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20M speaker wire Dipole


VE6RWP
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I just acquired a Kenwood TS-450SAT and I am thinking of setting up a speaker wire 20 M inverted V dipole as a first antenna.  It is inexpensive, relatively easy to build and fits in my yard. Is there anything I should be aware of when setting this up? This is my first foray into HF.

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ELMER

Hi Ron. How thick is the wire (do you know the gauge?). If it's really thin wire and you pump 100W into it, it might get hot or burn. Most will agree that antenna wires under 14 AWG underperform. They have power limitations but also reduce bandwidth. The thicker the wire, the better the bandwidth. If you're transmitting 100 W, go for 14 AWG. This said, Sotabeams sells 22 AWG wire that they rate at 150 W. So you can do it, but that does not mean it's the best idea. Remember, also, that you will apply tension on the wire and that thinner wire will tend to break more easily.

A word of caution, remember that the end of your wires will have high voltage. If you have kids, make sure that the antenna is well above their reach, including any ski pole they may want to use to just 'touch' dad's wire.

Hope this helps.

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1 hour ago, K3MRI said:

Hi Ron. How thick is the wire (do you know the gauge?). If it's really thin wire and you pump 100W into it, it might get hot or burn. Most will agree that antenna wires under 14 AWG underperform. They have power limitations but also reduce bandwidth. The thicker the wire, the better the bandwidth. If you're transmitting 100 W, go for 14 AWG. This said, Sotabeams sells 22 AWG wire that they rate at 150 W. So you can do it, but that does not mean it's the best idea. Remember, also, that you will apply tension on the wire and that thinner wire will tend to break more easily.

A word of caution, remember that the end of your wires will have high voltage. If you have kids, make sure that the antenna is well above their reach, including any ski pole they may want to use to just 'touch' dad's wire.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for the heads up.  The only wire I could find long enough was 22 AWG. It will do for a start and I will keep the wattage down.  Heavier wire will be on my list of improvements as I journey forward.  Luckily the little kids have all grown up and moved away so the only one who can get into trouble, initially, would be me. 🙂  

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ELMER

Ron, don't worry about the wattage. With 22 AWG you'll be fine at 100W, just don't try to be a hero and hook it up to a 1.5KW linear. Actually, if you do, make sure you film it!!! 😇

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