Questions tagged [antenna]

Questions about the design, selection, building, testing, mounting, or properties of antennas. See also specific tags: [antenna-theory], [antenna-construction], [dipole], etc.

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9
votes
2answers
2k views

Are satellites Left or Right hand circularly polarized?

I'm thinking of building some helical antennas for satellite work. I want to know which way to wind them. If satellites are spinning randomly, how can we know if they are left hand or right hand ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the theoretical performance of a 2m 1/4 wave ground plane antenna when used at 70cm?

If I have a 2-meter 1/4 wave ground plane antenna with 1/4 wave radials bent down at approximately 45 degrees, what kind of performance in terms of SWR and gain pattern can I expect when using it on ...
6
votes
6answers
5k views

Why is antenna aperture a function of wavelength?

Wikipedia says: It can be shown that the aperture of a lossless isotropic antenna, which by definition has unity gain, is: $$ A_{\mathit{eff}} = \frac {\lambda^2}{4 \pi}$$ We also see this emerge as ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

If I install a G5RV in my attic how could I be certain there are not harmful levels of RF in the shack, or my kids bedroom?

I assume that anyone who has a G5RV or G5RV junior in their attic has done so with ceramic spacers, and has zigzag or dog-leg installations, or otherwise has contorted the antenna to fit up there. My ...
8
votes
3answers
651 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
338 views

What is the average fade margin required for proper operation at 2.4 GHz?

I have two radios. Sensitivity is -84 dBm and transmitting EIRP is +30 dBm. How much distance should I expect? I want it to be somewhere near about 2-3 km. Is it possible?
2
votes
1answer
241 views

Maximum Input Wattage of MFJ-1717PL Antenna

I was wondering if anybody knew the maximum input wattage of the MFJ-1717PL Antenna. I was going to use this with the Yaesu FT-1900R mobile radio mounted in a Pelican case.
20
votes
10answers
91k views

What antenna on a BaoFeng UV-5R Pro will give me better reception? [closed]

I am happy with my BaoFeng UV-5R Pro but the local UHV VHF repeater and simplex reception is terrible, even for contacts less than 50 kilometers. I assume that it's because the rubber-ducky antenna on ...
3
votes
2answers
391 views

How can I know over what distance or at what speed I can communicate? [closed]

Given some description of some parameters like: transmitter power frequency antenna location time of day how can I know over what distance communication is possible? Can I know the limits to these ...
3
votes
6answers
3k views

Smallest HF antenna for DX?

There seem to be reports of people trying to see how far an HF DX contact can be made using the tiniest transmit power (mW or even sub-mW QRP). But many of these contacts seem to be accomplished ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Patch Bowtie Antenna Design

I would appreciate it if someone could help me in designing a patch bowtie antenna. I would like to know the frequency and the bandwidth in terms of the length, angle and the length and width of the ...
16
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Can an HF antenna be put inside a tree?

There are some trees around with branchy tops that seem wider than half of 10M, maybe even half of 20M, and above the nearby rooftops. Can a wire dipole or a vertical be mounted inside a tree? If so,...
33
votes
4answers
47k views

Effect of different metals for antenna elements

Other than rust, corrosion, and other reactions with air that would make the use of a metal unfavorable, how do different metals affect the performance? Let's give Yagi an example: Let's say I use 4 ...
5
votes
2answers
7k views

How to construct a loop antenna for receiving HF?

I have a unused hula-hoop in my garage, and I ran some stranded speaker wire around it once, and attached one side of the wire to the coax shielding, and the other to the coax core wire. Is this the ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Homebrew 2 meter Yagi construction

Here is what I have • A Baofeng Uv-82 transceiver • A 1/2 inch 10 foot PVC pipe • 3 1/4 inch x 36 inch Aluminum rods • 2 1/4 inch x 48 inch Steel rods (I know they'll rust, it's just temporary to ...
4
votes
3answers
578 views

Height and feedline loss tradeoff for VHF

Currently my 2m antenna is about 3m above the ground inside, my HF antenna is connected to 30m (2db loss) coax and is about 12m up. Since the loss for 2m is a lot more when traveling down such a long ...
6
votes
1answer
683 views

What should I look for in an antenna for a DVBT Dongle used for SDR?

I use a cheap DVBT dongle that I control via RTL-SDR. Right now a very basic setup. The general consensus seems to be that a long usb cable should be used (to keep noise from the computer away from ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

What are some good options for covert dual band vehicle antennas?

Would like to have a 50W mobile in my SUV, but I'm not allowed to have a big whip on the outside. What 2m/70cm dual band antennas are available that don't say, "Ham Radio Operator"? Are there three ...
2
votes
2answers
169 views

Measuring antenna characteristics without physical access?

There is a loop antenna that was thrown around an attic interior several decades ago, of long forgotten dimensions. I found the feed line. Is there a way to measure what (U.S. amateur) bands on ...
9
votes
2answers
751 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Does increasing the number of turns on a loop antenna decrease frequency operation?

Lets say I want to make a VLF loop antenna for a Sub AM radio band. I don't want a full wavelength because that would be a humongous antenna. Would I wind more turns of wire to decrease the frequency ...
2
votes
0answers
553 views

The knob on rabbit ears [closed]

So I was reading some fiction about where the character bought a television and "and the fanciest pair of rabbit ears available. The rabbit ears even had a large tuner knob built in to it that I'm ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

What's an appropriate core material for a loopstick antenna?

