How Do I Get a Better Antenna?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by VK6FLAB, Dec 7, 2018.

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  1. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    You want to build antenna - follow the recipe .
    You want to design an antenna lean some RF physics .
    You want to find out why the home brew or store bought antenna is not working & why , more RF physics .
    " how to get a better antenna " and not get sold a dummy load - again some RF physics - or just trust the salesman ;)
    KR3DX, WN1MB and STMJ like this.
  2. SA6CKE

    SA6CKE Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You can build an antenna according to specifications, then you discover that the environment around it impacts how it works and you have to tune it to get the most out of it.

    But there are tools for doing it - all it takes is patience, basic knowledge of how to tune an antenna and a good tool. You don't have to know all the physics around it, just a little.
    1 person likes this.
  3. AA5CT

    AA5CT Ham Member QRZ Page

    re: " Just break out your handy dandy ARRL Antenna book and go at it."

    I would never have gotten on 160 from my small lot if I followed their precepts ...

    Last night I was spotted by DP0GVN at the south pole and 8 (eight) unique spotters in the EU and UK and TF3GZ in Iceland.
    W7GST likes this.
  4. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nope. Wrong. Physics most CERTAINLY required.

    Mike Traffie, N1HEX, invented the hexbeam. He took an infinite amount of flack on it back 25 years ago. I know: I saw it.

    The reason? BECAUSE the the claimers of 'snake oil' didn't understand the physics.

    I'm not talking Poynting vector expansions...I mean basic notions of current distribution and constructive and destructive interference, and phase lag.

    Build a hex beam and invite your friends to figure out how it works.

    We're trying to get (even)KIDS to have fun learning physics with STEM. When did ham radio become a 'check your brain at the door' activity? That's not how EVERYONE came in years ago.

    I don't care if (generic 'you', not VAE3AHQ)you didn't finish the 6th grade. If you are curious and like using your hands, you should like using your head. If someone kicked you in the head and turned you off, consider ham radio more welcoming than that.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
    1 person likes this.
  5. AA5CT

    AA5CT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wanna hear something radical? It has been my observation that dipole antennas (i.e. 1/2 Lamda or 1/2 wave electrical wavelength doublets) "radiate" using the magnetic field, which means it is predominantly from the area near the center. You won't find that stated in very many pubs or sources, and certainly does not appear in League publications ...

    A corollary to that: The function of an antenna's structure is to create a strong enough "reactive" magnetic (or electric field) at 1/4 WL distance from said antenna such that effective radiation takes place according to Maxwell, ie, no magnetic monopoles et al ...

    And anything beyond the dipole (Franklin, Yagi, etc.) is superposition, i.e., constructive and destructive wave interference.
    KR3DX likes this.
  6. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    CORRECTION: Mike's call is N1HXA.
  7. N7XCZ

    N7XCZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I built my own antenna from parts of used and broken name brand antennas, boom, mast plate, some of the elements. I chose a Moxon design.
    does it have gain, or FB ratio probably not but it was fun and I have worked the world with it, With my tuner I can load it on 160 meters 16 states so far!!! ???
    80 meter WAS 40 Meter 30 meter WAS 20 WAS not all the contacts were on the Mox some on my Vertical, My point is just experiment have fun and ya never know until you try and I have worked plenty of DX too even winning a couple of contest. My avatar shows the old butternut beam that took a dive, I snatched some parts from it and a 10 meter Beam and made the antenna that is shown on my QRZ page. Do I want a name brand antenna well of course I do but this is working for now, and I look forward to the day I put up a new name brand antenna to hear the difference. 73's to all and to all Good DX
  8. N8ZL

    N8ZL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Almost never true.
  9. N4ECO

    N4ECO Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Interesting reading here. I too wanted a better antenna, but didn't want to waste my money. So I bought a capacitance meter, antenna analyzer, and Cubex 2 element tri-band quad. I designed smaller spreaders and had them made at a local machine shop. I added elements for additional bands and boom support strap to support the addional weight. I built gamma matches using brass tubing from Ace hardware and Hobby Lobby. Winterized it for harsh winter weather. Did all this in 1998-99. Quad has survived and is still in use today. Take a look at it on my web site I still use the capacitance meter and antenna analyzer. Think creatively, de N4ECO - Bob
  10. N8ZL

    N8ZL Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you could see rf radiating from an antenna it would look similar to light radiating from the filament in a light bulb.

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