That is a fair question. I believe the answer depends upon the type of
antenna you are constructing, and the circumstances and location where
you install it.
If you are speaking about constructing a standard dipole cut for the
frequency you intend to use it on, you can most likely do well without
antenna analyzer; just be careful how you measure the wire elements.
Similarly, for an all band doublet, perhaps longer than 135 feet, where
length is not a major issue, and you will use a broad band transmatch,
and I am sure there are other types of antenna, which can be
constructed as resonant and with low SWR without making substantial
adjustments. I suspect it turns on the antenna design, and how
predictable it will perform in a given location -- not all antennas
being amenable to immediate use upon even careful construction without
some - and sometimes substantial - adjustment.
Conversely, I suspect other antenna designs require substantial
adjustment, either inherently because of design, or because of the
installation location (i.e., where resonance or SWR may be shifted or
altered by proximity to other antennas, metal objects, height above the
earth, etc. -- without being too specific here...) In these cases, one
can use an antenna analyzer to avoid a lot of experimentation and trial
and error adjustment, which may include many trips back to the operating
position in the shack, to see how adjustments affect results, and how
the antenna works with the rig.
So, I am sure you can live a good life without an antenna analyzer.
However, I figure it is kind of like air-conditioning in your home: you
can live without air conditioning most anywhere in the USA, but once you
have it, you never, ever live without it again! I put up one of
those silly ham stick dipoles last weekend, mostly as an experiment and
for fun, and as a possible travel antenna to put in my camper trailer --
and it would have been an awful thing to adjust without the antenna
analyzer (MFJ-259B). Parenthetically, it performs rather well -- far
exceeding my expectations. From Michigan, I reached Massachusetts,
Connecticut, both Carolinas, Louisiana, Texas, and several points in
between. Of course, this only whets my appetite for a "real" antenna...
Happy trails and good luck with any project you begin!
Happy trails and 73. ---- Richards - K8JHR ----
Tom Osborne wrote:
> I been putting antenns up for over 50 years and only had an analyzer for the
> last 2 years. For the first 25 years didn't even have a SWR bridge.
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