Dipole antennas are very popular among amateur radio operators as a quick and cheap method to get on the air. The G5RV antenna is a type of dipole antenna, and you can buy it cheaply from many ham radio shops and online retailers. Setup is simple and the only main requirement is that the antenna is 11 metres in the air or higher.
Locate two supporting objects, such as a tree, poles or masts, that are at least 32 metres apart. Ensure that both supports are at least 11 metres tall. The antenna must be erected at this height or higher to ensure optimum performance.
Attach the ends of the antenna to either support, using nylon rope. Use a longer run of rope on either side of the antenna if the supports are farther than 35 metres apart. Make the antenna as horizontal as possible to ensure maximum performance in all directions around the antenna. Slope the antenna in one direction if you want it to transmit a stronger signal in that specific direction.
Ensure the ladder line from the centre of the antenna is able to hang vertically for at least 6 metres. Ensure that the ladder line is not close to any conductive objects, such as metal, to prevent impedence of the antenna's performance.
Connect a run of coaxial cable to the end of the ladder line. Feed as desired to the location of your transceiver. Connect the other end of the coax to your radio, and turn on the radio.
Make several test transmissions with your transceiver to ensure it works correctly. Ask other amateurs to give you a signal report. Be advised, however, that propagation at times may be poor.
Tips and warnings
- The install above is for what is called a "horizontal" or "sloped" antenna. Another method exists that is called the "inverted V," where the centre point of the antenna is higher than the two ends. Use your best judgment when deciding which method is right for you and consult your G5RV's instruction manual for tips on installation of your specific model.