Coupling a commercial VHF handheld to an external antenna

Some good commercial VHF handhelds have only one drawback - no external antenna connector.

Modification is also a problem as the rubber ducky is either integral or screwed on to a threaded stud, with no access to ground.

The result is a frustrated, repeater-bound ham. When a fellow ham in such a predicament set me pondering, realisation dawned that another rubber ducky could be used to couple the rig to an external antenna.

My own rig (which has a BNC connector!) was used to check it out. The coupling rubber ducky
was mounted on the input of a homebrew SWR meter, with a dial lamp loading the output.
Rubber ducky coupling to bulb load
The glow of the dial lamp indicated a coupling efficiency of about 20% (2.5W to 0.5W).

A 2m external antenna was then connected instead of the dial lamp.

Rubber ducky coupling to external antenna
On-the-air tests were successful. Comfortable simplex QSOs, not possible with the rubber ducky alone, were now possible.