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  1. #1
    abebehrmann's Avatar
    abebehrmann is offline Level: Uber Jeep Cherokee Trailer Queen
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    Default How did you wire in your CB Radio?

    I'm trying to make a decision on how to wire in my CB Radio. I've got three options I'm kicking around right now but could be swayed towards another route with a little convincing. Apologies for yet another CB radio question. I've never really messed around with a CB before so this is all fairly new to me.

    Option #1- Wire directly to battery

    Option #2- Splice into the 12V power outlet

    Option #3- Wire in using a circuit tap either under the hood or at the interior kick panel.

    How did you wire your CB? Any pictures you have would be very helpful.

  2. #2
    prerunner1982's Avatar
    prerunner1982 is offline Level: Uber Jeep Cherokee Trailer Queen
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    Default Re: How did you wire in your CB Radio?

    I have a cig lighter plug on mine... but the best way is directly to the battery.
    You may pick up a wine noise from the engine if you wire it to the cig light plug or fuse panel, wiring to the battery usually solves this.

    I do not have any wine noise on my CB in the Jeep, but I did on my old Chevy truck both wired via cig lighter plug.
    1993 2 door 4x4 4.0 5 speed
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    Default Re: How did you wire in your CB Radio?

    X 2 with prerunner1982

    Straight to the battery.

    Dont forget fuses ..

    Back in the day - there used to be suppressors available, for the "whine" noise ... dont know how they would go with more modern car electrics ?
    I hate watching simplicity and reliability being ruined by bureaucracy and technology.

    Quote Originally Posted by MattybPDX
    If my jeep is going to be a grocery getter it's at least going to be a friggin awesome one.

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    Default Re: How did you wire in your CB Radio?

    I tend to go with the 12v plug option. It comes from using company trucks and needing to swap from vehicle to vehicle. Coupled with a magnetic antenna and we have one cb for many vehicles. I do have a little cobra 19 for my xj that is wired with the plug but I do plan to wire it straight as its solely for the jeep. Sadly, I still don't have an antenna so I cant use it.

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    Default Re: How did you wire in your CB Radio?

    I wired mine off of the cigarette lighter wiring all behind the dash so you wouldn't see any of it then ran it down through the bottom of the console up to the CB, so only wiring you saw was just a little bit at the bottom of the CB.. I did it this way as I very rarely (as in never) use the cigarette lighter, and if I did use the plug for charging a phone or something I just did it when I didn't need to make use of the CB, but most of the time the power outlet was plenty for that use as I only have one phone to charge anyways... I ran it off the power outlet since I didn't feel like adding more wiring just for something I could tap into right there.. Plus I liked the fact of knowing my CB would turn off whenever I turned the XJ off, that way I didn't have to worry about thinking about it when I was not in the CB or be worried my Jeep would be dead when I get back in.. just a little quick peace of mind!!
    Last edited by bluedragon436; 08-01-2014 at 07:35 AM.
    FORMER GREEN XJ CLUB MEMBER
    IF YOU DON'T STAND BEHIND OUR TROOPS, FEEL FREE TO STAND IN FRONT OF THEM!!
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    abebehrmann's Avatar
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    Default Re: How did you wire in your CB Radio?

    Thanks for the advice guys. I'm still deciding between a quick splice to the wiring behind the power outlet or running straight to the battery, but I've got a couple more questions.

    Should I run my ground to a spot closer to the CB or closer to the battery?

    What gauge wire should I use if I decide to run all the way to the battery? Anyone know of any helpful websites, charts, or formulas for figuring this out myself?

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    Default Re: How did you wire in your CB Radio?

    Here's mine. I simply stripped the + wire and stuck it under the fuse for the constant on power outlet. Keep in mind the CB has it's own fuse. The - wire I ran to a screw under the glove box I was able to identify using a circuit tester.

    I can take some pictures if you'd like.

    Mic hangar was simple and bent with a multi-tool out of a cut up hangar.

    1995 XJ / 4.0L / AW4 / D30 w/No-Slip Locker / C8.25 / UPCOUNTRY spec suspension / 235/75R15

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    abebehrmann's Avatar
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    Default Re: How did you wire in your CB Radio?

    Quote Originally Posted by downsy View Post
    Here's mine. I simply stripped the + wire and stuck it under the fuse for the constant on power outlet. Keep in mind the CB has it's own fuse. The - wire I ran to a screw under the glove box I was able to identify using a circuit tester.

    I can take some pictures if you'd like.

