We found an interesting tip that could improve the performance of these small, affordable handheld amateur radios known as Handy Talky, or HT for short in the ham language. [RadioHamGuy] posted an interesting video on Add a counterweight antenna wire to an HT. He claims that it will significantly improve both transmission and reception by converting a quarter-wave monopole into a makeshift dipole antenna system.

According to his instructions, add a short cable to the antenna’s external ground connection, or an equivalent housing screw that is electrically connected to the antenna’s ground side. Apparently this can be called a tiger tail and makes it appear like your HT has a tail. You would construct counterbalanced antenna wire 11.5 “for VHF, 6.5” for UHF, and about 19.5 “for an OK dual band VHF / UHF radio.

Typically on a handheld radio, the counterweight (floor) is your own body while you hold the HT. This is because your body’s capacity is a good counterbalance under normal conditions. It would be interesting to hear what others think of the performance when adding a counterbalance antenna cable.

you can see [RadioHamGuy’s] full construction tutorial video for multiple radio types after the break.