ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Pros and Cons of Monopole Antennas

Updated on November 21, 2019
tamarawilhite profile image

Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author.

What Is a Monopole Antenna?

A monopole antenna consists of a straight rod or rod-shaped conductor, and it may or may not be mounted perpendicularly to a conductive surface (ground plane). Inverted-F antennas, for example, consist of a monopole antenna parallel to the ground plane and grounded at the mounted end.

A monopole antenna is considered half of a dipole antenna. Quarter wavelength monopole antennas must have a ground system. The classic “whip” antenna is a type of monopole antenna.

The dipole antenna has two conductive elements that are typically bilaterally symmetrical, while the monopole has just one element. The metallic ground plane reflects signals up, causing the monopole to act like a dipole but often with a much shorter antenna because of the ground plane.

A quarter wave whip antenna will have on average 3 dB gain greater than a half dipole if mounted to a ground plane. Putting an inductor near the base of the monopole antenna helps compensate for the capacitive reactance, giving the quarter wave monopole performance almost as good as a half wave monopole.

Monopole antennas
Monopole antennas | Source

The Advantages of Monopole Antennas

As the monopole antenna gets longer and the ground losses are reduced, the efficiency of the antenna gets better. Vertical monopole antennas can achieve efficiencies of up to 80%.

A vertical monopole antenna can be used for any frequency shorter than two thirds of the wavelength.

Monopole antennas are a simple omnidirectional antenna that takes up far less space than an array of wheel antennas stacked on top of each other. The monopole antenna can handle communications in any direction except straight up above the antenna.

Monopole antennas are easy to build and install. Passive monopoles are cheap to make and rugged.

If working with frequencies over 800 MHz, the monopole antenna can be made out of the trace on a printed circuit board; this is standard for cell phones.

A monopole antenna has relatively high reactive impedance over most of its frequency range. Put an active amplifier with ah high input impedance, and you can transform the impedance without losing any sensitivity.

The Disadvantages of Monopole Antennas

Because you are radiating equally in all directions, you have equally poor radiation in all directions.

The “torus” shape doesn’t extend to the top of the antenna because the voltage increases as it travels up the antenna. In reality, the signal is sent from the bottom two thirds of the antenna.

Metal objects and the ground itself can cause signal reflections, so you may get a signal that is both horizontally and vertically polarized.

Inside a shielded chamber, monopole antennas can have impedances vary by orders of magnitude, making it difficult to calibrate. Take measurements too close to the tip of the antenna or ground plane, and they will likely be wrong.

A Note on Inverted-F Antennas

Inverted F-antennas’ impedance matching can be done without extraneous parts. They also tend to be shorter and more compact than a simple monopole antenna. Inverted-F antennas can be built into printed circuit board antennas just as monopole antennas can be. The inverted-F antenna is often used for wireless antennas in mobile devices.


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)