5/8 wave antenna coil dimentions
Im trying to build a 5/8 wave antenna out of an old CB antenna for the VHF band the problem is I cannot find out how to calculate the coil dimentions.I have tried out different wire sizes,number of turns and diameters and I have got good results on the swr meter but when the antenna is up and compared to a folded dipole at the same height the 5/8 is down at least 5 or more s-points.The swr is lower than 3 over a 15mhz range suggesting its nearer to a dummy load than an antenna.Fed with 50 ohm coax the braid connected to the bottom of the coil and the center connected to roughly mid way along the coil.Note I delibrately left out the design frequency because I want to find out the formula for calculating it.
I have seen coil dimentions for higher and lower frequencys and have already tried scaled down/up versions.
Apart from "scrapping" the project what else am I doing wrong?
Any help much appreciated
There's no one-step formula for calculating this, that's why you can't find one.
The amount of inductance required (L) is equal to the amount of capacitance (C) in the antenna. So, first you need to know the capacitive reactance (Xc) of the antenna, then you can calculate the inductance based on L = XL/2pi*f.
Once you know the required inductance you can go through a formulas to figure the variables for the coil itself; but there are on-line calculators for that, like this one:
In re-reading your post I see you didn't discuss radials or a ground plane system.
I hope you're using radials or a ground plane (like a car roof), otherwise you have half an antenna there, and not a whole antenna, which would greatly explain why it doesn't work well.
This will bring the antenna into resonance (resonance is defined where XC=XL). After you have resonated the antenna, you can now adjust the connection point (tap) of the center conductor to the coil to provide 50Ω resistive.
Originally Posted by WB2WIK
The two adjustments will interact a bit.
Some sort of a R-X bridge would be a great help, but a dip meter would work in a pinch for cut and try coil building
Fixed it for you.
Now my mistakes travel at the speed of light!
If you have no tools except an swr meter, you can find various articles online by people who have made them, e.g. http://www.dxzone.com/cgi-bin/dir/jump2.cgi?ID=23868
While this doesn't answer your question, it should get you in the ball park as far as a loading coil.
Then you can find the best SWR by tapping the coils in different places or by trial and error.
This is the official non-technical "what the heck is XL, XC and R" method.
Not that I'm not interested in Antenna theory (I am) - but sometimes if you don't have the tools and need a quick/cheap project done, you just do it by experimentation.
146MHz 5/8 GROUND PLANE ANTENNA
See link for how I produced the loading coil.
Here's a couple of articles that might be of interest to you.
Originally Posted by John.L
73, Cecil, www.w5dxp.com
The maximum power transfer theorem works just as well for a non-resonant antenna as it does for a resonant antenna.
All very good suggestions.
I would interject that I disassembled a 5/8 wave loading coil from an A/S mobile antenna. It consisted of about 3 turns of #14 wire on about a 1 inch former. The wire was about 9" long.
Since 5/8 antennas are non resonant, the overall length of the antenna is really not that critical, as long as the coil and antenna provide a good match.
Build a coil, as described, then add a radiator about 48" (+ or -) and adjust the length until the SWR gets below 1.5 to one. With a good ground plane you should have a working antenna. The overall length might be 45 to 51 inches or so, but that won't really matter all that much as far as gain and angle of radiation.
We cannot tax our way to prosperity.
Thanks for the replies and yes it does have 3 ground radials a 1/4 wavelength long at the design frequency which is 70.200Mhz.They are mounted at the bottom of the antenna at 90 Degrees to the vertical radiator.
To get it right it looks like its not as simple as one originally thought.Lots of reading and information and from the links posted it will keep me busy for a while.There is little or no antennas commercially available for the 70Mhz or 4meter band.
While the 5/8 radiator can be trimmed at the final tweaking stage the most important feature of this antenna is to maintain a radiator length of slightly less than the 5/8 wave length, therefore the first component of the antenna to be adjusted is the loading coil.