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Thread: Anyone Installed a CB on an RT?

  1. #1
    rbs
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    Arrow Anyone Installed a CB on an RT?

    I ride primaily with a Goldwing rider, and as you know they use CB for communications. I would like to install a CB on my RT but would like any comments from this group before I buy.

    Thanks

    Bob

  2. #2
    Registered User ksrob's Avatar
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    RE: Anyone Installed a CB on an RT

    Bob, I've tried, on my '97 RT, in order; Airrider, nice but with the cables and unit, it filled my tank bag. The CB was a Cobra handheld.

    Next came a Autocom, didn't work at all with the Cobra. I sold it at a $100 loss after a month. (Some have had success).

    Currently I have the J&M Solo CB. Works I bought it from Sierra-MC with their antenna mount. For the SO's bike I'll get the FIrestick antenna. Without tuning the antenna, I'm getting about a mile in rolling hills of Southern Missouri. Mounting the unit to the bike was the largest problem, I had to kludge a RAM mount. So far this is the best for me!

    If you have any questions, let me know.

    Best,

    Rob Lessen
    Arma,KS
    '91 R100GS/PD
    '96 R1100RS
    '97 R1100RT,

  3. #3
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    J&M are coming out with a model for the r1150rt this Feb. It will rival the unit for the CL & LT.

  4. #4
    Registered User ksrob's Avatar
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    RE; CB on RT

    I wonder what will be the differance? Sierra-MC already has a mount for the 1150 with the hydrolic clutch reservour.
    Rob Lessen

    '07 R12RT
    '08 R12GS

  5. #5
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    CB for RT

    Last summer, my wife and I each bought handheld CB's from chatterbox and mounted them on our beemers. We ride with wingers also.
    I'd have to say, the units are touchy in the transmission dept. but they get the job done and were fairly inexpensive. I mounted them with the help of cycle gadgets. They have a mount that goes in the empty mirror hole. They also have a neat mount that goes right below the ignition. Anybody else ever try Chatterbox?

  6. #6
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    Click the link to read about the J & M Solo Model .

    Around three years ago, Honda discontinued the line of CB's for the GL 1500 series. As a result, I suspect J & M has struck gold with this particular CB model. (There are scads of Gold Wing Aspencade owners out there who would love to have an affordable CB, and who were left high and dry when Honda dropped the in-dash unit). Also, the variety of mounting options for the J & M makes it feasible for many other types of bikes.

    Anyway, I had a Cyclecomm CB on the K75RT that mounted in the right side glove box. It was a great radio, but I don't know if they are still available. I rarely used it, as it was on the bike when I bought it, and none of my riding cronies at the time had a CB.

    Moisture management is an issue with the box mounted models. If you get something that mounts in a BMW glove box, reconcile yourself to drilling moisture drain holes in the lowest part of the box, because the lid will not keep moisture from getting in. Don't worry about how I know this, just trust me ...

    The key factor in working out the "talkability" of the CB is in tuning the antenna to get the SWR (Standing Wave Ratio) as low as possible. Be sure and do the tuning someplace in an open area, and not underneath power lines, or even next to your truck or car.

    Some riders I know will tune theirs to the particular channel they plan to stay on (1, 2, 35, whatever). My preferred method is to tune to a same SWR reading on channels 1 & 40, as to get a consistent output across the frequency band. (If you don't have access to another Gold Winger who has an SWR meter, Radio Shack sells an inexpensive meter. Somehow, I just don't see the average BMW rider having an SWR meter on their shelf).

    Tuning some antennas is part science, part voodoo, because of having to trim the length of the antenna wire proper. Somebody (and darned if I can recall who) produces a great little antenna that has threaded, dual rings at the base for tuning the SWR, making the snipping and guesswork unnecessary. If I can recall or locate the manufacturer I'll come back and add it. Meanwhile, maybe someone else will post a link for the type of antenna I am describing.

    Personally, I ride a motorcycle to get away from the day to day chatter and noise that seems to assault my soul. And I rarely ride with a group where it is useful to have the bike to bike communcations. But on those occasions when I do, my CB use is limited to turning it on every 100 miles or so and asking, "Is it time to whiz again yet?" Beyond that, I consider the "here comes a pothole," and "did you smell that dead possum?" blather to be wasted breath!
    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

    If you insist on exercising a right to burn our flag, first be so kind as to wrap yourself in it and then douse yourself with gasoline just before you strike the match.

  7. #7
    Registered User ksrob's Avatar
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    [Tuning some antennas is part science, part voodoo, because of having to trim the length of the antenna wire proper. Somebody (and darned if I can recall who) produces a great little antenna that has threaded, dual rings at the base for tuning the SWR, making the snipping and guesswork unnecessary. If I can recall or locate the manufacturer I'll come back and add it. Meanwhile, maybe someone else will post a link for the type of antenna I am describing.


    Are you thinking of the Firestick no ground plane antenna. I have one butt haven't installed it yet with the J&M solo.

    When I do, I'll post what I find. I did get the Rat Shack SWR meter.

    Best,

    Rob
    Rob Lessen

    '07 R12RT
    '08 R12GS

  8. #8
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    Ksrob,

    Browsing the Sierra site, I am thinking the antenna on the K75 was one of theirs -- mainly because of the bayonet mount description. Unfortunately, they are not big on pictures. Don't they know that men think in pictures?

    Anyway, the Firestick is a good antenna (used to have one on my truck) and the one-mile range is about average given the 4 watts output and the amount of metal in the motorcycle, and tuning it will help only if the tuning reduces the SWR.

    Keep in mind that when using a mobile CB (as opposed to a base station), the vehicle proper forms the ground plane. There is not enough metal in any motorcycle to make it "talk" on par with automobiles, or 18 wheelers.

    At 4 watts of output, running a steel 102" whip, the average car will talk about 15 miles. Given the greater mass of metal in an 18 wheeler, they will talk from 20 to 30 miles at the same output. All motorcyles are condemed to a terminal short weenie mode for the purposes of talking on a CB. (I.e., you can receive from far away, but can only talk a mile or two at the most).

    The specified length of a CB antenna is 102 inches. No doubt, you've seen the good 'ol boy 102" whip antenna on somebody's pickup truck or car. The 102" whip does not require tuning, as it is the proper length "out of the box."

    The way around that obnoxious whip antenna for the other units on the market is to fabricate the antenna by coiling the antenna wire (1) around the antenna shaft [as in the Firestick], or (2) coil it in the base. On the Firestick, one must incrementally trim the wire (if the SWR is not acceptable), and on most other types of antannas, the SWR is adjusted by loosening a set-screw and sliding the whip up or down as required to achieve the proper length. The antenna on the K75 was an exception -- as the dual rings were used to adjust the SWR.

    Good luck. And if you will, update this later to tell us what you finally do.

    Rick (I learned everything I know in USMC boot camp and field radio school) in AL
    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

    If you insist on exercising a right to burn our flag, first be so kind as to wrap yourself in it and then douse yourself with gasoline just before you strike the match.

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