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 What Wire Do You Use For Antennas?

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Victor
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Victor


Call Sign : 26-CT-3228 / M7VIC
Posts : 5803
Times Thanked : 352
Join date : 2019-11-10
QTH or Location : Bedford
Equipment Used : Various

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PostSubject: What Wire Do You Use For Antennas?   What Wire Do You Use For Antennas? Icon_minitimeThu Jun 29, 2023 2:23 pm

Hello you fine lot at Charlie Tango.
(As well as readers of the forum....Why not join up? It is free after all. Smile )

I hope you're all keeping well.


Fantastically we get a lot of members here who enjoy nothing more than constructing an antenna or two, (or more!), and it's great to hear about people's efforts. Some are fantastically huge affairs looking for all their worth like professional gear and others can be very 'Heath Robinson' bolted together from found items. Myself very much included in that latter statement. Wink

I've used everything from electric lawnmower leads (long cables you see) and pretty much any hunk of wire I can get my hands on including metal wire washing lines or even thicker single strand unravelled from junk transformers. Commercial items usually consist of 'speciality wire' and quite often you have to pay the price for such luxuries, but are they a necessity?

Rather than performing 'calculations' or my own experiments I came across the following video performed by radio enthusiasts in Australia :-




You can skip to the end if you like for the final analysis but it's worth watching to see what's involved and a bit of humour to boot.

Obviously if you're a 'measurement' type of guy or gal (it usually is men) you'll come up with all sorts of reasons why not to utilise any wire to hand and that's fair enough. Each to their own and no point arguing differences.

However, if you're the type that just wants to 'bung' something together to see if it works, love experimenting without costs getting out of hand and overall have a lot of fun with it, then it might reassure you that you can get away with almost anything. The old, old, old radio enthusiasts knew it and thankfully so do some of the newer enthusiasts...even if they're old too. Wink


So go on, grab a bit of 'found' wire and slap yourself together an antenna to see why some of us 'idiots', (ahem, enthusiasts!), have huge smiles on our faces when doing so. What Wire Do You Use For Antennas? 1f44d 


Have you constructed an antenna with maybe unusual materials? Then why not let us all know about it.

All the best,
Victor

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SangueG
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SangueG


Call Sign : 26-CT-3971 / 2E0LMI
Posts : 1183
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Join date : 2021-01-30
QTH or Location : Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Equipment Used : Little radios, home-made antennas

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PostSubject: Re: What Wire Do You Use For Antennas?   What Wire Do You Use For Antennas? Icon_minitimeThu Jun 29, 2023 6:38 pm

Nice post and good video victor. Personally, however well it works, I'd use barbwire as a very last resort for loft based creations. Not sure your better half would enjoy fixing up a new creation by you using some either Shocked

Only use what I can find. I have bought a few choc blocks in the last year.. they do get reused, but some of things I put them through the plastic doesn't last forever getting stretched. I have reused the metal inner bits pulled out of the stretched plastic blocks to join wires.

Might need to buy some wire if I ever want to make a 160m half wave. That, or a lot more chocs to join it all together Laughing

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Victor
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Victor


Call Sign : 26-CT-3228 / M7VIC
Posts : 5803
Times Thanked : 352
Join date : 2019-11-10
QTH or Location : Bedford
Equipment Used : Various

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PostSubject: Re: What Wire Do You Use For Antennas?   What Wire Do You Use For Antennas? Icon_minitimeThu Jun 29, 2023 7:24 pm

Thought such a posting might come in handy Neal for anyone wanting to play with antennas. What Wire Do You Use For Antennas? 1f44d 

Yeah, better not send the missus up the loft with some barbed wire.....she might get tangled in it and completely ruin the SWR! Very Happy Very Happy

There's always the speaker wire options as well as coax such as the shielded dipole or T2LT but often such 'wires' are not as cheap as the alternatives. Speaking of which it's nice to see the price of 'chocolate' blocks finally coming back down, it was costing almost as much to buy one block as it was a pack of ten not so long ago!

