How To Build a Dipole Antenna

Old television

A dipole antenna is an economical way for a shortwave listener or a ham radio operator to get on the air allowing operation on several frequencies. This is a simple guide for building a dipole antenna.


  • Wire insulation strippers
  • Wire nippers
  • Cable ties
  • Electrical sealant
  • Copper wire (135 feet)
  • Slotted screwdriver
  • Pulley
  • Pulley hook
  • An electric drill with an assortment of bits
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Nylon rope (100 feet lightweight)
  • Ground wires
  • Center and end insulators
  • Antenna tuner
  • Aluminum push-up pole (30 feet)
  • Ham radio supplies

Stretch the dipole legs out to 65 feet in a straight line. Decide on your support for the center insulator. Attach the small pulley to the top of the mast. Run nylon rope through the pulley. Now raise the mast.

Take the 135 feet of wire (14 gauge works nicely) and gather the center and end insulators. Cut the wire in half lengthwise and trim each leg to resonate at the frequency of your choice. Attach each of the legs at one end to the center insulator. Coat the connection with sealant. Attach the other end of the legs to the end insulators. Attach the coaxial feed line to the center insulator and move the other end to the home entry point. Use cable ties to secure the coaxial feed line to the home. Attach the center insulator to the nylon rope and pull it up to the top of your mast. Tie the nylon rope to secure it to the mast for support. Select end supports (fence posts or trees are good choices) and stretch each of the legs to it's end support. Thread the nylon rope through the opposite ends of the end insulators. Then tie the end insulators to the supports and prepare to bring the feed line into your radio room.

Wind up any extra cable and store it under the radio desk for future use. Feed the cable from the mast into the radio room you will be using. Drill any necessary holes in the floor or wall for the cable. Feed the cable into the room. Attach the cable to the antenna tuner. Now run a ground wire from the antenna tuner to the ground rod. Attach the tuner to the radio with a short piece of coaxial cable. Your dipole antenna is now complete and ready for use providing hours of entertainment and a new form of communication.


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