wythall radio club

having fun with RF

Joining Antenna Wire

January 31, 2012 By: M0MCX Category: Fun

I happened to be talking to Chris, G3VNA on the internet in the MyDel Yahoo Group Reflector. Chris has recently bought an SG3000, Auto Antena Tuner. We were discussing the technique of joining antenna wire together and I recalled a long debate years ago on eHam. The general conclusion was that you can join antenna wire but try not to use solder. Apparently the solder breaks down over time and you can end up with a worse problem due to the solder joint starting to behave as a component.

Over the last couple of years, I have experimented with jointing aerial wire and have had great succes with what they call the AT&T Wireman’s Joint (or similar). Somewhere on the internet is a PDF document showing this join which happens to be about the most natural join you can make with wire anyway. As it happens, that’s the same join as I have been making since I can remember. Indeed, it seems as strong as the wire itself.

The photograph shown here is of enamelled hard drawn wire. For the benefit of the photo, I have not scraped the varnish off the copper. This would certainly NOT work as a join if you left the varnish all shiny like this, you’d have to get your pen-knife out and scrape it all off. But the then the photo would be ruined :)

If you are using stranded wire, you can still use a similar join but I would recommend taping up the joint so that it didn’t unravel over time.

Have fun with rf!