Homebrew projects for radio & electronics enthusiasts

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Wire antennas deliver the most bang for the buck, but they require a little work to put up. The most common way to put one up is to use the biological towers in your yard: the trees! To make this work, you need to install ropes to hold up the antennas. Here's a description of my favorite technique for getting those ropes up there:




2 meter HT Handipole

Add some gain over your 'rubber dummy load' with this full size dipole on your HT.

2 meter rollup J-pole Compact portable companion for travel or temporary operation. Hang it up anywhere.
2 meter 4 element, portable yagi This yagi breaks right down and the elements store right inside the boom. The boom and mast can be used for walking sticks. Can be used as a base, as a portable or for foxhunting.
2 meter, 4 element quad Rugged, yet lightweight powerhouse is great for base or portable and is especially excellent for foxhunting. It can also be constructed to break down for compact storage.
2 meter Bicycle whip antenna This 1/2 wave, end-fed vertical with compact feed is built right onto a 1/4" fiberglass bicycle flag whip and requires no ground plane nor radials!. Excellent for bikes, boats, RV's, etc., or anywhere a compact vertical is desired.


10 meter wire J-pole This end-fed half wave radiator is simple to make and even simpler to put up with a single rope. Can also be strung horizontally from your shack's window with a single rope to another support.
10 meter wire collinear 'super' J-pole Yeah! More gain! Two 5/8 wave, phased radiators. Can be strung vertically for omnidirectional gain. This is a great omnidirectional gain antenna!
20 meter wire J-pole This end-fed half wave radiator is simple to make and even simpler to put up with a single rope. Can also be strung horizontally from your shack's window with a single rope to another support.


80-10m doublet sketch Arguably the most popular 80-10 multiband antenna ever! Certainly, the most bang for the buck!. If you only build one, this should be it. Ultra simple to build and no pruning required. Good lobes of serious gain on the higher bands and low loss. This antenna has the most gain when strung as a horizontal, flat-top, but it is versatile and can be strung as a sloper, or inverted vee.

Multiband doublets requires a wide band (5-to-1 or more) outboard tuner with open wire terminals for best performance. If your tuner has no open wire (parallel line) terminals, you will also need an outboard balun. I recommend a switchable 1:1/4:1 ratio current balun like the Elecraft BL2 or the MFJ-911H. Build your own from my plan on the Build Something page. Use whichever ratio gives your tuner the fastest/easiest match. Most radio internal tuners only have a 3-to-1 range and may not be able to tune all bands.

For parallel line, you can make your own, but I prefer the compact, 300 ohm ladder line, like The Wireman's #562

Flyweight doublet photo plan

Simple doublet photo plan

NEW Photo plans! These show you how to construct rugged wire doublets simply, without even using a center insulator! Choose your doublet Over All Length (OAL) and go for it. Here are some OAL's for reference: 160m-270'; 80m - 135'; 40m-67'
80-10 meter mobile vertical This is, essentially, a homebrew version of a Texas Bugcatcher, except that the capacity hat is up at the top of the whip where it belongs for maximum efficiency. And, it's a lot cheaper! This is a pretty old plan, and I no longer recommend this style of cap hat.

Good luck and have fun with your antenna project!

- - MARK N1LO - -

These antenna plan files are in Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (*.PDF files). To read or print the item, just click on it to download the file (or right-click on it and select Save as), then open it using the free Adobe Acrobat reader program, which you must have installed on your computer. Typically, Acrobat will open automatically and display your goodie. Follow the link below to get Acrobat if you don't already have it.

Here's where you can  get Acrobat reader

Have you found something useful here? Got a comment? Drop me a line: n1lo (remove 'nospam' from address when sending)

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