A Saltwater Dipole
(Don't try this at home)

On December 1, 2002, I made a 20-foot Ionic Liquid Antenna. The results were less than spectacular,
but then I was only using half-inch tubing. I found wind to be a factor in the structural integrity.

Two, ten foot sections of half-inch PVC filled with saltwater bowing in the wind.

This is what it was supposed to look like. Suspension bridge style. Nice and straight.

Here is reality when the wind comes up. Yikes!

Close-up of main joint and coax connecting points. Note the four-foot wood dowels
to prevent lateral movement. (At least it worked well for the first four feet!) A stainless
steel bolt in each tube act as a probe into the liquid.

A note on the usable diameters for saltwater antennas. I have tried everything from 1/8" plastic tubing to 3" PVC pipe and was able to hear quite well with even the very thin 1/8" tubing, but never made a contact. I have discovered that at the 1" diameter you begin to have a decent radiating antenna. Length seems to matter very little as you will see if you look at the page on my big 3" antenna.