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Questions tagged [antenna-system]

The system composed of an antenna and a feed line, and possibly also an RF ground connection, antenna tuner, balun, phasing device, et cetera.

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19
votes
4answers
4k views

How does the signal know where the cable ends and the antenna starts?

I know very little about antennas. I know, that for a certain frequency the antenna needs a certain lengths for good sending/receiving conditions. Often the antenna is at the end of a cable. Why doesn'...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Share antenna between receiver and transceiver?

I recently put up a fan dipole for 80/40/20/10. I'm looking for a way to share this antenna with a receive-only SDR and my shack transceiver. Obviously I can just switch this antenna between the two ...
10
votes
5answers
559 views

How did hams manage to tune their antennas before VSWR meters?

In the early 20th century --back when the hobby was still new-- before VSWR meters and antenna analyzers were invented, how did radio operators know whether they were tuned for maximum power out? ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

While backpacking, is it worth mounting the antenna to the backpack frame (above my head)?

I am planning a trip with a large group in 6 weeks. We will be spread out in small groups on a trail in a mostly desert plateau landscape perhaps 5 miles apart, but mostly in a straight line. I'm new ...
10
votes
1answer
885 views

Can I have multiple inverted-vee antenna fed by a single coax?

A friend who recently received his call is planning to setup an inverted-vee for 40/20m bands. Our take is the signal will take the path of least impedance into the correct length antenna wire. ...
10
votes
1answer
736 views

What does a lightning bolt symbol next to an antenna connector mean?

On the back of my Yaesu FT-897, next to each of the antenna connectors, there are lightning-bolt-ish symbols. What do these mean, and is there something I ought to be doing because of that? I have ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

What is an antenna tuner? Why bother with resonant antennas in the first place?

There are a lot of antenna tuners on the market that have various capabilities in terms of how they can allow random radiators to work with our transceivers. What exactly do they do? My ...
9
votes
1answer
184 views

Does Coax Limit the Maximum SWR a Transmitter 'Sees'?

A recent discussion about SWR led to the assertion that a length of coax cable will ultimately limit the SWR to which the transmitter will be exposed. By experimenting with an SWR calculation tool ...
9
votes
3answers
566 views

Stealth HF station setup advice

I need some advice on setting up my first HF station in a somewhat restricted townhouse community. If I had a detached house with a backyard I’d probably already have everything setup. But with this ...
8
votes
2answers
681 views

What are some ways to ground a transmitter+antenna in an enclosed attic?

If I want to minimize "RF in the shack" and lightning hazard, what some good ways to ground a transmitter and indoor antenna in a top floor room or attic with no exterior access? (say a multi-story ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

Phasing harness for antenna array

I understand that certain antenna designs (particularly phased arrays) require feeding each radiating element with a certain number of degrees of phase separation in order to achieve a desired ...
7
votes
3answers
387 views

Attic Dipole - Impact of Ethernet over CAT5/6

I've been thinking about putting 20m and 10m dipoles up in my attic (HOA), but I also intend to soon put some Ethernet cable to a WAP (with PoE) through the attic. I was intending to feed this with ...
7
votes
6answers
860 views

Use a TV coax and balun for a poor-man's OCFD?

Can I use TV coax and a cheap TV balun to build a poor-man's OCFD? Marginal performance is acceptable if it saves money. If I could listen to 10% of transmitters within a 100 mile radius that would be ...
7
votes
2answers
10k views

Connect two receiving antennas to the same radio

I have built a 1090 MHz ADS-B antenna roughly following some video instructions. It appears to work reasonably. However, because of how it is placed, it captures signals for more or less a half of ...
7
votes
3answers
187 views

Passively reducing ground loss?

Would a disconnected wire or conductive mat below a low height antenna reduce ground losses? A tuned length of wire under a wire antenna might be suitable for NVIS gain. But would a bunch of space ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Antenna for a cramped attic

Brand new Ham. I bought a cheapo UV5 right before I got my call sign. I want to set up a decent 2m/70cm station for starters and I realize that a better radio is important but wanted to knock out the ...
7
votes
1answer
379 views

Is it safe to mount an active scanning antenna close to an hf antenna?

I live in the centre of a seaside town in the UK. Because of lack of space I have a random wire antenna in the loft of a small house, and pick up a lot of noise on the top band Sunday morning CW ...
6
votes
6answers
339 views

Is it practical to use a slug-tuned variable inductor in an antenna matcher (aka “antenna tuner”)?

