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
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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 ...
9
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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
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2answers
1k views

Marine VHF whip antennae - what are they?

For marine VHF (156~162 MHz), the most commonly used antenna is a 1/2-wave dipole or a collinear array in the form of a fibreglass rod. Collinear arrays are used to increase gain in some antennas. ...
9
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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 ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Why is the risk of damage to a transmitter due to a mismatched antenna at lower frequencies greater?

A quick follow-up to this answer ... If the impedance mismatch is large, you risk damaging your radio, particularly on the lower frequencies ... I'm sorry to be so dense, but uh why is the risk ...
9
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3answers
3k 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
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1answer
740 views

What is the correct procedure to beam long-path?

I'm new to directional beam antennas, and saw that K9W Wake Island DXpedition was working 10 meters "long-path" at 1230z, or 6:30a.m. in Texas. This was late enough for the sun to be coming up, but is ...
9
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1answer
133 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 ...
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5answers
5k 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
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4answers
206 views

Why are there differences in antennas that depend on electrical component and magnetic component of a radio wave?

I understand the idea that when we are targeting the electrical component of the radio waves we need to have some form of a linear conductor that receives the electrical component, this creates a ...
8
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2answers
756 views

Vertical antenna on HF?

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using a vertical antenna on high frequency? Are there any better antenna types that I should use?
8
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2answers
3k views

How does a Dual Band Handheld Antenna work?

Looking to get a (highly recommended) NAGOYA NA-771 37cm "Dual band (2M/70cm) handheld antenna" for my Baofeng UV-5R. If my math is correct - this is about a half-wavelength antenna for 70cm, but ...
8
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3answers
5k views

Why is the electric field orthogonal to the magnetic field from an antenna?

I've read in several places that the electric field is 90 degrees orthogonal to the magnetic field, and both are orthogonal to the direction of the wave from a transmitting antenna. What causes this? ...
8
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3answers
661 views

What gain do I need to talk to SO-50 with my HT?

My HT has 5 W of power, a sensitivity of about 0.2 µV, and I would like to talk to the SO-50 with it. How much gain do I need in my antenna to make this work?
8
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4answers
10k views

How to improve VHF/UHF Baofeng UV-82 HT reception in vehicle

I have a Baofeng UV-82 dual-band (2m/70cm) HT with an SMA male connector for the stock "rubber-ducky" antenna. I would like to use it in my vehicle. I would like a high-quality magnetic mount dual-...
8
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4answers
3k 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
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3answers
579 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
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2answers
2k views

What determines power handling capacity of an antenna?

I just bought a cheap 1/4-wavelength, 2m. mag-mount antenna. The package says it can handle 50 watts. I can think of three things that could limit the capacity: $I^2R$ losses in the connection to the ...
8
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1answer
641 views

Do I need a SWR meter for a basic 2 meter antenna?

I have a 5 watt 2 meter handheld transceiver and want to build a helmet with an antenna, microphone (with VOX enabled) and earpiece for the radio. For the antenna part, I just want to do something ...
8
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4answers
2k views

Has a vehicle magnetic antenna mount ever caused a road accident?

Some people believe that mag mount magnets lose their effectiveness over time, eventually causing a dangerous situation as the antenna could rip loose from the vehicle and become a projectile or ...
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2answers
770 views

cubesat turnstile antenna material selection

My cubesat team is working on our design for rolled whip antennas to deploy in a UHF turnstile configuration based on this design: What I would like advice on is the material for the antennas ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Broadcasting a WiFi SSID long-distance

Which equipment would be good for broadcasting a WiFi SSID the longest possible range? We're making an orienteering race in a forest and would place a sender somewhere high over the trees, ...
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3answers
2k views

Will anodizing or powder coating or wetcoating (painting) antenna elements affect performance?

I want to put up a small tower and beam on my roof, but I don’t want the aluminum to “stick out” and want it to be unnoticeable as possible. I would think black anodizing would be the best solution ...
8
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1answer
801 views

Is a VHF antenna on a vehicle's body a bad idea?

