[TowerTalk] You forgot INNOVATION! - Was Designer's Dilemma

Jim Idelson k1ir@designet.com
Thu, 21 Sep 2000 11:34:25 -0400


I beg to disagree. I have been involved in these discussions many, many times - 
and I've heard this argument all too often. Fortunately for all of us, it is an 
argument that doesn't hold water. There is another very important element that 
is very frequently overlooked:


Innovation is the element that permits a few smart people to walk away from 
such traditional thinking, go to a venture capital firm and get the funding to 
produce a more functional and higher quality result in less time and with less 
money. Then they proceed to put the guys who are stuck thinking about the 
triangle out of business.

How about an example we can all relate to [helpful in justifying this thread 
running so long on this reflector]:

Challenge: Build a tribander that has better bandwidth, more power-handling 
capability, higher gain, higher strength.

Traditional 'Triangle' Thinking: Results in bigger traps, more elements, more 
guying of the boom, etc. All this at a higher manufacturing cost, added 
complexity and huge amounts of incremental design engineering time and cost. 
Follows the 'triangle' theory perfectly.

Innovative Thinking: Results in open-sleeve designs - with inherently wider 
bandwidth, no capacitors or inductors to dissipate power, no reductions in 
element size (limiting gain and b/w). Also results in new approaches to 
mechanical construction to handle wind - smaller element diameters, less 
aluminum. Reduced parts count, simpler electrical design and less aluminum 
yields lower cost while delivering higher reliability and higher performance. 

Lessons for everyone:
1.	Marketing people: Tell engineers the RESULTS you want - not how to build it. 
But don't be bound to incremental improvements. Ask for the world - you just 
might get it.
2.	Engineers: Know about new methods and technologies. Use them! INNOVATE! Take 
risk - propose what HASN'T been done before, not minor changes in what's 
already been done.

I'm sure there are those of you who will find ways to rationalize that this 
thinking can't be right . . . until you discover an incredible innovation of 
your own that breaks all the perceived rules! Good luck . . . hope you find it 



>I saw an engineering cartoon once shaped as a triangle. The three sides were 


The caption read: PICK TWO !

That pretty well sums up the tradeoffs in most projects, whether they be 
Towers, Antennas, or Transmission Lines, and keeps TowerTalk alive with debate!

de Tom N4KG 

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