This is such an excellent forum. Two weeks ago I knew nothing about CB radios, so I started reading all the threads in this forum. I just finished reading the last one and now I have a good idea of a possible set-up for my car. I will use the CB radio on highway trips.
1. I am trying to decide on a specific radio - I had narrowed it down to the Uniden Pro 520XL, and the Uniden Pro 510XL. The only feature that seems like it may be useful that the 520 has that the 510 does not has is an RF Gain knob. Is this knob necessary?
To further complicate the situation, I had been pretty solid on buying a Uniden radio until I called some CB shops. I called Sparky's and two other local CB shops and asked how much the Uniden's cost and how much it would cost to peak and tune them. ALL THREE of the guys that I spoke to right away told me that they could peak and tune it, but that the Cobra 19 DX IV would be a better choice for my purposes, because it is easier to modify the unit (they said they could get more out of the Cobra).
Would I be better off with a Cobra 19 or a Uniden?
Also, is it necessary to upgrade the mic?
2. As far as the install is concerned, I have two options: direct wiring the radio, or using a cigarette lighter adapter. I am thinking that the direct wiring might be a better approach, as the unit will most likely be left in my car and not taken out to place in other cars. That being said, I currently have my V1 hardwired to the windshield wiper wire (this is on only when the ignition is on), which is a 15 Amp fuse. Would there be anything wrong in getting power from this wire for my CB radio? I wouldn't want to see my wipers have any problems, but I'm not sure if this would even be an issue, because I don't even know how much juice the CB radio will use.
3. About the antenna - I have narrowed it down to either the Little Wil or the Wilson 5000 (I will definitely get a mag mount). Why have I not included the 1000? You see, I figure that if I'm going to have this ridiculous looking antenna on my car I might as well take it to the max!!! How much better would the 5000 work than the Little Wil in terms of Tx and Rx? One thing that has me kind of puzzled is that noone seems to have the Wilson 5000 on here - everyone either has the Little Wil or the 1000 (AirMoore), or the 500 (Rob). One more question is that I will probably run the coax thru the rear seat into the trunk. This way I can leave the antenna in the trunk when it is not in use. The only thing that worries me is that the 62" whip will be too long to fit in the trunk. As far as I know the whip can be detached from the base, so I could leave the whip inside my home and just leave the base and coax in the trunk. Am I correct in saying this?
4. One last thing - SWR tuning. Suppose I do the tuning once and then remove the antenna and put it away in storage. Two months later I have another trip, so I take out the whip and mount it in the base, and place it on the same spot on the trunk. Do I need to redo the SWR tuning? I know it is better to be safe than sorry, but is this really necessary if I am placing the antenna in the same spot?
Also there are a few diff SWR meters out there - which one do you guys recommend as being a solid, affordable one?
Thanks for taking the time to read this, this has been quite a spiel.