I have noted recently the increasing popularity of the so-called End Fed Half Wave antenna, though the term often includes harmonic operation of the antenna.
It seems that at the heart of common ham understanding of this antenna system is that some kind of two terminal feed device creates a scenario with current on the nominal radiator, and zero common mode current on the feed line. If that feed device is small, its contents bears little influence on the current distribution on the feed line and radiator (the device behaviour approaches that of a simple circuit node).
Above is the kind of current distribution envisaged by many. The equivalent source is shown at the end fed feed point The red curve is the magnitude of current, the horizontal line represents the nominal radiator, and the vertical line represents the common mode conductor formed by the feed line. The feed line is often of arbitrary length, arbitrary route, and it may connect to real ground via an arbitrary impedance. Pretty much everything about this antenna system is random save the length of the nominal radiator. Continue reading The magic of End Fed Half Waves / EFHW
A correspondent wrote about the apparent conflict between Exploiting your antenna analyser #11 and Alan, K0BG’s discussion of The SWR vs. Resonance Myth. Essentially the correspondent was concerned that Alan’s VSWR curve was difficult to understand.
For convenience, here is the relevant explanation.
By definition, an antenna’s resonant point will be when the reactive component (j) is equal to zero (X=Ø, or +jØ). At that point in our example shown at left, the R value reads 23 ohms, and the SWR readout will be 2.1:1 (actually 2.17:1). If we raise the analyzer’s frequency slightly, the reactive component will increase (inductively) along with an increase in the resistive component, hence the VSWR will decrease, perhaps to 1.4:1. In this case, the MFJ-259B is connected to an unmatched, screwdriver antenna mounted on the left quarter panel, and measured through a 12 inch long piece of coax. This fact is shown graphically in the image at right (below).
Note that the graph is unscaled, and that frustrates interpretation. The text is also not very clear, a further frustration. It is easy to draw a graph… but is the graph inspired by a proposition or is it supporting evidence. Continue reading Exploiting your antenna analyser #21
Desk study of opportunity to improve linearity.
At Chinese AD8307 power measurement module #2 I showed measurement of the linearity of an AD8307 based RF power meter.
The specification linearity is +/-1dB, which is poorer than one might like in a power measuring instrument.
The diagram above from the AD8307 datasheet shows the internal architecture, including 9 stages of cascaded log detector cells that attempt to give a log response over around 100dB range. The issue is that in the transition region between detector cells, error is worse than well inside an individual detector cell’s range.
Above is a sweep from -65 to -6dBm at 10MHz after calibration of slope and offset. The linear fit to the blue curve shows slope is 20mV/dB and intercept 1.8015 for 0dBm means the offset is -1.8015/0.02=-90.08dBm. Log conformance is 0.2dB (well within spec at this frequency, temperature etc).
Continue reading Chinese AD8307 power measurement module #4
A very long time ago, I purchased a W2AU 1:1 balun on the maker’s claims that it was good from 1.8 to 30MHz.
These were very popular at the time, but as voltage baluns they achieve good current balance ONLY on very symmetric loads and so are not well suited to most wire antennas.
Above is W2AU’s illustration of the internals.
Mine barely saw service before it became obvious that it had an intermittent connection to the inner pin of the coax connector. That turned out to be a poor soldered joint, a problem that is apparently quite common and perhaps the result of not properly removing the wire enamel before soldering.
Having cut the enclosure to get at the innards and fix it (they were not intended to be repaired), I rebuilt it in a similar enclosure made from plumbing PVC pipe and caps, and took the opportunity to fit some different output terminals and an N type coax connector.
Above is the rebuilt balun which since that day has been reserved for test kit for evaluating the performance of a voltage balun in some scenario or another. Continue reading W2AU 1:1 voltage balun
This posts shows a measurement of ambient noise and comparison with the data given at Expected ambient noise and its more detailed references.
The test scenario is my 40m station, a G5RV inverted V dipole with tuned feeders, a balun and ATR-30 ATU. Antenna system losses are less than 1dB.
