160 m Dipole Antenna Length Calculator

This tool calculates the physical dimensions of a 160 meter dipole antenna.

At 160 meters, the dipole length (L) is 249.8 feet. The length of each element of the dipole (l) is half of that at 124.9 feet.


The total length (L) of the dipole antenna is calculated as:

L = 468 / f

where f is the frequency in MHz.

f is calculated from the wavelength. For 160m the frequency is 1.87 MHz.

The length of each arm of the dipole is given by the formula

l = L/2


160 meter band

160 meters is the oldest amateur radio band. It also used to be the lowest frequency band allocated to the amateur radio community. It falls within the medium frequency (MF) range and is commonly referred to as the 1.8 MHz or 160 m band.

The popularity of the 160m band has decreased over time. One reason for this is the large amount of real estate required to deploy antennas for instance.

Due to its long wavelength, propagation on 160 meters presents unique challenges. It requires large antennas, such as a full-size dipole, Inverted V or an inverted-L antenna, to effectively radiate and receive signals on this band.

Some hams install loading coils to shorten the antenna length. The most common mode of operation on 160 meters is either CW (continuous wave) or digital. These modes require less bandwidth and are more efficient in low signal conditions, which are often experienced on this band.

Propagation on 160 meters is highly dependent on atmospheric conditions, and it is particularly affected by sunspot solar activity. During periods of low solar activity, better long-distance communication is possible, making it an exciting band for amateur radio operators to explore.

160 meters is also a noisy band. In fact it’s a lot noisier than higher frequency bands. This is a result of both atmospheric noise in addition to RF interference due to other radio infrastructure.

What is a Dipole Antenna?

The dipole antenna consists of two conductive elements. Hence the name dipole. The two elements are parallel to each other and separated by a gap. The current flows through both conductors and causes the antenna to radiate, creating an RF signal that is radiated outward from the antenna. The radiation pattern is maximum in the direction perpendicular to the dipole.

What is the 160 m band plan?

A band plan refers to a set of frequency allocations within a certain range, measured in GHz, MHz, kHz, designated for specific modes of communication. In the world of amateur radio, band plans are crucial for ensuring orderly and efficient use of frequencies.

Each amateur band has its own band plan to regulate the use of frequencies and avoid interference between users. The 160 meter band covers frequencies from 1.8 to 2 MHz and is primarily used for long-distance communications. This band allows for various modes of communication such as CW (continuous wave) and digital modes.

Ham radio enthusiasts must have their own station and a valid amateur radio license to access these bands. Understanding and adhering to the band plan is essential to making contacts with other hams and ensuring smooth propagation of signals. By following the guidelines outlined in the band plan, operators can maximize their radio frequency usage and make the most out of their amateur radio experience.

The table below shows the 160 m band plan

1.800 – 2.000CW
1.800 – 1.810Digital Modes
1.810CW QRP
1.843 – 2.000SSB, SSTV and other wideband modes
1.910SSB QRP
1.995 – 2.000Experimental
1.999 – 2.000Beacons

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