The 1.2 GHz amateur radio band is ideal for experimenting with gain antennas. Since the 1.2 GHz band is eight times the frequency of the 144 two meter band, the antennas are eight time smaller. You can pack quite a bit of gain in a handheld antenna that you would struggle to use for two meters or HF.
Here is an example of a portable 1296 FM station, especially valuable for emergency communications, complete with battery pack.
The station is comprised of:
- A three foot yardstick, for size comparison
- Directive Systems 14 element loop yagi, 14 dB gain
- 25 feet of 9913 coaxial cable, with N male connectors at each end
- Kenwood TM-541 1.2 GHz 10 watt FM radio
- External 18 amp hour battery pack
- Bogen 3221 photo tripod, used as an antenna mount
My favorite alternate is the Wimo PA-23R panel antenna. It has a fiberglass radome covering the antenna and a 9 db gain. Physically, it resembles this photo from the DC9ZP web site.
My regular mobile antenna is the Diamond NR-124NMO mobile antenna.
These antennas also work well with the Icom ID-1 1.2 GHz voice/data radios.
taken from http://ronhashiro.htohananet.com/am-radio/1296/gain.html