A NEW PARADIGM FOR BUILDING ANTENNAS
. . . . . . . A look at new Materials & Methods for building Antennas . . . . . . .
ARE YOU STILL BUILDING ANTENNAS FOR WORLD WAR II ?
ARMY SURPLUS was a welcome source of antenna building material in the 1950's and 1960's:
- Heavy steel masts
- Heavy RG-8 coax
- Heavy, thick copper wire
- Heavy porcelon egg insulators
- Heavy, thick, strong rope
The ARRL HANDBOOK and similar publications taught us how to use this kind of material for building our various dipoles, verticals, and loops.
50 YEARS LATER
- MY copy of the 2009 ARRL HANDBOOK is still using the same pictures and drawings as the HANDBOOK in 1962 had, when I was first licensed.
- The methods described in the 2009 HANDBOOK for building antennas are still the same as in 1962.
- HAS NOTHING CHANGED IN 50 YEARS ?
HAM RADIO IN THE 1950's & early 60's:
- Separate Receiver and Transmitter
- Radios used Tubes
- Radios were about the size of 6 Shoe Boxes (fit for a 19 inch rack)
- and very heavy
- On HF we had 3 modes: AM, CW, & RTTY
- Antennas were built as described above
HAM RADIO 50 YEARS LATER, IN 2010+:
- We use Transceivers
- No more tubes, except in high power linears
- Radios are very small, lightweight and portable
- On HF we use SSB instead of AM (with exceptions)
- CW & RTTY are still popular, but PSK and other digital modes are becoming even more popular.
- Some people build antennas with modern, lightweight, low cost material
- Most people are still building antennas for World War II
ANTENNA MATERIAL 50 YEARS LATER, IN 2010+:
- The industry has given us:
- PVDF Monofil
- The following has become affordable:
- Lightweight, low loss Coax (LMR-240, AIRCELL5, AIRCELL7)
- Yet many people are still using the same material and building antennas exactly as described in the 1955 ARRL HANDBOOK.
MODERN ANTENNAS -->
HF antennas should be erected as high as possible for good DX results.
Antennas built with modern material are lightweight and can be erected much higher (for a given cost), than antennas made of old (WW-II) material !
THIS CHAPTER WILL SHOW YOU TIPS ON BUILDING ANTENNAS WITH THESE NEW LIGHTWEIGHT MATERIALS.
It's time to let WW-II Rest in Peace!
I will describe typical methods of building modern antennas, but first we should take a look at the individual bits, beginning with the pole.
IT WILL PROBABLY TAKE ME ABOUT 6 MONTHS TO COMPLETE THIS SECTION.
In the meantime, if you have any specific questions, send me an email.
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Antenna Supports, Poles, Masts:
Next we will look at the smaller stuff:
>>> TO BE CONTINUED . . .