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# How do I Determine the Best Antenna Length?

Article Details
• Written By: Dulce Corazon
• Edited By: W. Everett
2003-2019
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To determine the best antenna length, you must first consider what you are going to use an antenna for because each kind of antenna has its own unique requirements. If you are going to use an antenna to receive radio transmissions, you can calculate the radio antenna length by getting variables such as frequency, wavelengths, distance to the station, or signal specifications. There are online antenna-length calculator applications that can help you with this task. You can also do it using the traditional method. For other types of antennas, you can refer to the reception specifications of certain services including Internet connection, TV reception, and global navigation systems.

If you are computing the best radio antenna length and you do not want to use an online antenna-length calculator application, you can do the calculations the old fashioned way. You can do this using a calculator, a ruler, a pencil, and some pieces of paper. You usually need to consider your space, the frequency, and the location of the radio stations to which you want to listen. Know also how much room you have to maneuver the antenna once it is installed. There are several mathematical formulas online that you can refer to for more precise measurements of antennas for a particular radio station.

Certain signals can only give coverage if requirements such as minimum amount of obstruction, height, and distance are met. Whether the antenna is an ultra high frequency (UHF) antenna, a TV antenna, or a radio antenna, its length will usually become effective if signal specifications are met. You can do this by carefully studying the signal specifications and matching them with the right type and the right length of antenna.

You may have to adjust the length of your antenna every once in a while to keep up with changing signal strengths. Even antennas that are the proper length may need to be modified sometimes to adjust to these changing signal strengths and specifications. Antenna accessories such as mounts and wires can help you adjust your antenna length appropriately when needed.

For this reason it is frequently recommended that you get the best antenna length for your needs while still allowing some room for future adjustments and modifications. This also means that no matter how long the antenna length was during your initial calculations, you should often consider purchasing something longer than that. It is often best to have an antenna that you can modify in length in order to get the optimum reception possible.