Showing posts from July, 2014

Simple Ham Radio Antennas. A 80-10 meter Inverted vee antenna. Post #287.

One of the easiest and most cost effective antennas you can build is the 80-10 meter inverted v, a variant of the HF Doublet (horizontal dipole).  The antenna requires a single support mast, two smaller poles to tie off the "drooping" elements, and 450 ohm ladder line /300 ohm television twin lead connected to a balanced "tuner" to work all amateur radio bands between 80 and 10 meters (3.500 MHz to 29.999 MHz).  If you don't have a balanced "tuner", run the ladder line or twinlead to a 4:1 current balun and use a short length of 50 ohm coaxial cable to connect the balun to your "tuner." During the course of moving into our new home in the Puna District of Hawaii Island (we're moving slowly, since we're still working part time), I found a nice spot for a mast in the middle of our planned garden in back of the garage.  Since our home is on 1 acre of agricultural land, I have plenty of room for antennas, including loops, slopers,

Simple Ham Radio Antennas. A 5-band vertical dipole. Post #286

How would you like to have a 5-band vertical antenna that covers 20, 17, 15, 12, and 10 meters that requires no ground radial system and can be built from materials from your junk box or from the nearest hardware store? You can, if you build a simple Vertical Dipole and feed it with 300 ohm television twin lead or 450 ohm ladder line terminated into a balanced antenna "tuner." If your "tuner" has no provision for balanced feeders, you can insert the twin lead/ladder lead into a 4:1 current balun and use a short piece of 50 ohm coaxial cable to connect the antenna to your "tuner." I got this idea from an article in "Simple and Fun Antennas for Hams" by Chuck Hutchinson (K8CH) and Dean Straw (N6BV).  Hutchinson and Straw conducted a series of antenna experiments using 15 meter vertical dipoles in a space-restricted urban area. The results of their work were impressive, so I decided to use some of their suggestions and make my own version of

Simple Ham Radio Antennas. An 80 through 10 meter inverted "L" antenna. Post #285.

Would you like to build a simple, effective antenna covering 80 through 10 meters that won't tax your budget or get strange stares from you neighbors? How about an easily erected inverted "L" that only requires some house wire, a few insulators, basic tools, a simple fiberglass telescoping mast, a roll of 450 ohm ladder line , a 4:1 current balun , an antenna "tuner", short lengths of 50 ohm coaxial cable , and a few wooden garden stakes?  The inverted "L" is basically a quarter wavelength of wire divided into an 1/8 wavelength vertical segment and a horizontal 1/8 wavelength segment.  Like all verticals, the inverted "L" requires a ground radial system. This antenna can be built over the course of an afternoon and won't cost you much money.  The antenna will deliver excellent local and DX contacts. As with all my homebrewed antennas, I try to use materials I have around the house, shack, or garage. The nearest hardware store or

Simple Ham Radio Antennas. A 20 meter through 10 meter Vertical Dipole Antenna. Post #284.

One of the joys of moving into a bigger home with a decent back yard (1 acre of mixed brush and trees) is the ability to build the wire antennas I've always wanted.  Like many of my fellow amateur radio operators, I've endured HOAs, CC &Rs , and limited space for most of my 37 years as a ham.  I operated fairly well under these circumstances using stealth antennas from "ground hugging" loops to thin random wires stretching to the nearest tree. Now that my xyl and I are semi-retired, we have to the time to "fix up" our final home in an area conducive to our various hobbies, including gardening, amateur radio, backyard astronomy, and just plain relaxing.   Over the past few months, I've begun the erection of my "antenna farm" and the building of my radio room in the garage.  There's a lot of work to be done, but it's enjoyable and gives me exercise. Last Friday, just before the 2014 ARRL Field Day, I completed a new antenna whi