G5RV antenna

The G5RV antenna is a dipole with a symmetric resonant[1] feeder line, which serves as impedance matcher for a 50 Ω coax cable to the transceiver.[2][3]

G5RV Antenna without balun.


Louis Varney (G5RV) invented this antenna in 1946.[4] It is very popular in the United States.[5] The antenna can be erected as horizontal dipole, as sloper, or an inverted-V antenna. With a transmatch, it can operate on all HF amateur radio bands (3.5–30 MHz).[5][6]


The dipole elements are 15.55 metres (51.0 ft) and the impedance-matching symmetric feedline (ladder-line or twin-lead) can be either 300 Ω (8.84 metres or 29.0 feet) or 450 Ω (10.36 metres or 34.0 feet).[7] As is in general the case for all electric antennas, the height of the G5RV above the ground should be at least half of the longest wavelength to be used.[1]

The ends of the symmetric feedline can be soldered directly onto a 50 Ω coax cable to the transceiver,[2] however this is not good practice and should be avoided: It can result in high current flow on the outer surface of the coax braid, causing RF interference and degrading the polarization and gain of the antenna. In his article, Varney recommended placing a balanced matching network at the end of the ladder line, instead of a direct cable connection. With no matching unit, Varney specified 75 Ω cable be used at the junction of the ladder line and coax (not 50 Ω); the higher 75 Ω impedance makes a closer match the end of the ladder line. An earth-grounded 4:1 voltage balun may be used to connect the coax to the ladder line, and 1:1 current balun should be used between the coax and the transmitter.[8] Several sources point out that a current balun not only prevents RF interference, but also reduces receive noise.[9][better source needed] A length of at least 20 metres (66 ft) of 75 Ω (50 Ω) cable is recommended for operation without a balun.[10][11]

A transmatch (antenna tuner) is not required to use this antenna near its nominal design frequency of 14 MHz, and judicious length adjustments can sometimes include one other frequency band. All other frequencies require a transmatch.[citation needed] There are many variants of the G5RV antenna. Two variations of the G5RV design, called ZS6BKW and W0BTU, can match several more amateur bands between 3.5–28 MHz without a transmatch.[12][13]


  1. ^ a b HF Antennas for all locations (L. Moxon, G6XN)
  2. ^ a b G5RV multi-band antenna (Louis Varney, G5RV) http://www.astrosurf.com/luxorion/qsl-g5rv.htm
  3. ^ The G5RV Multiband Antenna ... Up-to-Date (L. Varney, G5RV in The ARRL Antenna Compendium Vol. 1)
  4. ^ (Heys, J. (G3BDQ). Practical Wire Antennas - Effective HF Designs for the Radio Amateur
  5. ^ a b American Radio Relay League. ARRL Antenna Book, 21st ed. Chapter 7
  6. ^ de Maw, D. (W1FB). Novice Antenna Notebook
  7. ^ Carr, J. Practical Antenna Handbook (4th ed.).
  8. ^ Maxwell, Walter (2010). Reflections III: Transmission lines & antennas.
  9. ^ Olsen, David (VK4MDX) (15 February 2009). "Part 1". What I learned from building my own G5RV / ZS6BKW antenna. vk4mdx.wordpress.com (personal website). Archived from the original on 1 March 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  10. ^ Haerle, J.M. HF Antenna Systems: The easy way.
  11. ^ Rüegger, M. (HB9ACC) (24 May 2008). "Rund um die Antenne" [All about antennas] (in German).
  12. ^ "Truth about the G5RV antenna and two other improved alternatives to this basic design". w0btu.com. Comtech Research. 2015. Archived from the original on 2019-03-28. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  13. ^ Vincent, M. (G3UKV). "The ZS6BKW multiband HF antenna revisited" (PDF). ab4oj.com.