One of the things I play around with in my (limited) free time is HAM Radio. I took my license exam a few years ago and haven't done much but monitor traffic since then. While monitoring is fun, it's more fun to talk to people.

Enter the barn: The barn is a faraday cage. It's metal sides block wi-fi, cellphone, and all sorts of radio frequencies, which makes it difficult to talk on the handheld. I ran across K7AGE's YouTube Channel and specifically his 2 Meter quarter wave antenna video. It was maybe $20 in parts total.

Quarter wave ground plane antenna

This also was my first non-practice solder joint using the solder station my family got me for my birthday this year. It may not be the prettiest, but it gets the job done.

Solder joint on SO239 connector

Going to be trying to talk into the local repeater on Carter's Mountain and see if I can get past the interference.