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Antennas are electrical circuits designed to facilitate the transmission and/or reception of electromagnetic radiation.

Antennas are specifically designed to transmit/receive as much electromagnetic radiation as possible, whereas most circuits are designed to emit/detect as little as possible. However, even a dummy load will emit a small amount of electromagnetic energy when radio-frequency oscillations are applied to it.

Antenna Size

Optimized antennas will have dimensions of the same order as the wavelength of operation. A balanced antenna will typically be about a half-wavelength long, and an unbalanced antenna such as a vertical will typically be about a quarter-wavelength long. It is possible to shorten antennas drastically at the cost of efficiency. See antenna loading for more discussion.

Theory of Antennas

In terms of their construction, antennas are RLC circuits in which resistance, inductance and capacitance are distributed along a conductor, rather than being concentrated in a particular component such as an inductance in an inductor.

The "ideal" antenna will be resonant for the frequency it is used at. In practical terms, this is impossible unless only a limited number of frequencies are used all the time.

Hence antenna design is a compromise, but good results can be achieved if we understand the notion of harmonics.

Antenna Types

Simple Antennas:

Complex Antennas:

Specialized Antennas:


A balun is a transformer that converts a signal that is balanced with respect to ground - equal currents in opposite directions - to one that is unbalanced with respect to ground - one conductor and a ground. baluns can take a number of forms, but all types utilise electromagetic coupling in their operation. In ham radio, baluns are often used to change impedance - for example the Guanella balun can be used to converts a 300Ohm line to a 75Ohm line.

Understanding Antennas


Parts for antenna construction

Please go to these wiki pages Suppliers Towers and Masts

See also

Design Beam * Dipole * Dish or Parabola * DDRR * Log Periodic (LPDA) * Loop * Mobile and portable * Omnidirectional * Panel * Quad and Quagi * Screwdriver * Small tuned loop * Vertical * Yagi-Uda * Wire and random wire antennas
Installation Antenna Tuners * Capacity hats and loading coils * Cavity filters * Coaxial Cable * Feedlines * Rotators * Towers and Masts * VK2ACY - G5RV coupler
Theory Front-to-back ratio * Impedance matching * SWR * Tower design * Vertical Antenna efficiency * Wire comparison tables