Turning a Ham Can into a Ham Radio Antenna: Discover the Magic in ‘Will it Ham?’ Series

Welcome to a new kind of adventure on Ham Radio Rookie! In our latest series, “Will it Ham?”, we push the boundaries of traditional ham radio practices and dive into the world of creative DIY. The series kicks off with an intriguing challenge: Can a can of ham be repurposed into a functional 70cm band antenna? Join us as we explore this unique DIY journey.

At Ham Radio Rookie, we’re all about exploring the unconventional. “Will it Ham?” is a series dedicated to transforming the most unexpected items into ham radio antennas. Our mission? To blend humor, creativity, and technical expertise to inspire and educate our community.

In our first episode, we take an everyday can of ham and turn it into a fully functional antenna for the 70cm band. This post gives you a behind-the-scenes look at how we achieved this and why it’s more than just a humorous experiment.

Our journey began with an empty can of ham – a typical item in any pantry, but an odd choice for an antenna. We meticulously cleaned the can, designed 3D-printed spacers, and identified the perfect feed point. The can was then attached to a PVC pipe, creating the main structure of our antenna.

The moment of truth came with the testing phase. On the 70cm band, the can antenna performed surprisingly well, almost resonating perfectly. This unexpected success not only provided a good laugh but also demonstrated the ingenuity behind amateur radio DIY projects.

This project isn’t just about creating a functional antenna from a ham can. It’s about the spirit of experimentation that defines the ham radio community. It encourages us to think outside the box and reminds us that innovation can come from the most unanticipated sources.

We want “Will It Ham?” to be an interactive series. Share your ideas for future episodes – maybe a tinfoil hat antenna? Your suggestions could become the next big project!

“Will it Ham?” is more than just a series; it’s a celebration of the creativity and curiosity inherent in the ham radio community. Join us on this journey of exploration and discovery, and let’s see what other everyday items can be transformed into something extraordinary.

Materials and such used in this build:

3d print files for this project: https://www.printables.com/model/643707-hamtenna


Ham: https://amzn.to/49GzuUq (SNORK! I can’t believe this is a link I am leaving)

1/4” Copper Foil tape: https://amzn.to/40jAbyO

BNC cable: https://amzn.to/3u75D7j

BNC to SMA adapter: https://amzn.to/49qleiB

Ring Terminal crimp: https://amzn.to/47pVZLm

Klein Pliers/Crimper: https://amzn.to/3ZXlhy3

Crimper: https://amzn.to/3Ql2SI4

HT I recommend: https://tidradio.com/?ref=ltm6up8p (Use referal code “BEN” and you will get 15% off)

3d Printer I recommend: https://amzn.to/3Qk3HQj

Filament used in this: https://amzn.to/3QknFKS

3d printer used in this video: https://amzn.to/46hISes

John Portunes book on slot antennas: https://amzn.to/3tPoaEY

2 thoughts on “Turning a Ham Can into a Ham Radio Antenna: Discover the Magic in ‘Will it Ham?’ Series

  1. Dear Ham Radio Rookie,
    “Will it Ham?” is such a good video.
    How good? First place in some kind of “how to” youtube awards? (Yes)
    Should it be studied in film schools? (Yes).
    It is hilarious.
    Starting out as Joe Normalo with a can of ham, the ham sandwich, rinse the can int the sink, then:
    (Did I teleport into the future 200 years and come back 50 years after I left???): Just pop up the computer modeling screen where I put some spacers and a post together ????!!!!
    While the audience is trying to figure out how you went from the kitchen sink to the computer model:
    Just got to print these out on the 3D printer !!! (Where did the other normal appliances like toaster and microwave go?)
    Ok, spacers on, give the audience a chance to catch up and then the ultimate best part:
    “I’m going to eye-ball the measurement…” RULER TATTOO ON THE ARM !!!!
    350mm * 2..70cm…of course this is written on the can if anyone reads the can.
    The lingering question I have: why doesn’t everyone have a ruler tattooed on their arms???
    G. Miller

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