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 What wire for wire antennas ? 
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Post What wire for wire antennas ?
About 40 years ago I acquired a drum of grey telephone cable, the twin core stuff that went from the pole to the house. It is solid core very stiff and fairly light. Splitting the cores is a bit tedious but enabled construction of a reasonably discrete wire antenna which was strong enough to last a few years and even if supporting the weight of some coax remained reasonably dimensionally stable. Sadly the reel is now nearly exhausted.

I have tried other alternatives found in the shed but with an 80m dipole even if the centre point is supported the length seems to alter with temperature and over time the whole thing stretches and creeps out of resonance, also nothing I have tried seems as “invisible” as the ancient grey stuff.

I see lightweight green cable advertised specifically for wire antennas but would think ideally light blue or grey are more neighbour friendly.

What do people recommend. And what properties are required to make it more dimensionally stable ?


Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:32 am
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 What wire for wire antennas ? 
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Post Re: What wire for wire antennas ?
I've seen copperweld wire advertised, I'm not sure how it performs because I've never used it, but just a thought.

https://www.moonraker.eu/ccs-50-genuine ... l-50m-reel

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Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:43 am
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 What wire for wire antennas ? 
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Post Re: What wire for wire antennas ?
https://www.m0mcx.co.uk/store/products/200m-antenna-comms-wire/

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Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:56 pm
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 What wire for wire antennas ? 
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Post Re: What wire for wire antennas ?
Theres a ton of snake oil in this hobby, any wire will do the job, there is NO special antenna wire despite what the dealers will say.
Having said that, there's a lot to said of creep... Long copper wire will stretch and thus go out of tune, BT wire I suspect will not be copper...perhaps copper coated steel ? Whatever, it is designed to not sag - so is ideal for antennae, a few years back I was lucky enough to bag some fibreglass insulated wire, here the strength is in the casing, and I have made many antennae with zero sag !
Depends on if you need longevity or economy.
We've made a doublet for field days out of 2.5mm earth cable, weighed a ton and went out if tune by the hour but worked great.
Just use what you have is my advice.

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Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:26 pm
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 What wire for wire antennas ? 
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Post Re: What wire for wire antennas ?
The BT stuff is as said possibly copper coated steel although it is fairly light and the exposed ends do not seem to rust so I am not certain.

What are the thoughts about Single core v Multi strand. My gut feeling is single core makes a better antenna and is going to be more dimensionally stable . Even before it stretched out of tune some plastic coated 32/02 I found in the shed didn't seem to radiate quite as well as the solid stuff, and 16/02 was even less effective.

Hard drawn copper was where I started in the 1970s but I (and probably my neighbours) prefer a less visible grey or light blue.


Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:23 pm
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 What wire for wire antennas ? 
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Post Re: What wire for wire antennas ?
The old BT twin cable overhead stuff came in two forms, copper plated steel, or full copper but hard drawn copper cores, both resisted stretching to their individual designed degree.
Last 80 meter dipole I had up I used some singles cable from work, it was 1.5mm multi-strand, black in colour, and the PVC jacket was industry grade Oil, Chemical, UV, and Heat resistant.
We used to use it in factories, for panel and conduit wiring, and I had a few rolls left over.
You can tell the stuff quite easily from standard soft PVC jacket stuff, the jacket is hard, and much more difficult to strip! :)
I pulled that 80 meter dipole quite taught really, with egg insulators and turn buckles at each end, it never suffered any major sag that was noticeable on RF SWR meter results or detuning etc.
It didn't even stretch too much when it had a good layer of snow and ice on it one year we got a decent snowy winter.
I still have it rolled up in the garage with its center connector somewhere.
Can't fit it in my latest garden, intended to one day cut it down for whatever higher band will fit in to my available space, have not got around to it yet. :)

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Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:29 pm
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