# Lesson 11: Antennas. Copyright Winters Version 1.0. Preparation for Amateur Radio Technician Class Exam

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1 Lesson 11: Antennas Preparation for Amateur Radio Technician Class Exam

2 Topics Antenna ½ wave Dipole antenna ¼ wave Vertical antenna Antenna polarization Antenna location Beam antennas Test Equipment Exam Questions for this section Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 1

4 A Quick Review! Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 3

5 Frequencies and Wavelengths Remember: Frequency and wavelength are related by this formula: Speed of light (m/s) = frequency (Hz) X wavelength (m) C = f λ 1 Meter 37 inches 300 MHz meters f C λ Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 4

6 Antennas You must have an antenna for your radio to operate The antenna is used by both the transmitter and receiver Current travels between the radio and antenna through a transmission line (or feed line) Antennas transmit and receive in particular directions, based on the design of the antenna The antenna gain is greatest in the same direction that the antenna puts out the greatest power Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 5

7 ½ wave dipole Basically, just a wire whose length is ½ of the wavelength of the frequency you are working with Copper or copper clad steel wires are common Most energy from a dipole is sent 90 degrees from the antenna wire If your antenna is strung east to west, your best gain will be north and south of you Gain is OK certainly better than a rubber duck! insulator ½ wavelength wire Feed line to the radio Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 6

8 ½ wave dipole What would be the length, to the nearest inch, of a half-wavelength dipole antenna that is resonant at 147 MHz? 300/147 = 2.04 meter wavelength 2.04 / 2 = 1.02 meter ½ wavelength 1.02 * inches Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 7

9 ½ wave dipole How long should you make a half-wavelength dipole antenna for 223 MHz (measured to the nearest inch)? 300/223 = 1.35 meter wavelength 1.35 / 2 = 0.67 meter ½ wavelength 0.67 * inches Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 8

10 Multi-band dipole A dipole with additional wires for additional frequencies There is just one feed line insulator ½ wavelength wire Feed line to the radio Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 9

11 ¼ wave vertical Basically, just a wire whose length is ¼ of the wavelength of the frequency you are working with, attached to ground radials or a ground plane Most energy from a dipole is sent 90 degrees from the antenna wire Gain is better than a dipole ¼ wavelength wire Feed line to the radio Ground plane Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 10

12 ¼ wave vertical Popular car antennas for HTs because the car body serves as the ground plane To avoid RF to the passengers, mount the antenna on the roof of the car if possible The small antenna that comes with the radio is fondly called the rubber duck It is fairly inefficient, so many hams replace it with a ¼ wave vertical telescoping or flexible antenna Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 11

13 ¼ wave vertical How long should you make a quarterwavelength vertical antenna for 146 MHz (measured to the nearest inch)? 300/146 = 2.05 meter wavelength 2.05 / 4 = 0.5 meter ¼ wavelength 0.5 * inches Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 12

14 ¼ wave vertical How long should you make a quarterwavelength vertical antenna for 440 MHz (measured to the nearest inch)? 300/440 = 0.68 meter wavelength 0.68 / 4 = 0.17 meter ¼ wavelength 0.17 * 37 6 inches Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 13

15 Loading Coil If you are working a frequencies with long wavelengths, your antenna may get too long to handle You can reduce the length of the antenna without changing its frequency by adding a loading coil to the antenna Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 14

16 Antenna Polarization Polarization is the direction of the electrical lines of force from an antenna An antenna parallel to the Earth s surface is horizontally polarized So a ½ wave dipole is??? polarized An antenna perpendicular to the Earth s surface is vertically polarized So a ¼ wave vertical is??? polarized Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 15

17 Antenna Polarization For best communication, the transmitting and receiving antennas should have the same polarization Because vertical antennas are so popular (handhelds, car mount) most repeater antennas are vertically polarized Most weak-signal SSB and CW work is done with horizontal polarization Satellites use circular polarization Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 16

18 Antenna Location Because higher antennas have better range, many people locate their antennas on top of a tower, on a roof top, or up in a tree Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 17

19 Installation Safety Tips Tower safety Wear a hard hat and safety glasses if you are on the ground helping someone work on an antenna tower to protect your head from something dropped from the tower The person climbing the tower should wear a safety belt and safety glasses Be careful of using a leather climbing belt, because if the leather is old, it may be brittle and could break unexpectedly Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 18

20 Installation Safety Tips Before climbing a tower: Tell someone that you will be up on the tower Bring a variety of tools with you to minimize your trips up and down the tower Inspect the tower before climbing to become aware of any antennas or other obstacles that you may need to step around Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 19

21 Installation Safety Tips Before climbing a guyed tower: Tell someone that you will be up on the tower Inspect the tower for cracks or loose bolts Inspect the guy wires for frayed cable, loose cable clamps, loose turnbuckles or loose guy anchors Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 20

