Quarterwave Antenna Calculation Chart

Band Frequency Feet Inches Meters Centimeters
Meters MHz 234/∆ 2808/∆ 71.5/∆ 7150/∆
2m 146 1-5/8 19-1/4 0.49 49
6m 52 4-1/2 54 1.4 140
10m 29 8 96-7/8 2.5 250
12m 24.94 9-3/8 112-5/8 2.9 290
15m 21.225 11 132-1/4 3.37 337
17m 18.118 12/7/08 155 3.95 395
20m 14.175 16-1/2 198-1/8 5.04 504
30m 10.125 23-1/8 277-3/8 7.06 706
40m 7.15 32-3/4 392-3/4 10 1000
75m 3.85 60-3/4 729-3/8 18.57 1857
80m 3.6 65 780 19.86 1986
160m 1.9 123-1/8 1477-7/8 37.63 3763

Some calculations are rounded.

Contributing to the Art of Amateur Radio

Most of us start as lone amateur radio, or ham radio, operators. I did. I studied the book, took the test, and earned my Technician license by myself all while not knowing anyone from our community. Afterward, I tried to learn as much as possible on my own because I was excited, but eventually, you have to reach out to others individually or to a group to learn more. There is just too much to learn individually, and we have to be shown how to do something, for example, soldering.

If you just “click” with amateur radio, you wonder how to help it grow. Many of us start as ham radio evangelists, but as the questions from others get harder, and the new wears off, some fall away, and some grow stronger. I hope that I can consider myself one that has grown stronger. If you do also, I want to present some ideas to help grow our hobby.

Get involved

First, get involved with your local club to start. Build those relationships with others of common interest. You have to start somewhere, and being around other Hams is the way you start and keep your interest. Learn as much as you can. It is fun to learn new things, new skills, or new operating methods. You may even find others that want to help you upgrade your license.

Serve Your Community

Just how does ham radio serve the community? It is just a hobby, a technical hobby, but still a hobby. Amateur radio has uses outside of our own walls. We as ham know about the ways to contribute to the community. Outside of our ham community, many do not know that amateur radio has many, many uses to serve the community. Living in Tornado Alley, one of the huge ways we serve the community is through RACES. RACES is an acronym for Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service, which is an emergency communications tool used by the majority, if not most, of the cities, towns, counties, states, and the US Government. If a city’s communications system goes down due to a tornado or other disaster, we have been called upon time and time again to provide official communications for emergency coordinators everywhere.

My club has a very tight relationship with the City. We are a recognized group by the City as being available to pass disaster information when called on. We provide emergency communications, and the City provides a means for us to have high and far-reaching equipment.

Serve an Event

Many, if not most, events such as bike races, NASCAR races, marathons, etc., have amateur radio operators hidden in the background providing all the communications abilities. These are amazing resources to teach yourself proper operating techniques for those RACES nets that come up. These are also just fun to participate in too.

Join the ARRL

One of the most important organizations in amateur radio is the ARRL. The American Radio Relay League is the largest organization for amateur radio. We occupy some very VERY valuable RF spectrum, and it is always under threat. If this spectrum had a price tag, it could easily be in the billions of dollars. One of the main goals of the ARRL is spectrum defense. They also promote education and so much more.

Serve Your Club

You have joined the club and hopefully, enjoy it. I would encourage you to serve your local club. It is an incredible experience. I have had the pleasure of serving as president of my club here in Hurst, TX. It is a tough job, but a very rewarding one. Finding the strengths of people on your team is difficult, many will step up to help advance the club’s goals. If you do end up as president, be prepared for a lot of work, especially the first six months. You will find your rhythm and the pressure of running the business of the club will become more routine. Making sure you have a vice president that you trust is also a benefit too.

There will be things that you are called to do, so surround yourself with people that are smarter than you, and can rely on to help you accomplish club goals, and you will be fine.


These are just a few ideas I came up with to help with contributing to and growing our hobby. We continue to grow in numbers, but when you are ready to take that role of a contributor and not just be a consumer, find a way to do it. Find your niche and run with it. If you are strong in designing and building antennas, teach a class. I hope you will do it, it will be very rewarding.

Becoming a Ham Operator, 20 Years Later

It is hard to believe that I just had my 20-year Amateur Radio Birthday in June 2019. I have always loved radio and radio technology. One early memory I have is when I lived in Kansas as a tiny tot, I had some of those toy walkie-talkies. I loved them. Years later my friend had a CB walkie-talkie, and I loved it too. Eventually, I was introduced to big boy CB by my [former] brother-in-law, which makes me laugh to say that… big boy CB… yeah right, there is nothing big boy about CB, but anyways. I had a Cobra 25 CB in my first vehicle attached to a 102“ stainless steel whip antenna outside. That thing would hit everything which looking back was obnoxious, but as a kid, you think it is hilarious.

Us ham’s love to tell our story of how we got started, and I am no exception. My former brother-in-law introduce me to the CB and helped me get my first equipment. It was installed and worked just fine, but I rarely used it to talk. I had it installed for months and mainly used it to listen. One Friday night, some friends and I were at a friend’s house, and it was time for one to leave. I followed him out to his car and saw this weird-looking CB installed. I asked him what kind of CB that was, and he said that it was 2-Meter ham radio. I wasn’t sure what that was, but it sure looked interesting and I knew I needed it.

I bought the Technician study book the next day at Radio Shack in Benton, AR, and shortly after a month of study, I took the test and passed with a 98%. It took about 3 weeks to have a callsign issued to me, and not long after that, I had my first radio, a Yaesu FT-2500M 2-meter FM mobile. Any ham can tell you that “mic fright” is a real thing that you must overcome. I found that easy. One of the first people I talked to on the air was both my future Elmer (mentor) and Tech test VE, Bobby, N5YLE. He sort of took me under his wing and showed me the ropes. He built me a J-Pole antenna, which I still have, and told me how to run cables properly. He taught me how to properly install a coax connector and how to solder and so on.

I was a Technician for four years and eventually decided to upgrade to a General. There are three levels of ham licenses:

  • Entry-Level – Technician – Teaches the basics of many subjects in radio. Mostly rules and how things are done, very simple electronic theory and breakdown.
  • Mid-Level – General – Builds on the Technician. Adds more HF theory, rules, and a higher level of electronic theory.
  • Top Level – Extra – Top-level adds more rules, college-level technical theory, college-level electronic theory, operational procedures, and VE testing, and overall is a very tough test. This test is on par with the commercial GROL examinations.

Experimentation is a normal part of ham radio, and I have done my fair share of experimentation. I take it all as a learning experience and try to share it forward with others. Currently, DMR is my favorite voice mode, and am going to get back into HF digital operations. I am interested in WSPR and FT-8, and I want to get my station set up for them.

An Elmer is something that I have taken too, and teaching technician and general classes are a favorite (yet exhausting) thing to do.

I hope to hear you on the air sometime.

Chris de KD5HIY