The chart above gives a range for expected ambient noise at 40m.
Above is a screen shot from a spectrum analyser measuring power in 1kHz bandwidth from 7.0 to 7.1MHz. The band is mostly unoccupied, and the mean noise power is about -99dBm, it would be 3dB higher in 2KHz bandwidth (ie -96dBm). Continue reading Expected ambient noise – in practice
One of the casualties of the cessation of VK1OD.net was an article on expected ambient noise.
The original work was based on ITU-R P.372-8 which has been updated to -10, -12 and now -13, but the updates do not alter the basis for the original article.
Since the work was a reference cited on my FSM pages, it has been updated and copied to Expected ambient noise level. The graphics and tables in the article and the PDF file all refer to ITU-R P.372-8 but remain correct wrt ITU-R P.372-13 (2016).
(Dunlavy 1967) sets out his description of a wide range tunable transmitting loop antenna and makes a broad efficiency claim of better than 30% (-5.3dB) for his system.
Minimum efficiencies of 30 percent are attainable with practical designs having a diameter of only 5 feet for 3-15 Megahertz coverage.
In a context where extravagant claims are often made for such antennas, his claims warrant review.
Dunlavey gives an example embodiment in approximate terms.
Practical loop designs for use in the range of 2-30 megahertz will utilize copper or aluminum tubular conductors having a diameter of 3 inches to 5 inches. A typical design for 3 to 15 Megahertz operation would be constructed as shown in FIG. 2 with a primary loop 4 having a diameter of about 5 feet and tuned by a high voltage vacuum capacitor 5 having a capacitance range of approximately 25 to l,000 picofarads. The tuned primary loop should be made of aluminum or
copper tubing having a diameter of approximately 4 inches-5 inches. The diameter of the feed loop, which is designated by the reference number 6, for 50 ohms impedance should be approximately l0 inches.
Lets take a perimeter of 4.8m (dia=5′) and copper conductor diameter of 100mm (4″) as the dimensions for further exploration.
Above, Dunlavy’s Figure 5 gives gain relative to a monopole above perfectly conducting ground. Continue reading Review of Dunlavy’s STL patent gain claims
Designs appearing in the ham literature and online articles tend to espouse relatively large diameter conductors, conductors that can be challenging to wind onto the toroidal cores often used.
This article analyses the copper losses in a practical Guanella 1:1 balun where a fabricated twisted pair line is used.
Total losses comprise core losses and transmission line losses. Continue reading On copper loss in transmitting baluns
Finding resistance and reactance with some low end analysers #2
Exploiting your antenna analyser #8 was about finding resistance and reactance with some low end analysers that don’t directly display those values of interest. The article showed how to calculate the values starting with |Z| from the analyser and included links to a calculator to perform the calcs.
This article describes an extension to that calculator Find |Z|,R,|X| from VSWR,|Z|,R,Ro to use R, VSWR, and Ro as the starting point. Note that the sign of X and the sign of the phase of Z cannot be determined from this starting point, there just isn’t enough information.
You will probably not find the equation for |X|(R,VSWR,Ro) in text books or handbooks, and the derivation is not shown here but if there is interest, I may publish a separate paper.
Lets say you knew VSWR=2, R=75Ω, Ro=50Ω, what is |X|?
Above, entering the values in the calculator we find that |X|=35.4Ω. Continue reading Exploiting your antenna analyser #20
A correspondent having read Analysis of a certain dipole animation questioned the validity of the lossy transmission line model of the dipole, citing the case of an OCF half wave which has an approximately resistive feed point.
Since the OCF lacks the symmetry exploited in earlier study, we must consider each half of the OCF dipole and combine them. To assist, I have produced a similar plot of the transmission line but note the changed X axis.
The scenario is again a 2mm diameter copper wire, 3m above ground at 1MHz.
Zo can be approximated as 138*log(2h/r)=138*log(2×3/0.001)=521Ω.
Above is a plot of calculated V and I at displacements from the open end, and calculated phase of V/I. Continue reading Analysis of a certain dipole animation – OCF implications