2014 RAM 2500 CB Installation complete

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by jadocs, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. jadocs

    jadocs Senior Member

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    So I've been wanting to install a CB on this new truck but have been met with some limitations as far as availability of antenna mounts, space restrictions due to full center console, and not really wanting to drill a hole in my roof, but still wanting the best performance.

    Here were my considerations and decisions.

    Antenna mounts - initially I was looking for a fender mount that secures under the hood, but the only one I could find that they make for the 2014+ year is a NMO model. This meant I would have to use an adapter if I wanted to run a Wilson 2000T. Since the Wilson also has a load on it, I thought it would look goofy and I was concerned about the stress on the mount at highway speeds. The mount could be reinforced with an extra screw, but the performance would not be as good if the antenna was on the roof (1/3. 2/3 rule on antenna length).

    Decision Wilson 1000 magnetic roof mount with some creative coax routing.
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    With a third break light that has a camera, you are not getting the coax in it due to the fact that it is not surrounded by an external rubber gasket. You would have to grind the surround to create space for the cable, and I wasn't going to do that. The coax was routed behind the weather strip on the rear window., and I secured the cable around the third break light with two pieces of high strength Velcro to clean up the way it looks.
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    Radio - I wanted a full size for the features and performance. I have had the all in one hand helds (cobra 75WX) in the past, but the performance was terrible. Full size radios create some issues in terms of mounting location if you want a clean install with a full center console. You either have to mount it on the dash or cut into the console bin for a custom fit. Mounting it on the dash creates possible issues with theft since it is easily visible, and you may have issues with passing a state inspection unless it is removed. I wasn't about to cut into my center console, so that left mounting it to the side of the console. In my opinion the radio controls have to be accessible while driving if you are set on a full featured CB, otherwise why have one? Having said that, mounting a full sized CB to the side of the console is not feasible due to the fact that it would get in the way of the driver or the passenger. The ideal location to me would be on the drivers side, because reaching over to the passenger side while driving to make adjustments is not ideal.

    Decision - Cobra 25 LX Mid sized radio (peaked and tuned) that maintains the same performance as it's full sized brother. The radio is small enough to be mounted on the drivers side of the center console, totally out of the way and easily accessible to make adjustments while driving.
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    Radio Mount - As you can tell by now, I did not want to drill holes into my center console. A local shop put together a mount that would slide into the magazine pocket, and with the seat against it, it's rock solid.
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    So there it is. SWR is 1.1 and 1.3
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015
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  2. Power247

    Power247 Senior Member

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    Nice install! Very clean looking.
     
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  3. jadocs

    jadocs Senior Member

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    Thanks Power, I wish I could take credit for the install. The only thing I did was add the Velcro around the third brake light. I was set to buy all my stuff on eBay and do it myself, but I decided to visit a local Communications/CB shop to see if they had any antenna mounting solutions for the 2014+ RAM. After they took time out of their day to help me figure out the best options (see orig post), I decided to buy everything from them and have them install it. As it turns out, it was cheaper to have them do it all which was a bonus. They peaked and tuned the radio on the spot while the antenna coax was being routed. Great bunch of guys, and I'll definitely be going back for all my CB needs. I might have them put on an AMP.
     
  4. Power247

    Power247 Senior Member

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    Sounds like you made the right call. Getting the pros to do it for less that you cost for just the components was a great deal.
     
  5. jadocs

    jadocs Senior Member

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    Thanks power247 I'm really pleased with how everything turned out.
     
  6. jadocs

    jadocs Senior Member

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    Had to wash the truck for the first time since last Fall. Here is a shot showing the whole truck and antenna.
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  7. jadocs

    jadocs Senior Member

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    Update

    Everything is working great. I'm listening to people talking skip from Florida, Texas, New York.

    As nice as the Mag mount works, I've decided to do this right and permanently mount a better antenna on the roof so I have the option to run some power down the road.

    The antenna is a Sirio 5000 Performer which is made in Italy and the mount is a Breedlove SO-239 with ring terminals. I wanted to make sure I had something sturdy and wide enough to support the antenna without having to run a reinforcing plate.
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    The coax I will be using is a Times Microwave LMR-240 with ring lugs made by MPD Digital. As soon as I get it in the mail I'll get it installed and post some pics. I'll need to drop the headliner to get it done.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
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  8. SPDKLZ

    SPDKLZ Member

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    Def following this! I have been wanting to add a CB to my new truck, but have not done so due to many of your same concerns. Keep the pics coming so I can bypass my trial and error :)

    BTW, how much was the original install cost? I too thought of and have been researching buying on ebay.
     
  9. jadocs

    jadocs Senior Member

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    No problem. I'll keep you updated. I forget what the install was exactly. I'd have to check my receipt when I get home. Whatever it was, it included a peak and tune. Might have been a little over $100. I will caution you to research local cb shops and reviews before you have them do anything. Ask them how they adjust the modulation. If they say they clip the limiter, steer clear. Also ask them what type of equipment they use to tune their radios. Beware of shops or people with the "Golden screwdriver" (making adjustments without proper equipment or regard to functional interrelationships).

    If you choose to buy on eBay, research the seller and his radios online. An easy way to do this is typing "forum: sellers name or shop". This way you will get forum hits with real people talking about the product. You will be able to tell fairly quickly who and who does not know what they are talking about.

    Stay away from gadgets like echo boards, roger beep, power mics, etc. if you are going to run power (amps) you will need the radio tuned to the amp. Having a peaked and tuned radio and just throwing an amp in will result in less than optimal performance of both the amp and cb. In some cases it can be worse.

    Edit: one last thing on running power (amps). Do not do it with a magnet mounted antenna. This is due to the way it is grounded. It has nothing to do with antenna rating. The heat caused by the extra power can discolor or damage the paint. There are people who do it, but when you peel the onion back you will find that they don't notice it (age of vehicle/paint), or don't care. This is why I'm going with a quality permanent mount, antenna, and coax.

    Edit 2: this is not my picture. It was taken off another forum. Damage to paint caused by using power with a mag mount.
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    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  10. jadocs

    jadocs Senior Member

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    Finished pics. Lowering the headliner is not a quick job if you have never done it before. I took my time and it was totally worth it. After lowering the headliner it became clear that there was only one small area between the roof supports to mount the antenna. I was using a mount that had a large surface area to further ensure the roof wouldn't buckle with the weight of the antenna at highway speeds. You've heard the saying that your radio is only as good as your antenna and coax? Well it's true, I'll be damned if my radio isn't louder and clearer.

    Antenna Mount: Breedlove SO-239 (#179).

    Antenna: Sirio 5000 Performer.

    Coax: Times Microwave LMR-240 with heavy duty 3/16" ring lugs.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I haven't even tuned the antenna yet and my SWR is.

    Channel 1: basically a flat 1, maybe a hair over.

    Channel 20: 1.15

    Channel 40: 1.3
     

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