Should I use a 1/4 wave or 1/2 wave antenna?

What is the difference between a ½-wave and a ¼-wave antenna?

Antenna Type                          ½-wave      ¼-wave     
Alternate name Dipole Monopole
# of elements 2 1
Requires ground plane? No Yes
Gain (dBi) 2.1 1.9

  ¼ wavelength
Frequency      Inches      Centimeters     
915 MHz 3.1 8
2.4 GHz 1.17 3

For RF applications, 1/2 wave antenna will be more suitable compared to 1/2 wave antenna due to following reasons:

  • No Ground plane is required for 1/2 wave antenna while its required for 1/4 wave antenna.
  • More energy will be transmitted horizontally in 1/2 wave antenna compared to 1/4 wave antenna.
  • Half wave antenna will be taller is size and would therefore be able to avoid more obstacles than quarter wave antenna.
Last updated: Aug 23, 2017

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