Questions tagged [antenna-theory]

Designing antennas, selecting antennas for specific applications, properties of a given antenna design.

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23
votes
4answers
11k views

What is the relationship between SWR and receive performance?

If an antenna analyzer shows 1:1, does that mean it's an ideal receiver as well? And what about the converse, will a well performing receive antenna show a 1:1 SWR? I've wondered this for a while, ...
22
votes
2answers
4k views

How do Handheld antennas work without ground?

Dipoles have the 2 wires going to each leg of the antenna completing the circuit. Big AM towers use the second wire as a ground plane But how to handheld rigs transmit and recieve with just one wire ...
19
votes
4answers
5k 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'...
18
votes
1answer
4k views

How does moving a feedpoint off-center in a dipole affect the resonant frequency and resistive load?

Specifically, I understand that OCF dipoles change the SWR, but does it do this via reactance or resistance, or both?
17
votes
5answers
14k views

Why do folded dipoles have greater bandwidth than ordinary resonant dipoles?

This is something I've read in passing, but never encountered an explanation of why. For example, Wikipedia says: Another common place one can see dipoles is as antennas for the FM band; these are ...
17
votes
1answer
23k views

How does a mag mount antenna achieve a ground plane?

I've been thinking for some time about magnet mount mobile antennas and wondering how they establish their ground plane. Consider that many mag mount antennas have some kind of protective coating on ...
17
votes
3answers
10k views

What is the peak voltage at the tips of a dipole antenna?

What is the peak voltage present at the very end tips of half-wave dipole antenna in free space, and how might this peak voltage relate to transmitter type, transmitter power, RF frequency vs. antenna ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

What is a “random wire antenna”?

Some antenna tuners claim to match any “random wire” to any HF frequency. Can one really use a random wire as a practical antenna system? From everything I have heard, the resonance of the antenna (...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do amateur radio operators call an RF choke a balun?

When using a balanced antenna such as a half wave dipole, with an unbalanced feed line such as coax, an RF choke can be used to block RF current emitted by the transmitter from splitting up at the ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

What does the addition of a shield to a small loop accomplish?

A small shielded loop is an antenna with a loop of wire, smaller than 1/10th of a wavelength in diameter, also surrounded by a shield. Often, they are constructed from coax. There is a gap in the ...
13
votes
5answers
4k views

How does a folded dipole work?

A folded dipole is like an ordinary dipole, but with the ends extended and folded back, until they meet. Although it looks like a loop, I'm told it behaves similarly to a dipole. How does this thing ...
12
votes
6answers
23k views

Calculating Antenna Length on the FCC Exam vs. in Reality

I have seen the following formulas for calculating half and quarter wavelength antennas: Formula for $\frac{1}{2}$-wavelength antenna (in free space): \begin{equation} \mathrm{Length~(feet)} = \frac{...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Are antennas circuits?

For an antenna to work, doesn’t charge have to flow through it? A current must be present. To me it indicates it must be a circuit, but how is a dipole a circuit? If they are not circuits, then how ...
11
votes
7answers
33k views

What is a Gamma match in the context of the driven element of a Yagi antenna?

How (and why) does a Gamma match work, when used on the driven element of a Yagi antenna? As shown here: (source: http://www.iw5edi.com/ham-radio/?2-element-yagi-for-10-meters-band,49) The article ...
11
votes
3answers
6k views

Conductive boom vs non conductive boom: what's the difference on a Yagi?

I designed a Yagi antenna using 4nec2, assuming that I would use a non conductive boom. If I use an aluminum boom but I insulate the elements from the boom, can I keep the same design? How does it ...
11
votes
4answers
864 views

What is the advantage of making an antenna resonant?

I am constructing a small loop antenna; apprx 4' diameter, will be used with an antenna tuner (mounted at the feedpoint) and 100W transmitter, and hope to use it on 20m, 40m, and maybe other bands if ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Will electrically joined dipoles of different lengths, at right angles, behave as a multiband antenna?

I haven't seen this done, (which, after more than a century of amateur and professional radio development, is probably a bad sign), but I had an idea the other day for simplifying the setup and feed ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

How does a “chip antenna” work?

How does a tiny surface-mount "chip antenna" for the 2.x thru 5.x GHz frequency bands work? What allows such a tiny item to radiate or receive RF with some amount of efficiency? What allows a chip ...
10
votes
5answers
952 views

Are there formulae to calculate capacitance and inductance of an antenna?

How to calculate internal impedance of a dipole antenna? Its resistance has two components ie wire resistance and radiation resistance, both these can be calculated using formula. Are there formula to ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Can every antenna be used both for transmit and receive?

Assuming I have an antenna for receiving GPS signals, can I use it also for transmit — to create a repeater in a tunnel (or some place with no reception)?
9
votes
2answers
759 views

If two antennas of 50 Ω and 377 Ω have VSWR=1:1, then which one is more efficient?

If there are two antennas of 50 Ω and 377 Ω (same as the intrinsic impedance of air) impedance with 0 $\Omega$ ohmic resistance, and they are exactly matched with their transmission line, then which ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Antenna RX vs. TX

If I only want to receive radio signals and not transmit, are there any differences in the way I design the antenna I need to use, or is it the same either way? I was going to pick up a Realtek ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

How does a slot antenna work?

