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Stealth Antenna wire

Sep 12th 2011, 12:51


Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
A member asks:

I need to build a "stealthy" antenna that will be concealed in a wooded area. I would like to have a horizontal wire of ~ 120-ft. I note the break-strength of the "copper-weld" multi-strand wire (26 ga) is given as ~ 25-lb (10-kg).

1. Is this wire gauge too small to survive a 120-ft run?

2. Will it be able to handle ~ 500-watts of RF at HF?

3. If this 26-ga wire in insufficient for this application, what is the best choice in light of the need to retain a low (stealthy") visible impact?

That wire is a poor choice for permanent installations--the wire will quickly rust.
Roy, W7EL's antenna modeling program has an average gain function that can be used to calculate antenna losses--put the antenna in free space and see how much power the antenna loses--17% on 80M is excessive for such a thin wire at high power. The demo program is adequate for modeling a dipole on multiple bands.

My preference would be for the old style TW #12 or #14 house wire with white or black insulation with extra paint for camoflaging.

Zack Lau W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer

Sep 13th 2011, 05:02


Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
When I was a novice I used wire that was much thinner than that. It was wire from a deflection yoke of a junk TV. I ran it about 150ft from the end of the long wire that I already had up, to the barn on the farm. I was only running 50 watts to it at the most and there were not any trees around, but I do remember it blowing down a few times from the wind. You will have to deal with trees blowing in the wind and limbs falling on the wire. You may want to try electric fence wire from a farm supply store if you do not already have the cooper house wire. The loss would be a little more but it may be stronger and cheaper.
73 Don KE8DO

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