29 October 2007

Multiband beam (70 MHz)

I have no experience on this matter, so this is a purely theoretical post.

If looking for a directional antenna that covers 50 MHz, 70 MHz and 144 MHz, why not consider a log-periodic? With a boom of 4.5m, max width of 3.6m and 11 elements, three bands are covered. A matching system is needed.

Another version, probably with a better impedance range but lower gain, counts 15 elements over a 5m boom.

So, there's plenty of room to play with. Just need to put to work some simulation software and then cut lots of pipes...

22 October 2007

Antenna tuners are reversible

I'm back on posting after a few weeks without any shack or lab activity.

I had few minutes to spare, so I wanted to do a measurement on my homebrew LC switched antenna tuner. I wanted to see what kind of impedance range it can match. How? Read on...

The LC circuit is a bidirectional quadripole, so it can be used in any direction: close one end on 50 ohm and measure R-jX on the other.

I used the MFJ-259B to do measurements, so I have no idea if "X" is inductive or capacitive. I closed the antenna side on a simple 50 ohm resistor (2x100 ohm in parallel) and flipped switches all around to see what the instrument showed.

On all HF I could read low R with highX (probably the equivalent of a short whip) as well as moderate R&X (a long non resonant, non half-wave, wire). I was concerned the capacitance swing was somehow wrong, but my feelings were wrong and the tuner actually does the job.