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HF Longwire antenna project.

Discussion in 'Home Brew' started by SMILEX2692002, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. SMILEX2692002

    SMILEX2692002 Active Member

    Oct 26, 2011
    Likes Received:
    First off let me say this will be my first time constructing my own HF antenna. I don't want to spend lots of money on a multi-band antenna. I already have a antenna that works on 10,12,15, and 17 meters. My goal is to be able to use 20,40,60, and 80 meters.

    My shack has 1 ground line coming in from a ground rod pounded 9' in the earth outside. That line is currently connected to my Kenwood TS-480sat. I don't run any amplifiers or plan on ever.

    This is my plan so far.
    Buy a LDG Electronics 4:1 Voltage Baluns RBA-4:1 - DXEngineering.com to use with my LDG KT-100 auto-tuner. If I could get a good SWR on the above mentioned bands with the TS-480sat's internal tuner than the KT-100 would not be used.

    Now what I need help with.
    I need to know what type of wire should be used? I was thinking something with a jacket to help protect it from the weather. What length should be run for the above mentioned bands?

    I have a 40' tower outside my ham shack. I plan on running the long wire up the tower for some height. Approximately 70' from my tower is my shed. I want to tie the other end of the long wire to the top of the shed. The shed is 20' high.

    I have never made my own antenna before so if you see anything wrong please let me know. Open to any thoughts and ideas you may have.
    1 person likes this.

  2. mr_fx

    mr_fx Sr. Member

    Oct 8, 2011
    Likes Received:
    I did 160/80/40, but you could do it for the bands you want

    basically I ground mounted a 1/4 wave aerial for each band, then ran a ground rod next to that with a ground radial cut for 1/4 wave for each band, the center of the coax goes to the aerials and the shield goes to the ground rod and ground radials.

    and you can either use steel baling wire like I did, OR better yet you can use aluminum electric fence wire ($35 for 1/4 MILE at Tractor Supply)

    just remember more that 3 or 4 bands can be quite tricky to tune (so they say)
    1 person likes this.
  3. desync0

    desync0 W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

    Nov 29, 2010
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  4. W5LZ

    W5LZ Crotchety Old Bastard

    Apr 8, 2005
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    The type of wire makes little difference as long as it's strong enough to hold up it's own weight and anything else that may be hanging on it. I think 14ga. insulated single conductor is about as common as it gets and it'll work just fine. Stranded is a little easier to work with but solid will work fine too. Basically it's whatever you have enough of.
    A 'long wire' is usually at least two wave lengths long. If it's less than two wave lengths long call it a 'random wire' antenna. Calling it by the right name just makes things easier to understand.
    any long-wire or random-wire antenna needs a very good ground system. That means as much wire in/on the ground as in the air. A ground rod is a terrible ground system for antennas, and that 'ground' IS a part of the antenna! As much trouble as they are, ground radials are the best way of going about it. How many? At least two more than whatever number you have when you are sick and tired of messing with them! Longer ones are better than shorter ones. They don't have to be absolutely symmetrical or in a specific pattern. You can bend them just like that antenna. (Just copper plate the dirt for a 1/2 mile around your antenna, that's the best way. Yeah, right.)
    They should be deep enough so that you don't trip over them or wind them up in the lawn mower. Deeper doesn't do much, if any, good.
    Have fun.
    - 'Doc
  5. WD4FCJ

    WD4FCJ W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

    May 22, 2012
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  6. n0zna

    n0zna Digital master

    Nov 3, 2008
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    I have a balum i made,a dipole run from north east and south west...the wire on dipole is 134 ft each side....my ft450d tunes from 6mtrs to 160mtrs...and also like my 75 mtr isotron...73 de JW
  7. wavrider

    wavrider W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

    Jun 2, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Doc pretty much summed it up, don't get any better than that.

    Get as much as the wire vertical as you can for DX'ing.

    You may want to look at a loop also they work pretty good, no ground radials needed.

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