So I just set up my first in-house CB radio. I needed something to talk to my wife with when I'm away because we get zero cell phone service at the house, and I couldn't bring myself to pay another phone bill just to get a land-line, so I stopped by our radio shack and dropped about $250 on equipment and wound up surprising myself.
I got a Cobra 148 GTL mobile radio, a 120V-AC to 13.8V-DC transformer, an actual transformer that regulates and cleans up the power to eliminate interference. I got 50 feet of coax and soldered my own connectors on and a SolarCon A-99 antenna that looks to be 18-20 feet long and mounted it onto my back porch.
I did a radio check and a guy 10 miles away told me I was blowing him out of the water easily, so that tells me I'll be more than capable of talking to my wife anywhere I decide to go locally using the mobile CB (Cobra 19 Ultra III with a 36 inch whip) that I've had in my car for several years now. Well at least she'll be able to yell at me, not sure how well my little mobile Cobra 19 will compare.
Anyway, this was the first time I'd actually soldered my own wires and everything so I was really proud of myself when I got a response from 10 miles away telling me I was crystal clear at that distance, so I thought I'd share for other people who do CB for work or for fun, and maybe get some pointers from those more experienced individuals. I'm not using any linear amps or anything illegal, and would prefer to avoid using them. I don't necessarily want to talk to people in Hawaii, I mean it would be nice if I could do it with legal hardware, but my main goal was just to talk to my wife when I'm out and about and to talk to people around the county when I'm at home in the evening.
I'll take a photo of the antenna tomorrow when it's light out. It's dark and raining outside and I can't get a good shot of the whole thing because of how far away I have to stand.