What CB to get?
Cobra 75 remote
Funny you mentioned a CB. I just got mine working right the other day. Today I was rewiring my stereo. The CB and stereo are in a Tuffy overhead and my wires were a bit short and pulled when I closed it.
I was on my driveway working and one of my neighbors was out walking his grand daughter. He stopped to talk. Nice guy. Retired Army radioman. We were talking about anything and naturally the conversation turned to my CB. He asked what it was putting out. I guessed 4 watts since that is the legal output. He asked if I wanted more output. Of course, I said yes and he went home.
Five minutes later, he had a meter that measures output. He had me key up my CB and he showed me that it was barely putting out 3 watts. 3.1 to be exact. He explained that CB manufacturers do that for two reasons.
1. There is a huge FCC fine if they distribute anything over the legal limit, so to stay well within the law they often dial it back. I guess that explains why most CB's have a usable range of about two miles.
2. Higher output can reduce the life of the CB and they want to be known as reliable.
When he said he asked if I wanted more output, I just figured he was going to tune my antenna. He did that too, but he also had me open up the CB. He said he was going to tell me what to do, but didn't want to do it himself just in case it didn't work anymore.
First thing he had me do was increase the CB modulation. Honestly, I have no idea what that is, but if you look at the picture, it's the blue and white knob on the left. Counter-clockwise will increase the modulation.
To the right, you'll see another dial. That one is for AC watts. It was covered in a waxy plastic from the factory. I had to scrape it off to access the adjustment knob. Counter-clockwise again increases. From what his meter showed, each quarter turn is almost another full watt of output.
This model CB, Cobra 18 WX ST II, capped out at a max of 12 watts output. He said both knobs relate to power output. Toggling both knobs, we balanced the output at exactly 10 watts.
After we put it together, he went to drive his grand daughter home and he was still picking me up just over 6 miles away loud and clear. He said it would be able to throw a signal much further than that.
I'm sure it can be done with other models of CB. Very likely with most Cobra's. Google will probably find you some info specific to your model. Very cheap and useful mod.
I know 10 watts output isn't a lot, but it's a definite improvement over factory.