The final product of the tape measure antenna. Its tapes are folded into the body to save space.
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Step 1: Gather tool and materials. Tools: Small shears or scissors, a soldering iron, pliers, wire cutters, c-clamp, electrical tape or fabric tape, sand paper and a file, black sharpie, a saw, a zig-zag ruler, and a flat heads screw driver. Materials: 1 inch tape measure, 5 foot long PVC pipe, 4 feet or more of 50 ohm coax (RG-58 with a PL-259 connector), 12 AWG copper wire, 2 terminal connectors, 2 stainless steel hose clamps for a 1 1/4 inch diameter hose and 3 1 1/2 inch PVC crosses.
Step 2: Cut the PVC pipe. Cut one 8 inch PVC for the handle, cut a 7 inch for the spacing from the reflector to the driven element and cut a 11 1/2 inch piece for the spacing between the driven element and the director. Cut 4 small 1/2 inch PVC pieces to keep the Tape int the pipe.
Step 3: Cut the tapes. Use shears or scissors for this. Tape measure lengths: Reflector- 41 3/8 inches Driven element- 35 1/2 inches, then cut in half. One half measures to 17 3/4 inches Director- 35 1/8 inches
Step 4: Sand the coating off of the tape measure. Sand the ends of the driven element so you could solder the copper wire onto it. Now file all of the corners and ends off of all the elements.
Step 5: Assemble the PVC pipes and tapes. Put all of the PVC to gather. First a 8″ then a cross then the 7″ and a cross, last the 11 1/2 inch and a cross. Then put the driven element on the middle cross with the hose clamps. Slide the other 2 elements into the crosses. Wrap the handle with the tape for extra grip.
Step 6: Keep the tapes in the crosses with the little 1/2 inch pieces. Slide them into the crosses with the CENTERED tapes. Use the c-clamp to push them into the pipe all the way.
Step 7: Create the wire connections for the driven element. These are the MOST IMPORTANT parts of the antenna because they make the driven elements. Cut the wire and bend it in half with pliers. bend the ends and put the terminals on them. Secure them by squeezing the ends with a pliers.
Step 8: Solder the connector onto the driven element. Afterward, solder the middle of the coax onto the left driven element and the shield onto the right driven element.
Step 9: Wire the coax. I ran mine through the pipes because I didn’t need to wrap it. You will need to wrap it if it is not accurate. If you wrap it then you will need to run it on the outside and tape it to the pipe.
Step 10: test the antenna. This is my brother testing his.