You can build an inexpensive base-station citizens band antenna. The antenna consists of a 105-inch antenna wire extending upward and two or four 105-inch wires extending out of its side to form a ground plane for the antenna. The antenna should be positioned as high as possible for maximum effectiveness. You can hang it from a tree or non-metallic pole.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- 2-by-1 inch block of wood, 1 to 2-inch thickness
- Epoxy or other glue
- 315 to 525 inches of stiff wire
- Soldering iron
- 50-ohm coaxial antenna cable
- Wood drill
Cut the stiff wire into five pieces, each 105 inches. You can use as few as three pieces, but five pieces are best. Use one wire as the antenna wire, and two or four wires to form a ground plane.
Drill five holes in the block of wood, similar to the diameter of the stiff wire. You should drill one hole in the top of the block, and four more holes in each of the four sides of the block. If you have only two wires for the ground plane, drill holes in opposite sides of the block of wood for the two wires.
Insert one 105-inch wire into the top of the block and the other two or four wires into the holes in the side of the block. Epoxy or glue the wires into the holes.
Solder the centre conductor of the 50-ohm coaxial cable to the wire extending up from the centre of the block of wood just as it exits the block.
Solder the shield of the 50-ohm coaxial cable to each of the two or four wires extending from the side of the block where the wires exit the block. Be sure that the shield doesn't contact the centre conductor.
Mount your antenna by hanging the end of the wire in the centre of the block from a tree or non-conductive pole. You can use a plastic hook or even duct tape to fasten the end of the wire to the tree or pole.
Tips and warnings
- Don't mount your antenna anywhere near a power line. The antenna doesn't have to touch a power line for you to get electrocuted. Just being near a power line can cause a lethal arc to your antenna.
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