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Just so everybody knows, not all of my projects go off like a
"text book" perfect installation. I have my share of head scratching
issues too, just like other folks. I had one on this project.....so let me
explain here with the help from a couple of photos.
Here is the assembly order (or stacking order if you prefer) for
the mounting bracket, antenna mount, and coax. The bolt goes through the
metal flat washer, through the FireRing coax, through the hole in the mounting
bracket, through the insulated shoulder washer, then another flat washer, a
split washer, and finally into the thread antenna mounting stud. Note the
orientation of the FireRing coax and the small white area on its right.
Here is a close-up of the end of the FireRing coax that attaches
to the antenna mounting connector. Note the white insulator that protrudes
from the center of the ring. This is the insulated shoulder washer that is
built into the ring and prevents the center conductor of the coax from
contacting the antenna mount and thus shorting the RF signal to ground.
(not good for your CB radio nor your transmission distance) This shoulder
fits into the hole in the mounting bracket and so is self centering in that
respect. With the bolt going through the center of it, the bolt is
insulated from the metal mounting bracket.
So....with everything lightly tightened, the antenna stud should be solid on the mount. Mine wasn't. Note the gap between the FireRing and the mounting bracket. That should NOT be there. The antenna mount was basically loose in the mounting bracket.
Remember, there was another insulated shoulder washer on the top side of the mounting bracket. It keeps the antenna stud from touching the mounting bracket and it helps keep the mounting bolt coming up from the bottom of the bracket insulated as well, just like the shoulder washer on the FireRing coax. However....the shoulder washers were pulled towards each other when everything was being snugged down....and they met before all of the slack was taken out of stacked components. So, things ended up being loose and that was not good!
What to do?
That nylon shoulder washer on the top side of the mounting bracket was no match for a coarse file from my tool box. I took .030" (ok, so I got anal and actually measured it) off of the shoulder side of the washer. There was still a shoulder left but now, when everything was tightened together, there was enough clearance for the two shoulder washers to come together inside of the bracket mounting holes without hitting each other. I still had a well insulated bolt through the middle of the mount's hole and it was night and snug, the way it should have been. I would venture a guess that someone at Firestik put the wrong thickness shoulder washer in the package....or the vendor they get the washers from had a quality control issue and no one caught it.
So....the important thing is that this was entirely "fixable" by me and I didn't have to wait on getting a replacement part. It took about 3 minutes with the file and I was back on track with the installation. Hey, resolving it yourself isn't such a bad thing, especially when you don't have to wait until next weekend to get it finished! OK, on with the installation.
I used half of the Firestik SS64 stainless steel mount.
Since my mounting point was a bit thicker than what is commonly used, the
supplied stainless steel bolts weren't quite long enough. The local ACE
Hardware store had the longer 1/4x20 stainless bolts I needed. I usually
keep some in the nuts and bolts box but I didn't have them in the proper
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