If you are a CB radio enthusiast interested in using your CB set at home, a homemade dipole is an efficient and straightforward antenna design to build. The common dipole antenna is constructed of two equal lengths of horizontal wire connected at a centre feed line, forming a T shape. The antenna transmits signals from two directions, perpendicular to the orientation of the wires, and is called a dipole for this reason.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Speaker wire, 16-gauge, 9 feet long
- Coaxial cable, 50-ohm with connectors, 10 to 20 feet long
- Terminal strip, 2-position, dual-row
- Wire-stripping tool
- Utility knife
- 2 Ring terminal lugs, 16-gauge
- Fishing line
Separate the speaker wire into two 9-foot lengths. Measure and cut each wire to 8 5/8 inches long. Strip 1/2 inch of insulation from one end of each wire.
Cut the connector from one end of the coaxial cable. Remove 1 inch of insulation from this end. Slice down the side of the braided sheath, and twist the braid into a wire. Strip 1/2 inch of plastic insulation from the inner copper wire.
Orient the terminal strip with the rows vertical. Attach the exposed end of each speaker wire to an upper screw. Connect the twisted braid and coaxial copper wire each to a lower screw.
Crimp ring terminals to the free ends of the speaker wires. Spread the speaker wires out to form the top of a T. Hang the wires taut, using fishing line tied to the ring terminals.
Connect the free end of the coaxial cable to the external antenna jack of the CB radio.
Tips and warnings
- Install an antenna tuner between the radio and antenna to match the impedance for greater efficiency.
- Orient the antenna perpendicular to the direction from which you'd like to transmit and receive.
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