ARRL

Your First Antenna

Introduction

I was first licensed in 1959 and quickly put up my first antenna. I didn't bother doing any research into the subject like looking at a book or magazine. After all, how hard could it be? I had passed my Novice test and I knew some formulas. I put up a 132 foot dipole for 80 meters at about 10 feet and fed it with what I had laying around, TV twin lead. The antenna didn't work. I wondered why.

We want you to avoid such an experience so we have put up this page. The articles here have been hand picked from the pages of QST with the beginner in mind. There is a little antenna theory, again with the beginner in mind, and some simple to construct antenna projects that work well. Even the Additional Resources list does not contain the big theoretical volumes.--Al Alvareztorres AA1DO (SK)

Articles

Some Antenna Projects

 

An Antenna Primer

  • Choosing An Antenna
    QST January 1962, pp. 25-29, 140, 142
    As the title indicates, this article is written to help the newcomer decide on the kind of antenna to select for his station.
  • The Aerial Performers of the Radio Circuits Part 1
    QST November 1978, pp. 42-46
    Antennas are as different as the hams who use them.
  • The Aerial Performers of the Radio Circuits Part 2
    QST December 1978, pp. 44-48
    Why do some antennas get out better than others? Here are some practical answers plus all you need to know for building a simple coax-fed, half-wave dipole.
  • What Does Your SWR Cost You?
    QST January 1979, pp. 19-20
    Wondering whether to spend a fine day with the YL or with your antenna? This article may help you decide.
  • Antenna Accessories for the Beginner
    QST February 1979, pp. 15-19
    How many antenna gadgets are needed to put out a good signal? Perhaps your station is over-equipped, or maybe you've been shortchanging yourself on accessories.

Web Links

"This Old Dipole" or Dipole 101
An antenna construction workshop conducted at Marshall Emm N1FN's location on Sunday, 8/2/98 (An EXCELLENT step-by-step with color photos on constructing a dipole. – Ed.)