Cheap HF Antenna

cheap hf antenna

This cheap HF antenna is 29-feet long. The antenna works on all HF bands from 80 to 6 meters. It cost me less than $2 US. What more can you ask for? Oh, you want to know how I got it up in the air with the kite? That’s another post on another day. Copyright 2018 Tim Carter

Cheap HF Antenna – Just Use A Simple Wire

A cheap HF antenna can be made using a simple piece of wire. You can’t get much cheaper than that. Yes, a giant yagi antenna on a tower would be ideal, but you said you wanted cheap.

The key is the wire can only be one of a few lengths if you want it to work on just about all the high-frequency (HF) amateur radio bands here in the USA and the rest of the world.

Related Link

29-Foot Wire Antenna Winder

Stay Away From 1/4 and Half-Wave Lengths

For a single length of wire to work, you need two things:

  • a tuner
  • the wire length that’s not too close to a quarter or half-wave of the frequencies you want to ply

It’s important to realize that an antenna that is a half or quarter-wavelength of the band you’re working on will create a very high impedance and your tuner will not be able to give you a nice low SWR.

The second point can be quite a challenge. Fortunately, Jack, VE3EED got out his trusty calculator and did all the work for you.

What are Ideal Lengths for a Cheap HF Antenna?

Here are the lengths, in feet, your cheap HF antenna should be to work on multiple bands:

  • 29
  • 35.5
  • 41
  • 58
  • 71
  • 84
  • 107
  • 119
  • 148
  • 203
  • 347
  • 407
  • 423

Jack’s a silent key and I know I’m thankful for the work he did to come up with the lengths you can find in this column.

Do You Need A Counterpoise Wire?

I find a counterpoise about 17 feet long works well if I want to get on 40 meters. You can experiment with different lengths. Steve Galchutt, WG0AT, uses a 58-foot wire length with a 25-foot counterpoise.

Do You Need a Balun or Unun?

I connect my 29-foot cheap HF antenna to a 9:1 unun to lower the impedance. This makes less work for the tuner and I can almost always count on a very low SWR using the internal tuner in my Elecraft KX3 or KX2.

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