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Building antennas

N0WY

Member
Aug 11, 2010
13
0
11
All,

I want to start making some antennas on my own instead of buying them...I will be starting with easy ones - dipoles and long wires and such. My biggest question right now is how to I take a wire (lets say some speaker wire) and hook it up to some coax so I can hook it to my Ft-857? I understand there will be some soldering or something going on, but I am just at a loss. If anyone has a website with pics of this process (or even a video) that would be great.

Thanks,

Michael
 

W5LZ

Crotchety Old Bastard
Apr 8, 2005
6,832
823
173
Oklahoma
Michael,
Antennas can certainly be fun to make, and less expensive than buying a ready made one. But as you are finding out, there are a few things you really do need to know about antennas in general, and of course for specific antennas.
To start with, an antenna is a conductor of electricity (RF is just another form of AC). It it will conduct electricity then it can usually be used as an antenna. that means that wire, metal tubing, whatever, are possible sources of that 'conductor' you'll need. Pick the one you are most comfortable in using, that will either hold it's self up or can be help up in some manner.
For instance.
Wire antennas, dipoles, are typically a 1/2 wave length in length. So, select a wire that's strong enough to hold it's self and maybe the feed line up in the air. So strength is one characteristic that's important. If it has a huge amount of resistance it probably isn't gonna be a very good antenna. Ordinary copper, aluminum, steel, etc, doesn't have a huge amount of resistance per foot so are usually nice stuff to make antennas from. Small differences, like between copper and steel, just isn't a biggy. Another aspect is just how hard is this wire going to be to work with? If you can't bend it by hand it'll be harder to work with, right? Doesn't mean it's 'bad' wire, just harder to handle. How about insulated wire? It'll work just fine in most cases, and the color of that insulation can be of benefit too (hides it?). Just how 'hard' is that wire? Does it stretch? That's not so good, but it's manageable. Just don't stretch it too far!
All antennas have two 'poles', call them (+) and (-) for convenience. RF is alternating current so those poles do switch every half cycle, so just be aware of that. The center conductor of coax goes to one pole, the braid of that coax goes to the other pole. One way of doing that connecting is by using an insulator between those two poles, or sides of a dipole and just soldering the coax conductors, one to each side. Another way is by using coax connectors, PL-259 is the 'male', an SO-239 is the 'female' connector. Put that SO-239 in/on that center insulator separating the two 'sides' of that dipole, make appropriate connections. (Nothing so far that you already don't know or at least have seen, right?)
Which of those two ways is 'better'? The one that's easiest for you to do -correctly- is the 'best' for you. They will both work the same. Lot's of 'pros/cons' about that, but they both work just dandy.
There's more to making antennas than that, but that's a bare-bones description. There are quite a few sites that can give you more information, just 'google' for them. @#$ near anything can be 'improved', so making changes is normal as you can get. (Just remember how things were before so you canchange back if that 'improvement' isn't what you thought it was, you know?)
Have fun.
- 'Doc
 

K8PG

The Outer Limits
Jul 7, 2006
201
2
28
Chatham MI. EN66mi
The first thing you ned to do is get the ARRLs Antenna Book-study basic antenna theory,
then get The Basic Antennas Book-Their are many different antennas you can build
with wire ,you can have a lot of fun and learn a lot about antenna properties-Some wire
antennas can out-perform many commercial bought antennas,just depends what you make
Find a local ham that is well versed in building antennas-I am sure he will be glad to help
you.Good Luck-have fun and be Carefull.I at one time had 11 different wire antennas.
73/Dx.

Paul-K8PG
 

N0WY

Member
Aug 11, 2010
13
0
11
Real nice...

So because I have not built multiple antennas, then I am not "worthy" of a class of license? Oh please - like anyone has done all things in amateur radio. I, like many many others, have gone and bought proven antenna systems from others and have had good experiences on the bands. I have played with digital, cw, ssb and such - but I guess I should just turn in my ticket since I haven't build antennas.

I know the basic setup for the antennas, but if you search - there are 100 different ways to do it, so I came here to ask how others in the group setup their antennas. Instead of you giving any information that could help myself and others new to antenna building - you criticize. Amateur Radio is changing - get use to it. Most people buy, not make their antennas. That is why I am stepping out from the locals here and getting my information from a wider pool of people. I don't want to buy a Transworld or a Buddipole like most others (well I DO - but I also want to build some)

There are many areas in Amateur Radio that one can specialize in that it is difficult to be a Elmer in all areas, and unfortunately the "Elmers" of past have not moved forward with the newer technologies that could have keep Amateur Radio growing as it has years and years ago (OMG - you use a 'pouter to log your contacts? A real log book from ARRL is the ONLY way a REAL Amateur would do it).

