Building CB or HAM Radio Antenna in Home

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Communication antenna building might sound like something technical but it is a very useful and simple activity even for the beginners. But before you can start working, you need to give heed to the basics. Below are the important pointers that will help you build the best CB or Ham radio antenna yourself.

Recognize Purpose

Start by determining the purpose for which you actually want to build your CB or Ham Radio antenna. This will give you the blueprint of what it should look and work like in the long run. There can be many purposes to be considered. If you are up for the long range communication or may be the satellite one, then there will be a different antenna required. Same is the case for the short range communication.

Antenna Selection

ham antenna

For short range communications, you need to consider the Vertical antennas that might include mobile and base station ground plane antennas. These antennas are vertically polarized when we install them into a vertical position. Their transmitted signals travel across the Earth’s surface hence the “ground waves” are generated. You can employ a vertical antenna easily for long distance communications. A ground plane antenna sends out its signals at a smaller angle hence pushing them towards the horizon before they can hit the ionosphere and bounce off. But if you use a vertical antenna, you will be able to increase gain as the signals will be sent out both at high and low take-off angles.

On the other hand, you can achieve “sky wave” propagation with the Horizontal antennas that include the famous dipoles, inverted V antennas and other antennas with horizontal polarization. These antennas first catch the signals that bounce off the ionosphere and then re-transmit them into the same layer. Through such kind of propagation, long distance communication is made possible. There are charged ions in the ionosphere which when supported by the good band conditions, can make any transceiver communicate over very large distances. These antennas will not work for close range communications. So if you are planning to have a horizontal dipole at your base station, then you would be able to do the best long range communication but the local communication would be an issue.

Cost for Building CB or Ham Radio Antenna

Now consider the feasibility of your antenna project in terms of its cost. This will help you make a wise choice between building the antenna and buying it from the market. Antennas having the PVC pipe and wire can cost you less if you make them yourself while those with the aluminum tubing would do justice to your pocket if you buy them. Sometimes collecting all the components for making an antenna can be a tough job. This might convince the users to buy a complete kit from the market to save time and effort. If a CB antenna requires you to get all the parts first and then start building, then you first need to compare the cost with the price of the ready-made antenna available in the market. You will find your answer about which antenna you should invest in.

There are certain enthusiasts who won’t mind paying the premium for enjoying the experience of building the antenna by themselves. They will love to collect the components from the market instead of buying the complete kit in one go

Resources for CB or HAM Radio Antenna

Under this category, you need to consider many important things like the material you have got for starting the antenna creation, the location available for the  mount etc. These things need to be discussed and determined beforehand to spare yourself of any hassle and disappointment later on. For getting the maximum output from your antenna, you need to check the compatibility of your new build with each of these factors. For instance, the larger HF antennas usually want plenty of space for installation and occupy great height. So if you are intending to make an antenna of this sort, then make sure you have enough space for installation as well.

Vertical antennas require a mast or space on the ground for their installation. They should also be mounted at higher points where they get the maximum exposure and are able to transmit and receive signals through ground wave propagation and “line of sight” orientation.

Horizontal antennas that include the horizontal dipole antennas  should be placed at the highest point possible for helping them with a smooth signal radiation. Their performance will be drastically affected if they are placed at lower points or near the ground. The height you choose for the Mount is determined by the wavelength. Horizontally polarized antennas that are meant for working on higher VHF/UHF frequencies can work well even at reasonable heights.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Get more stuff like this

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *