Typical yard and wondering if I can go out a window, to a tree, turn to another tree, turn to another tree simply trying to achieve the length required for 80m band? One video stated it doesn't need to be straight, but need to verify.

  • $\begingroup$ you mean a zig zag antenna? :) $\endgroup$
    – user10489
    Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 23:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Why do you need it confirmed? The hobby is meant to be about experimentation. So experiment. Plug that wire in and see what happens. Also, if trying to get on 80 or 160, try making a coil to shorten the antenna. Lots of videos about how to make these coils on YouTube, you will find you don't need anywhere near as much space as you thought. $\endgroup$
    – Lee
    Commented Feb 27 at 14:22

3 Answers 3


it’ll change the resonance characteristics, and most interestingly the radiation pattern…

Definitely worth doing though, and experimenting with.

I’ve had great success with a dipole in an eccentric Z configuration (when viewed from above) in a townhome attic.


It does not need to be straight.

Just don't sharply fold it back on itself.

Not does the height need to be the same, no need to have it parallel with the ground.

Keep in mind, the higher the better. And it will benefit significantly with a good RF ground. A single ground rod is not a good RF ground.


Short answers:

  • A zig zag antenna of the right length is better than a shorter antenna.
  • A straight antenna is better than a zig zag antenna of the same length.
  • An antenna that sort of works is better than no antenna. It's worth a try, and will probably be fine.

More detail:

  • By having elements of the antenna in close proximity to each other, you will get some self cancellation and probably some impedance irregularities. Self cancellation will lower efficiency (but it will probably still work). Impedance irregularities might cause dips and/or high SWR at some frequencies, but probably nothing an antenna tuner can't fix.
  • Not having it straight will give it a strange radiation pattern. But so will strange heights, trees, irregularities in the ground conductivity, and near by parallel metal objects.

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