This is by no means a comprehensive or exhaustive guide to antennas. There are a plethora of books and online resources on antennas
(see links at end of bottom of the page).

 Portable Antenna Choices Pros & Cons 


Antenna type Pros Cons Notes
 Dipole (resonate)
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to build
  • Can be fed with coax 
  • Require 2 supports
  • Single or limited # of bands
Dipole (nonresonant) or offset center
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to build
  • Multiple bands support
  • Cheaper & lighter Ladder line instead of coax
  • Require 2 supports
  • Requires Antenna Tuner
  • May require balun
Often fed with open line or ladder line feeders to allow better multiband performance
Inverted V
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to build
  • Require only 1 support
  • May not work as well as dipoles
End Fed
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to build
  • Require only 1 support
  • Multiband Operation
  • May require special balun
  • May cause RFI
  • Require no high supports
  • Can be very simple (especially single band)
  • Very easy to transport
  • Only option for most mobile work
  • Perform better with  Radials
  • Often have lossy or problematic traps for multiple bands
  • Low angle of radiation poor for close-in QSOs
  • Good gain
  • Directivity
  • Require tower or sturdy support
  • Often require lots of assembly
  • Limited to higher frequency bands
  • Expensive
Smaller size at VHF (6 or 2 M) greatly decreases Cons
Mag Loop
  • Small
  • Easy to transport
  • No supports needed
  • No Radials
  • Limited bandwidth
  • Require frequent retuning when changing freq.
  • Can be expensive
Works well for fixed freq. modes such as FT8/FT4
Mobile Antenna
  • Can be operated when vehicle is in motion qualify for Class C
  • Poor performance
  • Difficult to tune
  • Narrow bandwidth
With suitable ground plane, mobile antennas can be used for portable operations


Half-wave Resonate Dipole-

Non-Resonate Dipoles -

Resonate & Non-Resonate End Fed Antennas - 

Inverted V Antennas-



Magnetic Loop-

Mobile Antennas-

VHF/UHF Antennas-

  • Tiger Tail Antenna Booster for HT’s - link
  • Groundplane
    • 2 Meter VHF Quarter Wave Ground Plane Antenna- KB9VBR- Youtube
    • A Quick and Simple 2 Meter Ground Plane Project!- Hamradio Universe
  • J-Pole
    • How does a J-pole antenna work? David Casler- Youtube
    • 9 Simple J Pole Antenna Projects- DX Zone
  • 2 Meter Beam
    • 7dB for $7 - link 
    • Build A 2M Yagi for Emergencies (and Fun!) Matt, N3NWV - Youtube
    • 11 El Long John 2 Meter, Bill Orr- link
  • 6 Meter
    • The "Ugly MacGyver" 6 meter J-pole- Link
    • 6 Meter 5/8 Wave Vertical Antenna By Mike, G3JVL- link
    • How to Build a Six Meter Ham Radio Dipole Antenna by K7AGE- Youtube
    • 6 meter, 2 element yagi- A simple, compact and effective antenna for 50 Mhz.- link