Measuring tape as an antenna material

Pieter-Tjerk de Boer, PA3FWM

(This is an adapted version of part of an article I wrote for the Dutch amateur radio magazine Electron, January 2017.)

Using rollable tape measure as material for antennas, is not unknown in amateur radio circles. Such a measuring tape on the one hand is flexible, but on the other hand it also stays straight by itself. It is used among others for antennas on (amateur) satellites (which unfold automatically in space) and fox hunt antennas, and I also used it for my vacation active antenna (see here).

[tape measure dipole from 1950] This idea turns out to be a lot older than I thought. In the same 1950 magazine which described the passive FM receiver (see here), also a dipole made from two tape measures is described, where it is pointed out that an extra advantage is that it's easy to tune both halves of the dipole to the same length.


[7] Arthur Trauffer: Portable Di-Poles for TV and FM, Radio Experimenter, 1950. (available online).

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