Homemade Amateur Radio Quad Antennas

Written by jennifer ramirez
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Homemade Amateur Radio Quad Antennas
Quad antennas, including directional antennas, come in many shapes and sizes. (Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Constructing ham radio quad antennas requires a basic knowledge of antenna design and construction technique. Quad antennas are designed for a resonant frequency. They are designed on a framework to physically support the antenna elements, and may use several elements in line to create a directional antenna.

Antenna Principles

Antennas are constructed of conductive material, typically wire or rigid metal. The antenna element is tuned by length to resonate with the designed frequency. The antenna element is mounted with insulators to a frame. Progressively larger or smaller quads are then spaced and placed on either side of the driven element to generate a directional propagation pattern. These are called directors if they are ahead of the driven element, or reflectors if they are behind the driven element.

Construction Technique

Antennas for receiving or transmitting require electrical or radio frequency insulation. This insulation keeps radio frequency energy on the driven elements and on the lead-in wires where it belongs. A conductive antenna frame may distort your radiation pattern and may harm your transmitter. Transmitter harm is possible when transmitting into an out-of tune antenna load

Quad Construction Technique

If wire is used, fibreglass, bamboo or PVC may be used to retain the shape of the quad. Typically, the main horizontal mast is fastened to horizontal and vertical frameworks which support the quad elements. Drilled holes in the frame may be enough to mount the wire antenna elements.

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