Antenna Help Please!

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by KE6MGW, Dec 20, 2009.

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  1. KE6MGW

    KE6MGW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have an old Golf Ball Retriever that I broke. The retreiver potion off of. It is 25' long.
    Here is the link to the item.

    I have purchased a receiver for my 5 year old daughter. I was wondering if anyone could "enlighten me" as to how hard it would be able to take this deal and make her an antenna to listen with.

    The retiever is 25' long and was wondering if a 16' +/- 6" (approximately) antenna might be a good deal for her. I am not looking for Bean like reception, but something she can have a little fun with.

    Can anyone please describe how I might be able to accomplish this and how effective you think it might be.

    I can be reached at
    thanks for the help in advance
  2. K9ZMD

    K9ZMD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    For reception only, any length of metal will pull in some signals. For 20 meter reception, about 16' would be a quarter wave, but unless you're going to use the telescoping tubing to make an actual ground plane antenna*, don't worry about the length at all.

    Looking at the picture shown in the linky, I see plastic bushings at each segment, which might electrically isolate each section of tubing. Get out your ohmmeter and check for continuity between sections, particularly from end to end with all segments fully extended. If you have good continuity from end to end, then your aluminum pole will work just as well as an identical length of wire for receiving signals.

    Which is more important to you? Making an aerial that will let your daughter listen to her radio, or making some use of that ol' golf ball retriever?

    If the objective is simply to make an aerial for your daughter, then just fasten some light gauge wire around the perimeter of her ceiling and bring one end down to the radio's antenna jack. That way, the time you invest will not be too much greater than the length of time a 5 year old would be interested in listening to that radio.

    If you're set on using the golf ball retriever for this project, just mount it vertically to the eave outside her room and connect some insulated wire to the bottom end of it. Bring that wire into her room through an open window, shut the window, then connect the wire to the radio's antenna jack. More elegant (but more effort) would be to pass the wire through a hole drilled through the window sill plate. This configuration might work a little better than wire strung around the room because it is outside and in the clear. However, carefully consider the fact that you just connected a lightning rod to your little girl's radio.

    * If you are seriously interested in making that golf ball retriever into an effective antenna, then accept that it will take more than just the telescoping tubing to get the job done. A quarter wave length of metal (be it tubing, wire, welding rod, etc) is actually just half of an antenna. Google ground plane antenna to learn about that configuration. Armed with that information, you can decide for yourself if it's a project you'd want to tackle. 73

    Gary, K9ZMD/6
  3. K7NNO

    K7NNO Moderator QRZ Page

    Once I took a roll of hook up wire, attached one end to the rcvr and threw the roll up a tree. Quick and dirty.
  4. KE6MGW

    KE6MGW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks everyone

    I just thought it would be funny to have an antenna made out of an ol golf ball retriever. Just for giggles more than anything. After I posted I thought about the plastic bushing being a problem. Oh well, it was a momentary thought. HE HE!:)
  5. VE3PP

    VE3PP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have used those golf ball retrievers for antennas on the higher bands. They make simple verticals, or single element rotatable dipoles.

    One thing you need to do if you are going to transmit on it you need to put a metal screw at the joints to make sure you have a good electrical contact.

    I get mine for free, as I work at a golf course. Those things get damaged and tossed away so I bring them home ;)
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