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Best place to mount a CB antenna on Volvo wagon Topic is solved

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SonicAdventure
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Best place to mount a CB antenna on Volvo wagon

Post by SonicAdventure »

Hi I am considering mounting a permanent CB radio antenna to my Volvo. I got into long ago through my grandpa who had one in his Jeep. I still have some of his old equipment I think possibly collecting dusty in an attic somewherezzz
But I was thinking about buying one of those cheap Uniden units and mounting the radio in the glovebox and putting a bracket style antenna base somewhere on the wagon itself maybe like near the rear hatch or maybe near the hood.
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Re: Best place to mount a CB antenna on Volvo wagon

Post by sleddriver »

I used to have a magnetic mount 144/440 MHz antenna mounted on the wagon top surface for my ham rig. I adjusted the location using an SWR meter to find the optimum location. Due to the large ground plane, this provided good reception 360°. CB band is about 10M if I remember correctly (28MHz?), so it'll be different of course.
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Re: Best place to mount a CB antenna on Volvo wagon

Post by Ozark Lee »

You could put a whip on the rear bumper or use a trunk mount on the hood. The whip is about 8' long so they can be a PITA at the drive through. If it were me I would just use a base loaded mag mount like sleddriver suggested. It is easy to remove when not in use and it causes not lasting damage to the car. Even the trunk lip mounts will mess up the hood where the set screws bite in.

I used to own a CB radio store and we sold tons of gutter mount antennas but cars don't have the rain gutters anymore. These days my radio stuff is all in the 3 meter band and we use really, really big transmitters. :D

...Lee
'94 850 N/A 5 speed
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1999 V70XC - RIP - Wrecked Parts Car.
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1996 850 N/A
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Re: Best place to mount a CB antenna on Volvo wagon

Post by BEJinFbk »

The down side of mag mounts is they often damage paint.
Not just scratches, but the magnets attract metal shavings
and you get rust in the clear coat that just won't come out.

Have you got roof rails? Get a set of cross bars and go nuts!
You could fab a mount for them and run with a base loaded
1/4 wave in the center of the roof as suggested above.
That much steel roof makes for a great ground plane. :mrgreen:

The Maxrad MLB2700 is a pretty solid candidate for a loaded whip:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/PCTEL-Maxrad-ML ... 1675781260
And it's standard NMO base gives you lots of mounting options:
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R4 ... t&_sacat=0

The coax could run along the inside of the roof rail and then slip
under the windshield pillar trim to the engine compartment. From
there, you'll find a couple of unused grommet "nipples" that can be
used to get the coax inside. This route avoids the weatherstrip in the
doors and keeps everything nice and watertight.

Power can be picked up at the factory accessory connector under
the dash. IIRC, the switched supply there is good for 10 amps.
98 S-V-C70 Accessory Connector.pdf
(511.56 KiB) Downloaded 111 times
98 S-V70 Fuse Locations and Legends.pdf
(678.65 KiB) Downloaded 63 times
Now, you just need to find a place to mount it... That's the fun part.
The glove box may be deep enough, though - As long as you don't mind
cutting it up to run the power and coax. ( Maybe more for radio depth ).
'98 V70 R - Well Equipped for Life Up North... ;)
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Re: Best place to mount a CB antenna on Volvo wagon

Post by SonicAdventure »

Thanks for all the detailed replies!

After thinking about it some more, I think a nice flush mount NMO connector drilled through the roof with wire run across the headliner and into the passenger side door pillar trim and under the dash would be ideal. This way I can use the shortest run of antenna wire to the unit.

For the unit I was thinking about buying one of those underdash or overhead plastic din tubs and making everything fit neatly behind the glove box door. I don't mind hacking up the glove box insert as they are always available at the junk yard at minimal cost, plus they look easy to cut into with simple tools.

For the unit itself, I was looking at one of those $55 Cobra single din units with the front speaker and weather band option.

There are also a few smaller than single din Uniden and Cobra units out there that would work in the glove box as well.

For the powering of the unit, I see that you mentioned using the accessory bank off the fuse box. I reviewed the attachments but I still don't understand that. Are there a series of optional "hot" and "ignt" connectors already available in the stock fuse panel?

