The ARRL 10 meter contest was last weekend. What a great time to put together a quick dipole antenna and get on the air.

Probably one of the easiest antennas to build is the dipole, and due to their shorter length, a 10 meter dipole is very easy to build and deploy. The ARRL 10 meter contest is coming up this weekend, so let’s put together a dipole and get it on the air for that event.

You will need three things for a dipole antenna, a center support or connector for the two legs, wire, and insulators on each end. I have a video on how you can build a center connector out of some PVC and an SO-239, but today I’m going to a simpler although not weather resistant connector out of a piece of plastic. The insulators I’m using are electric fence insulators, I bought a bag of them at the local farm and ranch store.

As for the wire, I’m using 14 gauge stranded THHN electrical wire. This wire is relatively inexpensive and readily available at your local home improvement store. I bought a 500 foot roll that has served well for several projects. You can use any gauge wire, up to about 22 gauge. Beyond that, the wire gets pretty thin and fragile, extra care needs to be taken in deployment.

To find the length of a ½ wave radiator, like the dipole, you will use the formula of 468 / f in mhz to get the antenna length in feet. For those on the metric system, the formula is 143 / frequency for the length in meters.

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00:00 Introduction
00:30 10 meter band
01:14 Building a 10 meter dipole antenna
06:08 10 meter propagation
10:15 10 Meter DX contacts
11:47 ARRL 10 meter contest recap