Priming Aluminum Antennas

Aluminum envy

If you have been reading this web site you will recall I have paid much attention to the 43 foot antenna manufactured by DX Engineering and Zero Five Antennas.

After much simulation and trading the benefits against pitfalls, I purchased the DX Engineering 43 foot antenna kit with the balun.

However, a shiny aluminum antenna in the back yard would attract the kind attention I just don’t need. Research on the Internet reveals several solutions including:

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Airplane Navigation Receiver Antenna Balun

An airplane mechanic friend, who also happens to own a 35 year old single engine Cessna airplane, was working on his tail light when he saw broken and aging components in his tail mounted navigation antenna. While working to fix the problems he discovered an interesting balun technique.

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43 Foot Vertical and Coax Switches

Furthering the discussion of the 43 foot vertical antenna I wanted to report a concern I have with this antenna and the use of any relay based coax switch.

If you install a 43 foot vertical in your back yard, route the coax through a switch and handle the tuning inside your ham shack, you need to ensure you do not exceed the voltage or current limits of the relays in the switch.

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Low Profile Vertical HF Antenna

With the upcoming solar cycle pushing operations on the HF bands towards success on 20 meters to 10 meters you might be wondering if a vertical antenna may be the right choice for making the most of this time.

Well, to be honest you may well have just as much success with a simple horizontal dipole strung up.

Dipoles are pretty easy to build and don’t cost too much if you would rather purchase one from Alpha-Delta or the Wireman.

However, if you…

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Choke Baluns

The topic of balanced to unbalanced converters is broad, detailed and deserving of study to apply them where needed. However, this post will discuss the simplest balun of all… the Choke Balun.

Many balun designs convert impedances 1:1, 1:2, 1:4, 1:9 and up.

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SWR vs. Return Loss

If you are fortunate enough to have equipment to measure return loss of your antenna system here is a chart that will convert the return loss in dB to SWR…

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