I was thinking of stealing the power from the rear cigarette lighter in the console. Rarely have I ever used that and since I normally only have myself and perhaps one other person with me at any time, I think it could live without that rear power plug. Plus I'm assuming those wires run from bulkhead to rear of car, so theoretically I could disconnect them and rerouted them back over towards the glove box area.
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Re: Best place to mount a CB antenna on Volvo wagon

Post by BEJinFbk »

I salute your commitment to the NMO mount! You're a braver soul than I.
Even though I've installed plenty of permanently mounted antennas in other
people's vehicles, I just not ready to punch a 3/4" hole in MY nice, shiny roof...

As far as the accessory power point, it's an actual empty connector under your dash.
Look for a yellow 8 pin attached to the right side of the steering column.
It's right there just waiting for this kinda thing. ;)
'98 V70 R - Well Equipped for Life Up North... ;)
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Re: Best place to mount a CB antenna on Volvo wagon

Post by AKJeeper »

I've thought about installing a single DIN CB radio in my car too. Still not sure what I'd do for an antenna, probably go with a magnetic mount for now as I'm just not brave enough to punch a .75" hole in my roof. As for the radio's mounting location, I was considering switching my stereo over to a single DIN, so I would have space to put the CB underneath it. I think that would look slick!
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Re: Best place to mount a CB antenna on Volvo wagon

Post by SonicAdventure »

AKJeeper wrote:I've thought about installing a single DIN CB radio in my car too. Still not sure what I'd do for an antenna, probably go with a magnetic mount for now as I'm just not brave enough to punch a .75" hole in my roof. As for the radio's mounting location, I was considering switching my stereo over to a single DIN, so I would have space to put the CB underneath it. I think that would look slick!
Yeah I've thought about doing the double din to single din conversion also, but I really don't like the fact that you have to modify the OEM din cavity by removing the locking rails. Doing that kind of hackjob is just not something I'm cool with. There are apparently ways to get a double or single din sleeve in there without cutting the rails, but so far no one has made it blatantly obvious with a kit marketed specifically as "hey this is the single / double din conversion sleeve that mounts in a P80 Volvo that doesn't require modification of the OEM pocket"!!

As far as the hole in the roof, I don't see the big deal. Mine is a non-sunroof model and it's already scratched up pretty bad up there. I think the NMo mount is the best way to go for reasons of being able to disconnect the antenna easily and puttin a little rain cap over the mount which won't take away from the roof rack functionality. I do use my roof rack quite a bit.
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Re: Best place to mount a CB antenna on Volvo wagon  Topic is solved

Post by SonicAdventure »

Well after months of work and research I finally achieved my goal of having a CB in my V70.

I removed the passenger knee bolster, installed the map pocket from a 2000 XC70, and installed the radio in the map pocket. Went with the 3/4" NMO mount placed square in the middle of my non sunroof roof.

Power came via the 30 amp hot wire in the accessory connector. Soldered a two-pin trailer quick disconnect to the radio wiring and then soldered a Volvo OEM wire tip on the power lead and actually used the accessory plug as is. Ran the power wire under the drivers side carpet just near the steering column and then through the pass-through area above the heater core. For a ground, I soldered a ring connector and used one of the bolts that formerly held the knee bolster on as a ground lug. Both the coax and the power wires were run through a 3/4" hole in the front left corner of the map pocket. There is just enough space up there above the passenger side entry light for everything to fit neatly with no stress on the wires. Coax was run up the passenger side trim to the NMO mount. I did have to use a utility knife to remove a section of that black sound damper stuff that was glue to the roof to properly install the NMO base but that wasn't too bad.

The radio is a little further away than I would like, but it's solid and secure. I used a piece of aluminum bar stock as a reinforcement for the CB mount bolts. I also drilled two little holes in the map pocket top and ran a zip tie through them and attached it to the glove box support member to give the whole assembly a little more strength.

The radio I used is the ubiquitous Uniden Pro510XL, which is a simple, sturdy and relatively light unit. I bought it used on eBay for $17. So far it works great. For the antenna, I got a Larsen NMO27B. It really gets out there. The main reason I went with this set up is because I have a low parking garage and I have to remove it before entering. When it's not in use, I have a little rain cap to cover the mount.

There isn't much CB traffic in my area, but I've had some good contacts. People have confirmed that I'm getting out there pretty good. Worked great on a recent highway trip out to a more rural area. It's a fun hobby that I've had a lifelong interest in and I'm looking forward to getting some good use of this. Thanks everyone for your feedback. I'm going to post some photos of the installation for reference.
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Re: Best place to mount a CB antenna on Volvo wagon

Post by SonicAdventure »

Various photos of the process
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