also a lot of options. Each option has
its own merits and its own problems and concerns. For example, if
you want it under the dash, where does the speaker aim? Most-likely,
at your feet. If it goes inside a console, then you're really out
of luck. Fortunately, many CB radios have external jacks and you
can wire in an external speaker. Oh, but then where do you put that?
I used to have
my radio attached to the sport bar behind me and over my head. It
was attached with a mounting bracket that was held on by hose clamps.
Talk about fancy-schmancy fabrication! OK, I admit it. It was ugly
and my riders often bumped their noggins on it when they climbed
in. It did work, though, and I kept the wires nicely hidden by running
them under the sport bar's padding and through the soundbar.
Using the radio,
however, was a chore. I had to either turn around to look at the
controls, feel around, blind for them and use them backward, or
look in the mirror and do the same. Lame operating ergonomics, at
best. I decided to try the Turbo City CB Mounting Bracket. Again,
let's talk about some simple fabrication. Basically, they take four
pieces of steel, weld them together, and punch a few holes through
it. Simple, but it works great!
Uniden radio had seen a lot of action. We leave the top off
for most of the summer, so it had been toasted quite well
and was plenty dirty. It worked just fine, though, and we
used it for a couple years, until we got the new Cobras this
to mount a CB on the Turbo City bracket, you have to drill
through the top of the radio. Now don't be lazy! Take a minute
to remove the cover and make sure your screws aren't going
to zip right through the radio's circuit board! I chose some
small, self-tapping screws to make life easy.
bracket uses the existing holes from the windshield frame's
footman loop. If you like to lay your windshield down, you're
out of luck. You will need to mount your CB to the bracket
and then to the windshield.
drill the holes in the radio's top, be sure not go so far
back that you can't fit the antenna wire into the rear of
the radio. You will need a flexible screwdriver extension
with a Torx bit in order to get to the odd angle of the screw
inside the bracket.
Once you have
the radio mounted on the windshield frame, the rest is basic radio
wiring, which we won't get in to here. You will need to run several
wires, including the antenna wire down and to an electrical source
and the antenna. It's not the neatest way to go, but it's not horribly
ugly, either, if you use run the wires down the plastic side channels
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