I will soon need an antenna impedance match (aka "antenna tuner"), because I'll initially only have a single antenna for my HF rig (needs to cover 80m, 40m, 20m, 15m, and 10m). Obviously, in order to ...
6
votes
1answer
173 views

Two antennas on different sides of a building

I live in the 4th floor of a building with one side facing south and the other north. I am able to use my 2M mobile base transceiver with a mobile magnet mount antenna placed just outside the window. ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

What exactly is impedance?

I see "impedance" used everywhere. Equipment has an input and output impedance. Antennas and feedlines all have this 'impedance' thing. For someone that understands DC electronics, Ohm's law and a ...
6
votes
1answer
120 views

How to ground with little surface area?

Let's say I have a very small device, like an RC airplane, which transmits information as well as receiving commands for control. The body is made out of non-conductive foam, therefore not much ground ...
6
votes
1answer
182 views

Is it safe to run two barefoot rigs on one antenna with an AB switch?

I have a Daiwa CS-201A two position switch. The single side is connected to by quarter wave vertical (40m). The A and B sides are connected to an IC-7300 and TS-830S. The switch is claimed to have ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do we distinguish between balanced and unbalanced?

I hear all the time, "you need a balun between your balanced dipole and unbalanced coax to stop the common-mode current" when it seems the proper advice is "you need something to stop common-mode ...
6
votes
1answer
128 views

Why does adding 50-ohm BNC Ethernet terminator(s) in parallel to my 4-element yagi improve my radio's reception? (70cm)

I have this radio, with a rubber duck antenna, and a repeater twenty miles away to my north-northwest. If I set my radio on the top of a cabinet in my bathroom, I receive the repeater fine. I can't ...
5
votes
2answers
261 views

Share wide band antenna with multiple transceivers

I'm trying to incorporate several transceivers on my board design; I need WiFi (2.4 GHz) SatCom (~1.6 GHz) RF (~900 MHz) and GNSS (~1.5 GHz). I need to combine them into one antenna. I found a wide ...
5
votes
4answers
384 views

TV strong station has no signal when coax is connected

Right, not directly ham radio related, but this puzzles my ham brain. I have several TVs connected to a distribution amp connected to an outside antenna. All but one work fine, and the one won't ...
5
votes
5answers
127 views

How to match low impedance of NVIS Dipole?

I want to match a 50-ohm coax feed wire to a 40-meter NVIS half-wave dipole. NVIS antenna examples I've found are usually based on a regular dipole (72 ohms in free air). However the impedance drops ...
5
votes
5answers
297 views

Signal path to maximize RFI rejection in an urban environment

Urban ham here (Cambridge, MA - FN42ki - KC1JZE) looking for tips to make this hobby possible in the city. I rarely can hear both sides of HF phone transmissions, and have yet to make contacts despite ...
5
votes
1answer
313 views

Are Elevated Radials Necessary for Elevated, 5/8-wave “Ground-Plane” Antennas?

Currents at the base of an elevated, 5/8-wave, vertical ground-plane (GP) transmit antenna are lower than when that vertical conductor is 1/4-wavelength. Does this mean that the performance of the ...
5
votes
1answer
83 views

Counterpoise wire voltages?

One practice which seems common when operating temporary or portable QRP, SOTA, etc., is to throw a counterpoise wire out on the park lawn or shrubbery, mountaintop or hillside or parking lot ground, ...
5
votes
2answers
141 views

What additional information do I get from an RF ammeter, as compared to a regular SWR/wattmeter?

I've grown up using SWR/power meters. They're "simple" devices: They show forward and reverse power, and show the standing wave ratio. They, however, do not show antenna efficiency. New hams are ...
5
votes
1answer
72 views

How to model passive elements when simulating an antenna?

So I started writing an antenna simulator program to design antennas for my needs. To calculate the electric field vector at every point, I split the active element of the antenna into a large number ...
5
votes
3answers
646 views

Lightning strikes nearby and coaxial cable

A direct hit on my home by lightning is very, very unlikely. However, many lightning strikes that hit Earth nearby are by far the main hazard for ham radio gear (in my opinion, after 60 years in the ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Running ladder line through window from inside shack to outside dipole antenna - what to watch out for?

