Topband: In search of the True Monopole, Part Three.

Guy Olinger K2AV olinger at
Wed Feb 8 22:59:23 PST 2012


Cackle was sitting up in his bed, dreading going to sleep. "This is crazy,"
speaking aloud to no one else in the room. "None of this makes sense. None
of this is worth losing sleep."  Cackle laid back on his pillow and reached
up to turn off his reading light, plunging the room into darkness.  He fell
asleep almost instantly.

Elmer Wills the Haint was holding up an I-pad for him to view, displaying a
web page.  Pointing to it Elmer said, "Not a mon-o-pole. Five pole," in the
voice of Jacob Marley.

In that part of us that knows it's a dream and watches the dream from off
to the side, Cackle was wondering, he died in 1985, how did Elmer get an

"Not a mon-o-pole. Five pole," the haint repeated. Cackle stood still in
the haint dream, saying nothing.

"NOT A MON-O-POLE. FIVE POLE," now in a rattle-chain voice that made Cackle

Elmer waved the I-pad in Cackle's face. Cackle looked. A picture of a UHF
quarter-wave ground-plane with four quarterwave rigid tubing radials
angling downward at 45 degrees, mounted on a pipe with a coax feed emerging
from the pipe at the bottom. Five identical metal tubes in five directions.
Underneath the picture in bold print, "Monopole".

In the off-to-the-side Cackle, he was wondering, I'm going to have a
technical discussion with my elmer's ghost in a haint dream?

The in-the-dream Cackle was forcing himself to say something, the kind of
forced speech for real that wakes dreamers up, "Only the vertical
radiates," defending the caption.

Elmer Wills increased five fold in size, taking an angry visage, and
speaking in an ear-rattling thunderous voice, "RADIALS RADIATE!! COAX

The angry visage faded out as Cackle woke up in a sweat.

"I am having a technical discussion with my elmer's ghost in a haint
dream," Cackle spoke aloud to no one in the still dark room. The ghostly
projection clock numbers on the ceiling said 3:30 AM.

Cackle sat in the darkness for a while, and then realizing he had to sleep
regardless, lay back down. He quickly fell asleep again and had his
recurring dream about parking his car and then not being able to find it.


Cackle awoke after daybreak in a foul mood. Unlike most of his dreams whose
content was remembered barely or hazily at best the morning after, he
remembered last night's pair of dreams in full 3D, technicolor, and
surround sound.  Cackle was tired, annoyed, confused, angry, and resentful,
in addition to his normal I-haven't-had-my-coffee cranky.

He was still discouraged by his previous afternoon and evening's time on
the internet where it became clear that "monopole" had been used to
describe everything from a ground plane antenna to a folded dipole, to an
AM broadcast tower, to a magnet that was impossible, and now apparently
possible if the magnets were molecule sized. No one had actually made or
seen one, but the authors were very positive it could be done. Right,
thought Cackle. PROVE IT!

He was discouraged by the planet-wrapping volume of Google hits on
"monopole". Cackle had done some minor arithmetic and figured that five
minutes to read and understand each of 8 million hits on "monopole" would
take 379 work-years for the lot, and would probably increase in number at a
rate faster than he could read them. He was completely at the mercy of
whatever Google algorithm put references at the top of the list.  Who was
in charge of the algorithm, he wondered.  Suppose reference number
5,187,473 was the miracle reference, or even number 134,299? How would he
ever find it?

Cackle wandered into his kitchen to make some coffee.  Sitting at his
dinette he looked across into the living room and his bookshelves.  He saw
his old college textbooks.  Then he remembered Terman's.  "Electronic and
Radio Engineering".  Did he have it?  He got up, walked over and found it.
 He sat back down at the table to read. Fourth edition, copyright 1932,
1937, 1947, 1955.  Elmer would approve.

"Monopole" was not in the index. Not a good sign. Two hours later Cackle
had a sense of where the great Professor Terman was on the subject of
"poles". Reading the entire section on antennas, if anything the book cast
doubt on the true existence of a monopole.  The shield current was always
going someplace. Often called a "mirror" at the time, it would be another
pole to the "mono". Any counterpoise was a pole. But there was no single
quotation, page number, book and publisher from the ancient master he could
quote to the haint and shut him up. Then he remembered something.

With a flash of how-could-I-be-so-stupid regret, Cackle went over to his
computer desk, called up Google again, and typed "monopole antenna" into
the search field. Down to 670,000 hits. Only 32 work-years to read.  But
the top listings were different from yesterday's.

Cackle clicked on a URL that said "Images for monopole antenna". A page
came up with several hundred picture icons of what were called monopoles.
Cackle clicked on one that tugged on his memory, to enlarge it. Another
pause, a new page, and...

There staring him in the face was THE image of the "monopole" from Elmer's
I-pad in his dream.  "Elmer the Haint surfs the internet." he said aloud.
"Elmer's right, no way that's a monopole." A long pause, as he stared at
the photo.  "But it's not a five pole, either." Cackle started reading, and
read and read and read, drilling down from the photos.

-- To be continued --


73, Guy.

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