QRP and Simple Wire Antennas

My Station
Free Software

My QRP station has been built almost totally with kits and homebrew equipment


My main station rig is a great kit from Elecraft.  I really enjoyed building this rig but I like operating it even more.  Read my review of this rig published by K3WWP on his site.

I also have an end fed long wire antenna.  It is the only antenna I use.  This has got to be the world's lowest cost antenna for ham use.  It is just a wire as long as you can fit and a ground rod.  The wire cost me about $8.00 at Radio shack and the ground rod cost me about $10 at Home Depot.  I like this antenna for several reasons beyond the cost.  First it is dead easy to install.  Just run a wire from the ground rod up as high as and as far as possible.  Second, it is easily hidden.  I live in an area which does not allow outside antennas so this was important to me.  Third, it works.  I have been able to make great CW contacts with this thing.  Keep in mind that you need to use an antenna tuner with this, but how else will you be able to build an all band antenna for less than $20.  It is all I use on 40, 30, 20 and 15m.

If you have questions on how I built this antenna, please feel free to email me.

I also have an antenna tuner which I bought as a kit from Dan's Small Parts.  It works just fine and it took me about 7 hours to build.  About 5 of those hours was spent on the case I put the tuner into.  Hopefully, if you choose to build this kit, you will be a little more efficient then I was.

I also have a 40m 2 Watt transceiver kit from Small Wonder Labs.  It's their SW40+.  It is a great first kit and I highly recommend it as such.  It is also a great rig to use portable since it only draws 18mA on receive!  Talk about battery life, wow.  Also the customer support is pretty good and the price is right at $55 for the basic kit (no knobs, pots, connector or RIT).  I think I have about $110 total into this kit.

I also have an old frequency counter I bought at a ham swap meet for $15.  It works great.

I have a homebrew QRP 50 load and a homebrew rf attenuator.