Products & Product Reviews

When Constructing an Amateur Radio Antenna, Think Aluminum

Aluminum provides Amateur Radio antenna builders with a hat trick of benefits: good conductivity, easy handling due to its light weight, and signal-receiving capability that doesn’t degrade over time. Add to that corrosion-resistance and an attractive appearance and it’s no wonder why aluminum remains a popular choice among Ham Radio operators.

DX Engineering aluminum tubing is available in two types: 6063-T832 seamless drawn aluminum in 1, 3, 6 and 12 ft. lengths and heavy-duty 6061-T8 for when you require maximum strength at long assembly lengths.

6063-T832 tubing features .058 inch wall thickness and is available in 1/8 inch increments from 3/8 inch to 2-1/8 inch O.D. The 3 ft. lengths make a good choice for fast-taper, low wind-resistance applications; employ 6 ft. slow taper lengths for the greatest bandwidth; and 12 ft. lengths are useful when constructing an HF Yagi antenna.

Most sizes (except 12 ft.) are available slit on one end for use with DX Engineering stainless steel element clamps. If un-slit ends are required for your applications, merely insert the slit end into the next larger size in the stack and use your own attachment method, or purchase un-slit tube.

6061-T8 tubing features a 0.120 inch wall thickness and is available in 1/4 inch increments from 1-1/2 inch to 3 inch O.D.

DX Engineering 12 ft. high-strength aluminum tubing also comes in bundles from 4 to 95 pieces based on type of aluminum, O.D., and wall thickness.

DX Engineering Antenna Boom Tubing Kits

Whether you’re replacing a 3 inch boom or building a new one, here’s the ideal solution for antenna boom projects. For 48 inch booms, the ABT3-48 kit comes with two 24 foot pieces of 3 inch x 0.120 inch wall tubing and one 24 foot 2.715 inch x 0.132 inch wall splice insert tube.

The ABT3-24R comes with one 24 foot piece of 3 inch x 0.120 inch wall tubing and one 24 foot 2.715 inch x 0.132 inch wall splice insert tube. This can be used to create a strong 24 foot double wall boom, or an extended 36 foot assembly (cutting required). These high-strength, reinforced antenna boom tubes are suitable for Yagis and log periodics from 40 through 10 meters. Pieces require user drilling and fitting. Joining bolts are included. Other hardware must be user supplied.

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