Slinky Antennas


CQWW 2002


Cornwall Calling

Slinky Antennas

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Simple,Cheap, Easy and FUN!
The first recorded use of the slinky as an antenna was by American soldiers during the Vietnam conflict. The slinkies were thrown over trees and used in emergencies when the normal antennas weree out of action. This practice soon became popular amongst Ham radio operators.

A normal sized slinky contains around 66 feet of coiled metal, this is more than enough to get you on most of the HF bands.

Used as a dipole, two slinkies, fed with either balanced line or coax, will make a very acceptable, and very short, antenna. I regularly use such a dipole on all HF bands from 40M upwards.
My slinky dipoles are normally stretched out to around 15 feet total length, and though a tuner they work very well indeed.

Just run a carrier cable, non conductive of course, between two supports. Then run the slinkies along it, fixing it along the way with clothes pegs, cable ties etc. Connect the feed line, one conductor to each leg. And plug into your tuner. You then have a very cheap, portable antenna.

  Simple to Make Not exactly rocket science, but very effective.
Just 2 slinkies, a ball of string, 4 clothes pegs, and some feeder.

The Slinky centre.
  Nice and Stealthy too! The slinky dipole at full stretch. As you can see, it's hardly noticeable even at only 5 feet high. Even at this low height the antenna works very well, and it's easy to tune with the ATU.

Spot the Antenna!
  Will fit almost anywhere The slinky antenna will fit almost any where. The shortest I have used mine is 8 feet total length. Just be careful not to let too many turns touch as you then lose too much electrical length.
You can of course tune the antenna by deliberately shorting out turns. This is very much trial and error, but can be done with a little patience.

Note the carrier cable runing through the middle.

Slinky antennas, Coils well that sends well