The Story of End-Fed Half-Wave Antennas: Let’s Dive In!

Marius Lubbe ZS1ML

Hey there, fellow radio enthusiasts! I’m absolutely thrilled to take you on an adventure into the world of antennas. Today, we’re going to unravel the intriguing history, inner workings, and exceptional qualities of end-fed half-wave antennas. And to make things even more exciting, we’ll also explore the fantastic features of the MFJ-1984MP, a popular end-fed half-wave antenna on the market today.

The History of End-Fed Half-Wave Antennas:

Alright, let’s kick things off by delving into the fascinating origins of end-fed half-wave antennas. Picture this: it’s the early days of radio experimentation, and people are all hyped about this amazing technology. But there’s a snag – traditional half-wave antennas require a ground plane or counterpoise, which limits their mobility and practicality.

Fast forward to the mid-20th century, and along comes Arthur A. Collins, the genius behind Collins Radio Company. He saw the potential of using a half-wavelength resonant antenna for maximum efficiency. But he wasn’t content with the limitations posed by ground planes. So, he put on his thinking cap and came up with a game-changing solution: the end-fed half-wave antenna!

How Does It Work?

Alright, time to demystify the magic behind end-fed half-wave antennas. So, imagine you’ve got this antenna, right? One end is connected to the transmission line or feedline, while the other end is left wide open. Now, what happens is that we carefully match the electrical length of the antenna to half a wavelength at the desired frequency. This magical resonance allows for super-efficient transfer of electromagnetic energy to and from the antenna.

But hold on, we’re not done yet! The key to the whole shebang lies in the quarter-wave transformer or “matching network.” This nifty network takes care of the impedance transformation between the feedline and the antenna, ensuring optimal power transfer and minimizing standing wave ratio (SWR). And trust me, proper matching is crucial for getting the best performance out of your antenna and reducing any pesky RF interference.

The MFJ-1984MP:

Now that we’ve cracked the code on end-fed half-wave antennas, let’s talk about a real rockstar in the world of these antennas – the MFJ-1984MP. You’ve got to hand it to MFJ Enterprises; they know their stuff when it comes to amateur radio equipment.

The MFJ-1984MP is a compact, lightweight, and portable antenna that’s tailor-made for all your outdoor adventures. Whether you’re hiking, camping, or engaging in emergency communications, this beauty has got your back!

With a total length of 66 feet (or 20 meters), the MFJ-1984MP is a versatile champ. It’s resonant at multiple amateur radio bands like 40, 20, 15, 10, and 6 meters. And here’s the best part: no complicated tuning or adjustments required! You simply set it up, and it’s good to go across a wide range of frequencies.

But that’s not all. The MFJ-1984MP comes with a built-in matching network that makes tuning a breeze. It ensures you get a low SWR, meaning you’ll enjoy efficient signal transfer and minimal power loss. Plus, let’s not forget about its sturdy construction and high-quality materials, making it durable and reliable for the long haul.


Well, my fellow radio enthusiasts, we’ve embarked on a thrilling journey through the history, workings, and remarkable features of end-fed half-wave antennas. From the brainchild of Arthur A. Collins to the fantastic MFJ-1984MP, we’ve witnessed the evolution and impact of this antenna design.

As technology continues to march forward, we can only imagine what exciting innovations lie ahead in the world of antenna design. But one thing’s for sure: the end-fed half-wave antenna will always hold a special place in our hearts. Its portability, efficiency, and versatility make it a go-to choice for radio adventurers, emergency communicators, and anyone passionate about unlocking the wonders of the airwaves.

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