In certain situations less is more!

Especially for listening to the lower bands in this crazy unpredictable solar cycle, I’m accustomed to building my own antennas. Thicker copper wire is usually the standard, but over the years I’ve learned that thinner gauge wire will hold out sufficiently. It’s all in the packaging. Here are a few scattered ideas.

When I built the 160 meter loop I used this type of wire: 14-Guage Galvanized Steel Wire, 1/4 Miles. This is the thicker bare wire and it worked out very well. I’ve had this antenna hanging for a few years and there are no signs of rust that I can tell. Here is another choice: Fi-Shock FW-00001T 1/4 Mile, 17 Gauge Spool Aluminum Wire.

If the The Cobra HF Antenna is going to be deployed, this is the wire to try: RadioShack 100-Ft. (30.4) Three-Conductor Antenna Rotator Cable. It will probably take two rolls to build the Cobra (Sr) antenna and the price is right.

For a vertical antenna project, one will need aerials above or below ground: DOGTEK 500ft Boundary Wire For Electronic Dog Fence System. Isn’t it sly to use this in an amateur radio project? I can’t wait to try it myself!

For something like the Extended Double Zepp (for the low bands) one could try this: Security Burglar Alarm 18/2 Control Cable 500FT. Check it out. You have a 500 ft. roll, but, you have two strands of wire. If my math is correct, you have 1,000 feet of wire!

When building a long antenna like the EDZ, I would probably just leave the wire in tact in a linear-loaded fashion and solder the ends. Why unravel the single strands if you don’t have to? The cable lining will add protection to the sun’s harmful UV rays.

In the past, I had reservations about the thinner strand of wire. However, antennas with the lighter gauge wire have made a believer out of me.

And most of my antennas consist of the heavier gauge wire.

There are major advantages of the lighter gauge wire. Price, easier to manage, and lighter weight. The wind is very active in my location. I’ve learned to leave some slack in the wire antenna. The wind will snap a tightly pulled wire like a pole bean!

In certain situations less is more!