Bob’s new stainless key and stealthy speaker wire that snags serious QRP DX !

Many thanks to Bob (WD4EWZ) who writes:


Let there be no doubt that your speaker wire antenna is awesome! I have been licensed for 46 years but was inactive during much of that time. I finally pulled the trigger, largely on your reviews, on a new Icom IC-705, AH-705 and PowerWerx PS.

I live in a very HOA restricted area so antennas were my bane. I built your speaker wire antenna not expecting much, and for the first few days I got nada. The bands were terrible and the antenna was looped around my lanai.

On Friday I had an inspiration. I made a throw line, moved an unused bird feeder anchor post and got the antenna about 40 feet up into a tree. The wire is invisible from the street, and we have more latitude in the backyard. My wife likes it so much she wants me to just leave it there, and make another for POTA/SOTA.

Does it work? Oh my goodness… Last night I nailed 9K2BM in Kuwait on 20m SSB, and this morning the JAs were melting the face off my IC-705.

This antenna is a wonder. As is the 705, after a week of learning how to optimize the settings.

Joe, at HRO in Winter Springs warned me that the 705 had a learning curve, and I foolishly said ‘yeah, sure.’ I do this (computer science/IT/data science) for a living. Don’t worry about me.’ Wrong! A huge learning curve, but I’m getting there.

Also, my new paddles recently arrived. I love this little stainless paddle — the magnets are strong enough to hoist a car, and the price is amazing… $69 on Amazon [affiliate link]!

I am using a 4″ square steel forging plate I had from my days of making metal jewelry. (Too many hobbies). It works a treat.

Thanks so much for your writings and 73.

Bob (WD4EWZ)

Thank you for sharing this, Bob! Loads of readers have asked me about those stainless paddles, so it’s great to get a report on them. 

I also love how you’ve implemented the speaker wire antenna in such a stealthy way! And the DX you’ve snagged? Simply amazing.

Thanks again for sharing!

4 thoughts on “Bob’s new stainless key and stealthy speaker wire that snags serious QRP DX !”

  1. It is becoming more common to see stations, POTA, SOTA or home, using simple wire antennas. The speaker wire version or End Fed Wire antennas work great. Throw them into a tree and connect the coax and one is in business. And they often work on a number of bands without need for a tuner.

    The paddle I have one also. It is great. I dont have a piece of steel for the base and not much in radio is made of steel so I simply hold the paddle.

    Thanks for the article.

    73, ron, n9ee/r

    ps, the IC705 is really not that difficult to get use to. Main difference is the touch screen. Most of us were use to knobs and menus. Much on the IC705 is menus but selected from the touch screen.

  2. I’ve been looking for the “right” wire for a [permanent] home EFHW.
    When you say “speaker wire” do you mean ripping the voice coil out of an old speaker? Or just the wire you use to connect speakers?
    My big worries are: getting a long enough run of wire, and copper wire stretching under load.

    1. I used a 100 foot roll of 16 gauge speaker wire I purchased on Amazon for $14. Amazon Basics brand. Splitting the wire gives you 200 feet to work with.

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