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Projects

One of the coolest things about ham radio is that you can tinker around with electronics and build components for your shack. This is commonly known as Homebrew projects. Here are some projects you can have some fun with and get a feeling of accomplishment because you built them yourself.

Remember, take your time and understand the theory behind the project. Understanding all aspects of your first projects will make the next ones easier. As you set about working on a project, you may find that building it exactly as the instructions specify will not satisfy your own building techniques or installation situation. In that case, change the instructions as necessary. Regardless, you will learn quickly and gain expertise in your areas of interest.

You can find lots of Ham Radio projects on various websites and especially on YouTube. Here are samples of what you might find:

Antennas

Building antennas is one of the most useful and cost-effective projects a ham can undertake. Getting some metal in the air for only a few bucks can bring you lots of satisfaction and leave you more money to buy more radios!

2 Meter Quarter Wave Vertical

Want to build a 2 Meter antenna that works great that costs just a few bucks? Check out this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkmD3Sgz7Q0

2 Meter / 440 Dipole

Here is a dual band antenna that you install as a vertical or horizontally polarized antenna: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcO5WAiksNI&t

2 Meter Slim Jim for 300 Ohm Twinlead

Got some old TV flat lined in your garage that you’ve been thinking of throwing away? You could build a J-Pole antenna for 2-Meters that has some decent gain over the rubber-ducky antenna that came with your HT.
There are lots of versions of this antenna on the web. Some even use copper piping and are very durable. Here is the link:
http://hamuniverse.com/2meter300ohmslimjim.html

Dual-Band VHF/UHF Slim Jim

Here is another version of the Slim Jim that also works on 440:
https://www.arrl.org/files/file/Public%20Service/TrainingModules/jpole-dual-band.pdf

DX Zone

Here’s a link to the DX Zone website that has lots of J-Pole projects:
https://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Antennas/J-Pole/

Dipole Antennas

Check out this ARRL link on how to build dipole antennas: http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Technology/tis/info/pdf/9106023.pdf

10 Meter Dipole

The Technician Class license gives you some privileges on the 10 Meter band. Here’s a YouTube video on this subject:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84F4UgSWmQo&t=498s

40 Meter Inverted V Antenna

Here is a YouTube video on this subject:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7za6gPWcNng

80 Meter Vertical Homebrew

Want to homebrew a portable 80 Meter Vertical? Check out this YouTube video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqsyVzg8YCo