    Mic hangar was simple and bent with a multi-tool out of a cut up hangar.


    Hahaha, great minds think alike! I wired mine up almost exactly the same except I used a quick splice connector on the positive wire.

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    Default Re: How did you wire in your CB Radio?

    Quote Originally Posted by abebehrmann View Post

    What gauge wire should I use if I decide to run all the way to the battery? Anyone know of any helpful websites, charts, or formulas for figuring this out myself?
    I missed this part. 14 gauge will work just fine. CBs don't draw a lot of power even when transmitting. 4 watts at 12 volts is something like 1/3 of an amp. You could actually run smaller than 14 gauge but I basically run everything with 14 gauge just because it covers nearly any load you will use on a Jeep short of an Inverter or something like that.
    1995 XJ / 4.0L / AW4 / D30 w/No-Slip Locker / C8.25 / UPCOUNTRY spec suspension / 235/75R15

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    Default Re: How did you wire in your CB Radio?

    Since I have at the moment two radios and want the ability to add more stuff as I go, this is what I did, I took these pictures as I was installing it so excuse the mess before completing I have all my wiring loomed and secured. first off I don’t like have a ton of different wires on my battery terminals I built a power distribution block next to my battery currently supplied with 6 gauge stranded wire.

    From there I supply my auxiliary breakers with ten gauge wire the communications circuit actually is supplied by two ten gauge wires, Total of four two positive wires and two negative wires. This is my breaker panel had fabricated to take care of my auxiliary needs these breakers are resettable and water resistant.

    The communications breaker supplies another distribution point under the dash which supplies grounds and power for both my CB and 2meter rig. I wired my CB in the same fashion as my ham rig with fuses on both negative and positive leads; I also have extra unfused grounds and other fuse terminals for any possible add-ons later Granted this setup is definitely overkill but in my line of work anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

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    Default Re: How did you wire in your CB Radio?

    I mounted my antenna mount to my tire carrier and thne just ran the coax through my gate and along the roll bar to the sound bar where i mounted my CB. then I took the wire from the cb along the soundbar and through the dash straight to the battery.

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    Default Re: How did you wire in your CB Radio?



    Ok, not a XJ, but it was a nice install for me!
    Also got lucky, as there was a 10A always HOT line, with Ground in the dash there, for the AC(which I don't have)..

    A Forward firing Speaker is necessary for a dash install

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    Default Re: How did you wire in your CB Radio?

    Quote Originally Posted by abebehrmann View Post
    Thanks for the advice guys. I'm still deciding between a quick splice to the wiring behind the power outlet or running straight to the battery, but I've got a couple more questions.

    Should I run my ground to a spot closer to the CB or closer to the battery?

    What gauge wire should I use if I decide to run all the way to the battery? Anyone know of any helpful websites, charts, or formulas for figuring this out myself?
    When it comes to Tranceivers, I have always followed the rule of:
    10 awg wire from both Ground and Positive terminals on the batery.
    A fuse with 1.5 X the maximum current the radio can draw on BOTH POS & NEG RIGHT AT THE BATTERY!
    A noise filter right at the radio (less than 6")
    Coax, the best quality I can afford! I won't run CB because Ham Radio is SOOOO much better! but if you must:
    A rig that can do side band,
    Good anttenna, don't scrimp, or you will regret it!
    Mount for anttenna, SOLID, FIRM, etc. other wise it will eat your vehicle!
    Ground the anttenna mount WELL, LOCALLY! The point is to issolate electrical noise sources between the Anttenna and the radio while getting the signal back and forth!

    If you need specific info, please ask, I love working with Electronics...
    Profesional nerd and all...

    My radio gear:
    Antenna For 2m, 70cm, Diamond SG-7900. (what I have now)
    Radio, Kenwood TM-D700A w/APRS

    Mount for anttenna, above upper center console, using a 1 foot square aluminum sheet, 1/8" thick as an anchor plate on inside of cab to avoid flexing the roof and causing leaks, a deep PL-259 right angle connector with large washer outside the cab with rtv between it and the roof.
    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Aweek%C2%AE-Coaxial-Antenna-Extension-Kenwood/dp/B00RCO24O2/ref=sr_1_sc_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1429579450 &sr=1-3-spell&keywords=Ham+radio+vehicle+anttenna+mounts"]Amazon.com : Aweek® 5M Coaxial Cable PL-259 SO-239 Antenna Extension Cable CB Antenna Cable + RB402 Car Antenna Mount Mobile Radio Antenn CB Radio Antenna For CB Radio/ Mobile Radio Mobile Two Way Radio/ Car Radio Kenwood ICOM Mobile Radio : Electronics@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41wd1i9mJUL.@@AMEPARAM@@41wd1i9mJUL[/ame]

    Water proof with a good sealant and NEVER worry about communications when you need them... unless you drive in the garage without laying the anttenna down first... DOH!
    Last edited by OldFaurt; 04-21-2015 at 07:53 PM. Reason: My spelling / typing sucks!
    Bob, KJ5XJ
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: How did you wire in your CB Radio?

