Homebrew amateur radio antennas


If it stays up it ain't high enough

The alternate text for the picture above is “If it stays up it ain’t high enough”. In truth what it should be is don’t expect success every time. Certainly don’t let failures put you off either but do try to stay safe.

The pole was used to support a vertical loop and was bent under some tension from the wire to reduce sag. As can be seen I had assumed that zip tying the pole to a fence post was an adequate fixing. It may well have been had I also managed to put something solid inside the pole but I had nothing suitable to hand and took a risk. As can be seen it didn’t pay off.

It was quite a gale that brought down the pole – you can see the remains of an old budlea in the photo which was snapped off and across the road a conifer was uprooted. It took best part of a day to erect the loop as my original multi pole support idea was a total failure – fishing poles are very bendy and trying to support a wire between two of them leads to massive sag. It stayed up less than two weeks – maybe if I’d erected it in June instead of December I’d have had some use from it.

With the advent of affordable good quality equipment the art of homebrew is in danger of dying out in mainstream amateur radio – certainly it would require a true enthusiast to attempt to produce a homebrew multiband multimode HF transceiver. For some bands there is no commercially produced equipment so homebrew is the order of the day there but any amateur not venturing past the mainstream can assemble a station entirely from commercially bought equipment. I have no doubt that many do just that but they are missing out on the pleasure derived from a contact made at least in part if not entirely using equipment constructed from scratch by themselves.

Regardless of band there is one part of the station, indeed in many respects the most important part, that lends itself readily to home construction – the antenna. This section is devoted to the homebrew amateur radio antenna. A growing collection of links to plans and ideas for homebrewing antennas are stored in the DigitalHam database and a search page offered for tracking down a design to suit your needs. Get building soon!!


  2 Responses to “Homebrew amateur radio antennas”

  1. I used to use a similar pole to the one in the photo (even the same colour) as a 1/4 vertical for 40m, mine was also cable tied to fence post and broke in the same place after a few months, I bought a replacement pole and inserted the broken one inside the new one, the new double walled pole lasted over 4 years and would still be up today if I hadn’t changed antennas.

    I now have a 20ft flag pole with a rotatable dipole at the top (homebrewed dual beam pro) also cable tied to the same post although I have used a lot more cable ties than on the vertical fishing pole. Never under estimate the power of cable ties.

    73’s Lee

  2. Just came across your articles advocating home-brew. Yes, I have made my own antennas for 40 years now, but I would never be patronising to those who want to just buy one. Did you build your own house? Did you build your own car? You get my drift. Still, great site, keep up the good work!

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