At 4NEC2 plots of STL VSWR and 4NEC2 plots of STL VSWR II I explained a method of working around a limitation of 4NEC2 values for Zo that can be applied using the Settings menu.
I can advise that exactly the same change works in 4NEC2 v5.9.3
It appears that 4NEC2 enforces a requirement that Zo>=0.1, so having discovered that by trial and error, one wondered if it was possible to change that threshold by hacking the exe file. Continue reading 4NEC2 plots of STL VSWR II (v5.9.3)
This article is a desk study of the CirroMazzoni Baby loop.
Above, the Baby loop is a small transmitting loop with a novel remotely controlled loop tuning capacitor and tuning mechanism, and gamma match. Continue reading CirroMazzoni Baby small transmitting loop – a desk study
Around 2015 I constructed a series of models exploring the effect of ground proximity on a small transmitting loop (STL).
At frequency 7.2MHz, the loop was octagonal with area of 1m^2 equivalent radius a=0.443m, ka=0.067rad, 3.15mm radius copper conductor, lossless tuning capacitor, and centre height above ground (σ=0.007 εr=17 ) was varied from 1.5 to 10m (0.036-0.240λ).
The model series was run in NEC-2, NEC-4.1, NEC-4.2 and NEC-5.0, and the results varied. NEC-4.1 showed serious problems, eg negative input resistance at some heights. The problem was discussed with Burke, and he explained that there was a known problem in NEC-4.1 for small loops near ground, and sent me an upgrade to NEC-4.2 to try with the GN 3 ground model, but that the better solution was in NEC-5 if it was ever released.
NEC-4.2 solved the negative resistance problem, but some issues remained.
With the recent release of NEC-5.0, opportunity arises to compare all four approaches.
(Burke 2019) p45 discusses loop antennas over ground and NEC-5.0.
The plot above of radiation efficiency gives an overall comparison of the different model techniques. (Burke 2019) states
Since the mixed-potential solution ensures that the approximated integral of scalar potential around the loop is zero, whether the potential is accurate or not, it might be expected to do better than NEC-4. Continue reading Performance of a small transmitting loop with varying height – NEC-5.0
(Purdum 2020) describes a small transmitting loop (STL) which is a little novel in that it uses an arrangement of four circular conductor loops, two in parallel in series with the other two in parallel.
The article goes on to claim some pretty extraordinary efficiency calculated from radiation resistance for a loop structure that is shown at a height of perhaps 2m above natural ground. Continue reading Review of W8TEE, AC8GY STL (Radcom Feb 2020)
The article MFJ-1786 loop antenna – measurements and NEC-4.2 model at 10.1MHz observed of the plot of loop impedance:
It looks quite different to the expected behavior of the underlying loop, but it does contain an arc albeit rotated and offset. In fact it can be transformed in two simple steps.
Continue reading MFJ-1786 loop antenna – a study of the matching scheme
Further to MFJ-1786 loop antenna – measurements and NEC-4.2 model at 10.1MHz, the question arises as to what commonly used tools readily permit the transformations and analysis.
Some relveant theory: for a load where R is approximately constant and X varies, the half power points occur where R=|X|, and following on from that s11=0.2±j0.4, s11=0.4472∠63.43°, |s11|=-6.99dB, ReturnLoss=6.99dB (yes, the +ve sign is correct), VSWR=2.618 etc.
Finding the points where ReturnLoss is approximately 6.99dB with the cursor on the above diagram is quite easy. Continue reading MFJ-1786 loop antenna – measurements and NEC-4.2 model at 10.1MHz – analysis tools
Further to MFJ-1786 loop antenna – measurements and NEC-4.2 model at 10.1MHz this article presents some other models of expected performance of the MFJ-1786 loop.
One of, if not the most popular loop calculator cited by hams is that by AA5TB. It is especially praised by ham loop enthusiasts.
Above is a screenshot of AA5TB’s calculator with the real antenna dimensions and “Added Loss Resistance” to calibrate the model to the measured 8kHz half power bandwidth. It predicts an efficiency of 30.6%, 2.9 times that of the NEC model. Perhaps it is popular because it provides overly generous estimates, IMHO it lacks credibility for many reasons. Continue reading MFJ-1786 loop antenna – other models at 10.1MHz
My friend Carlos, VK1EA, made some measurements of an MFJ-1786 SUPER HI-Q 36″ (0.914m) DIA 10-30 MHz loop at 10.1MHz.
This article presents some modelling and analysis of the antenna principally to estimate its performance.
The loop was located at 2m above natural ground away from other conducting objects.
He tuned the loop for minimum VSWR at around 10.1MHz and took a sweep with a EU1KY antenna analyser looking through 0.5m of RG223 50Ω cable saving the results to a s1p file which was imported to Antscope.
Measurement of the real antenna
Here is the impedance plot (excuse the |Z| plot as it is Rigexpert’s concession to hams who do not understand impedance and I cannot disable it).
Above, the impedance plot. The cursor is at point of minimum VSWR, and the associated R and X values at the measurement point are not very useful. Continue reading MFJ-1786 loop antenna – measurements and NEC-4.2 model at 10.1MHz
Variants of loops have been designed and promoted as having certain advantages, and one of those is the so-called figure 8 loop.
This article describes an NEC-4.2 model at 14MHz of an antenna similar to a commercial example.
The graphic shows the geometry. In this case the source is at the bottom of the lower loop, and the blue square is the tuning capacitor. The loop conductor is 22mm copper tube, the loop diameters are 1m, and the capacitor connection is 100mm wide. Commonly these are fed by a low loss auxiliary loop at the bottom of the lower loop, but the direct feed is quite fine for modelling the loop performance. Continue reading NEC model of figure 8 transmitting loop
W5KV documented his measurements of a 3m perimeter circular transmitting loop, DELUXE HG-1 PreciseLOOP, 2.0m centre height above ground.
This article explores his 7MHz observations.
Assuming the measurements were made with the antenna clear of disturbing conductors etc, in good condition.
Above is his VSWR scan.
The key measurements were:
- centre frequency 7.175MHz, VSWRmin=1.1;
- VSWR=3 bandwidth 36kHz.
Based on that, we can estimate the half power bandwidth to be 30kHz if R is less than Ro, more like 33kHz in the other case, but we will be optimists.
A NEC-4.2 model of the antenna at 14MHz was built and calibrated to the implied half power bandwidth (30kHz). Model assumptions include:
- ‘average’ ground (σ=0.005, εr=13);
- Q of the tuning capacitor = 2000;
- conductivity of the loop conductor adjusted to calibrate the model half power bandwidth to measurement.
Note that the model may depart from the actual test scenario in other ways.
Above is the VSWR scan of the calibrated model, the load is matched at centre frequency and half power bandwidth is taken as the range between ReturnLoss=6.99dB points. Continue reading W5KV’s transmitting loop measurements – DELUXE HG-1 PreciseLOOP 7MHz