Topband: In search of the True Monopole, Part Four of Four.
Guy Olinger K2AV
olinger at bellsouth.net
Thu Feb 9 20:51:50 PST 2012
There staring Cackle 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 and then
branching out. He had found the mother lode on "monopole".
Eventually he found a "monopole" that was a self-supporting tower fed with
the feed coax shield attached near the ground, and the center conductor
connected to a gamma match point up the tower. A bit of excitement started,
as perhaps this was "the one". But as he read farther, it was supported by
another tower section as a base in a hole in the ground, held fast by
pouring concrete into the hole around the section.
The owner had measured the current beneath the shield attachment to see how
much was going into the earth. While the current was not large compared to
the current up the tower, it WAS current. Since the resistance of the earth
connection was not known, the power loss in the connection was not known
either. It wasn't a True Monopole. It was, Cackle realized with regret, a
whole pole plus part of a pole in the hole. It was a One Point One Pole.
And since even a tenth of a pole is a pole nonetheless, it was not a true
monopole. The article did not even mention current on the coax.
Cackle repeated this cycle of discovery and realization numerous times as
he drilled through the material.
A "monopole" was really what something looked like, not how it worked or
behaved. And even "looked like" was sometimes a stretch of the imagination.
Every pole had a counter-pole. You can't do a push to one without a pull
from the other, or a pull without a push. The counterpole was often what
the article failed to mention or was found way down in the fine print. The
pole was driven with energy which they wanted to radiate. The counterpole
was driven with energy, which might radiate, might be returned, might be
dissipated as heat, or some combination of the three, but was never absent.
The counterpole was always there, somewhere, somehow. On low frequencies, a
well-designed counterpole radiated as little as possible, dissipated as
little as possible, returned as much as possible.
There was no true monopole. It was like the snipe, which is only understood
in the never finding. The True Answer to the challenge to find the True
Monopole was that it was not to be found. It required the search to
Finally, with the sun going down in his western window, still in his
pajamas, he stood up, slowly breaking out into a big smile.
"I have a bone to pick with my haint," he said to no one. "Let's see if he
comes around tonight."
Cackle, suddenly very hungry, walked over to his refrigerator, pulled out
some eggs, and started to make himself some breakfast.
After having breakfast at suppertime, Cackle watched TV, and went to bed at
his normal time without ever having changed out of his pajamas.
There again was Elmer the Haint, as Jacob Marley.
"Not a mon-o-pole. Five pole," growled the haint.
Cackle had rehearsed his reply, and oddly in his dream was remembering the
rehearsing. He forced himself to speak aloud.
"Two poles. The vertical is one pole, and everything underneath is the
counter-pole. Current in the counter-pole goes anywhere it can, radiates or
dissipates, or returns."
Cackle woke himself up with that spoken assertion. He sat up in the bed.
There at the foot of the bed, in a glowing, transparent, shimmering
apparition, stood Elmer Wills, with his I-pad in hand. For a while they
just looked at each other, and then Cackle finally verbalized what had been
nagging him from the start.
"Why are you here, Elmer? For the technical discussion?"
Cackle waited for the haint to say something, do something.
The haint did nothing and stood there, but was slowly shimmering into the
early Elmer that Cackle remembered. The haint finally spoke. "If you do not
search for truth and understanding in your favorite things, will you search
for truth and understanding anywhere else?" asked the haint. "What else is
lost if you don't?"
Minutes went by in silence.
As the purpose of the haint's visit slowly dawned on him, Cackle thought
about the reasons for his empty house. "No. You won't search," said Cackle.
"You won't search. And you can lose everything."
Another long pause, "Is THAT why you are here?" asked Cackle, somehow
realizing that Elmer could read his thoughts.
The haint broke out into the smile Cackle remembered when he understood
something from Elmer for the first time and could explain it back.
"You were my favorite," said the haint. "I always watch to see how you are
And then with a perfect Cheshire Cat imitation, Elmer faded away, smile
With a sigh, Cackle started to lay back, but a tiny glimmer in the now dark
room caught his eye. The glimmer increased to firefly size, then bumblebee
size, and then butterfly size, continuing to grow.
Taking his sweet time, the haint rematerialized, coming back in his Jacob
Marley pose and voice.
"True Ground," moaned the haint, "True Ground."
"No way," laughed Cackle, "No way, Haint. Halloween is O-Ver. Come back
next year." Cackle fell back in the bed laughing in that high stacatto
laugh that earned him his nickname as a schoolboy. Still laughing, he
pushed himself back up on his elbows to look at the haint.
The haint was having a hard time maintaining Jacob Marley's visage, and
finally breaking into uncontrollable laughter, Elmer Wills faded away.
Cackle fell back on the bed again. His third-to-last thought, as he
drifted into a deep dreamless sleep, was that True Ground didn't exist,
just dirt, and that always had to be accounted for. His second-to-last
thought was wondering whether the Terman's would be in the bookshelf or on
the breakfast table when he woke up. His last thought was that he had work
-- Searching for truth is always reason enough for itself. --
Prior parts one, two, three:
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