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[TowerTalk] HF Antenna gain measurements

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Subject: [TowerTalk] HF Antenna gain measurements
From: Roger (Roger)
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 09:02:19 -0500
I have been reading all of the posts about the tribander gain tests and it
reminds me of a similar case about 20-30  years ago that involved 2 meter beams
and the infamous gamma-match.  One particular antenna manufacturer, who will go
nameless, made a popular 2 meter beam that used a gamma-match.  The VHF-purists
hated it, while the FM-only crowd could possibly care less. At the Central
States VHF Society conferences (and other VHF conferences), these antennas were
measured on temporary antenna ranges, and the poor performance of the
gamma-match at VHF and UHF was verified.  Today, you very rarely see a
gamma-match used on 2m or higher.  Also, these antenna gain measurement contests
are now a common occurence at all VHF-UHF Conferences.

Steve's and Ward's measurements are an excellent beginning!  I know that HF
antennas are more difficult to handle and measure on a repeatable "homebrew" or
temporary range, but I think that it could be possible.  Maybe US Tower or
Tri-Ex/Force-12 could loan some tower-trailers for a few days at a DX Convention
(such as at Visalia or Fresno).  Or how about a separate Conference just for
antenna experimentors?  A committee of antenna "experts" could come up with a
measurement procedure and test equipment (on loan?) for such a contest.  (A
procedure that most everyone agrees with! )  If such tests/contests were held
periodically, then manufacturers and homebrewers could bring their new and
improved antennas for measurement.  Separate classes are usually available for
commercial designs.  New, out-of-the-box antennas could be measured (as well as
"champions"), eliminating the question of problems with borrowing someone's used
(and possibly) defective 20-year-old tribander.  Of course, those manufacturers
who don't show up or whose products don't perform well would suffer from
negative publicity, but wouldn't that encourage them to improve their designs?

Monoband antenna designs have improved over the past 10 years due to the
proliferation of computer modeling programs.  Multiband/triband antenna designs
are more difficult to model, and even if they can be modeled, manufacturers are
hesitant to release design secrets.  Antenna contests can verify performance,
yet protect company "secrets".

How about it?  Anyone interested?

73 Roger WB0DGF

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