Effective Isotropically Radiated Power (EIRP) is one means of comparing the performance of a transmitting station.
An inefficient antenna can lead to very low EIRP, perhaps surprisingly low. Consider these four examples at 3.6MHz,
The following NEC-4.2 models give some insight.
QW vertical with 120 buried radials
Considered by so many experts to be the benchmark for a grounded monopole, here is a quarter wave vertical with 120 buried radials.
Above, 120 buried radials: GAIN=-1.8dBi, radiation efficiency=20.7%.
At 1kW RF input, EIRP=661W. Continue reading Turning 1kW into QRP
Last update: 5th October, 2016, 1:04 AM
It seems a new version of Rigexpert Antscope has been released, and it maintains the scale limits available for R,X plots to +/-2000Ω, it still does not allow the range permitted by v4.2.57 (+/-5000Ω).
No change details provided by Rigexpert.
Back to v4.2.57.
Last update: 4th October, 2016, 7:42 PM
I wrote at OCF short vertical dipole for HF that some authors and some sellers wrote descriptions that might entice would be implementors.
George, VY1GP, made a really nice video production of his pitch.
His Youtube video seems to have been substituted with one by Portune, so I have removed the link.
…but do the claims stack up? Continue reading OCF short vertical dipole for HF – VY1GP
Last update: 31st December, 2018, 8:34 AM
The term Effective Radiated Power or ERP appears frequently in ham discussions, antenna literature and regulatory documents. Continue reading Effective Radiated Power (ERP)
Last update: 4th October, 2016, 7:39 AM
5V TTL interface GPSs can be had for about $10 on eBay. They are aimed at the RC market and although the GPS chip is a 3.3V chip, they have a 5V regulator on board and level shifters or 5V tolerant IO.
To use them with APRS you usually need to get RS232 output and to support the common 12V feed on the DE9 connector, the RS-232 / TTL adapter needs to incorporate a 12V/5V regulator.
This article describes a couple of modules that are available on eBay for a dollar or so, and suitable for modification by adding the regulator.
Above left and bottom are two MAX3232 modules that have had a LM78L05 regulator and decoupling cap added to provide for 12V in and 5V to power the MAX3232 and GPS (top right is a Ublox NEO6M).
In the case of the lower module, a track has to be cut to disconnect the pad for 12V in from the existing circuitry.
Last update: 3rd October, 2016, 5:48 PM
An online poster recently sought to design a broadband 9:1 transformer for HF.
Choosing a BN43-2402 balun core, he planned to use a 2t primary and 6t secondary for a nominal 50Ω input. He subsequently posted measurements of the prototype.
What might we expect… is it a good starting point.
A first approximation at the low frequency end with a medium µ core is that it is like an ideal transformer withe the magnetising impedance in shunt with the primary. Continue reading BN43-2402 balun example
Last update: 23rd September, 2021, 1:29 PM
The NBN is coming….
Our NBN street cabinet, or Node in FTTN. The pic is not crooked, the cabinet is out of level.
We received advice that NBN access is now available in our street… about 10 months after the street cabinet was installed.
This is the best hope we have had of escaping Telstra’s appalling service that we have endured for 6 years.
Above is a plot of the median download speed of the Telstra 8Mb/s ADSL service.
Above, the distribution for last week show that although HTTP speeds would appear to be capped at 2Mb/s on an 8Mb/s access pipe, the inevitable slide to poorer performance is shown where around 10% of the measurements are below 0.25Mb/s. Continue reading iinet – pre-connect experience
Last update: 3rd October, 2016, 11:51 AM
The OCF short vertical dipole for HF has become popular, particularly disguised as a flag pole for low impact installations and encouraged by claims of outstanding performance. The antenna was described in QST and a commercial version was available at time of writing.
The rationale for the design is that it is a short dipole, not requiring radials, and feed point offset downwards by 30% as an optimal value for performance (driven by often unsound assessments of coax loss).
Off-Center Fed Vertical Dipole design means no radials, 90% efficient or better across 80m – 10m
Above is the promising gain plot for one of the commercial implementations, it is only one S point (6dB) behind a quarter wave vertical with 4 buried radials. Continue reading OCF short vertical dipole for HF
Last update: 25th November, 2018, 7:03 AM
The CADWELDPLUSCU is the igniter for the Cadweld Plus line of electrically initiated thermite weld capsules. The plug seen on the end of the cable slides over the flat connection strip to the capsule.
The environment around the weld crucible is subject to a sudden ejection of hot gases and smoke, much of which is emitted out of the slot in a Oneshot crucible intended for the connection strip, and this is only a 45g capsule. There is probably less gas emitted towards the connector on reusable moulds as the gap for the connection strip is very narrow.
Despite dressing the plug away from the stream of hot gasses emitted, it can be seen above that the plug has suffered heat damage. Of particular concern is deformation of the parts at the cable clamp rendering it less effective. The plugs come on a new lead set that is relatively expensive.
Since one wants to be able to yank the cord away from the crucible as soon as possible to minimise heat damage, the cord grip needs to be effective.
This article describes two measures taken to protect the plug and ensure the cord grip works. Continue reading Cadweld Plus Control Unit
Last update: 3rd October, 2016, 5:52 PM
The MFJ-993B auto antenna tuner includes an internal balun, this article is a review of that balun.
The schematic shows the balun as a Guanella 4:1 balun with the usual external link to one of the coaxial antenna sockets. (The label “Z balanced” is misleading, clearly one of the terminals is grounded and this is the unbalanced connection to the coax connector via a link. The antenna connects to the left hand terminals.)
Unlike almost all ATUs with an internal balun, this is a current balun (to their credit), but a 4:1 balun.
There are two aspects of balun behaviour that are of particular interest:
- choking or common mode impedance; and
- impedance transformation.
Continue reading MFJ-993B internal balun review
Last update: 11th August, 2018, 9:10 AM