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Beer Can Antenna?

Today I was at the BARA Amateur Radio Auction and a "2m Beer Can Antenna" was one of the items for sale.

What is a "Beer Can Antenna"?

They can be made from many different types of cans -beer, beans, etc. The auctioneer, Jim K2ZO, shared a story of his days in the military where they made a 20m vertical out of beer cans from a night of entertainment and the base security would not let them keep it assembled for too long.

It sold for $7 I think! The price was driven up to get us to the next item on the auction block.

What you can not see in the picture is that 4 radials attach to the PVC base and were removed for ocular safety. For the most part the "beer can" antenna is a 1/4 ground plane antenna electrically.

This is a much smaller version for 2m compared to Jim's 20m one and some of the features include:

  • Its cheap to make.
  • Has a wide bandwidth.
  • Can scale to different frequencies easily.

The theory makes sense to me and some quick research turned up a thread on talking about this type of antenna.

Here is a YouTube video of the type of antenna used for 10m!

Looking for an antenna project?

This may be worth some brave soul experimenting with. Looks to be about a 6 pack for 2m (suitcase for HF) of your favorite beverage or a sale on canned green beans will get you on your way!

Antenna Project
  1. Will you try to make an antenna like this?2 votes
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Is this a joke?


  • pretty cool! I wouldn't want to spend the time... but I suppose in a pinch it would work... and it definitely would have WIDE b/w on 2 meters!

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