Accuracy of estimation of radiation resistance of small transmitting loops

A simple formula exists for calculation of radiation resistance of a small transmitting loop in free space. The derivation is in most good antenna text books.

Screenshot - 14_08_2015 , 08_10_55

The expression depends on an assumption that current around the loop is uniform, so the question is what is the acceptable limit for loop size.

NEC might provide some guidance. A series of NEC-4 models of a octagonal loop of thin lossless wire in free space was constructed with varying perimeter. Perimeter shown is that of a circle of the same area.

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Above is a comparison of the two methods of estimation of Rr. To the extent that we trust NEC-4, the graph indicates that error in the simple formula grows quickly for loop perimeter greater than 0.1λ. (The results using NEC-2 are visually identical.)

Many authors set the criteria for a small loop to perimeter<0.3λ, but it is clear that current is not sufficiently uniform for perimeter>0.1λ for estimation of Rr as 31149*(A/λ^2)^2 to 0.1pu error or better.

Small transmitting loop – ground loss relationship to radiation resistance

This article documents a series of NEC-2 models at 7.2MHz of a lossless small transmitting loop near ground for the insight that they might provide about underlying loss mechanisms.

Key model details:

  • lossless conductor 25mm diameter;
  • octagon of sides 403mm, has same enclosed area as a 1m diameter circle;
  • three ground types;
  • height varies from 1.5-10m to centre of loop.

Impedance elements discussed in this article are referred to the main loop. Continue reading Small transmitting loop – ground loss relationship to radiation resistance

VK3IL’s 3m circumference LDF4-50B loop on 20m

David, VK3IL, describes a small transmitting loop (STL) at Portable magnetic loop antenna.

At VK3IL’s 3m circumference LDF4-50B loop on 40m. I reviewed his loop behaviour on 40m, and its efficiency was quite low… though typical of a loop of that size at that frequency.

Radiation resistance of a STL is proportional to the fourth power of frequency, and since it is often dwarfed by loss resistance, we should expect that doubling frequency will dramatically improve performance.

As far as I can glean from the article, it is made from a 3m length of LDF4-50B Heliax, and uses a Patterson match to tune it.

Clip 153David offered measurement of VSWR around centre frequency for the loop approximately matched (VSWR=1.24) on 20m. He has measured the VSWR=2.86 bandwidth shown between markers 2 and 3 to be 45kHz. Continue reading VK3IL’s 3m circumference LDF4-50B loop on 20m

Enhancement of Calculate small transmitting loop gain from bandwidth measurement

At Efficiency and gain of Small Transmitting Loops (STL) I explained an approach to assessing the gain the efficiency of STL, and provided a link to a calculator to perform the calcs.

This expands on application of the concepts and introduces an enhanced calculator to perform the calculations.

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Firstly, this technique applies to antennas where the VSWR characteristic is consistent with a feed point or virtual feed point where around the frequency of minimum VSWR, X varies with frequency much more than R. The simplified analysis assumes that R is constant, and change in X is the reason for the VSWR characteristic. See VSWR curve of a simple series resonant antenna for more information. Continue reading Enhancement of Calculate small transmitting loop gain from bandwidth measurement

VK3IL’s 3m circumference LDF4-50B loop on 40m

David, VK3IL, describes a small transmitting loop (STL) at Portable magnetic loop antenna.

As far as I can glean from the article, it is made from a 3m length of LDF4-50B Heliax, and uses a Patterson match to tune it.

Clip 150David offered measurement of VSWR around centre frequency for the loop matched on 40m. He has measured the VSWR=2.6 (the half power) bandwidth shown between markers 2 and 3 to be 22kHz. Continue reading VK3IL’s 3m circumference LDF4-50B loop on 40m

VK3YE’s 3m circumference copper tube loop with RG213 stub tuning

Peter, VK3YE, describes a small transmitting loop (STL) in his video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv_RnLpZ9gw.

? 100 watt 7 MHz magnetic loop for units and apartments - YouTube - Mozilla Firefox firefox 04/08/2015 , 07:24:25

As far as I can glean from the video, it is made from a 3m length of copper tube 19mm diameter, and uses about 1.8m of RG213 to tune it, and appears to have its centre 0.7m above ‘ground’ .

Let us firstly look at a free space model of the antenna using Reg Edwards’ RJELoop1 tool.

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This model has its limitations, but the calculated inductance is of interest. We can calculate the inductive reactance to be 118Ω. The capacitive stub of RG213 will need around 107Ω reactance, and solving for RG213, we find that 1.94m gives 0.19-j107Ω. The resistive component is important as it is ignored by the above model. The stub resistance is a loss resistance, and we need to recalculate the efficiency. Efficiency=Rrad/Rloss=0.005/(0.19+0.0351+0.005)=2.17% (-16.6dB). We can also calculate the Q as 107/(0.19+0.0351+0.005)=465 and half power bandwidth as 7100/497=15.3kHz. Continue reading VK3YE’s 3m circumference copper tube loop with RG213 stub tuning

Comparison of two small transmitting loops

At Efficiency and gain of Small Transmitting Loops (STL) I discussed the use of bandwidth measurement of a small transmitting loop (STL) for estimation of efficiency.

Paul Casper (K4HKX) has built a series of STL which he describes on his K4HKX QRZ page. Continue reading Comparison of two small transmitting loops

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

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