Questions tagged [antenna-construction]

Materials and methods for building antennas, and design of supporting (non-conductive) structures. For design of antennas themselves, use [antenna-theory] instead.

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33
votes
4answers
47k views

Effect of different metals for antenna elements

Other than rust, corrosion, and other reactions with air that would make the use of a metal unfavorable, how do different metals affect the performance? Let's give Yagi an example: Let's say I use 4 ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

Can I build a radio telescope out of a parabolic TV satellite dish?

I have the possibility to buy a very inexpensive 2.4m parabolic satellite dish and I would like to build a radio telescope from it. Originally this dish was designed to be a satellite TV antenna. ...
19
votes
2answers
8k views

How to detect common-mode currents or “RF in the shack”?

Let's say we already know that if your antenna is not suitably constructed or connected then you can get current on the shield of your coaxial feed line which will flow through the shielding/grounding ...
14
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5answers
43k views

Good wire for wire antenna?

What properties should I look for in a good wire for building a wire antenna? Could anyone recommend something specific for me?
14
votes
1answer
6k views

What is the purpose of a balun and a unun in a feed line?

I have never understood how a balun or a unun works and under which situation I need to use either of them in an antenna feed line.
12
votes
3answers
8k views

Protect rig from static charge on antenna

How can I continuously discharge static from my end-fed antenna? My Electraft K2/100's autotuner (schematics) has an SWR bridge using two 1N5711 pin diodes. These diodes get blown if any static ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Capacitive hats on wire dipoles?

Capacitive hats seem to be advertised as an option for mobile vertical antennas. One mentioned advantage is the they can widen the SWR bandwidth, making the antenna easier to tune. What might be the ...
10
votes
4answers
9k views

Is an antenna analyzer necessary for building antennas?

I'd like to try my hand at building a few antennas for VHF/UHF use. I'm going to be going approximately from established designs, but obviously the final result will require some tuning. I don't ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

How to combine two 50 Ω antennas such that they appear as one 50 Ω load?

I'm looking for a simple way to impedance match an array of two 50 Ω antennas so that when they are combined they appear as one 50 Ω load. Assume that both antennas are identically constructed, are ...
10
votes
1answer
973 views

Can I have multiple inverted-vee antenna fed by a single coax?

A friend who recently received his call is planning to setup an inverted-vee for 40/20m bands. Our take is the signal will take the path of least impedance into the correct length antenna wire. ...
10
votes
1answer
5k views

How to design a rubber ducky antenna

I am attempting to design an antenna for a 162.4 MHz omni receive only application and am confident it is going to be difficult if not impossible. I have very tight specs on space(6" diameter by 3" ...
9
votes
3answers
20k views

How would I modify a satellite dish to transmit and/or receive to a Baofeng UV-5r plus? ( A handheld transceiver) If it's possible

I have an old satellite dish just lying around and was wondering how to hook it up to my baofeng uv-5r plus.
9
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the largest gauge (thinnest diametre) wire I may use as an antenna?

A follow-up to Good wire for wire antenna? I'm QRT at present - thanks to fooling around with just a couple of diodes and PVC capacitors instead of a well-regulated supply. The antenna I used earlier ...
8
votes
5answers
8k views

Aluminum vs copper antenna element lengths

Does the particular metal used in antenna elements make any difference in element length or spacing, i.e. 1/2" aluminum tube vs 1/2" copper tube? I know that length and diameter have an effect on ...
8
votes
4answers
291 views

Why are there differences in antennas that depend on electrical component and magnetic component of a radio wave?

I understand the idea that when we are targeting the electrical component of the radio waves we need to have some form of a linear conductor that receives the electrical component, this creates a ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Wire antenna slightly too long

Say I have a wire antenna that is slightly (a few percent) too long for the desired frequency (of resonance or lowest SWR). What are the options, other than cutting the wire(s) and very likely ending ...
8
votes
3answers
733 views

RigExpert AA-35 - Interpreting The Information

I have a new RigExpert AA-35 antenna analyzer. 1st one I have had & 1st time trying to use an analyzer on an antenna. My questions are very basic and general, but I am having difficulty in ...
8
votes
1answer
733 views

Do I need a SWR meter for a basic 2 meter antenna?