    Well my last CB setup I wired into the cigarette lighter.. on the 97 I used a circuit tap, and ran it to an empty fuse location in the kick panel. It worked quite well so far.. Just got to work on my SWR.. which I'm pretty sure it mainly due to my CB ant. mount and it's lack of ground to the XJ.. Hoping the weather will stop with the rain in the next couple days so I can try and strip off some paint and powder coating, and see if I can't clean up the SWR readings... if not.. then I'll go to relocating my ground first then power source for the CB itself...
    FORMER GREEN XJ CLUB MEMBER
    IF YOU DON'T STAND BEHIND OUR TROOPS, FEEL FREE TO STAND IN FRONT OF THEM!!
    DOING SOMETHING JUST BECAUSE YOUR BUDDY DOES IT THAT WAY MAKES AS MUCH SENSE AS SHARING TOOTHBRUSHES

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    Default Re: How did you wire in your CB Radio?

    Quote Originally Posted by OldFaurt View Post
    When it comes to Tranceivers, I have always followed the rule of:
    10 awg wire from both Ground and Positive terminals on the batery.
    A fuse with 1.5 X the maximum current the radio can draw on BOTH POS & NEG RIGHT AT THE BATTERY!
    A noise filter right at the radio (less than 6")
    Coax, the best quality I can afford! I won't run CB because Ham Radio is SOOOO much better! but if you must:
    A rig that can do side band,
    Good anttenna, don't scrimp, or you will regret it!
    Mount for anttenna, SOLID, FIRM, etc. other wise it will eat your vehicle!
    Ground the anttenna mount WELL, LOCALLY! The point is to issolate electrical noise sources between the Anttenna and the radio while getting the signal back and forth!

    If you need specific info, please ask, I love working with Electronics...
    Profesional nerd and all...

    My radio gear:
    Antenna For 2m, 70cm, Diamond SG-7900. (what I have now)
    Radio, Kenwood TM-D700A w/APRS

    Mount for anttenna, above upper center console, using a 1 foot square aluminum sheet, 1/8" thick as an anchor plate on inside of cab to avoid flexing the roof and causing leaks, a deep PL-259 right angle connector with large washer outside the cab with rtv between it and the roof.
    Amazon.com : Aweek® 5M Coaxial Cable PL-259 SO-239 Antenna Extension Cable CB Antenna Cable + RB402 Car Antenna Mount Mobile Radio Antenn CB Radio Antenna For CB Radio/ Mobile Radio Mobile Two Way Radio/ Car Radio Kenwood ICOM Mobile Radio : Electronics

    Water proof with a good sealant and NEVER worry about communications when you need them... unless you drive in the garage without laying the anttenna down first... DOH!
    I'm honestly afraid for how you have that antenna mounted...I'll probably wake up in the middle of the night worrying about that one, and it's not even on my own Jeep.

    For mobile application (roughly 20 feet of feedline) the difference between RG-58, RG-8X and LMR195 is less than .5 dB of attenuation as far as CB is concerned. You actually have more signal loss in a SO-239 connector at 27 MHz than you do a 20 ft run of RG58.

    Assuming that any transmitter is 100% efficient, is pretty far off. General rule of thumb when dealing with communications equipment, 25% efficiency if you don't want to take the time to measure it out yourself. That being said, a CB will draw somewhere more along the lines of 1.5A.

    As far as the antenna mount goes, I like NMO on the hood channel of Jeeps if you are afraid to drill. I prefer NMO on the roof but if you want to keep an eye on what your bashing what may be an expensive antenna against on the road/trail it's hard to beat a hood channel mount.

    Powering radios is always an interesting discussion. Two schools of thought when running off the battery.
    1) Leads directly to the battery terminals. This is a great option if you fuse both leads. Horrible option if you only fuse the positive lead.

    2) Positive lead to the battery and negative lead to the chassis ground. This method only needs the positive lead fused.

    Other than that, installing radio equipment is fairly straight forward.

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