This article describes the use of the Array Solutions AIMuhf/AIM900 to test a mobile antenna installation, a quarter wave whip for 2m with about 4m of RG58 cable which has been previously installed and tuned.
The exercise is motivated by a perception that the antenna is not working as well as it should.
Above is a scan of the VSWR. It indicates problems, there should be a main VSWR dip around the high end of the 2m band (147MHz), but instead the minimum is nearer 160MHz. Clearly there is an antenna connected to the far end of the line in some form (ie the inner conductor is not simply broken), but there could be a high resistance in the inner conductor or shield connection (the latter is common issue with this type of antenna base). Continue reading A walk through of a practical application of AIMuhf/AIM900
One frequently sees discussions of coupled coils in ham fora, and the advice of the forum experts is commonly sadly lacking.
An example is the thread Impedance matching transformer where the OP is encouraged to make a transformer for 2:1 impedance transformation ratio based simply on turns ratio and a Rule Of Thumb for minimum number of turns.
Lets review a design where two windings of say 10µH and 20µH are wound on a toroidal core. With no flux leakage, the turns ratio would be 1:1.414. The model is a simple one of coupled coils and ignores self capacitance.
100% flux coupling
If there was no flux leakage, the mutual inductance is (10*20)^0.5=14.14µH, and we can build a three component model of the coupled coils along with the intended 100+j0Ω load.
Above the model for 100% flux coupling.
And above, the response of the network. At 7MHz, the input impedance is 48.7+j8.7Ω, not perfect, but close (VSWR=1.2). Continue reading Coupled coils – a challenge for hams!
Further to AIM 885 produces internally inconsistent results…
A new release, AIM885A appeared recently.
In the common theme of one step forward, two steps backwards, this version produces error popups when started.
The above popup appears twice when starting AIM885A. Just another symptom to undermine confidence in the system. It doesn’t make sense to me, and the program appears to otherwise start and run. Continue reading AIM 885A produces internally inconsistent results
Feeding at a current maximum visited the common practice of designing to feed a multi band dipole with open wire feed at or very near to a current maximum.
I explained that feeding at the current maximum may provide sub-optimal performance on the popular T-match ATU as its losses tend to be worst with low R loads, aggravated by the use of 4:1 baluns for even lower R.
On the other hand, feeding at a voltage maximum might exceed the ATU’s voltage capacity, or perhaps be outside of the matching range of the ATU.
Well if neither of these is optimal in all cases, what about half way between. It has been done, the odd eighths wave feed line on an 80m half wave is another of the recipes you will hear.
Lets explore the options of a half wave dipole at 3.6MHz with four different feed line lengths (Wireman 551). Continue reading Feeding at a current maximum, and three other options
I mentioned in my (revised) article W5DXP’s current maximum calculator that
lots of ham subscribe to the strategy of feeding a dipole / open wire feeder combination at current maximum.
Why is that? Continue reading Feeding at a current maximum
(Trask 2005b) describes a circuit at Figure 7 which the author describes as a 1:1 current balun though he does not actually define or reference a definition of the term
current balun. Continue reading Review of Trask’s 1:1 current balun
At Where is the best place to measure feed point VSWR I discussed location of the VSWR meter and projection of its reading to another point on a known transmission line.
A correspondent has taken me to task and citing Telepost’s LP-100A manual: Continue reading LP-100A manual advice on VSWR measurement
It is one thing to read code, and perform traces of live traffic to test proper function of a digipeater. This is a more valid technique than injecting test records directly into the software as for instance, viscous digi depends on the neighbour digis. Continue reading On-air testing of APRS digipeater with a crafted suite of test records