Practical Antennal Handbook / Edition 3

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The most popular book on antennas ever written,Joseph J. Carr's Practical Antenna Handbook is a work for anyone with an interest in antennas,from the newest of novices to the most experienced engineer. This empowering book gives you projects,yes. And it gives you material that explains why what you did works. But most importantly,it prepares you to design and construct your own antennas "for the cases," Carr modestly notes,"that the author thoughtlessly failed to cover. " Written by one of the nation's most valued radio and electronics authors,this eagerly awaited new third edition includes instructions for constructing virtually any antenna you might want from radio astronomy to citizen's band.

The world's favorite antenna book. The most popular book on antennas ever written,widely known as "the antenna builder's bible," Joseph J. Carr's Practical Antenna Handbook,Third Edition is a work for anyone with an interest in antennas,from the newest of novices to the most experienced engineer. This empowering book gives you all kinds of projects,yes. And it gives you material that explains why what you did works. But most importantly,it prepares you to design and construct your own antennas "for the cases," Carr modestly suggests,"That the author thoughtlessly failed to cover. " This third edition blends,in Joseph J. Carr's words,"the theoretical concepts that the engineers and others need to design practical antennas,and the hard-learned practical lessons derived from actually building and using antennas—real antennas made of real metal—not merely theoretical constructs on a blackboard. " Add it to your working library,and pretty soon it'll assume a favoritespot inside your toolbox,beaten up,tattered,annotated with your persona notes. . . obviously used to the fullest extent.

This second edition contains all-new BASIC computer programs for antenna design and impedance matching, expanded coverage of long-wire directional antennas and radio wave propagation theory, and new material on small loop direction-finding antennas. This book also covers circuits and methods for matching ante nna load impedance to an RF source or transmission line, plus information on antenna measurement and adjustment.

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Editorial Reviews

The nuts-and-bolts information needed to make antennas work along with the theoretical material necessary for understanding what is happening and applying principles to new projects. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780070120266
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill School Education Group
  • Publication date: 7/1/1998
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 650
  • Product dimensions: 7.38 (w) x 9.17 (h) x 1.64 (d)

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter 18: VHF/UHF Transmitting and Receiving Antennas

The VHF/UHF spectrum is commonly accepted to range from 30 MHz to 900 MHz, although the upper breakpoint is open to some differences of opinion. The VHF spectrum is 30 MHz, and the UHF spectrum is 300 MHz to 900 MHz. Above 900 MHz is the microwave spectrum. These bands are used principally for local "line of sight" communications, according to the standard wisdom. However, with the advent of OSCAR satellite, the possibility of long-distance direct communications is a reality for VHF/UHF operators. In addition, packet radio is becoming common; this means indirect long-distance possibilities through networking. For the low end of the VHF spectrum (e.g., 6-m amateur band), long-distance communications are a relatively common occurrence.

In many respects, the low-VHF region is much like the 10-m amateur band and 11-m Citizens Band: skip is not an infrequent occurrence. Many years ago, I recall an event where such skip caused many a local police officer to skip a heart beat. In those days, our police department operated on 38.17 MHz, which is between the 6-m and 10-m amateur bands. They received an emergency broadcast concerning a bank robbery at a certain Wilson Boulevard address. After a race to the county line, they discovered that the reported address would be outside of the county, and in fact did not exist even in the neighboring county (a number was skipped). The problem was traced to a police department in a southwest city that also had a Wilson Boulevard, and for them the alarm was real.

The principal difference between the lower frequencies and the VHF/UHF spectrum is that the wavelengths areshorter in the VHF/UHF region. Consider the fact that the wavelengths for these hands range from 10-m to 1m for the VHF region, and from 1m to 33 cm for the UHF region. Most antenna designs are based on wavelength, so that fact has some implications for VHF/UHF antenna design. For example, because bandwidth is a function of length/diameter ratio for many classes of antenna, broadbanding an antenna in the VHF/UHF region is relatively easy. If, say, 25-mm (i.e., 1-in) aluminum tubing is used to make a quarter-wavelength vertical, then the approximate L/D ratio is 790 in the 8-m band and 20 in the 2-m band. This feature is fortunate, because the VHF/UHF bands tend to be wider than the HF bands.

Another point to make is that many of the mechanical chores of antenna design and construction become easier for VHF/UHF antennas. One good example is the delta impedance-matching scheme. At 80 m, the delta-match dimensions are approximately 36 X 43 ft, and at 2 m they are 9.5 X 12 inches. Clearly, delta matching is a bit more practical for most users at VHF than at HF.

