A Club Challenge: Making Ham Radio Antennas out of Things that Aren’t Antennas

Club members have access to our private message board SARC-All. From time to time interesting discussions get highlighted here on our web site for the benefit of the Ham community.

Pierre K9EYE suggested the following based on a YouTube video.

Here is a Club challenge  and a possible event to other clubs.
Subject: Making Ham Radio Antennas out of Things that Aren’t Antennas

Burt AB9CV had a few ideas

  • Long power extension cords work ok [and are] easily extended with another cord or more.
  • Trees were used by our troops during the Vietnam era.
  • Salt water works also as it is conductive.
  • There is always rain gutters.

Have fun!

Donald K9CLF then added a few more ideas

Back in the days of real copper phone lines coming into the home on overhead drops and lines on telephone poles, one side of the phone line (either Tip or Ring) made a pretty good receiving antenna for crystal radios and other receivers. Neither side of the line was grounded to maintain a balanced audio circuit back to the telephone central office. -48VDC existed across the Tip and Ring conductors, but one only used one conductor for the antenna.

If the phone was hardwired to the wall and properly grounded (before modular connectors) with the yellow wire, the metal telephone dial finger stop was grounded to an earth ground and made a good crystal radio ground point.