Homemade ham radio antennas

Written by andrea colburn
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Homemade ham radio antennas
You can purchase a ham radio antenna or make one at home using simple materials. (antenna image by Madrider from Fotolia.com)

Ham radio, also known as amateur radio, is a means by which an individual can communicate within designated frequency ranges directly with other radio hobbyists. Some hobbyists choose to make their own antennas at home.


Radio amateurs use allocated frequency ranges throughout the RF spectrum. Once licensed, radio operators can broadcast freely within designated power limits, utilising a government-designated call sign as a means of identification.


The antenna is crucial to the success of a ham radio, as a weak or nonfunctional antenna can seriously hamper even powerful receiving and transmitting equipment. There are various categories of antennas in common use -- such as vertical, dipole, reflector and loop antennas -- all of which can be made at home with the proper knowledge and materials.

Homemade ham radio antennas
Ham radio enthusiasts employ a variety of antenna types to receive and transmit broadcasts. (antenna image by fotografiche.eu from Fotolia.com)

Homemade Antennas

One of the easiest antennas you can make at home is a ground plane antenna, made by soldering copper wires to a ham radio antenna adaptor plate, bending the wires to an appropriate angle and attaching the apparatus to the ham radio receiver with a coaxial cable. You can find detailed instructions for constructing a ground plane antenna, as well as other types of antennas, on ham radio websites.

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