3 foot or 4 foot CB antenna?

Christarp

Member
Hey guys, I'm finally going to get a CB as the place I wheel at has no cell coverage and I'd rather be on the safe side. Now, I'm a complete newbie to CB radios and I was just wondering what your opinions were on the 3' vs 4' debate. I'll be mounting it on the corner of the evo tire carrier, and have a few questions.

1. Would going 4' over 3' make a huge difference?
2. what type of antenna should I get, I know a lot of you own firestiks, but are they flexible enough for trail use? Should I go whip style?
3. If they're not flexible I imagine I'll get a spring mount, would this also work in combination with a quick disconnect?
4. Can I wrap a pool noodle or something around a small portion of the antenna so it wont smack into the hard top or soft top frame, or would that ruin the range / reception? I have this problem with my flag and it's real annoying.

Thanks guys! I'll mainly be using it on the trails and maybe listening to idle chatter on those really long drives..

Edit: Not sure if this should go in general off road or not.. Sorry if it's in the wrong forum.
 
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OverlanderJK

Resident Smartass
Hey guys, I'm finally going to get a CB as the place I wheel at has no cell coverage and I'd rather be on the safe side. Now, I'm a complete newbie to CB radios and I was just wondering what your opinions were on the 3' vs 4' debate. I'll be mounting it on the corner of the evo tire carrier, and have a few questions.

1. Would going 4' over 3' make a huge difference?
2. what type of antenna should I get, I know a lot of you own firestiks, but are they flexible enough for trail use? Should I go whip style?
3. If they're not flexible I imagine I'll get a spring mount, would this also work in combination with a quick disconnect?
4. Can I wrap a pool noodle or something around a small portion of the antenna so it wont smack into the hard top or soft top frame, or would that ruin the range / reception? I have this problem with my flag and it's real annoying.

Thanks guys! I'll mainly be using it on the trails and maybe listening to idle chatter on those really long drives..

Edit: Not sure if this should go in general off road or not.. Sorry if it's in the wrong forum.

1. Depending where you mount it yes it will make a difference. I think rule of thumb is it should be above the roof.

2. I don't know what else is out there besides firestick. They are the most common and can be found all over.

3. The antenna isn't flexible. Get a spring it you want flexibility. You would need to add a disconnect as well though.

4. Most people use a tennis ball on the antenna but yeah you could use a noodle.
 

Christarp

Member
1. Depending where you mount it yes it will make a difference. I think rule of thumb is it should be above the roof.

2. I don't know what else is out there besides firestick. They are the most common and can be found all over.

3. The antenna isn't flexible. Get a spring it you want flexibility. You would need to add a disconnect as well though.

4. Most people use a tennis ball on the antenna but yeah you could use a noodle.

awesome, thanks! :thumb:
 

FrankenJeeper

New member
The firestick is pretty durable. I've had mine about 5 years now and its hit almost everything and just a few scratches.

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JKFlyer

New member
Had fire stick. Go whip...much better IMO

Esp if u r pulling in to a garage a lot

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wayoflife

Administrator
Staff member
1. Would going 4' over 3' make a huge difference?

In terms of range, an additional foot will make a difference. For around town, I run a 2' antenna but on the trail, I try to bring my 3' as I definitely see better performance.

2. what type of antenna should I get, I know a lot of you own firestiks, but are they flexible enough for trail use? Should I go whip style?

I have run a few different antennas over the years but prefer Firestik II's. They are easy to tune, can be found at just about any truck stop and are durable. As mentioned, a spring is a good idea to have as it will allow the antenna to flex more and without damaging the nylon washer at the mount but, the Firestik itself can and will bend quite a bit and without breaking all on its own.

3. If they're not flexible I imagine I'll get a spring mount, would this also work in combination with a quick disconnect?

Yes, I would highly recommend installing it with a spring.

4. Can I wrap a pool noodle or something around a small portion of the antenna so it wont smack into the hard top or soft top frame, or would that ruin the range / reception? I have this problem with my flag and it's real annoying.

It shouldn't make any difference. As Overlander said, plenty of people run tennis balls on them and without any issues.
 
The only think I would add is make sure you get a Extra Heavy Spring or at least the Heavy Spring.

I have 2 antennas one is a 3' FireStick Firefly which is a thinner lighter antenna, I used a Medium spring and wasn't happy with it as it was too flimsy. The 3 footer sticks about 16 inches above the roof mounted on the tailgate.

I then tried a 4' Firestick II with a Heavy Spring, This antenna is much heavier then the Firefly and the spring is too soft. I then put the Fire Fly on the heavy spring and it works well. It bends if it hits something but not just from bumps or driving down the freeway.

The difference between a 3 footer and a 4 footer with perfect installation is only a mile or so. Below is just approximate and are affected by installation and mounting position for a fiberglass antenna.

2' Length: 2 to 3 miles
3' Length: 3 to 4 miles
4' Length: 4 to 6 miles
5' Length: 5 to 7 miles

One thing to note: (from Firesticks website) the FireFly antenna and its winding configuration is more tolerant of parallel interference from soft-tops and fiberglass hard-tops.

