How to Increase the Range of a Dipole Antenna

Written by adam quinn
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How to Increase the Range of a Dipole Antenna
Improve your radio's signal strength by focusing your dipole antenna. (Ryan McVay/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

A dipole antenna's range can be increased by mounting parallel antenna elements near the main antenna. A dipole antenna, or the driven antenna element, sends and receives a signal in two directions, hence the name. The antenna's signal becomes focused in a perpendicular direction, by mounting a reflector wire behind the antenna, and a director wire in front. The radio transceiver is provided with improved signal strength, as a result.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Electrical wire, 16-gauge
  • Tape measure
  • Calculator
  • 4 ring terminal lugs, 16-gauge
  • Pliers
  • Twine

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  1. 1

    Determine the length of your dipole antenna. For a horizontal dipole, measure end to end. For a vertical dipole, measure the vertical antenna element and double this length.

  2. 2

    Calculate the length of the reflector for the dipole by multiplying your antenna's length by 1.05. Cut the electrical wire to this length. This will be the reflector wire.

  3. 3

    Calculate your antenna's wavelength by multiplying its length by 2. Multiply the wavelength by 0.2 to obtain the distance between the reflector and the antenna.

  4. 4

    Mount the reflector wire on the side of your dipole opposite the signal direction. The reflector should be parallel to the antenna, and it should extend an equal distance longer on each side. Position the reflector the calculated distance away from the antenna.

  5. 5

    Construct a director wire that will be mounted on the side opposite the reflector. Calculate the director wire length by multiplying the antenna length by 0.95. Calculate the distance the director wire should be mounted from the dipole by multiplying the wavelength by 0.15.

  6. 6

    Crimp ring terminal lugs to either end of the wires. Tie lengths of twine to both ring terminals. Hang both the reflector and director, horizontally or vertically, depending upon the orientation of your dipole antenna.

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