I have found Techs that were smarter than Extra class operators on certain subjects, does that mean we can't go to the Techs for information? Get off of your throne about a license class and lets just share our knowledge around this hobby we have. I took the test and passed, so get over it. At least I know where I am lacking in knowledge and I don't have too large of a ego to go and ask for assistance, it sounds like you have forgotten that you don't know everything. I will continue to ask questions about areas that I need assistance and am interested in - if others would like me to ask my questions outside of this website, so be it.
 

N0WY

Member
Aug 11, 2010
13
0
11
Sorry, I am sure you still do all of your research in a library somewhere, most people though go directly to the sources, thus Social Networking. In todays age, asking these type of questions in a forum is the same as "cracking a book" or looking it up on Google.

Thanks again for your input and all of the assistance you have given, I am sure months / years from now when others have the same question - they will simply shy away from asking due to your post. With answers like yours, you will guarantee the demise of this wonderful hobby.

I would prefer to spend my time more productively, so I won't respond to any more of your responses, but go ahead and feel free to flame me. If I am asked by the moderators of the site to leave due to my unreasonable question on antennas, then I will leave.

Hope you can still enjoy this hobby in your own way and I certainly enjoy it in my way.
 

W5LZ

Crotchety Old Bastard
Apr 8, 2005
6,832
823
173
Oklahoma
What brought all that on? 'Worthy' of a class of license? Sorry if a very, very simple explanation up set you so. As for recommending books instead of a 'social network', or internet forums? You have got to be kidding, right? Go where the information exists, even if it's not what you're comfortable with.
Who asked for information?
Who gave it?
Who'z upset?
mea culpa...
It won't happen again, I promise. ;)
- 'Doc
 

AudioShockwav

Extraterrestrial
Staff member
Apr 6, 2005
7,366
4,969
343
Sierras Near Yosemite National Park
This thread has been cleaned up, there was another member in the thread that was giving KB7PZI a Bad time for becoming a a Ham and not instantly knowing everything about radio.......that and him has been removed.
Carry on gentleman.

73
Jeff
 
B

BOOTY MONSTER

Guest
there was a earlier post that has been deleted where someone commented about a extra class person not knowing how to build a dipole .

kb7pzi . i'm just a low life CB'er but i learned a lot about antennas from folks here and built a few . there are folks here that are more than happy to help anyone in any way they can , i hope you stick around and dont let one post prevent you from missing all the fun around here .

welcome to the forum :D
 
B

BOOTY MONSTER

Guest
This thread has been cleaned up, there was another member in the thread that was giving KB7PZI a Bad time for becoming a a Ham and not instantly knowing everything about radio.......that and him has been removed.
Carry on gentleman.

73
Jeff

darn !
by by wire weasel :sad:
hopefully its just a temporary bann
 

wavrider

W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member
Jun 2, 2009
3,404
1,268
173
N4UJW ANTENNA DESIGN LAB - Ham Radio Antennas - Design 0r Build Your own Ham Radio Antenna

Good site for all types of antenna building including instructions etc etc

Understanding Antennas For the Non-technical Ham by N4JA - An online Book!

Great reading, explains antennas and what now.

There is many useful links on that site and when you get a basic understanding of the antennas, how to build them, and how to feed them then it will be time to have fun and start building your own.

The antenna is the single most important part of your station.

The best part of this hobby IMO is playing with antennas, others may find the digi modes or amplifier home brew the best part, nothing gives a better feeling that building an antenna, installing it and then making contacts.

Any questions just come on back to the forum and post it. A lot of good members here and they have helpful advice.

Most of all, have fun. that is what the hobby is all about.
 

Captain Kilowatt

Professional Amateur
Staff member
Apr 6, 2005
16,847
11,000
823
59
Nova Scotia,Canada
This thread has been cleaned up, there was another member in the thread that was giving KB7PZI a Bad time for becoming a a Ham and not instantly knowing everything about radio.......that and him has been removed.
Carry on gentleman.

73
Jeff


Gee, I Wonder Who that was. :whistle: For a guy that seems to know everything he sure has a hard time knowing what to say and when not to say something. :bdh:
 

UnrealStunner

Active Member
Jul 13, 2011
100
7
28
Lemoyne, Pa.
Thanks Wav a page I never viewed before DESIGN THE CLOUD WARMER NVIS BEAM ANTENNA

I think I will try this one I do have a working 1/2 Pole and matched 1.1 with RF Chokes all I would need to do is add a reflector at 0.15A below + 5% longer then driven.

8.75Ft + 5%= 9.1875 for each leg 9.1875 x 2 =18.375 Total Size of Ref. Ele.
0.15A at 27.555 Spacing = aprox 140/freq mhz What is 0.15A Spacing?
nvisbeam.gif
 
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