How does a so-called slot antenna work? How can one construct one? What might be the radiation pattern and efficiency compared to a wire antenna? And, if a small slot antenna "works" at mobile ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Is a multiple-wavelengths antenna possible in UHF and up?

I know that in the High Frequency regions of the ham bands, the antennas have to be sub-wavelength because most people just can't put up a 160 meter full-size antenna. Let's say we're in the 23 ...
9
votes
1answer
152 views

Antenna modeling on non-uniform terrain

I'm interested in modeling the radiation pattern of wire antennas for hf before I invest the resources necessary to erect the antenna. I'm familiar with tools such as 4nec2, but from what I can tell ...
8
votes
6answers
8k views

What is the impedance of an end-fed half-wave antenna?

It is my understanding that the feed-point impedance ($Z_a$) of an end-fed half-wave antenna is dependent on at least the following factors: $L_a$: The length of the radiating element of the antenna. ...
8
votes
5answers
9k views

Aluminum vs copper antenna element lengths

Does the particular metal used in antenna elements make any difference in element length or spacing, i.e. 1/2" aluminum tube vs 1/2" copper tube? I know that length and diameter have an effect on ...
8
votes
3answers
276 views

Wider wire = picks up more energy, yah?

I have seen many discussions re: wire gauge, insulation, velocity factor and K-factor...unfortunately, statements from various sources are not always in agreement, but that is not the issue. The issue ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

What's the difference between “minimum SWR” and “resonance”?

Is the point of minimum SWR equivalent to resonance? Exactly what does resonance mean, anyway?
8
votes
3answers
664 views

How would I calculate antenna gain?

The concept of antenna gain is pretty important for calculation of link budget and is something I've had contact with. I know that it tells me how focused the waves emitted by the antenna are and I ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Could a weather balloon make a good antenna?

I can't afford a massive tower, but I can get a weather balloon. What kind of set up would work best to get the maximum efficiency out of altitude?
8
votes
3answers
360 views

Can I use a helical ground plane radial in the same way that a loading coil works?

I'm working out the science behind mounting an antenna on a vehicle, and I came across the concept of ground planes. This answer says that longer is better but don't worry about it too much, but this ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What are some drawbacks to delta loop antennas?

They seem to be broadbanded, small, and ground-independent relative to other cheap wire antennas, so what's the catch?
8
votes
2answers
4k views

How far does an antenna need to be from metal to avoid problems?

Living in an apartment, I'm struggling to get good antennas set up, especially for HF. Worse yet, I'm not allowed external antennas (but am willing to try something low profile on the balcony), my ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What sort of radiation efficiency can one expect from a folded dipole?

It is pretty well established that folded dipoles have much greater acceptable-SWR bandwidth than ordinary dipoles. Radiation efficiency is simply the quotient of radiated power to the antenna ...
7
votes
6answers
1k 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
3answers
762 views

Estimating the efficiency of a shortened (loaded) antenna

Recently I've build a trap dipole for 20/40/80m bands. I followed an article by John DeGood, NU3E and got following measurements: From balun to 20m trap: 485 cm From 20m trap to 40m trap: 362 cm From ...
7
votes
3answers
682 views

How can the voltage at the center of a resonant half wave dipole be zero if the input impedance is 75 ohms?

If the input impedance of a resonant half wave dipole at the feed point is 75 + j0 ohms, then if an AC sine wave voltage V is applied to the feed point, how can the voltage at the center be zero ? ...
7
votes
3answers
240 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
7answers
12k views

When and why does the size of a ground plane or radials matter?

Consider these three cases: My understanding is that when building or installing an antenna designed to operate over a ground plane (e.g. a quarter-wave vertical), the size of the ground plane does ...
6
votes
8answers
9k views

How does the length of a metal sleeve around a (shieled) coax cable affect antenna performance?

A post on http://adsbexchange.com/forums/topic/beginners-2-cantenna-easy-diy-antenna-to-improve-rangeplane-count uses a $\frac{\lambda}{4}$ sleeve made of a pop can beneath a $\frac{\lambda}{4}$ wire ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

How does Wi-Fi antenna work?

Since I'm working with wireless communications, I decided it would be good to educate myself a little and at least get a basic understanding how does a Wi-Fi antenna work. My first question is about ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Dipole Antenna Current Distribution at any Time Instant

Above is a connection of half-wave dipole antenna. The book states that the current profile is same at any given time instant on both the radiators, each of quarter wavelength length. Now my ...
6
votes
1answer
203 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
3answers
690 views

Can an antenna be too powerful for certain receivers?

I'm brand new to shortwave radio and have been researching what kind of a receiver to get. I'll use it on the antenna I'll build (longwire, 50-100 feet) for shortwave listening; no transmitting. Right ...
6
votes
2answers
680 views

Antenna length in relation to lambda length

I'm pretty new with antenna stuff. I'm not sure how to understand antenna length in relation to lambda with dipole antennas. If a simple dipole antenna is lambda/4, has it a total length of lambda/2 (...
6
votes
4answers
376 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, (...
6
votes
1answer
123 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
2answers
463 views

How to increase antenna aperture?

I know that in the short wavelength region, where parabolic antennas are used, the aperture can be increased simply by making the dish larger, as is the case with the radio telescopes. But how to do ...
6
votes
1answer
292 views

How to stack circular polarised antennas

I'm interested in stacking a pair of circularly polarized "crosshair" antennas. Do I construct such as both antennas are in phase with one another then match the two signals in phase via the coax line,...

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