Types of antennas usable for VHF/UHF

The concept "VHF/UHF antenna" is only partially valid because virtually all forms of antenna can be used at HF, MW, and VHF/UHF. The main limitations that distinguish supposedly VHF/UHF designs from others are mechanical: there are some things that are simply much easier to accomplish with small antennas. Besides the delta match mentioned previously, there is the ease of construction for multielement antennas. A 14-element 20-m beam would be a wonderful thing to have in a QRM-laden DX pile-up, but is simply too impractical for all but a few users because of its size. If you look on embassy rooftops around the world you will see many-element Yagi and log periodic HP antennas supported on massive towers ... and some of them use a standard Size 25 tower (common for amateur use) as the antenna boom! A 14-element 80/75-m Yagi approaches impossibility. But at 2 m, a 14-element Yagi beam antenna can be carried by one person, in one hand, unless the wind is acting up.

Safety note Large array beams, even at VHF/UHF, have a relatively high "windsail area," and even relatively modest winds can apply a lot of force to them. I once witnessed a large, strong technician blown off a ladder by wind acting on a modest, "suburban" sized, TV antenna. It can happen to you, too. So always install antennas with a helper, and use hoists and other tools to actually handle the array.

Lower band antennas on VHF/UHF

Between 1958 and 1962, a friend and I had access to a radio club amateur radio station in a Red Cross chapter house in Virginia. The "antenna farm" consisted of a 14-element 2-m beam, a three-element triband HP beam (10, 15, and 20 m), and a five-band (80 to 10 m) trap dipole. All of the coaxial cables came into the station through a wall; they were kept disconnected and shorted out when not in use because of the senior Red Cross official's concern over lightning.

One night, attempting to connect the 2-m beam to the Gonset "gooney box" 2-m AM transceiver, my friend accidentally used the cable from the five-band trap dipole instead. We worked a lot of stations that contest weekend, and scored lots of points. Later, we discovered the error, and asked a more technically competent adult (we were teenagers), "Why the good reports?" He then gave us a lesson in longwire antenna theory. A good longwire is many wavelengths long. Consider that a half-wave antenna on 2 m is 80 m/2 m or 40 wavelengths shorter than an 80-m half-wave antenna. Thus, the 80-m antenna, counting foreshortening of physical lengths because the traps, was on the order of 35 to 38 wavelengths long on 2 m. We had a highly directional, but multilobed, pattern.

Sirnilarly, 40- to 10-m and 80- to 10-m trap verticals are often usable on VHF/UHF frequencies without any adjustments. Similarly, Citizens Band 11-m antennas, many of which are 5/8-wavelength (18 ft high), will sometimes work on VHF frequencies. Check the VSWR of an HF antenna on 2 in with a reliable VHF/UHF VSWR meter (or RF wattmeter) to discover the truth about any particular antenna. Always use the low-power setting on the transmitter to limit damage in cases where the specific antenna is not usable on a specific frequency.

The lesson to be learned is that antennas are often usable on frequencies much higher than the design frequency, even though useless on nearby bands. Care must be exercised when initially checking out the antenna, but that is not an inordinate difficulty...

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the third edition
1 Introduction to Radio Broadcasting and Communications 1
2 Radio Wave Propagation 5
3 Transmission Lines 59
4 The Smith Chart 95
5 Fundamentals of Radio Antennas 123
6 High-Frequency Dipole and other Doublet Antennas 141
7 Vertically Polarized HF Antennas 173
8 Multiband and Tunable-Wire Antennas 203
9 Longwire Directional Antennas 217
10 Hidden and Limited Space Antennas 235
11 Directional Phased Vertical Antennas 249
12 Directional Beam Antennas 259
13 Antennas for Shortwave Reception 275
14 Large Wire Loop Antennas 291
15 Small Transmitting and Receiving Loops 303
16 Wire Antenna Construction 313
17 Antenna Modeling Software 329
18 VHF/UHF Transmitting and Receiving Antennas 337
19 Microwave Waveguides and Antennas 367
20 Antenna Noise Temperature 415
21 Antennas for Radio Astronomy 419
22 Adjusting, Installing, and Troubleshooting Antennas and Transmission lines 431
23 Antennas for Radio Direction Finding RDF 437
24 Impedence Matching in Antenna Systems 455
25 Mobile, Emergency, Portable, and Marine Antennas 477
26 Antennas for Low-Frequency Operation 499
27 Measurement and Adjustment Techniques 513
28 General Antenna Mechanical Construction Techniques 541
29 Grounding the Antenna: What Is A Good Ground? 557
Index 567
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