Q: Why do I measure a dead short across my antenna system?

There is an impedance matching circuit at the base of the antenna that presents a 50 ohm impedance match over the range of radio frequencies that the antenna has been built for. A multimeter is testing for Direct Current (D.C.) continuity. That inductance in the matching circuit is a short circuit to DC signals and therefore the multimeter sees a short circuit. This is normal!

So how to check if the antenna system is working? You have to use other test equipment such as a VSWR meter, antenna analyser or Field Strength Meter.

You will also measure dead shorts using a multimeter with other types of antenna such as yagi directional and collinear omni-directional antennas.

A multimeter will be measuring the DC resistance of the antenna system. If we look at the circuit of for example an end-fed dipole antenna, we have this: -


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