Lightweight HF Aerials

Having realised that a radio powered by a PP3 is quite adequate for reliable activating, I am now looking at further weight reduction opportunities. Just how light can a viable HF antenna be made - and what materials were used? Just for starters, my lightest HF antenna is a longwire for 40m which, complete with radials and a back guy for the mast, weighs in at 300g. I suspect that I could use thinner wire to save weight. Ideas?



In reply to G3CWI:

Hi Richard

Split-down IDC ribbon cable is certainly the strongest yet lightest material I have found and works very well (a la Norcal Doublet).

73 de Paul G4MD

PS did Santa not bring you a new PP3? :wink:

Hi Richard. Good going with the PP3 challenge!

I have been using a dipole made from split ribbon cable for a few years now and it’s amazingly strong and light. The whole 30m/40m/60m dipole and feeder all fits on one ‘wire winder’ too.


In reply to G3CWI:
A half wave end fed made of enamelled wire. The tuner can be made very small and light with a polyvaricon. For normal use this still requires a fishing pole but perhaps if you aim for NVIS on 60m a walking pole in the centre of an inverted V would work.

In reply to G3CWI:

Single band EFHW matcher with 1m RG174 coax and male BNC termination- 45g
#22 wire, Teflon insulated, stranded- 4.7g/m
That would make a 20m monobander approx. 100g with feedline and counterpoise.

A deluxe multiband EFHW tuner with SWR bridge and 1m feedline- 110g approx.

Not included is rigging, which can be as weighty as a spool of sewing thread.


In reply to G3CWI:

Perhaps you could use several strands of very thin enamelled wire in a loose plait. I think this should be electrically and mechanically superior to a single fatter wire.

Also you could vary the diameter of the wire over its length, using thicker wire only where the current distribution is highest. e.g. I use thicker wires at the centre of my linked dipole and thinner wires at the end.

I also wonder whether thin aluminium tape could be used as an alternative to normal wire.

Nigel. G6SFP.

In reply to G3CWI:

Hi Richard,
I am using TW 65 from Titanex (

info from the Titanex-website:
TW 65
TITANEX® Wire, 0,65mm ø, stainless steel with weaved-in aluminum wires, highly conductive, non-corroding, best HF characteristics, tensile strength: 30kp, weight: 110g/100m, outstanding for all wire antennas

Volker, DK2MT