Radcom review of Alpha Antenna microtune magnetic loop

Alpha antenna refers to the Radcom review of their microtune magnetic loop.

(Nichols 2014) describes the loop as 12.7×3.2mm aluminium flat section formed into an ellipse with average diameter 0.84m. The pictures show that it is close to circular and I will take it to be a circle of perimeter 2.64m.

The review offers some measurements of VSWR=3 bandwidth at the feed point on various bands, and an estimate of efficiency based on RJELOOP1. Continue reading Radcom review of Alpha Antenna microtune magnetic loop

Baluns – show me the numbers

Hams talk at length about baluns but rarely in quantitative terms.

A quotation from Lord Kelvin is most appropriate: When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it. But when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind. It may be the beginning of knowledge but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the state of science. Continue reading Baluns – show me the numbers

Near-field field strength measurements using a diode detector

My recent article Near-field field strength measurements using the RFPM1 described a technique using VK3AQZ’s RF Power Meter which is based on the AD8307 log detector.

There are many ways to measure low level RF power or voltage, and this article describes methods that I have used using a simple diode detector attached to the HF loop, and measuring the DC output voltage using a small digital panel meter with 9V battery for a self contained measurement system with little risk of significant common mode current. Such a system can be hauled to some height and read remotely with a telescope.
Continue reading Near-field field strength measurements using a diode detector

Near-field field strength measurements using the RFPM1

Review of Boswell et al paper “Performance of a small loop antenna in the 3-10 MHz band” discussed measurement of near-field field strength for measurement of performance of a small transmitting loop (STL).

This article describes a method of performing near-field field strength measurements using a portable RF power meter (RFPM1) and a small untuned square loop. Continue reading Near-field field strength measurements using the RFPM1

Review of Boswell et al paper “Performance of a small loop antenna in the 3-10 MHz band”

(Boswell et al 2005) discussed a small transmitting loop (STL) and offered predictions and measurements of performance.

This article is a review of the discussion at 7MHz.

The STL is a 1m diameter circular loop of 22mm diameter copper conductor at 1,5m height over ground with parameters δ=-0.005 and ε=10.

Performance is assessed by prediction and measurement of near-field strength.

Boswell-Fig06

Above, Figure 6 from (Boswell et al 2005) shows their predictions and measurements of field strength in the near-field at a range of distances at ground level. Continue reading Review of Boswell et al paper “Performance of a small loop antenna in the 3-10 MHz band”

Analysis of a series of NEC-4 models of a low loss small transmitting loop at 7MHz at varying height

This article documents a series of NEC-4 models at 7MHz inspired by Paul Casper’s (K4HKX) small transmitting loop using 3″ conductor described on his web page at http://qrz.com/db/K4HKX .

The basic loop dimensions derive from 3″ (76.2mm) OD copper tube, with octagon side lengths of 27″ (685.8mm).

This series explores the effect of antenna height. (Note the models have not been calibrated to Paul’s scenario, they are stand alone models of a somewhat similar scenario for the purpose of studying the effect of height.) Continue reading Analysis of a series of NEC-4 models of a low loss small transmitting loop at 7MHz at varying height

The Army Loop (Patterson match)

The ARRL and other publications refer to the Army Loop or Patterson match.

Patterson described his antenna system at (Patterson 1967). Hams seem to call any configuration that uses only capacitors in the matching circuit a Patterson or Army loop, though they are incorrect.

The ARRL Antenna Book 21 has a nonsense circuit that cannot work.

Another ARRL example, one that does work

Screenshot - 01_12_2014 , 13_51_37Above is a diagram from a much earlier ARRL and as far as I can ascertain, this is McCoy’s version the so-called ARMY Loop. (McCoy 1968) gives the middle capacitor as 500pF variable which would reduce the matching range. Continue reading The Army Loop (Patterson match)

An example of Eb/N0 design with the Field strength / receive power converter

I have been asked whether the Field strength / receive power converter can be used to solve a Eb/N0 (Eb/N0) design problem.

Eb/N0 is a method often used for specifying the relationship of signal and noise that will give adequate bit error rate in a data demodulator.

Whilst the calculator was not specifically designed for that purpose, and you cannot directly enter the desired Eb/N0, with the help of a hand calculator for simple calculations, a solution can be found. Continue reading An example of Eb/N0 design with the Field strength / receive power converter