I apologize for distributing the message to Frank to the list--it was not
intended for general distribution, since it was a limited opinion. It did
not included M2 since I have not modeled their antennas and could not
speak to the same questions. Likewise for KLM and Cushcraft.
I must be getting old, not seeing that cc line. But I do note that
recently, ccing to the list does make a message appear, when formerly, the
list center would not resend message with the towertalk address on the cc
Here is an idea for an enterpriser--or a coop of those interested enough
to guarantee the costs: why not an independent "lab" to model and/or test
all antennas on a consistent modeling and/or test system? I can tell you
that just the modeling side of such an enterprise would take not only
large amounts of time, but as well a lot of work to establish a set of
modeling parameters that would fairly deal with a wide variety of designs,
along with the development of standard ways of handling various feed and
loading schemes, as well as a set of parameters for comparing results so
that folks would know when a fractional dB means something and when it
falls within the error range. I suspect that not all manufacturer's would
be amenable to sending their designs to such a place, since many are
proprietary. So such a check system would depend largely on user
support. Moreover, when you get to the test range side of the question,
setting up a suitable test range that maximizes accuracy and consistency
is an expensive proposition and subject to many investigations of
measurement methods. In the end, one has a "Consumer's Union" for such
items, but there is even suspicion of that outfit's evaluations of
products--certain biases for some types of items, inadequate tests on
others. Hence, it would not be a panacea to users with questions about
what is best for what purpose.
This is not a new idea. But with more and more interest by more and more
serious antenna users in the very fine points of antenna design, it would
be interesting to see what a proper "independent lab" might consist of.
If set up to handle antennas physically, it might support itself by
renting itself out on contest weekends (depending on the desirability of
the site) to groups who always wanted to try contesting with the best but
without the space, etc., to have the best at home.
More seriously, I do wonder what folks would want such a "lab" to do and
have, and what they think it should/could produce. I'll be happy to
receive direct mail from anyone with ideas, and summarize the
results--remembering that this is only an intellectual exercise.
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