22 Installation Safety Tips When using a bow and arrow or slingshot and weight to shoot an antenna-support line over a tree, ensure that: The line is strong enough to withstand the shock of shooting the weight The arrow or weight has a safe flight path if the line breaks The bow and arrow or slingshot is in good working condition Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 21

23 Installation Safety Tips Watch out for power lines! Be sure your antenna and feed line are well clear of any power lines Make sure your antenna tower is well away from overhead power lines Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 22

24 Beam Antennas Beam antennas are directional, and are frequently used on higher frequency bands Beam antennas provide gain in the direction they are pointed, and reduce interference from other directions If a beam antenna has a 3 db gain over a dipole antenna, it means that the beam antenna has double the radiated power of the dipole Two popular kinds of beam antennas are: Yagi Cubical Quad Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 23

25 Yagi Is combed of 3 or more elements connected to a boom At a minimum you will have one of each: Reflector Driven element Director Some people add more directors to their Yagis, but still have one reflector and one driven element The length of the boom determines the gain you get from your antenna Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 24

26 Yagi Reflector Driven Element Director Favored direction Feed Line Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 25

27 Yagi The driven element is typically ½ wavelength The director is slightly shorter than the driven element The reflector is slightly longer than the driven element Only the driven element is connected to the feed line Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 26

28 Cubical Quad A cubical quad antenna has 2 or more elements in the shape of loops Each loop is a square of wire with a total length of about one wavelength So each side of the square is about ¼ wavelength One element is the driven element, the other can be either a reflector or director Driven element Feed line Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 27

29 Cubical Quad When the feed line is connected to a horizontal side of the driven element loop, the antenna is horizontally polarized When the feed line is connected to a vertical side of the driven element loop, the antenna is vertically polarized Feed line Feed line Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 28

30 Test Equipment Avoiding current Handling electrical equipment one handed helps prevent you from becoming a path for current Soldering Wear safety glasses Work in a well-ventilated area Make sure no one can touch the soldering iron tip for at least 10 minutes after it is turned off Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 29

31 Test Equipment Voltmeter Measures voltage, the electro-motive force It is a meter with resistors in series When you switch to higher voltage, more resistance is added to the series Connect in parallel to the circuit under test Meter A is measuring voltage Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 30

32 Test Equipment Ammeter or Ampmeter Measures current It is a meter with resistors in parallel When you switch to higher current, more resistors are added in parallel to give the current more paths to follow Connect in series to the circuit under test Meter B is measuring current One way to find power used by resistor R is multiply the value of R by the square of the current reading on meter B Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 31

33 Test Equipment Ohmmeter Measures resistance Connect in across the circuit under test Do not measure resistance in a circuit that has power applied to it Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 32

34 Test Equipment Multimeters Combines a voltmeter, ammeter, and ohmmeter Be careful as to which setting you use and how you connect the meter to the circuit For example, if you connect the meter to a circuit that has power to measure voltage, then switch it to the ohmmeter, you could burn out the movingneedle movement Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 33

35 Test Equiment Dummy Antenna or Dummy Load A large resistor that replaces your antenna so you can test your system without actually sending a signal Converts RF energy from the transmitter to heat Has a constant 50 ohm load Be sure it can handle the power output from your transmitter A 100 watt transmitter should be connected to a dummy antenna that will handle at least 100 watts Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 34

36 Test Equipment Signal Generator Produces a stable, low-level signal that can be set to a desired frequency Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 35

37 Exam Questions The following slides contain questions from the exam pool that are covered in this section of the notes Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 36

38 T8D03 T8D03 What would be the length, to the nearest inch, of a half-wavelength dipole antenna that is resonant at 147 MHz? A. 19 inches B. 37 inches C. 55 inches D. 74 inches Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 37

39 T8D04 T8D04 How long should you make a halfwavelength dipole antenna for 223 MHz (measured to the nearest inch)? A. 112 inches B. 50 inches C. 25 inches D. 12 inches Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 38

40 T8D15 T8D15 If the ends of a half-wavelength dipole antenna (mounted at least a half- wavelength high) point east and west, which way would the antenna send out radio energy? A. Equally in all directions B. Mostly up and down C. Mostly north and south D. Mostly east and west Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 39

41 T8D20 T8D20 What is one advantage to using a multiband antenna? A. You can operate on several bands with a single feed line B. Multiband antennas always have high gain C. You can transmit on several frequencies simultaneously D. Multiband antennas offer poor harmonic suppression Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 40

42 T8D01 T8D01 Which of the following will improve the operation of a hand-held radio inside a vehicle? A. Shielding around the battery pack B. A good ground to the belt clip C. An external antenna on the roof D. An audio amplifier Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 41