I have a 5 watt 2 meter handheld transceiver and want to build a helmet with an antenna, microphone (with VOX enabled) and earpiece for the radio. For the antenna part, I just want to do something ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

cubesat turnstile antenna material selection

My cubesat team is working on our design for rolled whip antennas to deploy in a UHF turnstile configuration based on this design: What I would like advice on is the material for the antennas ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Will anodizing or powder coating or wetcoating (painting) antenna elements affect performance?

I want to put up a small tower and beam on my roof, but I don’t want the aluminum to “stick out” and want it to be unnoticeable as possible. I would think black anodizing would be the best solution ...
8
votes
3answers
296 views

Can I use a helical ground plane radial in the same way that a loading coil works?

I'm working out the science behind mounting an antenna on a vehicle, and I came across the concept of ground planes. This answer says that longer is better but don't worry about it too much, but this ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

What's an appropriate core material for a loopstick antenna?

A loopstick antenna, if you don't know, is a coil of many turns around a high permeability core. They are frequently encountered in AM receivers and look like this: This particular example is ...
8
votes
2answers
406 views

Is steel or aluminum structurally a better material for catenaries?

I understand that steel is not a good material for antenna wire, but let's consider that I'm using the wire for purely structural support, or I am cladding it with copper to address the RF ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Can you use a satellite dish for a ham radio antenna?

Can I use a satellite dish as a ham radio antenna? I was thinking that because there are two unused, working satellite dishes that have all appropriate wires attached conveniently to the roof of my ...
7
votes
3answers
274 views

Wider wire = picks up more energy, yah?

I have seen many discussions re: wire gauge, insulation, velocity factor and K-factor...unfortunately, statements from various sources are not always in agreement, but that is not the issue. The issue ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Antenna options for a 10x20m property with a large metal roof?

I live in a house that sits in the middle of the city, in a lot 10x20m in size. The first 6x10m are covered by a metal roof with a rather low angle (IIRC only 50cm difference between the highest and ...
7
votes
1answer
392 views

How to make a ferrite bar antenna for RTL-SDR?

I bought a RTL-SDR (blue one with little MCX antenna). I modified its Q branch, and can receive short wave radio with Degen 31MS antenna now. For MW, Degen 31MS antenna has a ferrite bar antenna ...
7
votes
1answer
803 views

How does aluminum siding on a house affect an inverted-vee antenna next to it?

My two-storey house is wood with alumninum siding. I had wanted to install an inverted-vee antenna with its midpoint hanging from the eave, and endpoints near the ground, but this would place the ...
7
votes
2answers
647 views

Simulating two antennas (transmitter and receiver) using 4nec2 tool

I am trying to find near field mutual coupling affects between two antennas - one being transmitter and other being receiver. The receing antenna is fed with very little voltage (I think, if I don't ...
6
votes
2answers
990 views

Dipole Antenna Current Distribution at any Time Instant

Above is a connection of half-wave dipole antenna. The book states that the current profile is same at any given time instant on both the radiators, each of quarter wavelength length. Now my ...
6
votes
7answers
7k views

What is the attraction of vertical antennas for HF?

I understand that MW broadcast stations use vertical antennas because that polarization works much better for groundwave propagation. But in amateur radio, I would assume the focus for communications ...
6
votes
4answers
534 views

Weather-proofing antenna connections

Here's a problem: you buy a fancy new vertical for a fair bit of coin, but there's no coax connector on the thing. There are just screw terminals. You need to attach coax to it, but in such a way ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

Does oxidation of the antenna elements have any impact on the signal quality of the station?

So I'm still QRT; apart from a brown-out on the rig, the support on the inverted-vee toppled over in high winds. Thanks to the topple-over I discovered the conductors (SWG 16 bare copper) had ...
6
votes
2answers
474 views

How to determine if my antenna is an effective radiator?

So I build an antenna, tune it with the SWR and make it look great for a 50 ohm load. That does not determine if it is good at getting a signal out or not, it could just be a 50 ohm dummy load. ...
6
votes
1answer
7k views

Noise bridge use in antenna construction?

