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Does anyone know how to get more range from your CB? On a good day I can talk about a mile, if I'm lucky. I have 2 SWRs. Also can you buy a 50/100 watt amp, and if so, where?
 

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In general, more range will come from a properly aligned radio and a finely tuned antenna.

In specifics, you've a trike and will probably have better range than a bike if the above are met.

In reality, just so long as the amp doesn't tax your alternator you'll get out further, but what good will that be if you cannot here who it is that is hearing you? I'd concentrate first on the receive end of things. There may be things you can do to improve reception, which will be important if you talk further than you can hear with a amp. Most receive pre-amps are junk, so beware.

Unfortunately I've no direct experience with a 1800's CB set-up, but I imagine improving the coax from the transmitter to the antenna would help tremendously based on some of the older model GL's I've seen..
 

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I have a 2005 Wing. What would you suggest for me to do to improve my coax? Also every heard of using a strap connected to the frame and dragging the ground like tanker trucks use. I think some one is trying to use the pavemnet and a better ground-plane.

I've read some of your other replies and you seem to know about CBs.
 

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The ground strap on the pavement is not for the CB radios in trucks.

It is to drain off static electricity so that hazardous materials won't go boom on a bad day.

Low humidity and static electricity go hand in hand. You should be familiar with door knobs that bite you in the winter months.
 

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The length of the antenna has a lot to do with transmit and receive. You should put your SWR meter as close to the radio as you can get it. Then where the mast goes into the antenna there are screws they are to adjust the length. I have a SWR of about 1.2 you will be surprised how that will affect your range. If the mast needs to be shortened do it no more than an 1/8 of an inch at a time. I used a grinder to remove the extra. Then you check it again so it will take some time but you will see big results between 2.0 and 1.2.
 

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icu2 wrote:
I have a 2005 Wing. What would you suggest for me to do to improve my coax?
If it were me... I would change the coax to a mini-8 and use PL-259 connectors. A modification that is detail oriented. If I couldn't panel-mount a female connector to the radios chassis, then I would pigtail one as close to the radios chassis box as I could. Being part of the radios electrical circuit, the antenna must be shielded to 100% as close as possible once leaving the radios chassis box. If not, think of a leaky water hose connected to your outside spigot. Where is it leaking?

RF is very funny stuff. Those Motorola connectors are not designed for the frequency that they are being used with for a GL's CB and are a weak-point IMO. I assume Honda uses the cheapest coax they can get as well. Keeping all the RF in the coax, and all the other electrical noise out is an important point in a coax cables purpose. Better coax generally means more efficiency in doing this. Same with the connectors.

An 'up front' problem I see with a factory set-up and using any SWR meter is the Motorola connector. After the adapters are out of line, the SWR may very well change from whatever near-perfect reading you can get. Don't assume it would be better once the adapters are removed.

This link shows replacing the connectors with 259's (though it is using two males with acoupler).

Mentioned above, a solid groundplane is vital. The GL antenna is a loaded antenna, meaning it is a compromise of length to efficiency. Below a quarter wavelength in overall length at these frequencies, efficiency drops-off pretty drastically. You've a trike, so you've more groundplane than a bike. You've more metalmass. Ensuring the mass is electrically grounded is another good way to improve the radiating characteristics of the antenna. Would help both transmit and receive.

Running braided shield over the coax (no matter what coax) will help to further isolate noise from entering it also. Ground the ends (terminate) of the braided shield at both ends not to the connector but to chassis ground of the trike.

Running dual antennas is pointless, as there is not enough separation to phase the antennas to make them radiate properly. One antenna will work better than two, as two antennas will have a screwy radiation pattern that is not as uniform as a single antenna in a general coverage view. The two antennas will work against each other instead of with each other because the required quarter wavelength separation is not there. At 27MHz, you need about 8.5' of separation for the antennas to radiate properly.

I'm certain there's other details to be looked at but keeping the signal isolated once it leaves the circuit boardto until it reaches the antenna is crucial in mobile comms, especially a bike. There are inherent problems with bikes at 27MHz and the small, seemingly unimportant details are pretty important to them.

I don't put a lot of credence in "no-groundplane" antennas. They are a larger compromise. Smaller fishing/skiing/pleasure boats generally have grounding plates attached to their hull below the waterline to help facilitate grounding because 'no groundplane' are so inefficient.
 

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Chasing SWRs (as mentioned) should be the very first step. a 2:1 SWR (as you posted) is just over 11% loss just by itself. Beyond that, it's quite likely that the design of the radio is looking at the 11% and actually reducing your output to protect the RF output... So it's possible that you're losing 11% of some reduced output causing your effective power to be well below what would be possible.

Looking at several trikes with SWR issues, a few did not have the correct grounding for the OEM antenna, and none of them had additional frame connections the "help" that grounding at all. One of the trikes I saw had the antenna grounding strap painted - so there was no possiblility of a decent ground. The 1500 should have a grounding plate that mounts inside the trunk area to provide an RF ground path from the antenna's mounting to the trunk's mounting. It'll look like a pice of thin sheetmetal with a few bends in it and it'll be attaced to the antenna's mounting bolts. ENSURE that this plate is present and that all of the mounting surfaces are clean and tightly connected. We often add a length of grounding strap or heavy wire from the top-most bolt to the most-accessible lower bolt.

Additionally, as with all 1500's, I recommend adding a 'real' grounding strap between the antenna mounting and a clean-conductive and secure chassis ground (remove the left rear "glove box to access antenna mounting screws - add a length od heavy strap or large gage wire and run to a GOOD chassis ground).

Usually, with a good ground and proper tuning the SWRs on the GL1500 can be held at or below 1.25:1 (about 0.8% loss).

Even if you do choose to add an RF amplifier, the SWR will still be a problem and could possibly damage the output of your RF amp.

