CB Radio Install with Cobra Electronics Compact 75 WX ST
A text messages, cell phone call or e-mail may work as means of communication back at home or in the office, but on the trail the trusted CB (or citizen band) radio is still the ideal way to communicate with other off-roaders. A basic CB radio helps you stay in touch with your group, alert someone of an upcoming obstacle or to simply find the group if you take a wrong turn.
Although installing and using a CB radio is fairly straight forward, if youíre in a smaller off-road vehicle such as a Jeep Wrangler, where storage is a premium, the question comes down to where to put it.
Cobra Electronics Corporation, the well-known maker of radio communication units, GPS and radar detectors, offers a great compact unit in its 75 WX ST CB Radio. This hand-held unit is a powerful, 75-watt unit that features 40 channels, has Cobraís patented SoundTracker noise reduction technology, and even includes 10 NOAA National Weather channels. The small CB features an illuminated LCD screen on its face and also has a built-in speaker.
Other features on the 75 WX ST include the ability to monitor two user-selected channels at once, a quick disconnect allowing ease of removal for storage or for using in another vehicle, and features a button for Instant Channel 19 (for needed safety information). The squelch and volume rockers are neatly housed on one side of the unit, while the transmit button and channel selection buttons are located on the left.
The Cobra radio itself comes with the radio, radio cord and compact receiver thatís easy to tuck away; since the CBís functions are on the hand-held piece, thereís no need for a large receiver unit. For the other items necessary to power our Cobra 75 WX ST, we turned to Off-Road Warehouse. ORW actually offers a kit that includes all the necessary parts for a proper installation (check that out here).
The antenna is crucial to capture a signal for a CB, and we opted for a Firestik 4-foot antenna. Although a 3-foot would suffice on our TJ Wrangler (and if clearance becomes an issue, itís a simple swap), the taller it is, the better the signal. To mount it to our Jeep, a Teraflex taillight mount was used, and to mount the antenna we used Firestikís heavy-duty stainless-steel stud mount and heavy-duty stainless-steel spring. ORW has its own cable for connecting our antenna to the receiver, and they also suggested a tuner for dialing in a proper signal (Firestik also notes that tuning is important before using the radio, as too strong a signal can fry your vehicleís electrical).
Once installed, the unit works great. Itís easy to setup, and we installed the compact receiver just out of the way between the dash and the shifter housing on our manual TJ. The controls are easy to navigate and designed with ideal ergonomics. The LCD screen is plenty bright to check channel and volume information. It should be noted we also have an external speaker for the unit from Cobra, which would probably be useful with the top off with a great deal of background nose. We felt, however, that the speaker on the hand-held unit was loud enough for our needs.
Off Road Warehouse