Question about Cobra 29 LTD CB Radio

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Every time I press my MIC to speak into it the red lights on the RX/T and ANT light come on alerting me of a problem. How can I fix this.

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RX/TX light should change to red, however the ANT light is a bad light. This means that your antenna is not adjusted properly. Do not key the radio or talk on it for any other reason then to check the SWR and tune the antenna. If you have the manual that came with your cobra 29, there is a section that explains how to check the SWR. And the manual for the antenna, it will explain how to adjust it.

If not, here is how to do it.........

How to check the SWR on a Cobra 29

Step 1. Find out what your current SWR is on the center of the band.

  1. Turn the radio to channel 20.
  2. Set the S/RF SWR CAL switch to CAL.
  3. Turn the CAL knob all the way counter clockwise.
  4. Key the radio. Do not talk into the mic.
  5. While holding the mic key, turn the CAL knob to the right until the needle reaches the CAL mark on the top right of the meter.
  6. Now flip the S/RF SWR CAL switch to SWR while still holding the key on the mic.
The needle should fall. Where ever the needle is while holding the key is your SWR reading on channel 20. It should be as low as possible. If its a reading of 2, then its not gonna kill the radio but is border line. Any higher and its bad. Using the radio like this will damage the final output transistor. If its less then 2 this is better. You want it to be less then 1.5 or better.

The ANT light may come on with an SWR of 2. running the radio with an SWR of 2 shouldn't hurt the radio, but I don't like to mess around. Get it as low as possible.

How to adjust the antenna for SWR

The length of your antenna will change your SWR. SWR is basically how much RF energy is not leaving the antenna and getting reflected back into the radio. That's why it hurts the radio when its high. An antenna has to be the right length, matching the length of the radio waves in order for it to radiate all of the RF energy out of the antenna.

Most antennas have a way of lengthening or shortening the antenna. If its a mag mount antenna with a metal whip, there is probably a set screw that when loosened, will allow you to raise or lower the whip. If its a fiberglass antenna, under the rubber cap at the top is how you raise or lower the antenna.

Figuring out if your antenna is too long, or too short

Here is how to know weather or not you have to lengthen or shorten your antenna.

  1. Take an SWR reading as explained in the first step on channel 1. Write down the SWR for reference.
  2. Take another SWR reading on channel 40. Again write it down for reference.
Now if the SWR is higher on channel 1 then on channel 40, its too short. You need to make it longer.

If the SWR is higher on channel 40 then channel 1, then the antenna is too long. You need to shorten it.


Make small adjust ments about an 1/8th to a 1/4th inch at a time. each time checking the difference between channel 1 and 40.

You will know when you are a good match when there is little to no difference between channel 1 and 40's SWR. Once you are satisfied that the difference between 1 and 40 is about the same, and much lower, then turn the radio back to channel 20 and take an SWR reading.

You will now find that the SWR on channel 20 is really low. Most likely under 1.5 or better, Almost nothing on the meter.


Here is a Meter Key, so you know what you are looking at.
Every time I press my - 2d03348.jpg

Posted on Oct 11, 2010

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