:beer:
 

Clark Griswold

New member
I have a 4' Firestick mounted to a rugged ridge spare tire carrier mount so it sticks up pretty high, I was going to switch to a 3' but cannot get in the garage with it either. The thing has taken a beating on tight wooded trails and does not show any signs of damage, very impressed and it not mounted on a spring and was very easy to tune as well.
 

tapcola

New member
If you run a spring carry a spare . their is a thin wire inside and it can brake and you won't have any CB . I run a 4ft and have a quick disconnect .I store mine in the Jeep strapped to the rollbar with Velcro .
 

Stegertime

New member
I have a 4' Firestick mounted to a rugged ridge spare tire carrier mount so it sticks up pretty high, I was going to switch to a 3' but cannot get in the garage with it either. The thing has taken a beating on tight wooded trails and does not show any signs of damage, very impressed and it not mounted on a spring and was very easy to tune as well.

I have the same setup with a quick disconnect, super happy and great range :thumb:
 

Pushrod

New member
I had a lot of the same questions and found my answers on Firesticks website. Here are some answers that I found there. The antenna works best if 2/3s of it stick above the vehicle, so my 4 foot sticks up too high and bangs into a lot of stuff, wish I had gotten a 3 foot. You can put tennis balls etc on the antenna but they should be on there during the tuning process as putting them on later will effect the SWR. The 102 inch whip is about the best antenna for CB frequencies but I didn't want to have that waving around on the trails. Check the Firestick website for this and much more like the use of non-ground plane antenna setup for soft top and fiberglass top vehicles. Great information found there.
 

hlax2525

New member
i know this is pretty much a dead thread, but i am in the same situation right now. I am looking to get a cobra 75 due to the size and lack of space it takes up. I am looking into getting the cooltech llc gate mount, but not sure if i am going to run a 3' or 4' firestik. I think that 4' will be too big and stick up too high over the hard top for my liking, but am not sure if the 3' will stick up enough to catch good enough signals. Any input would be greatly appreciated
 

IBeHeWhoIsJoshua

New member
i know this is pretty much a dead thread, but i am in the same situation right now. I am looking to get a cobra 75 due to the size and lack of space it takes up. I am looking into getting the cooltech llc gate mount, but not sure if i am going to run a 3' or 4' firestik. I think that 4' will be too big and stick up too high over the hard top for my liking, but am not sure if the 3' will stick up enough to catch good enough signals. Any input would be greatly appreciated

I'm not familiar with the mount you mentioned but, I have a rugged ridge mount that utilizes the upper right bolts for the stock tire carrier and run a 3' (i downsized from a 4') firestik and it works perfectly. I should probably clean it up with a good ground and get a better radio (cobra from Walmart $20) but it's working fine so far.
 

trailless

Caught the Bug
i know this is pretty much a dead thread, but i am in the same situation right now. I am looking to get a cobra 75 due to the size and lack of space it takes up. I am looking into getting the cooltech llc gate mount, but not sure if i am going to run a 3' or 4' firestik. I think that 4' will be too big and stick up too high over the hard top for my liking, but am not sure if the 3' will stick up enough to catch good enough signals. Any input would be greatly appreciated

I have the cool tech mount and went with the 4' firestick. Its ~6" above the rear of my hardtop and I have the mount installed with the mounting hole on the bottom. You could install it the other way around and gain about 3" on antenna height.

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hlax2525

New member
I have the cool tech mount and went with the 4' firestick. Its ~6" above the rear of my hardtop and I have the mount installed with the mounting hole on the bottom. You could install it the other way around and gain about 3" on antenna height.

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ok, do you think it makes more sense to get the 4' and mount it inverted like yours or to do the 3' and mount it non inverted. do you think i will be in about the same height over the hard top? I just do not want to have the antenna too high above the hard top
 

tobias lopez

New member
i know this is pretty much a dead thread, but i am in the same situation right now. I am looking to get a cobra 75 due to the size and lack of space it takes up. I am looking into getting the cooltech llc gate mount, but not sure if i am going to run a 3' or 4' firestik. I think that 4' will be too big and stick up too high over the hard top for my liking, but am not sure if the 3' will stick up enough to catch good enough signals. Any input would be greatly appreciated

I have a 3 ft firestick ll, it was super easy to tune I also have the cobra 75 for the compact and super easy Install (it took me about an hour to run the cable hook up the cb. )I ran the cables from the back of the talegate under the floor lining up thru the cable grooves in the center console. I bought the 12v adapter, so I wouldn't have to run the cables to the battery for power. Everything sits in my center console. I have industrial strength velcro that I placed on the back of the cobra 75 power unit so I didn't have to drill any holes. I bought the rugged ridge bracket only bad thing is that the whole bracket is power coated which doesn't allow it to ground. Easy fix u just have to grind off the power coat on the bottom part of the bracket so the Antena can ground. I have a spring on it which gives the 3 ft an extra 2 to 3 in of length make sure when u tune ur antenna and set ur swr to do it with the spring or anything else that ur going to install on it. Adding anything after the swr has been set will mess with the tuning and swr.
 
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