Short on a good and reliable antenna for your amateur radio operation ?

Here’s how to make a simple 2 meter amateur radio antenna from ordinary tv antenna (Rabbit Ears Antenna).

Ham Radio 2 Meter Dipole Rabbit Ears Antenna

For your information these antenna can be bought from local tv store at around RM4 a piece (less than USD2).

2 Meter Rabbit Ears dipole

The best thing about these antenna that it has terminating point (screw) which you can screw in your coax cable to each dipole leg, as shown in the (rather blurry) photo.

DIY Amateur Radio 2 Meter TV Rabbit ear antenna

After that, extend the telescoping element to the desired length to match your transmitting frequency.

Vertical Polarised Dipole Ham Radio

Usually amateur radio operator working on 2 meter VHF would use antenna with vertical polarisation. In this case, you need to spread the dipole to vertical position like pictured above, connect it to your transceiver and be amaze by its transmitting (or receiving) power.

Main Advantage of This Antenna

  1. Embarassingly easy to construct
  2. Lightweight
  3. Can be adjusted to any frequency, because of its adjustable telescopic element

As you can see, the rabbit ear tv antenna can also make a good antenna during emergency situation. Its adjustable telescopic elements made it easy to reconfigure the antenna to transmit on different frequencies.

ps : You can use this dipole calculator, if you unsure about the dipole length.

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Reader's Comments

  1. 9W2ARZ | March 4th, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    nice your antn…

    salam perkenalan,

    73,
    sp

  2. Tony | March 23rd, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    I have been wanting to try this for years. Now that I know it works I will! Tnx.

  3. roustabout | May 11th, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    Hi there, I just made myself a rabbit ear antenna according to your blog. Are you familiar with balun? Where I can buy it?

  4. Paul | August 15th, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    Hi there, my first homebrew antenna was also a 2m dipole but I never knew about that handy centre connection you used. I bought two telescopic rods and use a plastic box to contain the connection and hold the rods straight. It works beautifully. However, vertical performance seems to be MUCH better if I don’t allow the coax to hang down past the lower rod the way your picture shows – I tape it up so that it runs away at right angles and then drops down after half a metre. Otherwise RX sensitivity goes down, and SWR goes up.

  5. Paul | August 15th, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Also, the great thing about the telescopic rods (including in your version) are that it works on 70cm too! Just shorten the rods!

  6. mypapit | August 18th, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    thanks for the tip Paul! Now I know why my SWR was slightly off when i first tested it

  7. kevin | September 22nd, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    hi there,

    i made myself rabbit tv antenna according to your blog, my tx get great reports, but i can’t rx their audio…i have to depend on my slim jim that is in a higher position to rx, could you help me??

  8. ke4mcl | October 16th, 2008 at 11:44 am

    i did this many years ago when i first got my license. all i had was a icom 2at and rabbit ear antennas. was on the air nightly for over 6 months till i got some better equipment.

  9. Greg | April 24th, 2009 at 3:24 am

    Any thought of taking this to the next level? How about using an outdoor VHF/UHF TV antenna as a ham antenna. Hook it up the same way and use a balun and a tuner and it works great. It’s already rook mounted and many times it’s on a small rotor.

  10. ROLLIE | April 27th, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Add a choke balun made of several turn will add to its performance.

  11. Rabbit ears for 2 meter? - The RadioReference.com Forums | July 22nd, 2011 at 4:31 pm

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  12. KI6ZAP | August 14th, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    I built this and use for testing radios in my shack. Works great and easy to build.

  13. NiksenH | September 19th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Hi…
    I’ve try this antena, it’s good for short range transmitting about 3-5 KM (straight), using 4 meters mast, 15 meters RG58, 5 watts HT.

    Salam perkenalan
    Niksen H
    Indonesia, Jawa Barat, Bandung

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