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The Great White North Special Antenna

By Shawn Axelrod

So you live in an apartment or Condo and cannot put out a longwire to listen to shortwave? Well, why not try the Great White North Special Antenna.

You will need the following material:
1) A broken hockey stick (a broom handle will do if you live South of the 45th parallel)
2) Coated or insulated wire (bare wire will not do) 20-22 gauge copper or metal stranded or solid it does not matter. About 100 feet or so should be good.
3) Coax feed line to reach your receiver.
4) Nails or heavy staples tacks etc to secure wire.
5) One alligator type clip

Starting at the bottom of the hockey stick (we have lots of broken ones up here so that is easy and cheap to use) secure a feeder of about 12 inches to the bottom of the stick with nails staples or whatever you have. This will keep things in place. And give you a flexible feed point.
Now wind your wire tightly around the stick. Keep the windings up against each other to insure you get lots on the stick. When you are about 18 inches from the top stop winding and nail/ tape the wire in place. You have finished the winding of a coil for the antenna.
Now run the rest of the wire straight up to the top. Secure the wire at the top with the nails or heavy staples or what ever you have. This will form a short vertical.

You can, if you so choose, coat the wires with a varnish to keep them in place and stop them unwinding. This will be helpful but not necessary. You can also wind tape around the winding coil, if you choose. If you wish you can now pinch a winding and pull it out a bit to stand away from the stick about every 6 to 8 inches. Gently strip off the coating/insulation so the wire is showing. This will form taps on the coil you have wound on the stick.
Attach a alligator to the centre feed of the coax cable. Be very careful to keep the grounding braid away from the centre wire. In fact you can tape the braid back so it does not come into contact with the centre wire.

Feed the coax to your receiver and use the alligator clip to tap on the end feed of the antenna or to any tap you created. Experimenting will show you which tap is best for which frequency and band conditions. This antenna can be fed to a antenna tuner which in some cases will be of help. Tuners with amplifiers can be used but in some situations could cause an overload of signals so tune carefully and use the amp as little as needed.
The antenna can then be placed on the balcony or pointed out a window. If you put it out at about a 45 degree angle it could help so experiment with placement. Keep it near a window to work best.

To build an indoor version you can buy a piece of plastic pipe 6 to 8 feet long and wind wire on it. The pipe should be one and a half to two inches in diameter. You can stand this up in a corner of the room and hide it behind the drapes near the window if you wish. This will need more wire but try 100 to 200 feet.

Well there you go the Great White North Special Antenna is ready to go.

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