43 T8D02 T8D02 Which is true of "rubber duck" antennas for hand-held transceivers? A. The shorter they are, the better they perform B. They are much less efficient than a quarterwavelength telescopic antenna C. They offer the highest amount of gain possible for any hand-held transceiver antenna D. They have a good long-distance communications range Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 42

44 T8D05 T8D05 How long should you make a quarterwavelength vertical antenna for 146 MHz (measured to the nearest inch)? A. 112 inches B. 50 inches C. 19 inches D. 12 inches Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 43

45 T8D06 T8D06 How long should you make a quarterwavelength vertical antenna for 440 MHz (measured to the nearest inch)? A. 12 inches B. 9 inches C. 6 inches D. 3 inches Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 44

46 T8D21 T8D21 What could be done to reduce the physical length of an antenna without changing its resonant frequency? A. Attach a balun at the feed point B. Add series capacitance at the feed point C. Use thinner conductors D. Add a loading coil Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 45

47 T8D13 T8D13 What does horizontal wave polarization mean? A. The magnetic lines of force of a radio wave are parallel to the Earth's surface B. The electric lines of force of a radio wave are parallel to the Earth's surface C. The electric lines of force of a radio wave are perpendicular to the Earth's surface D. The electric and magnetic lines of force of a radio wave are perpendicular to the Earth's surface Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 46

48 T8D14 T8D14 What does vertical wave polarization mean? A. The electric lines of force of a radio wave are parallel to the Earth's surface B. The magnetic lines of force of a radio wave are perpendicular to the Earth's surface C. The electric lines of force of a radio wave are perpendicular to the Earth's surface D. The electric and magnetic lines of force of a radio wave are parallel to the Earth's surface Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 47

49 T8D16 T8D16 What electromagnetic wave polarization do most repeater antennas have in the VHF and UHF spectrum? A. Horizontal B. Vertical C. Right-hand circular D. Left-hand circular Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 48

50 T8D17 T8D17 What electromagnetic wave polarization is used for most satellite operation? A. Only horizontal B. Only vertical C. Circular D. No polarization Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 49

51 T8D18 T8D18 Which antenna polarization is used most often for weak signal VHF/UHF SSB operation? A. Vertical B. Horizontal C. Right-hand circular D. Left-hand circular Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 50

52 T0B03 T0B03 Why should you wear a hard hat and safety glasses if you are on the ground helping someone work on an antenna tower? A. So you won't be hurt if the tower should accidentally fall B. To keep RF energy away from your head during antenna testing C. To protect your head from something dropped from the tower D. So someone passing by will know that work is being done on the tower and will stay away Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 51

53 T0B04 T0B04 What safety factors must you consider when using a bow and arrow or slingshot and weight to shoot an antenna-support line over a tree? A. You must ensure that the line is strong enough to withstand the shock of shooting the weight B. You must ensure that the arrow or weight has a safe flight path if the line breaks C. You must ensure that the bow and arrow or slingshot is in good working condition D. All of these choices are correct Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 52

54 T0B05 T0B05 Which of the following is the best way to install your antenna in relation to overhead electric power lines? A. Always be sure your antenna wire is higher than the power line, and crosses it at a 90-degree angle B. Always be sure your antenna and feed line are well clear of any power lines C. Always be sure your antenna is lower than the power line, and crosses it at a small angle D. Only use vertical antennas within 100 feet of a power line Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 53

55 T0B06 T0B06 What should you always do before attempting to climb an antenna tower? A. Turn on all radio transmitters that use the tower's antennas B. Remove all tower grounding to guard against static electric shock C. Put on your safety belt and safety glasses D. Inform the FAA and the FCC that you are starting work on a tower Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 54

56 T0B07 T0B07 What is the most important safety precaution to take when putting up an antenna tower? A. Install steps on your tower for safe climbing B. Insulate the base of the tower to avoid lightning strikes C. Ground the base of the tower to avoid lightning strikes D. Look for and stay clear of any overhead electrical wires Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 55

57 T0B08 T0B08 What should you consider before you climb a tower with a leather climbing belt? A. If the leather is old, it is probably brittle and could break unexpectedly B. If the leather is old, it is very tough and is not likely to break easily C. If the leather is old, it is flexible and will hold you more comfortably D. An unbroken old leather belt has proven its holding strength over the years Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 56

58 T0B09 T0B09 What should you do before you climb a guyed tower? A. Tell someone that you will be up on the tower B. Inspect the tower for cracks or loose bolts C. Inspect the guy wires for frayed cable, loose cable clamps, loose turnbuckles or loose guy anchors D. All of these choices are correct Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 57

59 T0B10 T0B10 What should you do before you do any work on top of your tower? A. Tell someone that you will be up on the tower B. Bring a variety of tools with you to minimize your trips up and down the tower C. Inspect the tower before climbing to become aware of any antennas or other obstacles that you may need to step around D. All of these choices are correct Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 58

