Re: Buying Verses Building An HF Wire Antenna

Bernd - KB7AK

There are several options when it comes to buying an antenna, you already found two common stores, is another one and likely the most popular store (I have one in driving distance and that is really dangerous 😊).

One advantage of buying is that it will likely work right out of the box. If you build your own antenna and something doesn't work, and if you on top of that don't have a lot of experience, it can be very difficult to troubleshoot.

I would go the route of buying one first, you can always build your own later. It is very gratifying building your own antenna and make it work.

You need to decide what type of antenna you want to go with. My second antenna (the first one I built myself and it was not really working that well) was a single band Dipole. The advantage of a single band antenna is that you won't need a tuner and just hook up your coax, It eliminates any guessing work as to what Balun you may need and how to properly operate the antenna tuner.

I have a G5RV myself, hooked up to a manual tuner, and I am very happy with it.

Bernd - KB7AK

-----Original Message-----
From: ARRL-New-Hams@... <ARRL-New-Hams@...> On Behalf Of Paul
Sent: Sunday, February 2, 2020 12:42 PM
To: ARRL-New-Hams@...
Subject: [New-Hams] Buying Verses Building An HF Wire Antenna

Hello everyone. I would like some advice and guidance. From another thread I have learned that my Kenwood TS120S is fine and that my antenna is my problem. I have never built an antenna nor do I have raw materials such as wire, window line, etc. I am teaching myself how to solder so I do have that. In the latest issue of On The Air magazine there is an article on building a wire dipole. The article does not mention cost. Lets use a real world example here with my situation. Do you build or buy your first HF antenna? My Kenwood TS120S can work 80-10 meters so that is my goal. One antenna and multiple bands. Here is what I own:
Kenwood TS120S
MFJ 45 amp power supply
MFJ auto tuner

Do you buy a $70 MFJ G5RV and get on the air, or do you build the dipole?
Can you start with nothing, buy what you need including shipping charges and build a dipole for less money than the $70 G5RV?
Where do you purchase the supplies that you need to build the dipole at a liw cost?

For example I have looked at DX Engineering and it would appear that the cost to build the dipole is greater than buying a ready made MFJ. Am I missing something? I hear that building is cheaper than buying. If that is true, please show me my mistake.

Thank you very much for the help.

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