Mikerowaved wrote:Glad to see a nudge for people so inclined to get their license. We have a Technician class starting in 2 weeks for just such folks.
What kind of radio does your wife have? (It doesn't sound like a hand-held.) Most amateur radios operate on 12V, so in a pinch you can hook them to a car battery and operate that way. Another way is to watch the sales on computer UPS's. I've seen 500VA rated ones under $50. Granted, because of the modified sine wave, some work better than others, but by lowering your transmit power, they will last quite a long time.
Many of the smaller SOHO UPSs run a 12V battery inside anyway. It would seem silly to use a UPS to store 12vdc, then convert it to 120vac, and back to 12vdc.
You might try a car battery and a trickle charger, which you could leave plugged in all the time, but would allow operation in the event of a power outage. A cheap setup would cost you a bit more than the $50 UPS, but would last a lot longer.
You should also practice with your radio simplex. You probably don't need the full output of your radio unless you are in a rural area. Your battery will last a lot longer with a good antenna and moderate power.