60 T8D07 T8D07 Which of the following factors has the greatest effect on the gain of a properly designed Yagi antenna? A. The number of elements B. Boom length C. Element spacing D. Element diameter Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 59

61 T8D08 T8D08 Approximately how long is the driven element of a Yagi antenna? A. 1/4 wavelength B. 1/3 wavelength C. 1/2 wavelength D. 1 wavelength Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 60

62 T8D09 T8D09 In Figure T8-8, what is the name of element 2 of the Yagi antenna? A. Director B. Reflector C. Boom D. Driven element Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 61

63 T8D10 T8D10 In Figure T8-8, what is the name of element 3 of the Yagi antenna? A. Director B. Reflector C. Boom D. Driven element Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 62

64 T8D11 T8D11 In Figure T8-8, what is the name of element 1 of the Yagi antenna? A. Director B. Reflector C. Boom D. Driven element Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 63

65 T8D12 T8D12 What is a cubical quad antenna? A. Four straight, parallel elements in line with each other, each approximately 1/2-electrical wavelength long B. Two or more parallel four-sided wire loops, each approximately one- electrical wavelength long C. A vertical conductor 1/4-electrical wavelength high, fed at the bottom D. A center-fed wire 1/2-electrical wavelength long Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 64

66 T8D19 T8D19 How will increasing antenna gain by 3 db affect your signal's effective radiated power in the direction of maximum radiation? A. It will cut it in half B. It will not change C. It will double it D. It will quadruple it Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 65

67 T8B07 T8B07 What minimum rating should a dummy antenna have for use with a 100-watt, singlesideband-phone transmitter? A. 100 watts continuous B. 141 watts continuous C. 175 watts continuous D. 200 watts continuous Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 66

68 T8B15 T8B15 In Figure T8-3, if block 1 is a transceiver and block 2 is an antenna switch, what is block 3? A. A terminal-node switch B. An SWR meter C. A telegraph key switch D. A dummy antenna Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 67

69 T8F01 T8F01 Which instrument would you use to measure electric potential or electromotive force? A. An ammeter B. A voltmeter C. A wavemeter D. An ohmmeter Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 68

70 T8F02 T8F02 How is a voltmeter usually connected to a circuit under test? A. In series with the circuit B. In parallel with the circuit C. In quadrature with the circuit D. In phase with the circuit Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 69

71 T8F03 T8F03 What happens inside a voltmeter when you switch it from a lower to a higher voltage range? A. Resistance is added in series with the meter B. Resistance is added in parallel with the meter C. Resistance is reduced in series with the meter D. Resistance is reduced in parallel with the meter Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 70

72 T8F04 T8F04 How is an ammeter usually connected to a circuit under test? A. In series with the circuit B. In parallel with the circuit C. In quadrature with the circuit D. In phase with the circuit Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 71

73 T8F05 T8F05 Which instrument would you use to measure electric current? A. An ohmmeter B. A wavemeter C. A voltmeter D. An ammeter Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 72

74 T8F06 T8F06 What test instrument would be useful to measure DC resistance? A. An oscilloscope B. A spectrum analyzer C. A noise bridge D. An ohmmeter Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 73

75 T8F07 T8F07 What might damage a multimeter that uses a moving-needle meter? A. Measuring a voltage much smaller than the maximum for the chosen scale B. Leaving the meter in the milliamps position overnight C. Measuring voltage when using the ohms setting D. Not allowing it to warm up properly Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 74

76 T8F08 T8F08 For which of the following measurements would you normally use a multimeter? A. SWR and power B. Resistance, capacitance and inductance C. Resistance and reactance D. Voltage, current and resistance Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 75

77 T8F15 T8F15 What safety step should you take when soldering? A. Always wear safety glasses B. Ensure proper ventilation C. Make sure no one can touch the soldering iron tip for at least 10 minutes after it is turned off D. All of these choices are correct Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 76

78 T8F18 T8F18 What device produces a stable, lowlevel signal that can be set to a desired frequency? A. A wavemeter B. A reflectometer C. A signal generator D. An oscilloscope Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 77

79 T8F19 T8F19 In Figure T8-9, what circuit quantity would meter B indicate? A. The voltage across the resistor B. The power consumed by the resistor C. The power factor of the resistor D. The current flowing through the resistor Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 78

80 T8F20 T8F20 In Figure T8-9, what circuit quantity is meter A reading? A. Battery current B. Battery voltage C. Battery power D. Battery current polarity Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 79

81 T8F21 T8F21 In Figure T8-9, how would the power consumed by the resistor be calculated? A. Multiply the value of the resistor times the square of the reading of meter B B. Multiply the value of the resistor times the reading of meter B C. Multiply the reading of meter A times the value of the resistor D. Multiply the value of the resistor times the square root of the reading of meter B Lesson 2: How Radio Works - 80

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