A loopstick antenna, if you don't know, is a coil of many turns around a high permeability core. They are frequently encountered in AM receivers and look like this: This particular example is ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How might one realize a first order, two dimensional RF field antenna for HF?

I just coined the term "field antenna". It is by analogy to the lightfield camera or the soundfield microphone. Essentially, it is an antenna that captures not only the strength of an RF field, but ...
20
votes
2answers
11k views

What makes a 5/8 wavelength vertical desirable?

An ordinary 1/4 wavelength vertical is smaller and resonant without any loading coil or matching network. What's the advantage to a 5/8 wavelength vertical? Why 5/8 in particular, and not something ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
132 views

Will swapping receiver polarity on a spiral antenna change right hand to left hand polarization?

I'm evaluating a helix antenna, and wanted to try out a reverse circular polarization than it's designed for. I do know that it's balanced and has no other components that would preclude polarity ...
3
votes
1answer
659 views

Why are loop antennas placed horizontally in HF

I am thinking of a large (circumference $\approx \lambda$) loop antenna at low (HF) frequencies. At higher frequencies the loops are used as quad antennas that have relatively high gain towards the ...
9
votes
6answers
29k views

Is there a simple, DIY, antenna suitable for HF receive only?

So the antenna I'm thinking about doing might be* way too large for my property. Is there another simple, cheap, DIY antenna I could try on my receiver? I know I'm going to want to hook it up and ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What impedance matching do I need between my 300Ω feedline and Softrock receiver?

I will be assembling a Softrock Ensemble II HF receiver, and I know I'm going to want it on air as soon as I build it, so I'm challenging myself to build an antenna for it first. The plan is to do a ...
2
votes
2answers
245 views

Can I use two antennas and coax to couple RF into my aluminum sided house?

I have an aluminum sided house, and when I'm using my HT I typically need to be near a window for it to work well. Would I gain much if I put an antenna on the roof, an antenna in the middle of my ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

Does oxidation of the antenna elements have any impact on the signal quality of the station?

So I'm still QRT; apart from a brown-out on the rig, the support on the inverted-vee toppled over in high winds. Thanks to the topple-over I discovered the conductors (SWG 16 bare copper) had ...
8
votes
1answer
346 views

Variable phase antenna

I'm thinking about phased antenna arrays, and am wondering if it's possible to have three fixed position antennas, and vary the length of their individual feedlines to the common point through ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

DIY lightning arrestor - gap size?

I have an antenna that's well above the treeline, and I've heard I can add some small amount of protection by placing two bolt heads a short distance from each other, one connected to the antenna, the ...
6
votes
1answer
241 views

Why do some antennas list modulation type alongside power rating?

Looking at HF antennas I've noticed that occasionally I'll see power ratings similar to "200W (SSB)". Why would the modulation matter for an antenna's power output rating, and in the absence of other ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
394 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Choke at antenna and feedpoint?

I'm planning on putting up a G5RV. From the ladder line I connect 5m coax to the shack; would it be worth doing a common mode current choke at both the antenna feedpoint and the coax feedpoint? (I ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the electrical shock risk of an antenna?

I've seen people refer to avoiding touching an antenna or bare transmission line that might be transmitting. What voltage potentials and currents are commonly found on typical ham radio antennas? Do ...
7
votes
1answer
581 views

Is bending the tips of the antenna wires going to affect the effective length?

I'm looking at designs for low cost DIY yagi antennas for a fox hunt, and pondering coat hanger wire and PVC piping. I'd like them to be built by the youth who will be doing the fox hunt, but that ...
10
votes
1answer
227 views

What is body blocking, and does it work with a stock HT on a foxhunt?

I've heard that you might not need a special directional antenna to participate in a foxhunt, that some people are able to use their body to help determine the direction of a signal. How does this ...
7
votes
1answer
351 views

Simple cheap foxhunting?

I'm currently looking to do a foxhunt for a youth group, and need to keep it inexpensive and easy enough that it won't be impossible for those new to foxhunting and ham radio, but difficult enough ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Is a vertical noisier than a dipole, and if so, why?

I've had people tell me, anecdotally, that a vertical is noisier than a dipole. Is this true, and if so, why? If it is true: Is this additional noise, such that SNR is degraded, or is the vertical ...
18
votes
5answers
13k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Buddipole model comparison

Can anyone give me some insight into the different Buddipole models available? They look pretty similar to me except for the sizes. What would make you choose one over the other?
10
votes
3answers
433 views

Using MIMO in Amateur Radio?

MIMO, Multiple Input, Multiple Output, is used widely in commercial data transmission. 802.11n and LTE devices use it to increase throughput, link reliability, and channel usage without increasing ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

What type of solder is best suited for radio and electronic use?

Many types of solder are available today, such as acid-core, silver, rosin-core and aluminum solder. What kind should I use for building antennas and radio equipment? Why? From test question: T7D08
3
votes
1answer
511 views

Are there any antennas I shouldn't use in my car?

I've heard that "rubber duck" antennas shouldn't be used inside an automobile. What is the reason for this, and are there any other types of antennas that shouldn't be used inside a vehicle? From ...