How to Build an HF Radio Antenna

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    • 1). Measure and cut two pieces of copper wire to 8 feet, 5 inches each. When you connect these two wires to the coaxial cable, in the steps to follow, and stretch the antenna out, it will measure 16 feet, 10 inches. Two inches of each wire will wrap around an insulator to make the final length of the dipole at 16 feet, 6 inches. This antenna length will be resonant on the 10 meter band (28.000-29.700 Mhz).

    • 2). Connect one end of each wire to the ceramic insulators. Attach the wires by wrapping 2 inches of wire through the holes on the insulators.

    • 3). Strip 3 inches of the outer sheathing off one end of the coaxial cable. Pull back the wire mesh insulation with your fingers. Strip off 1 inch of the white plastic inner insulation to reveal the copper wire center conductor, using the wire strippers.

    • 4). Strip off 1 inch of insulation off the remaining ends (opposite the ceramic insulators), using the wire strippers. Using the soldering gun and solder, solder one end of one of the copper wires to the center conductor on the coaxial cable. Solder the end of the remaining copper wire to the wire mesh on the coaxial cable.

    • 5). Apply a few rounds of electrical tape over each soldered wire to prevent them from contacting each other during use of the antenna.

    • 6). Cut the rope in half, into two 50 foot equal pieces. Tie one end of each piece of rope to the two ceramic insulators. You now have one rope tied to one insulator and the other rope tied to the remaining insulator.

    • 7). Position the ladder under a tree and tie the end of one of the ropes to a tree limb as high as the ladder will reach. Repeat this step to tie the remaining rope to a different tree. Pull the ropes taunt between each tree so the antenna wires are full extended, but do not break the solder connections.

    • 8). Attach the remaining end of the coaxial cable, following the manufacturer guidelines for your particular make and model ham radio. Turn the radio on and test for reception and transmission.

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