You have your first radio for some time now, you want to increase its performance in the field and also make a better radio kit for it. If you haven’t heard or read yet, the three most important words in radio communications are: Antenna, Antenna, Antenna
(which are followed by the next three: Location, Location, Location)
So, let’s see what your starter antenna options are . And that means simple, economic, easy to deploy -or even make- radio antennas for the VHF and UHF bands.
It is the antenna that uses an artificial “ground” to work. In a base antenna the “ground” is the 3 or 4 radials that extend from its base. In a mobile (car) antenna the “ground” is defined by the car’s metallic body.
So a way for a ready-made option is to take a mobile antenna (that is already pre-tuned) and create its ground yourself.
One option is to get a magnetic base antenna and nail a metal sheet on top of a pole. This can be a lid of a paint can, a cookie baking tray etc etc. Then you stick the magnetic mount antenna on top.