Question about Cobra 29 LTD CB Radio

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Powering up problem.

I hooked up the power leads properly. When I hooked up the negative wire, it sparked. Now the radio doesn't work at all. A friend of mine had the same thing happen to him with a different radio. Is there something we are doing wrong? Also do you think the radios can be repaired?

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  • 91flexj Jan 31, 2009

    i wired up the radio and it worked perfectly fine. i then unhooked it and mounted it where i wanted it and mounted my antenna then re wired it and now when i turn the power on nothing happens


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The most common problem is the inline fuse. If it is not the fuse you probably blew the polarity protection diodes, d23 + d28. Go to radio shack and get 2 1n4001's and replace them.

Posted on Feb 08, 2009

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It,s the mounting the screws are touching something in the radio when bracketed and yes you probably blew the power diode in the radio, it can be fixed pretty easily. Try a fuse on the ground and the hot next time.

Posted on Feb 01, 2009

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1 Answer

Why does my CB only have black and red wires what are they to?

The red wire is your positive wire and the black wire is the negative wire. This hooks up to a car battery or a power supply to turn the radio on.

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Either take the cover off and see what color the wires are on the back of the power connector RED is Pos Black is negative. OR use an OHM meter to figure it out. To use a meter, with the radio OFF. put the leads to the meter on the power connector pins. See what the meter reads, if it is anything high you have the red and black meter test leads on correct pins that you would wire it for, if the meter is low, change the leads to the other pins and see if it goes high. There are two issues with this method though, one is if the reverse connection protection diode is bad you wont get the reading you need, the other is some meters dont have the ohm connection set to the right polarity.

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1 Answer

Got pop noise

Popping sounds are from the the ignition - spark plugs, wires and distributor. Most modern cars have "radio resistor plugs" & "spark plug wires" installed from the factory. If unsure on an older car, check under the hood and inspect the wires & plugs.

Make sure your radio AND antenna system are solidy grounded. Poor grounds can allow all kinds of strange sounds and erratic behavior from the radio.

Also, connect the + & - power leads DIRECTLY to the battery. You can pass the + lead through a dedicated relay that opens when the key is removed if you want, but avoid like the plague connecting the + lead to a terminal in the fuse box and the - lead to an arbitrary grounded point on the body. Direct connections to the battery helps to prevent a way for noise to enter the radio on the power leads.

You may also be hearing the electric fuel pump located in the fuel tank on many newer cars. Solving that sound is very difficult.

Good luck!

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Check power leads inside of radio, "usually red and black" right off the leads there should be a black diode "shorts" if wires have been hooked up backwards, also check for an open foil on the printed circuit board.

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Your correct the red wire is the positive and the black is the negative. You must also make sure to use a power supply with enough current to operate the radio. Usually a 12 volt supply that supplies about 4 to 8 amps should do the trick

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1 Answer

No power to cb

first thing is to make sure the power leads to your CB are hooked up. The black wire from the back of your CB need to go directly to the car battery "minus" "-" or to a metal screw which is actually touching metal not plastic. The red wire needs to go through a fuse. Sometimes there are inline fuses, that is to say built into the red wire that you can remove and check. If not the the red wire should go to a wire that is coming from your cars electrical fuse box. Using a multimeter to check voltages, set it to read DC and to be able to read at least 20 volts. attach the black lead of your meter to the same screw or point where the black wire from your CB is at. Next if your red CB wire has an inline fuse remove it. we will test it in a minute. Now where you have removed the fuse, with the fuse out touch the red lead of your meter to the red wire of your CB but the half that goes the opposite direction of your CB. Is there 12 volts there? oops turn on your ignition and test again. you should have 12 volt reading on your meter, or close to that. If so that means you have power up to the fuse. Turn your ignition switch back off. Now set the meter to read ohms or if you have a buzzer symbol, set it to that. Now touch the red and black leads of your meter together, note what happens. something should happen, meter goes to almost zero and probably makes a tone, if you have it set for buzzer. Now touch the leads to the fuse while it is laying on a table. One lead to one side the other lead to the other side. Doesn't matter which lead goes where. You should see or hear the same thing you just did a second ago. If so then the fuse is good. Put it back in the red wire where it belongs. make sure both ends are snug when you fit it in and tighten up.Try your radio again with the ignition on. does it work? It should if what I said checks out. If not then you will need someone to look at your radio internally for a bad solder joint where the red wire comes in or even a bad switch. If you have made the check I suggest and you don't see anything on the meter when you check for voltage. set the meter for DC voltage, touch the leads up to your car battery just to see if the setting is right on your meter and it does work. If it does then continue on. You will need to do this: touch the red wire of your meter to your cars battery "+". You might need a longer wire to attach to the red lead to be able to reach the battery, because I want you to touch the black lead to the black CB wire at the point where it hooks to your car. Do you see 12 volts now? If not the black wire connection where it makes contact with the screw is not really grounded. Find another ground and try it again until it works. If that all checks out and the radio still doesn't work we are in trouble. The basis of this is that the red wire has to end up making a connection to the car battery "+" one way or another and the black lead of your radio needs to go to the car Battery "-". If your red wire has an inline fuse you could just run the wire directly to your battery "+" and the black wire to your battery "-" It will work if the fuse is good and your radio works. If not then your radio needs help. The drawback of running the wires like that are , would be the radio would not go off and on with the ignition switch. woopie!

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1 Answer

Where do the 3 wires in back of my Cobra18wxst11 go? Can I use a cigarette lighter plug?


"Where do I connect the three power wires? (radios with 3 power leads)
Answer: Connect the black wire to chassis ground.

Connect the red wire to a switched +12 volt source, such as the fuse for the AM/FM radio.

The orange wire is for the memory retention of your CB radio, and should be connected to a constant +12 volt source. The fuse for the brake lights is usually a good choice.

With the radio wired as above, the radio will turn off when the ignition is turned off. The orange wire will provide power to the radio so that it remembers the channel.

If you are installing your Cobra CB radio in an application where you wish to utilize a cigarette plug to power the unit, connect the black wire to the negative lead (side terminal) on the plug. Connect both the red and orange wires together to the positive lead (center tip) of the plug. Your unit will function properly this way but will not retain the channel memory. When power is applied your radio will come up on channel 9."

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I am sure the problem you will find is with the lack of a proper ground plane.

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On most mobile communications equipment, it is best that:
1. the power leads are directly wired to the battery terminals;
2. the bracket and radio body are grounded to the chassis of the vehicle;
3. a braided grounding strip be used in addition to the negative power lead; and/or
4. a gutter or trunk lip mounted antenna be used rather than magnetic. Antennas are better made of metal rod (not fiberglass) such as those made by Daiwa, Maldol, Oscar, Hokushin and others. The mount itself should use high quality RG58 coaxial cable such as those by Belden and others.

Hope that this be of some help/idea. Pls post back how things turned out or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards.

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