Over a long time I have voiced concern at the likely performance at MF / low HF of the very popular windowed ladder lines that use CCS conductors.
A very popular form of commercial ladder line is that using #18 wire, comprised of 19 strands of #31 30% IACS conductivity copper clad steel. The copper cladding on such a conductor is about 14µm in thickness.
This article reports and analyses measurements of a length of Wireman 553 windowed ladder line. Continue reading Loss of Wireman 553 windowed ladder line at MF/HF
I have had cause to validate the output produced by an AIMuhf measurement using AIM882 (current version, released about three months ago).
The test scenario is a pair of nominal 50+j0Ω loads on a Tee piece, connected to the AIMuhf by about 1m of RG58 coax and swept from 10 to 50MHz.
It is mental arithmetic that the VSWR should be very close to 2:1, and since the loss of the cable is quite low, VSWR should be almost uniform with frequency. Continue reading AIM 882 produces internally inconsistent results
One sees perennial discussion in ham circles of compatibility of ordinary 50Ω and 75Ω versions of the BNC (Bayonet Neill–Concelman) connector, in particular the risk of damage in mating a 50Ω and 75Ω pair.
But are there incompatible connectors commonly in circulation.
These discussions often seize on the different dimensions 0.7mm and 0.9mm.
Above shows measurement of the centre pin diameter of a Kings BNC connector (for RG58), it is 1.339mm… nothing like 0.7mm or 0.9mm. (Amphenol Connex 2001) gives the centre pin diameter as 1.32-1.37mm. Continue reading BNC 75/50 compatibility
It is a common practice that a Return Loss (RL) measurement of a s/c or o/c line section is used to calculate the Matched Line Loss (MLL) where MLL=RL/2.
This technique might work with low error in lots of cases, but not all… it is flawed. Continue reading On Witt’s calculation of Matched Line Loss from Return Loss
The subject question is often asked, and the usual responses are mindless recitals of Rules of Thumb (RoT).
In the light of the discussion at Feed line length affect on VSWR and The half waves of coax rule for measuring VSWR accurately, lets consider the subject question and develop a rational answer. Continue reading Where is the best place to measure feed point VSWR
Lots of hams recite a rule that accurate measurement of VSWR can only be made at the feed point or an integral number of electrical half waves from the feed point.
It is one of those ‘rules’ that the proponents cannot usually explain… they would regard themselves as experts, but blindly follow folk-lore that they do not understand. Continue reading The half waves of coax rule for measuring VSWR accurately
VK2XSO posted a sweep of “Return Loss (SWR) (the lower plot) from 500 to 2500MHz of a 50Ω load through ~5m of RG59” apparently to demonstrate his knowledge of transmission line basics. As he says “here are also many other things we can deduce from looking at these two lines.”
For students of transmission lines, some deductions… Continue reading Exploring VK2XSO’s transmission line example
This article explores the way in which VSWR varies along a feed line.
The graph above shows R and X, and VSWR along a feed line with a 100+j0Ω load at 3.6MHz. The feed line is Belden 8262 50Ω coax, manufacturing tolerances are taken to be zero, and the displacement is relative to the feed point, ie -ve distance is distance before the feed point, the feed point then is at the right hand side of the graph.
Continue reading Feed line length affect on VSWR
A reader of my article End fed wires – new hams love ‘em asked about the performance of the matching transformer described at (Osborne 2014).
(Osborne 2014) gives the transformer design above using a FT82-43 ferrite toroid with three turns on the primary. The concept is to adjust the antenna length and C1 for a ‘perfect match’. Continue reading End fed wires – another matching case study
Hams impoverished for space to erect a ‘full size’ antenna for HF pursue a range of options and end fed wires figure highly.
New hams who heard the maxim that ‘any antenna is better than no antenna at all’ will try to use bed frames, window frames, balcony railings, anything metallic to get on air. This cry for mediocrity is to prevail over a quest for understanding, ham radio as it has evolved.
The ‘net abounds with conflicting advice:
- (Yates 2010) recommends a T50-2 powdered iron core;
- (VK2AVR 2014) states
do not use a powdered iron toroid.. they won’t work.
They cannot both be correct. Continue reading End fed wires – new hams love ’em