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Vertical antenna using a wire as a radiator. What gauge?

Jul 23rd 2020, 08:17


Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I'm building an antenna out of a 1985 ARRL antenna book. I am using a 30 foot fiberglass pole to support the vertical element.

What gauge wire should I use for the element? On one hand, I'd prefer to use a very light gauge wire to keep weight down, and minimize wind resistance as the wire is going to run on the outside of the fiberglass mast.

On the other hand, I have insulated, 14 gauge wire already on the shelf.

Finally, I can get reasonably priced copperweld 18 gauge from HRO.

Does it matter what I use?

Jul 23rd 2020, 09:12


Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I would use #14 THHN house wiring as it is cheap and easily obtained.

Many commercial manufacturers run insulated wire inside of the fiberglass for double insulation. The Consumer Product Safety Commission required insulating omni CB antennas after 500 fatalities during the CB boom.

Zak W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer
Jul 24th 2020, 12:54


Joined: Sep 2nd 2003, 12:14
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
What is the application? Is this for permanent (home) use, or for temporary/portable use? My thin-wall 30 ft fiberglass pole is intended for portable use, and would bend in half if I tried to hang 14 gauge wire from it! I use 24 gauge PTFE wire instead.

Mark AI4BJ

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