Measuring the gain of an antenna by the three antenna method

There are many methods of measuring the gain of an antenna, most of them call for a reference antenna of known gain. This method requires three antennas and does not require knowledge of the gain of any of them, but will find the gain of each of them.

Explanation

Harald Friis gave us the familiar transmission equation: \(\frac{P_r}{P_t}=\frac{A_r A_t}{r^2 \lambda^2}\\\). Continue reading Measuring the gain of an antenna by the three antenna method

A common scheme for narrow band match of an end fed high Z antenna – further explanation

A common scheme for narrow band match of an end fed high Z antenna gives a Simsmith model for the matching arrangement that follows.

The tapped coil could also be considered an autotransformer.

Simsmith model

Continue reading A common scheme for narrow band match of an end fed high Z antenna – further explanation

Ambient noise measurement using whip on vehicle – #2 – active antenna electronics

This article continues from Ambient noise measurement using whip on vehicle – #1 – estimate Antenna Factor with a case study for the active antenna electronics.

For this discussion, I will use the amplifier developed at A high performance active antenna for the high frequency band, but applied to the antenna described at Ambient noise measurement using whip on vehicle – #1 – estimate Antenna Factor.

Let’s assume that the antenna + amplifier will be used with a HF receiver with Noise Figure 6dB, Teq=864.5K.

From (Martinsen 2018) Fig 3.8, the amplifier internal noise at the output terminals is -118dBm in 100kHz @ 3.5MHz. That implies that the amplifier Noise Temperature is 857.93K. The amplifier has 6.4dB voltage gain which needs to be subtracted from the AF calculated for unity gain (at the amplifier input terminals). Continue reading Ambient noise measurement using whip on vehicle – #2 – active antenna electronics

Ambient noise measurement using whip on vehicle – #1 – estimate Antenna Factor

This article lays out a method for estimating the Antenna Factor of a short vertical mounted on the roof of a vehicle for use with a high impedance amplifier for ambient noise measurement at 3.5MHz.

Ambient noise is commonly dominated by man made noise, and it often arrives equally from all directions. For measurement of such noise, the captured power depends on average antenna gain, and so the calculations below focus on gain averaged over the hemisphere.

Antenna Factor is often very convenient for field strength measurement as it relates the external E field strength to the receiver terminal voltage given a certain antenna (system). In fact, given a short vertical terminated by a high impedance amplifier, Antenna Factor is often fairly independent of frequency over several octaves of frequency. Continue reading Ambient noise measurement using whip on vehicle – #1 – estimate Antenna Factor

Loop in ground (LiG) for rx only on low HF – #10 SND comparison with LoG

The Loop in Ground project is about a receive only antenna for low HF, but usable from MF to HF. The objective is an antenna of that is small, low profile, and can be located outside the zone where evanescent modes dominate around noise current carrying conductors, like house wiring to minimise noise pickup.

To some extent, the project was inspired by KK5JY’s Loop on Ground (LoG).

This article presents a comparison of Signal to Noise Degradation metric (see Signal to noise degradation (SND) concept) for both antennas, the common elements being: Continue reading Loop in ground (LiG) for rx only on low HF – #10 SND comparison with LoG

Loop in ground (LiG) for rx only on low HF – #8 measurement and observation

This article was revised 03/01/2021 to correct an error: the NEC-5.0 model reported was actually the KK5JY LoG, fixed, apologies.

The Loop in Ground project is about a receive only antenna for low HF, but usable from MF to HF. The objective is an antenna of that is small, low profile, and can be located outside the zone where evanescent modes dominate around noise current carrying conductors, like house wiring to minimise noise pickup.

The antenna comprises a square loop of 3m sides of 2mm bare copper wire, buried 20mm in the soil.

This article reports measurement of feed point impedance and a ‘calibrated’ NEC-5.0 model. Continue reading Loop in ground (LiG) for rx only on low HF – #8 measurement and observation

Matching a centre loaded 80m vertical – a shunt match tutorial

This article describes a method of measurement and adjustment using an antenna analyser or VNA to quickly set up a shunt match, a narrow band match (ie for one band, or even only part of the band).

The article uses Rigexpert’s Antscope as the measurement / analysis application, the techniques will work with other good application software.

To demonstrate the technique for matching such an antenna, let’s use NEC-4.2 to create 80m feed point impedance data for a 12m high vertical with 8 buried radials (100mm) and centre loading coil resonating the antenna in the 80m band for simulation of measurement data.

An s1p file was exported from 4NEC2 for import into Antscope, to simulate measurement of an example real antenna.

Analysing the ‘measured’ data

Step 1

Above is the VSWR curve displayed in Antscope. Note that the actual response is dependent on soil types, antenna length and loading etc, but this is a good example for discussion. It is not real bad, another example might be better or worse. Continue reading Matching a centre loaded 80m vertical – a shunt match tutorial

Loop in ground (LiG) – #10 – implementation – earthworks

The Loop in Ground project is about a receive only antenna for low HF, but usable from MF to HF. The objective is an antenna that has low Signal to Noise Degradation (SND), and low noise pickup by virtue of some separation of near field radiators.

The antenna comprises a square loop of 3m sides of 2mm bare copper wire, buried 20mm in the soil.

Above is the site marked out for earthworks, but excavation of a narrow slot 25mm deep. On the far side of the loop is an already installed plastic irrigation valve box for the transformer. Continue reading Loop in ground (LiG) – #10 – implementation – earthworks

Signal to noise degradation (SND) concept

The nature of radio signals received off-air is that they are accompanied by undesired noise.

A key measure of the ability to decode a radio signal is its Signal to Noise ratio (S/N) at the demodulator (or referred to some common point).

We can speak of think of an external S/N figure as \(S/N_{ext}=10 log\frac{S_{ext}}{N_{ext}}\) in dB.

Receiver systems are not perfect, and one of the imperfections is that they contribute undesired noise. Continue reading Signal to noise degradation (SND) concept