May 25, 2024

This Week in Amateur Radio

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Hackaday

via HACKADAY: This Packable Ham Radio Antenna is Made from Nothing But Tape

On today’s episode of “Will It Antenna?”, [Ben Eadie (VE6SFX)] designs and tests an antenna made entirely of tape, and spoiler alert — it works pretty well.

By way of background, the basic design [Ben] uses here is known as a J-pole, a popular “my first antenna” design for amateur radio operators looking to go beyond the stock whip antenna that comes with that cheap handy-talkie you just can’t resist buying as soon as you get your license. Usually, though, hams will build their J-poles from rigid materials, copper water pipe being a typical choice. Copper has the advantage of being easily sourced, and also results in a self-supporting, weather-resistant antenna that’s easy to mount outdoors. However, copper is getting to be egregiously expensive, and a couple of meters of water pipe isn’t exactly amenable to portable operation, if that’s your jam.