How does a noise bridge work? And how can a noise bridge be useful in building, testing, and/or tuning an antenna?
6
votes
3answers
233 views

Will an iron chimney work well as an antenna?

There is an iron chimney near my house that is not used anymore. It is ~15 meters in length and ~0.5 meter in diameter. How good will it be as an antenna for rtl-sdr?
6
votes
1answer
993 views

Are there easier ways to make traps than coax and plastic pipe?

I recently built an antenna for my attic inspired by http://degood.org/coaxtrap/. I found making the coax traps very time consuming and frustrating to tune. I got to thinking about 3D printers, and ...
5
votes
3answers
646 views

antenna in the rain

What kind of changes can be expected in the behavior (resonance, SWR, etc.) of a mobile vertical HF antenna between dry conditions and wet rainy weather? (assume a coax feed-line and low SWR in dry ...
5
votes
8answers
8k views

How does the length of a metal sleeve around a (shieled) coax cable affect antenna performance?

A post on http://adsbexchange.com/forums/topic/beginners-2-cantenna-easy-diy-antenna-to-improve-rangeplane-count uses a $\frac{\lambda}{4}$ sleeve made of a pop can beneath a $\frac{\lambda}{4}$ wire ...
5
votes
5answers
797 views

Loop antenna layout and radiation?

I've got, for the near term, limited resources to put up an HF antenna at my home. One of the options I can manage without excessive cost is a loop, which would enclose the house. I need to transmit ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What ways are there to extend an antenna?

I am using an arduino micro controller with a LoRa radio module to communicate. The shield has 2 ways of connecting an antenna: either a SMA jack or a hole for soldering. Now my problem is this: I ...
5
votes
2answers
689 views

RF Antenna - V pole - Should one leg go to ground and the other to signal?

I'm attempting to follow this white paper in order to build an antenna. This is my first antenna and as such I have a rather simple question. DIY 137 MHz APT Weather satellite antenna by Adam-9A4QV ...
5
votes
5answers
832 views

How important is the impedance and resonance of a receive antenna?

I'm very new to shortwave radio, as evidenced here: Can an antenna be too powerful for certain receivers? I want to build a longwire receive-only antenna for the HF frequencies. I've been using ...
5
votes
3answers
823 views

Tiger Tail + capacitive coupling… what's the interaction?

I've been working on a 2m setup for hiking. My goal is to have the best possible antenna that can be used while walking, and that won't get damaged if I walk under a low branch or some other forest ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

What is the velocity factor of a wire?

This is Belden 9223. It is a 50-ohm coaxial cable, velocity factor 0.56 This is Belden 8524. It is a 22 AWG hookup wire. No velocity factor in the datasheet. Why does the coax datasheet have a ...
5
votes
3answers
607 views

HF antenna design for high-altitude balloon

I'd like to put a WSPR or JT65-like transmitter on a high-altitude balloon, but lacking much experience with HF antennas, I don't quite know where to start. I'm thinking it will operate on 20 meters, ...
5
votes
3answers
863 views

Size of ground plane disk for vertical antennas?

I’m looking for information about the diameter of a ground plane disk that I can use with a regular car radio and car type antennas in my home. DIY would be best, or any other ideas for a antenna that ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Can I use a CB antenna with a ham radio?

I just passed General and purchased a FT-450D with an internal antenna tuner. While my ultimate plan is to use a G5RV, it will be a while before I can get it up. What modifications would I need to ...
5
votes
1answer
90 views

Will stainless steel bolts work with my copper antenna?

My antenna is copper, elements and the beam. I would like to bolt them together where they cross. Would stainless bolts work? Just sweating them together lets them twist and move some in high winds.
5
votes
2answers
743 views

Dipole antennas: Will paracord hold up well enough in the sun? Is there a better alternative?

Tower is up and pre-stretched multi-strand 14 Ga wires are cut & terminated for a multiband fan-style dipole antenna system. Location is the desert southwest of the USA. Stringing up parts of it ...