If you're interested in maximizing the configuration for range, you'll prolly wanna drop the AM/FM antenna altogether and replace the OEM CB antenna with something more efficient (a top-loaded K40 superflex 4-foot has worked quite well in several installations and is available in white or black) -- You'll need to get a combiner box to pull AM/FM off of the new Antenna, but you'll remove teh near-field pattern distortions that the AM/FM antena is causing (really noticible for range)
 

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Wow! More information than I expected! I'll have to head down to a electronic store this week to pick-up some braded grounding straps. I'll start there. My Trike body is fiberglass with very little metal for reflection, and I know that is a problem. Riding two-up is another problem.If there was a CB shop in this area, I would take it there, but there is none.

I know the ground strap on the pavement is for static release, but I also though it might help with a earth ground. First time I've ever heard of it, just though someone else might know something about it.

When I first started checking my radio, I had 3 SWRs. I kept grinding a little off my antenna until I got it down to 2.0. It would be nice to take it to a shop to have the radio tuned, but these truck-stop CB Shops, I'm not sure if I trust them or not.Besides, it takes a while to dis-assemble a Goldwing 1800 to get to the radio, so I'll start with the antenna first and work back.

Thanks guys for all the good information. If you think of anything else, let me know.
Again, thanks.
 

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You won't believe this, but no one in our town has braded cable!!! This will be a out of town purchase for sure. We'll be going to a District GWRRA ralley next month. I'm thinking about changing antennas like someone suggested. if there is a CB vendor there, I'll also have it tuned.
 

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Hey guys about a year ago I questioned one of the best CB guy's in the business (BOB's CB of Strattanville, PA ... i never took my radio equipment to anybody else)about the 1500CB . he told me he has never worked on one because the schematics for these cb's are not given out . they are exclusive. he said the amount of time to figure it out would be worth it. I said replacing one would cost me more. anyway good luck finding someone to work on it unless they are authorized by Honda and have the schematics....DOC



oh as for the antenna I'm a 25 yeartrucker . so in my opinion change the coax, put good connectors on ,mount an adapter bracket to the frame so it sticks out from under the bike. with a hole for a 102 inch stainless whip and you will be amazed. if your gonna do it than do it right. any decent CB shop could hook you up with what you need. if they don't have the parts you needgo to radio shack then take the parts to cb shop.
 

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icu2 - The 1500 CB is very different from the 180's CB! The CB for the 1500 has only it's audio integrated into the bike's audio stuff, where the 1800 is more fully integrated/operated.

DOC1500 - Ask your expert guy to look for the Clarion JC-213H CB schematic (most of the tuning is common across the "JC" Clarion boxes anyway). These schematics were available on Sam Facts almost as soon as the radio was produced and are still available through other sources. It's a pretty typical Clarion chasses with the main-board split to fit into the available space (centered around the uPD1720G-528 tuner using a 2SC1945 / 2SC2166 final/driver pair).
 

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TO Capt. Midnight and Satan, you guys explained it the best ever so far! I never really grasped what the deal is with the poor range of these 1500 radios, and now I do! I do know that Sierra fixed me up very well when my output section went kablooey. All caused from a bad ground, and NO ground plate found in the trunk. (trike) Thanks you guys. I love this place. The original GoldWing College of Repair!!! jimsjinx
 

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Last week I grounded my antenna, but I used a 14 gauge wire to do it. I'm not understanding the difference in using a 14 gauge wire Vs using a larger gauge wire. I'm very much aware that a small stran of positive wire can and will short out a circuit, so why would you need a large gauge for a ground?

I haven't been able to check out if the new ground wire works any better yet.
 

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Solid vs. Stranded vs. Braided Strap? .. oh, you mean amperage. Current carrying capacity, that kind of thing.
 

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No, I'm refering to just a ground. I could use 0 gauge solid cable, a 6 gauge stranded, or a braded strap. I used a 14 guage cable. What'the difference when used as a grounding strap? That's my question. In other words, is anything wrong with using the 14 guage wire instead of a braded strap?
 

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DOC1500, take a look HERE in the bottom of the 1500 section and you will have all the schematics you need for the 1500 CB radio.

And ICU2, whan I added a braided grounding strap on mine, I went to a localauto parts store and bought a braided engine grounding strap that was long enough to reach from the bottom of the antenna mount to a main bolt on the frame. I don't recall what the apllication was, I just made sure that the holes were the right size for the bolts I was attaching to and that it was long enough. It looked just like this one:



FWIW, the length of the coax also plays into the tuning of the antenna. You can find out more info HERE than you will possibly need. On my Hondaline 1500 CB using the grounding strap I was good for several miles.A while back I switched from a Hondaline CB over to a JMCB on mine. I kept the same antena but had to change over to a different coax extension because the JMCB had different connectors. I originally was using a 3 foot extension and had problems getting the SWR's low enough. I ended up switching over to a 6 foot extension and was finally able to get the SWR's way down to under 1.4:1 or better on all channels.

Like was mentioned, make sure to check the SWR's at the conection at the radio and not the one closest to the antenna. The length of coax and as well as the antenna needs to be taken into consideration when doing an SWR check. With that being said though, and correct me if I am wrong, on the 1800's since the CB is actually mounted in the trunk close to the antenna, they don't seem to use an extension between the CB and the antenna and I wonder if that's part of the problem. Because most antenna setups need a decent length of coax along with the antenna (Firestik's need 17 feet on their NGP antennas)in order to be properly tuned, maybe there is not enough coax to properly tune the 1800 antennas. I'm sure that the setup is a compromise that Honda used for their setup. But maybe adding a couple feet between the antenna and the CB might result in better performance. Just a thought but I do admit to being technically disadvantaged when it comes to this....
 
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