Sunday, August 12, 2012

Long Wire Antenna

Today was a perfect sunny day with low humidity for a change to enjoy the outdoors with a backyard set up and homebrewed antenna.

I decided to make a quick run to the dollar store for some speaker wire. A 100ft spool of 18AWG costs a few bucks, so much for the dollar store. Hooked up one end to my Mr. Longarm painters pole and about 48 feet of wire attached to a 4-1 LDG balun with another wire attached to my metal 6 foot fence for grounding. My LDG Z11 tuner did the work on 20 and 40 with an swr of 1.5.

The 40 meter band was very quiet on the CW side and had no success with my R40/20 QRP rig. The 20 meter band was better but no takers to my 5W cq call, plus some of those stations were super fast. I needed to make a contact to see if this wire setup would work. Decided to hooked up my FT-857D and jumped on 20 meter SSB and make two contacts with Germany and Spain.

This setup still needs tweaking, maybe putting up the pole support in a corner of yard to get more wire in the air and extending the pole to its max height. The ground is also a very important part so might play around to improve. I always like to try new antennas and setups in general before going to the field.

Still happy with this quick and easy setup.


  1. Hi Jim, a wire is the cheapest and easiest way to put up an antenna. Enjoy outdoor activities and summer as long as it last. 73 Paul

  2. Hi Paul,
    The summer is flying by fast. Your right with the wire, easy to work with and cheap.
    Hope you enjoyed your vacation.
    Best Regards - Jim