Thursday, February 14, 2019

Making your own open wire feedline

One of the most versatile multiband HF antennas is a doublet fed with open wire feed line. The antenna's length is not particularly critical provided it is longer than about 3/8 wavelength on the lowest operating frequency.  With a good balanced coupler this arrangement will provide low loss coverage of maybe 8 or 9 bands. 

Some find it difficult to find suitable open wire feedline. What you need must be able to withstand the weather and have a characteristic impedance between about 450 and 800 ohm (not critical).  Its wire thickness also needs to be suitable if you run high power.  You may be lucky and find some commercially at a reasonable price. Or you may not. And even if some could be ordered, you may have the urge to make an antenna that requires it today!

Fortunately it's fairly easy to make your own open wire feedline. Techniques vary.  Spacers can be made from a variety of non-conductive low RF loss materials. You may even be able to fabricate your own if  you have access to a 3D printer. Enjoy the links below for some ideas:

Feeding  your station QST article on various feedlines
Home made open wire feedline by W1AEX
Home brew light weight open wire line by N5ESE
Open wire Ladder Line Includes accounts of testing by DJ0IP
Some old notes on parallel transmission lines by W4RNL
Why use ladder line by KV5R
Making open wire antenna feedline One of my videos

PS: The items below may assist your experiments.  They are affiliate links meaning that I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you decide to purchase.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice. Made my own ladderline as well. I use so called roseclips, easy to obtain and cheap.

    A link from PA0Q Hans were I got the idea in the first place:

    My own experience here:

    73, Bas


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