Coax connectors and accurate / repeatable measurements

Much is written about the virtues of some types of coax connectors over others.

Background

W5WSS describes his antenna at (eHam 2014). It is essentially a shortened dipole with capacity hats for 20m.

The configuration appears from several postings to be this shortened dipole with a Balun Designs 1115du balun at the center and an adjacent LDG Pro 200 automatic ATU.

Feed point voltage – full wave dipole

Balun designs has a warning to users of baluns on a full wave dipole.

***ONE EXCEPTION!***

It must be pointed out that a 1:1 balun should never be used on the second harmonic of a half-wave center-fed dipole fed with coax (like an 80 meter dipole being used on 40 meters). The impedance can be as great as 10,000 ohms creating very high voltages which can bring about voltage breakdown and/or excessive heating.  This exception ONLY applies to Coax Fed HALF WAVE CENTER FED DIPOLES WHEN USING A 1:1 BALUN AT THE FEEDPOINT.

Whilst differential voltage can be an issue in antenna systems (Duffy 2011), the warning above is a bit dramatic for this case.

Firstly, it is very difficult to measure the impedance of a full wave centre fed dipole in the worst case, but modelling suggests it is unlikely to have an impedance at resonance greater than about 4200+j0Ω.

Lets suppose there is a balun located at the feed point of an 80m half wave dipole, and the antenna is fed with 25m (~80′) of RG58C/U feed line. Using TLLC, the transmission efficiency of that section of line at 7MHz with load of 4200+j0Ω is just 9.4%.

If we have a 100W transmitter, we might get 90W out of the ATU in this scenario, and 9.4% or 8.5W of that reaches the feed point.

It is a simple matter to calculate the RMS voltage as V=(P*R)^0.5=190V, or 270Vpk. This is not going to strain any balun!

They outcome here is due to the extreme loss on the coax under very high standing waves results in very little power reaching the balun anyway.

This is one of those cases that if the antenna was half as long, the system would be ten times as good!

References

• Duffy, O. 2001. RF Transmission Line Loss Calculator (TLLC). VK1OD.net (offline).
• ———. Jul 2011. Avoiding flashover in baluns and ATUs. VK1OD.net (offline).

G5RV woes – W6OGC

G5RV antenna figure prominently in many online forums.

At (eHam 2014) W6OGC describes his G5RV antenna system.

102′ center feed point at 32′ drooping off on each side to 12-15′, 31′ of 450 ohm twin lead, fed with ~130′ or so of RG-8X through a 1:1 current balun at the base of the mast, aligned roughly N-S. On no band is it resonant nor has SWRs less than 3 or so to 1…

Though a G5RV is commonly thought as a ‘no tune’ antenna, just make it to the dimensions in the book, the above shows a possible outcome.

Simple Morse beacon keyer updated 2014/03/01

Above is a clip from W4HBK’s 40m grabber today, the signal is VK2OMD running 5W QRSS6 over a 14,700km path. We can infer (Duffy 2012b) from the 15dB S/N in that capture in 0.25Hz noise bandwidth, that in an 800Hz CW filter for say -5dB S/N (threshold of copy) we need 15dB more signal, or 160W for reliable copy. (Less power may be adequate for very short QSOs at the peak of fade cycles.)

Unun on 13m (43′) vertical

Multi band antennas are compromises more so than most mono-band antennas, and part of that compromise is lower efficiency. Often the lower efficiency aspect is accepted without understanding.

Summary

This series of seven articles has:

• explained the meaning and value of G/T as a single metric for receive system performance;
• defined and explained the G and T terms;
• explained the relationship between Teq and Noise Figure;
• explained how to analyse simple cascaded stages and hence more complex networks;
• described how to estimate transceiver Noise Figure and Teq;
• demonstrated application of the analysis techniques to a set of practical configuration options to provided quantitative comparison of the S/N performance of the options; and
• discussed measurement of G/T as a means of validating system performance.

Measurement of G/T

G/T can be measured using celestial noise sources provided the antenna can be pointed to them. The noise source that is most appropriate will depend on expected G/T, frequency, time etc.

Bringing it all together

This part explains how to build a model of the entire receive system to calculate G/T.

Firstly, make an inventory of all of the system elements that you intend to model.

A model needs to be no more detailed than is necessary to provide adequate accuracy for the purpose at hand.