For context, I'm brand new, with nothing but an HT & 19" dual band (2m/70cm) whip on it. While I'll likely go with a magnetically mounted vertical antenna, I've been thinking of other more covert ...
8
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2answers
221 views

What will I need to receive the ICE/ISEE-3 transmitter?

The ICE/ISEE-3 spacecraft, launched in 1979, is due to pass by the earth in August, 2014. It was commanded to power down completely years ago, but it appears to have failed to do so, and while it ...
8
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3answers
874 views

What is the proper way to ground your station's antenna?

I don't understand how you would go about giving an RF ground to your antenna. Would it not become an additional radial and affect the signal? What is the proper way to ground your station's antenna?...
8
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3answers
162 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
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2answers
192 views

How to derive antenna gain from radiation pattern

I need to calculate the antenna gain in both dimensions: azimuth and elevation. The datasheet of the antennas I am using has two different radiation patterns, one for the elevation and one for the ...
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1answer
216 views

SWR Measured at the Transmitter versus SWR at the Antenna

It is fairly well understood that due to transmission line losses, the SWR as measured at the transmitter will be less than the SWR at the antenna. Some of the new antenna analyzers and some vector ...
8
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1answer
188 views

Antenna size for wideband

I just bought a SDR dongle that comes with an antenna. The dongle is for DVB-T. The antenna is very small but the specs say that the dongle can go 30Mhz to 850Mhz. From my knowledge of antenna ...
8
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1answer
476 views

Why must twin-lead conductor spacing be small to avoid radiation?

A transmission line does not radiate when the spacing between the two wires is very small when compared to the wavelength, but the transmission line begins to radiate when the spacing between the ...
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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 ...
8
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2answers
988 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
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1answer
3k 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 ...
8
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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 ...
8
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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
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2answers
1k views

Is this a broadcasting antenna?

We bought an old house and found an antenna inside the attic of the house. I don't know much about antennas or radio but searching in Google I found a similarly shaped one and it describes it as a ...
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6answers
757 views

Can I talk 2 Meter VHF across the United States

Can I talk on 2 meters from the east coast to the west coast without using repeaters?
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2answers
986 views

Moon->Earth 433MHz link achievable digital bandwidth

Let's assume we have the following situation: Transmitter on moon orbit (distance from earth ~400'000km), around 433Mhz. Transmitter power 1W, antenna gain 10dB, circular polarization. Steered to ...
7
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4answers
168 views

Real world performance of magnetic loop antennas?

I was investigating about magnetic loop antennas. In a paper about them I found some bold claims: and This almost sounds too good to be true, considering a lot of us hams are surronded by city noise ...
7
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2answers
192 views

Communications : Ground wave propagation

I was studying ground wave propagation, my book writes the lines about it without explaining it. I really do not know any explanation for these queries coming in my mind. I've Googled it, and you will ...
7
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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
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3answers
2k views

Drones for lifting verticals?

I would like to lift a 5/8 wave wire vertical for 160m, using a drone, over my lovely saltwater swamp. The thing must be powered from the ground, capable of being left aloft for a couple of hours ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Practical 80m vertical wire antennas without radials?

We'd like to install an antenna for 80m at our club/contest station. Our club, OH2K, is housed at a school, and we can't fill the roof with a radial mesh. The roof is not metallic itself, either. We ...
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4answers
180 views

Antenna options for a 10x20m property with a large metal roof?

I live in a house that sits in the middle of the city, in a lot 10x20m in size. The first 6x10m are covered by a metal roof with a rather low angle (IIRC only 50cm difference between the highest and ...
7
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1answer
377 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
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1answer
542 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 ...
7
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1answer
236 views

How to make a ferrite bar antenna for RTL-SDR?

I bought a RTL-SDR (blue one with little MCX antenna). I modified its Q branch, and can receive short wave radio with Degen 31MS antenna now. For MW, Degen 31MS antenna has a ferrite bar antenna ...
7
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1answer
3k 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 ...
7
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1answer
328 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 ...