Dipole antennas are very popular among amateur radio operators as a quick and cheap method to get on the air. The G5RV antenna is a type of dipole antenna, and it can be acquired for a very small cost from many ham radio retailers. Setup is simple and only requires the capability to ensure that the antenna is 35 feet in the air or higher, a lower height than many other high-frequency ham radio antennas require.
Locate two supporting objects (a tree, poles, etc.) that are at least 102 feet apart. Ensure that both supports are at least 35 feet tall. The antenna must be erected at this height or higher to ensure optimum performance.
Attach ends of the antenna to either support, using nylon rope rated to hold at least 50 lbs. of weight. Use a longer run of rope on either side of the antenna if the supports are farther than 102 feet apart. Make the antenna as horizontal as possible to ensure maximum performance in all directions around the antenna. Slope the antenna in one direction to make it able to transmit a stronger signal in that specific direction.
Ensure the ladder line from the center of the antenna is able to hang vertically for at least 20 feet. Ensure that the ladder line is not close to any conductive objects, such as metal, to prevent improper operation and performance of the G5RV.
Connect a run of coaxial cable to the end of the ladder line. Feed as desired to the location of your transceiver. Connect the other end of the coax to your radio, and turn on the radio.
Make several test transmissions with your transceiver to ensure proper operation. Ask other amateurs to give you a signal report. Be advised, however, that propagation at times may be poor, thus causing poor signal reports.
Things You'll Need
- Two supports, 102 feet apart
- G5RV antenna
- Coaxial cable
- 50 lb.-rated nylon rope
The install above is for what is called a "horizontal" or "sloped" antenna. Another method exists that is called the "inverted V," where the center point of the antenna is higher than the two ends. Use your best judgment when deciding which method is right for you and consult your G5RV's instruction manual for tips on installation of your specific model.
- radio image by Claudio Calcagno from Fotolia.com