CB Radio Install with Cobra Electronics Compact 75 WX ST

Apr. 17, 2012 By Josh Burns
To get our Cobra 75 WX ST CB radio installed and working properly, we turned to Off Road Warehouse for the additional items needed, such as antenna pieces from Firestik, a Teraflex antenna mount, cable and a tuner.

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.

Included with the Cobra 75 WX ST is the compact receiver and mounting hardware for the CB itself. We also have an external Cobra speaker, though for now weíve decided to rely on the 75 WX STís speaker as it provides ample audio volume.

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.

Our Teraflex antenna mount will install just behind the rear taillight on our TJ Jeep Wrangler. The four outside screws must first be removed.

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.

Once the light cover is off, three bolts need to be removed to pull the complete light housing off.

Once the Teraflex bracket was installed using the same holes at the rear taillight, we drilled one hole into the rear of the Jeep to properly secure it to the Jeep.

The bolt goes through to the inside of the Jeep cab and attaches via a locknut, providing additional security for the antenna mount.

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).

With the mount installed, the stainless-steel spring and stud mount from Firestik are tightened down.

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).

Using a jumper, we tapped into our fuse box to power our Cobra CB Radio. This jumper also allows the unit to power down when the ignition is turned off.

We already had an access hole to the engine compartment in the cab of our Wrangler to run wiring for our CB, since it will be powered by our vehicleís battery.. We installed the receiver behind the shifter and under the dashboard so itís tucked away nicely.

The antenna is installed on the mount.

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.

We ran the antenna wiring under the light housing to avoid crimping and then ran it cleanly up the side of Jeep (under the carpet), under the driverís seat and then under the center console to the receiver.

To protect the wiring, we used a wire housing to keep it from exposure and heat from the engine.

After tuning the antenna with our SWR meter (the Firestik features a counternut for fine-tuning on the antenna itself), we were up and ready to go. Over and out.



Off Road Warehouse

Off-Road.com Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!