Speaker Wire - Work For HF?

KenH999

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I'm preparing to (hopefully) sell an older Home Theater Stereo system to help fund a scanner purchase. I have a bunch of speaker wire. 2 sections approx. 40ft each. At some point I may want to do some HF listening, no transmit. The wire is labeled "Monster XP Compact Precision Stranded High Resolution Speaker Cable with Magnetic Flux Tube and LPE Dielectric". The wire also has "20" marked on it assume that means 20 ga. See pic.

IF this wire will do a decent job as a DIY HF antenna I'll keep a 40ft section. If not I'll just throw it in with the system.

So, what say ya'll? Worth the effort or just chunk it?speaker-wire.jpg

Thanks, Ken
 

prcguy

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The plastic or rubber used for speaker wire is rarely any good at HF frequencies or higher and will be lossy. There is some specific RF feedline that looks just like brown 18ga AC power cord and with about 75 ohm impedance, but I haven't seen it advertised in many years.
 

popnokick

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Should work fine for a random wire HF antenna.... but as prcguy points out (I think) not as a transmission line. Pull the two conductors apart and connect the stripped ends together to get the longest random wire... or leave the two together and short the ends (twist 'em) together for a shorter antenna.
 

KenH999

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Should work fine for a random wire HF antenna.... but as prcguy points out (I think) not as a transmission line. Pull the two conductors apart and connect the stripped ends together to get the longest random wire... or leave the two together and short the ends (twist 'em) together for a shorter antenna.
Monitor Only, no transmit.
 

Mike_G_D

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Loss is loss on transmit or receive. Another problem is speaker wire would be a "balanced line" and fine for a center fed dipole to a balanced tuner, or to a good choke balun to an unbalanced receiver input. At that point something like cheap RG-58 coax would work similar without some of the headaches.
I don't think the OP wants to use it as a feedline but rather as just to build an antenna like a random wire antenna. Could be wrong but that's the way I understood the post.

-Mike
 

MDScanFan

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If you are going to use it as a long wire receive antenna then go for it. It will work fine. You will not notice any difference between it and any other wire. The best antenna is the one you put up and use.
 

prcguy

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Hmm, I think your right. Just about any wire will do for a receive antenna but I doubt if the insulation on the speaker wire will last more than a couple of years in the sun.

I don't think the OP wants to use it as a feedline but rather as just to build an antenna like a random wire antenna. Could be wrong but that's the way I understood the post.

-Mike
 

KenH999

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Never said in or outdoor, although outdoor is most likely. If it deteriorates, so be it, by then if I've stuck with this new hobby I'll do something better. BTW, I made it quite clear in the OP this was for receive only, second line: "no transmit". Thanks for the info.
 

popnokick

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When I wrote "transmission line" I was referring broadly and generically to the connection used to go from the antenna element back to the radio, e.g. coaxial cable, ladder line, open wire line, etc. Not necessarily for transmitting. And my meaning was that speaker wire would make a very poor choice to use in place of coaxial cable or other "transmission line". But speaker wire works fine for the antenna element wire itself (allowing for solar radiation possibly causing deterioration of the insulation if it were to be used outdoors).
 
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