(I'm asking this in the context of a Cobra 29LTD CB, but I think that it also applies to amateur radio in general.)

In SWR mode, the needle swings all the way to the right, hitting the limit. The (mag mount 35" K30) antenna is indoors, grounded to a filing cabinet. I believe it has not been tuned. I have continuity from the center coax to the antenna whip. I don't have continuity between the center and ground from one end, but I can't test the continuity of the entire length of ground because the cable goes straight into the base of the antenna.

It does transmit to an HT that can receive 10 meters, as well as to some cheap speakers across the room. :D

SWR should never be this high, even under bad conditions, right?

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    $\begingroup$ Have you a dummy load or a known-to-be-good CB antenna to try? $\endgroup$ – Tyler Stone Oct 12 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ No, I'm barely started in radio as a hobby so I really don't have much equipment. I'd really prefer to not spend anything on this, as I'm saving up for an HF ham radio anyways. $\endgroup$ – Galaxy Oct 12 at 19:43
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    $\begingroup$ Do you have any info at all on the antenna...manufacturer/make/model? $\endgroup$ – Tyler Stone Oct 12 at 19:47
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    $\begingroup$ Oh, yeah, it's a 35" K30: amazon.com/Radio-K30-Magnet-Mount-Antenna/dp/B001K2GGB4/… $\endgroup$ – Galaxy Oct 12 at 21:08
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    $\begingroup$ aha excellent..I'd suggest editing that into your question so all the relevant info is in one place. Ok one more question, have you yet performed the SWR meter calibration procedure outlined in the manual? $\endgroup$ – Tyler Stone Oct 12 at 23:09

An antenna that's

  • Pretty short (0.08 wavelength),
  • Not tuned,
  • Mag-mounted to an inadequate counterpoise,
  • Indoors with who-knows-how-much metal in its near field,

could certainly have a 5:1 or worse SWR, which is enough to "peg the needle" on most meters I've seen.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for clarifying that, for some reason I thought that it was a sign of some severe electronics issue or something. $\endgroup$ – Galaxy Oct 12 at 23:48

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