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Re: [TowerTalk] Fractal Antennas, Chip Cohen (N1IR) on Nova Last Night

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Fractal Antennas, Chip Cohen (N1IR) on Nova Last Night
From: jimlux <>
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2010 20:44:55 -0800
List-post: <">>
Rick Karlquist wrote:
> I did a search of IEEE for papers on fractal antennas authored by Chip.
> There were none in referreed journals, and only 4 or 5 conference
> papers, and they were all rather old.  I looked at the papers and none of
> them really made a convincing case for fractal antennas IMHO.  It raises a
> red flag for me when I see someone making an end run around established
> technical journals and going to the general media, such as NOVA.
> Most of the time when I follow up on technical "breakthroughs"
> I read about in the general media, there is nothing to take to
> the bank.  Being in the general media seems to be more of a
> negative indicator than a positive one.
> Even if a self described fractal antenna is demonstrated to "work",
> whatever that means, we still don't know if it worked because of being
> fractal or in spite of being fractal.  There is also a confusion between
> the meaning of "fractal" and the prior art of "frequency independent
> antennas".
> Rick N6RK

I think the primary value of fractal antennas (over other frequency 
independent or broad/multi-band designs of one sort or another) is as a 
unique marketing tool for product differentiation.  Along the lines of 
"now, with patent pending framostat enabled chrome muffler bearings".

it also allows some amount of funding lock-in.  If you hold the patents, 
it makes it harder for someone else to experiment with it and prove you 
wrong.  A would-be debunker gets a letter implying a legal battle might 
ensue, and you figure you got other more productive fish to fry, whether 
or not the legal claims have merit (that is, reproduction of a patented 
thing for experimentation is permitted under limited circumstances, but 
you'd hate to spend thousands of dollars proving it)

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