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[TowerTalk] power handling limits of screwdriver antennas

To: "Towertalk" <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] power handling limits of screwdriver antennas
From: "Jim Lux" <>
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2004 06:29:52 -0700
List-post: <>
I realize it's not really on a tower, but it IS an HF antenna..

What's the "real" power limit on a screwdriver antenna? Yes, I know all the
mfrs claim, variously, a few hundred watts, but I'll bet that's just because
it's bigger than most rigs put out barefoot, and I doubt the mfrs rigorously
test to destruction.

What's the limiting mechanism and/or failure mode from running too much
power on a screwdriver antenna?

The 4:1 transformer or matching network at the base?
The finger stock?
The windings getting hot and melting the tube they're wound on (particularly
if it's PVC)?
Is it a thermal limit or a voltage limit?

Theory, wild speculation, practical experience all would be useful.

Jim, W6RMK


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