Piano Wire Antenna For Flexible Antennas

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by electronewb, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. electronewb

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 24, 2012
    Hi I red somewhere that some people actually build antennas made of piano wire. This is exactly what I need. I need some 5Ghz super flexible antennas for a wireless video system. Right now the stock antennas for that unit are the typical duck antennas and they get stuck everywhere and break very easy. Is it possible to use piano wire for a dipole antenna? I've never worked or use piano wire before but apparently unless heated you cannot bend it?
    I was thinking of finding the right gauge that matched a male SMS connector solder the piano wire into it cover it with some lose tubing and a cap for the tip of the antenna. Would that work?
  2. SLK001

    Senior Member

    Nov 29, 2011
    Yes, you can use piano wire for an antenna. A lot of antennas use copper (or other) plated "piano" wire.

    You can bend it without heating to a certain extent.

    You also cannot solder bare piano wire easily (it requires acid flux to wet).
  3. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    Actually, the specifications for piano wire include being bent on itself without breaking. Look in a piano and you will see the wire wrapped around the posts and itself.
    Piano wire is hardened by the way it is worked and drawn. It is not simply heat hardened. If you try to heat harden it, it will get brittle.

    If you need a sharp bend in it, it is usually best to wrap it onto or around something. That will help you maintain its minimal allowed radius and not get smaller. Now, as for the underlined portion, I am not sure what you mean. Piano wire is springy but not real flexible. Once you bend it to take a set, do not try to remove that bend or it may crack.

  4. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
    I have two ASUS routers and their antenna's were bad. I've replaced 3 on one router and they are definitely much better constructed.


    The weird part is the original antenna's themselves are about 1/2 the length of the plastic pieces, so it's probably all for show.
  5. electronewb

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 24, 2012
    I took apart a flexible antenna and it does look like piano wire!! Basically 2 pieces of piano wires side by side, one goes into the SMA connector and the other piece is wrapped in a heatshrink and is used as a guide for the actual antenna so it gives it more rigidity. What else could be used to make a unbendable flexible antenna? Before I scrap all the antennas I find I'd like to know what else it could be!!!!
  6. WBahn


    Mar 31, 2012
    What is an "unbendable flexible" antenna?

    Do you mean something that can be bent but will spring back to its original shape?

    You could probably use a shape-memory alloy to achieve that -- if it's electrical characteristics are good enough to be used as an antenna.
  7. electronewb

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 24, 2012
    Made up term, meaning It won't keep the memory if bent and it's flexible!!!!