For HF operating, I am considering running a ladder line from the ATU just inside a window, through the window (squeezing it between the window and the window frame; not actually through the glass), ...
4
votes
3answers
685 views

What is the point of high gain antenna with respect to the maximum EIRP

OFCOM states that the maximum EIRP within the UK for 2.4 GHz is 100mW. Simply put, what is the point in being able to buy 2.4 GHz high gain antennas which can say do 24dBi, which already puts the ...
4
votes
3answers
167 views

Radio stops receiving as soon as the antenna is threaded all the way

Is it normal for the antenna conector of the radio to have 18ohm resistence between the inner socket(signal) and the thread (ground)? When I connect the antenna works fine if only the inner plug ...
4
votes
1answer
155 views

How does a higher antenna reduce rain static on a lower antenna?

I have operated at several stations - including my own - where a 40m beam is stacked above a tribander. During a rain storm, there is so much QRN on the 40m beam that the band is unusable, but the ...
4
votes
1answer
43 views

Antenna system components in the rain

An antenna system often consists of more than the feedline and radiating wires: such as fixed or tapped loading coils, LC traps, baluns, toroids, air variable capacitors, roller inductors, feed horns, ...
4
votes
1answer
525 views

How to bypass LNA for TX in UHF Antenna?

I want to work with amateur, low power, and/or pico satellites. I would like to use an Eggbeater or Turnstile antenna with my UHF 433 MHz radio, since those antennas are very cheap and easy to build ...
3
votes
2answers
82 views

Actual Impedence of a folded dipole at resonance

I am using a Folded Dipole which I bought when I first got my General License. It was advertised as an all band antenna. My results with it were less than the claims made by the makers to say the ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Electrical Earth

I have moved to a new flat which is on the 4 floor, luckily the landlord has let me put an OCF dipole outside with coax feeding through an existing hole in the window frame. I'm looking for some ...
3
votes
3answers
149 views

Why have knife switch storm grounds for antennas vanished?

Long ago, it was fairly standard to provide lightning protection for outdoor radio antennas by installing a large double-throw knife switch -- antenna leads to the center, radio on one side, ground on ...
3
votes
3answers
510 views

Which is better in my situation: Balanced dipole, or as much wire as possible in the air?

I'm finally getting to the point of hopefully putting up a HF antenna. The idea is to start with a simple, straight wire dipole using trees as support points. (No traps or coils.) However, with the ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

How high an SWR can the USRP 2901 (B210) handle?

I connected a USRP 2901 (B210) to an amplifier I designed. The USRP seems to shutdown every time I try to transmit. I guess I messed up with the input impedance matching on the amplifier. Is it the ...
3
votes
0answers
39 views

How to simulate two antennas in 4nec2

I need to simulate 2 helix antennae placed side by side, and see the resultant radiation pattern. But after adding the second antenna with a separate and when I try to simulate 4nec2, only simulated ...
2
votes
3answers
733 views

VHF 50 Ω Antenna Over 75 Ω TV Coax

I have a 50 Ω VHF airband antenna which I’m planning to install in my loft, for use with a RaspberryPi-based RTLSDR scanner/receiver. I already have a UK-standard UHF/Freeview antenna using standard ...
2
votes
1answer
134 views

What dictates ladder line max frequency? [duplicate]

When using ladder line to feed an antenna, I've seen it written that The spacing should not be over 1 percent of the highest-frequency wavelength, and that’s the only real consideration with ...
2
votes
5answers
610 views

What would be the easiest and most cost effective ground system for a startup UHF/VHF station

I just passed both my Technician and General Class license this past weekend, and am now contemplating my first station. To get my feet wet I'm planning on getting a Yaesu FT-7900R Dual band Radio ...
2
votes
2answers
77 views

Using two VHF antennas vs one because of a large obstruction

We have a VHF Omni directional antenna, 2.5 W and 119 MHZ (approximate) mounted on top of a commercial hanger. Access to the antenna is out of the question because of the lack of fall protection. ...
2
votes
2answers
132 views

How to safely connect a digital output to a receiver's antenna input?

Suppose I have a 3.3 or 5V GPIO digital signal (from an Arduino or Raspberry Pi, etc.), periodically toggling at some HF or VHF frequency. Since it has such a "dirty" spectrum, I don't want to hook ...