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Re: Topband: Tuning a 2el parasitic array

To: "Richard (Rick) Karlquist" <>
Subject: Re: Topband: Tuning a 2el parasitic array
From: VE6WZ_Steve <>
Date: Sun, 21 Jun 2020 13:14:18 -0600
List-post: <>
Hi Rick,
Yes you can field test for max F/B, but that is far from ”simple” and easy to 
do.  I have done it. Many times over the last 22 years.

With a Yagi on the tower I used both an external source as well as an external 
RX in the field and tried to tune for max F/B.
Using an external source I also plotted real-time polar plots of the Yagi 
However...In practice, here is how it goes:
To check F/B….we rotate Yagi forward…record measurement, back to shack, rotate 
Yagi to back, record measurement.  Then guess if we need the parasitic longer 
or shorter… Climb the tower adjust element (or adjust lumped load at the 
element). test again. Guess again….longer maybe? Climb tower…adjust.  
Meaure-rotate-measure again. Maybe we getting closer to optimum? shorter, 
test…longer test. Are we yet at the maximum F/B or can we get a bit more? Climb 
tower…readjust…etc. etc..  This is especially tedious and difficult with a 
narrow-band shortened low-band Yagi.
I speak from experience. This method is a lot of work and can take many 
iterations and you will still not be sure.…been there done that!
The other issue is aberrant ground reflections and wave angle considerations 
depending on your distance from the tower, Yagi height etc.
My field measured polar plots often showed some funny things and pattern 

The method I describe in my video is MUCH easier, and leaves no doubt that the 
antenna is tuned as per your model. I have used it to tune both my 80-40M Yagis 
as well as the 160m parasitic array and subsequent on air test confirm they are 
optimally tuned.  In all cases tuning was quick and easy.  I honestly cant 
imagine doing it by field strength testing!
Understanding how the SWR bandwidth becomes more narrow as you approach the max 
gain point, and comparing this to your model, you can 
even “dial-in” the tuning more to be exactly where you want it.

73, de steve ve6wz

> You should be able to tune up any 2 element array, whether parasitic
> or driven, by simply putting a signal source behind it and adjusting
> for max F/B.  Or putting the signal source in front and adjusting for
> maximum gain.  No analyzer required.  Then,  you can substitute fixed 
> components for the variable L's and C's if desired.  This method works even 
> if the driven element is a shunt fed grounded tower.  Just use
> the feed as it was when the tower was just a single vertical.
> After doing that, you can get out the analyzer and
> measure the drive impedance of the phasing network and design a
> simple matching network to go between it and the transmitter.
> BTW, parasitic arrays seem simpler, but driven arrays (especially
> 2 element ones) have better F/B ratio ), and broader bandwidth,
> 73
> Rick N6RK

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