Joe Giacobello, K2XX wrote:
> Nova did a presentation on fractals last night, and there was about a
> five minute segment with N1IR and fractal antennas. Apparently, they're
> finding applications in cell phones and the like. Although I don't
> remember the details, N1IR took a lot of heat from some members of the
> various ham antenna forums when he first proposed his ideas. I guess
> that was about ten years ago. Have he and his concepts now been vindicated?
For a given physical size, there's lots of ways to arrange an antenna,
especially one for multiple bands. For antennas that are "small"
compared to a wavelength, they all pretty much work about the same, with
small differences in ease of matching in a particular circuit or bands.
Fractals are nice in some ways, because they are self-similar at
multiple scales, which might be a convenient way to make a broad band
antenna. Of course, there's lots of other scale-invariant designs, like
Log Periodic Dipole Arrays, spirals of one sort or another, etc. but
those have all been around a while.
The other funky looking antenna that's popular of late is something done
by running a genetic algorithm on a random collection of wires or
patches of conductor on a substrate.
If you can come up with a "unique" way, then you can get a patent on it,
even if it doesn't work particularly much better or worse. That patent
might allow you to prevent someone from copying a bigger device, if the
design of the antenna is sufficiently integrated.
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