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Poor CB Antenna Mounting Locations

Posted by Pat Haggerty updated

SWR readings between 2.0 and 3.0 indicate a poor antenna mounting location on your vehicle. Although SWR of 3.0 across all channels usually indicates an installation mistake or faulty equipment, it can also occur due to a poor mounting location.

Mounting situations or locations that can lead to high SWR include:

  • If the antenna is surrounded by metal
  • If the antenna is sandwiched between two surfaces (i.e., between a pickup bed and the cab)
  • If the majority of the antenna is blocked or boxed in by some part of the vehicle
  • If the entire antenna is below the roof of the vehicle

In situations like these, the mounting location can make it hard or impossible to tune your antenna. If you've followed all the previously discussed troubleshooting advice to no avail, and your mounting location is similar to one mentioned above, we'd recommend moving your antenna to a different location on the vehicle.

Before completing a second permanent installation, we'd suggest doing a "dummy tune" -- tuning your antenna while someone else holds it in place in the new location. This way, if it still doesn't tune up properly, you haven't wasted time and effort on a worthless installation. When doing a "dummy tune," make sure that the mounting surface receives a good ground or you won't be able to tune properly.

For information on picking a suitable mounting location, please see our article, Choosing the Best CB Antenna.


Pat Haggerty

About the Author

As the owner and operator of Right Channel Radios, Pat Haggerty has been helping customers find the best radio solutions since 2008. He is highly knowledgeable in all mobile radio options and setups, including CB radios, GMRS radios, and HAM radios. His wide library of how-to and help articles is frequently referred to as one of the best resources for CB radio installations and technical support online. When he's not assisting radio enthusiasts online or on the phone, you can find Pat enjoying all that Montana's trails have to offer on his skis, mountain bike or Land Cruiser.

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