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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21 votes
4 answers
6k 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'...
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12 votes
4 answers
4k 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 ...
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12 votes
3 answers
5k 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 ...
  • 817
11 votes
6 answers
3k 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
5 answers
1k 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? ...
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10 votes
1 answer
1k 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. ...
  • 2,754
10 votes
4 answers
8k 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 ...
  • 203
10 votes
1 answer
288 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 ...
  • 18.2k
10 votes
3 answers
907 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 ...
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10 votes
1 answer
913 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 ...
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9 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
  • 763
9 votes
2 answers
14k 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 ...
9 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
  • 12.6k
8 votes
6 answers
2k 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 ...
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8 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
8 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
  • 205
7 votes
7 answers
1k 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 ...
  • 3,901
7 votes
3 answers
380 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 ...
  • 12.6k
7 votes
1 answer
425 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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
105 views

S Parameters in HFSS

I'm new to HFSS Software and I'm trying to plot Scattering parameters for a dielectric resonator excited by a probe (shown in image). I know that the top cylinder has a higher dielectric than the ...
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6 votes
6 answers
609 views

If receive performance doesn't depend on SWR, then how can I tune my manual HF antenna tuner by band noise?

The popular question "What is the relationship between SWR and receive performance?" asks if a receiver with a well-matched antenna (low SWR) beats a receiver with a poorly-matched antenna, ...
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6 votes
2 answers
157 views

Where can one get a "listed" SO-239 lightning arrester?

According to this summary of NEC requirements for radio antenna grounding (from 2014, but hopefully still somewhat accurate): https://www.mikeholt.com/files/PDF/Radio_and_Television_2014NEC.pdf It ...
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

Any reason not to choose a discone antenna over a Wide/ MultiBand mobile antenna for TX/RX operations

We are setting up a all-band radio in an emergency com center that's intended most for amateur band use, but since its' for emergency use will also be used in the public safety bands; (150-170)MHz, (...
  • 339
6 votes
1 answer
287 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
3 answers
4k 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
1 answer
133 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 ...
  • 7,432
6 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
  • 2,892
6 votes
1 answer
248 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 ...
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6 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
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6 votes
1 answer
214 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
7 answers
1k 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
2 answers
517 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
4 answers
618 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 ...
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5 votes
5 answers
818 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
2 answers
207 views

Will a HF beam antenna on rooftop building interfere with other antennas there

I am moving into an apartment on the top floor of a building and I intend to install a HF beam antenna for 20 to 10 meters, on the rooftop of the building. I notice that there are already some ...
5 votes
2 answers
131 views

Do I need a precision wattmeter or will a $50 one suffice?

My transceiver has a built-in wattmeter but I've decided to buy an outboard one to monitor the antenna system before it reaches the ATU. I'm capable of putting out 100 Watts and I see that several ...
  • 403
5 votes
1 answer
75 views

Acceptable RF radiation exposure to electronic equipment

I'm wondering if there are any general guidelines or rules of thumb about the exposure of electronic equipment to RF transmissions, 150 MHz - 900 MHz. The background is that we are looking to install ...
  • 339
5 votes
1 answer
272 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, ...
  • 12.6k
5 votes
2 answers
545 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 ...
  • 2,715
5 votes
1 answer
111 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 ...
  • 51
5 votes
3 answers
2k 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), ...
  • 4,810
4 votes
2 answers
470 views

Actual Impedance 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 ...
4 votes
5 answers
244 views

Antenna grounding / bonding in relation to my AC service (with pictures)

I'm trying to figure out how to properly connect new ground rods for an antenna to my main panel. Any advice from those who have done this + have great electrical knowledge would be greatly ...
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4 votes
3 answers
390 views

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

Is it normal for the antenna connector of the radio to have 18ohm resistance between the inner socket(signal) and the thread (ground)? When I connect the antenna, it works fine if only the inner plug ...
  • 103
4 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
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4 votes
4 answers
503 views

Is an antenna always matched to free space impedance?

In this thesis the following model for an antenna is proposed: It is seen as a 2 port network, in which only port 1 is accessible (port 2 is an imaginary connection between the antenna and the free ...
  • 279
4 votes
1 answer
303 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 ...
  • 7,713
4 votes
1 answer
68 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, ...
  • 12.6k
4 votes
3 answers
802 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 ...
  • 4,810
4 votes
1 answer
125 views

Frequency selective surfaces working principle

I've seen that sometimes frequency selective surfaces are used to load a certain impedance to a certain antenna (for instance for input matching purposes). These surfaces act like a filter on the ...
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