Took me a while to scrounge together the 135 foot for the doublet I currently have but with some wire splicing techniques I strung enough together. Wink

Always good to chat antennas with you Neal, a man after my own heart with experimentation and utilising whatever is available to hand. What Wire Do You Use For Antennas? 1f44d
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richf
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richf


Call Sign : 163-CT-067 GW0HDY
Posts : 55
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Join date : 2020-01-06
QTH or Location : Cwmbran, SE Wales
Equipment Used : FT450D FT818ND QCX MINI

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PostSubject: Re: What Wire Do You Use For Antennas?   What Wire Do You Use For Antennas? Icon_minitimeThu Jun 29, 2023 9:14 pm

Although I have an assortment of antennas I generally only have one erected at any time. Always thinking the next one will be better.
However, sorting out the shed (ex site office) I came across a length of the FlexWeave coated copper 2.5mm sq. Not to be confused with the plastic coated steel that seems to use a similar name.
I made up a 40m dipole incorporating a balun at the feed point and fed with mini 8. One small tweak and very happy with it. How long for I am not sure as sorting out the shed I also came across a pair of coils (choke traps)I made up some time ago which will enable a small portion of 80m.
Trying to get the best 40m antenna I can at my qth for qrp.
With regards unusual wire for antennas, way back I knew of someone that acquired a massive length of electric fence wire/tape along with the insulated supports and used to go /p making up quite large horizontal loops.

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Victor
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Victor


Call Sign : 26-CT-3228 / M7VIC
Posts : 5803
Times Thanked : 352
Join date : 2019-11-10
QTH or Location : Bedford
Equipment Used : Various

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PostSubject: Re: What Wire Do You Use For Antennas?   What Wire Do You Use For Antennas? Icon_minitimeFri Jun 30, 2023 5:54 am

Really good to hear about your antenna constructions there too Richard. What Wire Do You Use For Antennas? 1f44d 

I do remember seeing someone utilising electric fence wiring for portable operations stringing up low long wires and I think of the Beverage type but low loops should work rather well too. 

What always strikes me is the fantastic ingenuity that radio enthusiasts often come up with to actually get on air!
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Ivy Mike
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Call Sign : 26CT4113/G1HWY
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QTH or Location : IO90uv
Equipment Used : ICOM radios/antenna farm
Age : 69

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PostSubject: Re: What Wire Do You Use For Antennas?   What Wire Do You Use For Antennas? Icon_minitimeSat Jul 01, 2023 8:50 am

Because my day job involved using lots of enamelled copper wire I used to get the dregs on the reels.

Anything from 1mm to 2mm came in handy for wire antennas but I found the local birds could not
see it and were always crashing into it. Went over to thicker plastic coated cable and then on to this new flex weave stuff. No wires at the moment if I discount the cobweb.

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Victor
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Victor


Call Sign : 26-CT-3228 / M7VIC
Posts : 5803
Times Thanked : 352
Join date : 2019-11-10
QTH or Location : Bedford
Equipment Used : Various

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PostSubject: Re: What Wire Do You Use For Antennas?   What Wire Do You Use For Antennas? Icon_minitimeSun Jul 02, 2023 6:09 am

Good point there Mike about 'bird-strike' with external thin wire antennas especially regards the welfare of local wildlife. What Wire Do You Use For Antennas? 1f44d 

Great that you were able to gain some end reels from work too, my wire sources of such stuff usually came from stripping old transformers but with switch mode technology prevalent nowadays it's harder to source such scrap. Luckily bird strike isn't an issue with loft installations but when I've hung an experimental antenna outside small strips of insulating tape in bright colours attached every so often helps. Does prevent the 'stealth' design however with neighbours asking why you have weird small 'bunting' up! Very Happy
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Lynton
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Lynton


Call Sign : 26-CT-4805
Posts : 54
Times Thanked : 2
Join date : 2023-03-28
QTH or Location : Peterborough, UK
Equipment Used : President McKinley EU or K-PO DX5000 plus + Thunderpole Galaxy 5/8 or Full Wave Delta Loop.
Age : 53

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PostSubject: Re: What Wire Do You Use For Antennas?   What Wire Do You Use For Antennas? Icon_minitimeSun Jul 02, 2023 4:47 pm

Hi All,
    For my Delta Loop I used 2.5mm wire.
Its the same diameter as the live or neutral in a UK 13A ring main but with blue insulation!
It has around 7 individual solid copper conductors within making up the 2.5mm which I believe helps make the antenna a little more broad when it comes to SWR?

Cheers and good DX

Lynton

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