Mobile Radio Setup
I'm one of those weirdos who'll spend excessive amounts of money cobbling something together rather than just buying the thing outright. It's a serious character flaw. However, in this case, I was able to accomplish what I wanted for MUCH less than expected.
I wanted to set up a mobile ham radio rig in my truck because why the hell not. However, looking at mobile radios on Amazon made me question that decision, because actual mobile radios could be fairly pricey, starting over $100. I decided to just get a good antenna and hook it up to one of my handheld radios, and I got the job done.
I purchased a Bingfu Vehicle Ham Radio Mobile Radio Antenna VHF UHF 136-174MHz 400-470MHz low-profile antenna from Amazon and mounted it on my truck. It's not the prettiest solution, and it definitely isn't compensating for anything, but sitting in Cedar Park, Texas, I was able to hit the N5TT-R repeater in Georgetown, Texas, which is about 20 miles away. This was on the 2 meter band. Not bad! I was able to hit the Leander repeater from anywhere in Leander on the 70cm band.
The overall effect of my rig is definitely DIY, but does what I want it to until I can afford to invest more into a better rig. Although I do think I may invest in multiple antennas to swap out depending on my radio needs at any given time.