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Printed Dipole Antenna

Printed Dipole Antenna

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Published by R. JaNNaH
A dipole antenna, created by Heinrich Rudolph Hertz around 1886, is an antenna that can be made by a simple wire, with a center-fed driven element for transmitting or receiving radio frequency energy
A dipole antenna, created by Heinrich Rudolph Hertz around 1886, is an antenna that can be made by a simple wire, with a center-fed driven element for transmitting or receiving radio frequency energy

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Published by: R. JaNNaH on Oct 11, 2009
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a)Theoretical background of the antenna including feeding types.
Introduction to Dipole Antenna
A dipole antenna, created by Heinrich Rudolph Hertz around 1886, is an antenna thatcan be made by a simple wire, with a center-fed driven element for transmitting or receivingradio frequency energy. These antennas are the simplest practical antennas from a theoretical point of view; the current amplitude on such an antenna decreases uniformly from maximum atthe center to zero at the ends.A schematic of a half-wave dipole antenna that a shortwave listener might buildThe dipole antenna is simply two wires pointed in opposite directions arranged either horizontally or vertically, with one end of each wire connected to the radio and the other endhanging free in space. Since this is the simplest practical antenna, it is also used as referencemodel for other antennas; gain with respect to a dipole is labeled as dBd. Generally, the dipoleis considered to be omnidirectional in the plane perpendicular to the axis of the antenna, but ithas deep nulls in the directions of the axis. Variations of the dipole include the folded dipole,the half wave antenna, the groundplane antenna, the whip, and the J-pole.The transmission line is often known as a feed element. When the waves reach theantenna, they oscillate along the length of the antenna and back. Each oscillation pusheselectromagnetic energy from the antenna, emitting the energy through free space as radiowaves.
Ideally, a half-wave (λ/2) dipole should be fed with a balanced line matching the theoretical 73ohm
impedance of the antenna. A folded dipole uses a 300 ohm balanced feeder line.Many people have had success in feeding a dipole directly with a coaxial cable feedrather than a ladder-line. However, coax is not symmetrical and thus not a balanced feeder. It isunbalanced, because the outer shield is connected to earth potential at the other end. When a balanced antenna such as a dipole is fed with an unbalanced feeder, common mode currents cancause the coax line to radiate in addition to the antenna itself, and the radiation pattern may beasymmetrically distorted. This can be remedied with the use of a balun.
The Design and Specification of Dipole AntennaProperties of Dipole Antenna
A Dipole antenna’s size and shape depend on the intended frequency or wavelength of the radio waves being sent or received. The design of a transmitting antenna is usually notdifferent from that of a receiving antenna. Some devices use the same antenna for both purposes.
An antenna works best when its physical size corresponds to a quantity known as theantenna’s electrical size. The electrical size of an antenna depends on the wavelength of the radio waves being sent or received. An antenna radiates energy most efficientlywhen its length is a particular fraction of the intended wavelength. When the length of an antenna is a major fraction of the corresponding wavelength (a quarter-wavelengthor half-wavelength is often used), the radio waves oscillating back and forth along theantenna will encounter each other in such a way that the wave crests do not interferewith one another. The waves will resonate, or be in harmony, and will then radiate fromthe antenna with the greatest efficiency.
Antennas come in a wide variety of shapes. One of the simplest types of antennas iscalled a dipole. A dipole is made of two lengths of metal, each of which is attached toone of two wires leading to a radio or other communications device. The two lengths of metal are usually arranged end to end, with the cable from the transmitter or receiver feeding each length of the dipole in the middle. The dipoles can be adjusted to form astraight line or a V-shape to enhance reception. Each length of metal in the dipole isusually a quarter-wavelength long, so that the combined length of the dipole from endto end is a half-wavelength. The familiar “rabbit-ear” antenna on top of a television setis a dipole antenna.
Directivity is an important quality of an antenna. It describes how well an antennaconcentrates, or bunches, radio waves in a given direction. A dipole transmits or receives most of its energy at right angles to the lengths of metal, while little energy istransferred along them. If the dipole is mounted vertically, as is common, it will radiatewaves away from the center of the antenna in all directions. However, for a commercialradio or television station, a transmitting antenna is often designed to concentrate theradiated energy in certain directions and suppress it in others. For instance, severaldipoles can be used together if placed close to one another. Such an arrangement iscalled a multiple-element antenna, which is also known as an array. By properlyarranging the separate elements and by properly feeding signals to the elements, the broadcast waves can be more efficiently concentrated toward an intended audience,without, for example, wasting broadcast signals over uninhabited areas.The elements used in an array are usually all of the same type. Some arrays havethe ability to move, or scan, the main beam in different directions. Such arrays areusually referred to as scanning arrays.Arrays are usually electrically large and have better directivity than singleelement antennas. Since their directivity is large, arrays can capture and deliver to thereceiver a larger amount of power.
The Dipole Antenna Parameter
There are several critical parameters that affect an Dipole antenna's performance andcan be adjusted during the design process. These are resonant frequency, impedance, gain,aperture or radiation pattern, polarization, efficiency and bandwidth. Transmit antennas mayalso have a maximum power rating, and receive antennas differ in their noise rejection properties.
i.Resonant frequency
The resonant frequency is related to the electrical length of the antenna. The electricallength is usually the physical length of the wire multiplied by the ratio of the speed of wave propagation in the wire. Typically an antenna is tuned for a specific frequency,and is effective for a range of frequencies usually centered on that resonant frequency.However, the other properties of the antenna (especially radiation pattern andimpedance) change with frequency, so the antenna's resonant frequency may merely beclose to the center frequency of these other more important properties.Dipoles that are much smaller than the wavelength of the signal are calledHertzian, short, or infinitesimal dipoles. These have a very low radiation resistance anda high reactance, making them inefficient, but they are often the only available antennasat very long wavelengths. Dipoles whose length is half the wavelength of the signal arecalled half-wave dipoles, and are more efficient. In general radio engineering, the termdipole usually means a half-wave dipole (center-fed).A half-wave dipole is cut to length according to the formula [ft], where l is thelength in feet and f is the center frequency in MHz. This is because the impedance of the dipole is resistive pure at about this length. The metric formula is [m], where l is thelength in meters. The length of the dipole antenna is about 95% of half a wavelength atthe speed of light in free space.The magic numbers above are derived from a one Hz wavelength which is thedistance that light radio travels in one second. For English that is 186,282 miles times5280 feet per mile. To convert to metric multiply the previous total by 12 inches per foot and then, by definition, multiply that by 2.54 cm per inch. Divide this number by100 to convert this length to meters. Then divide the result by one million to account for MHz rather than hertz. This will give a number which must be divided by two for adipole antenna. To correct for resistance and impedance multiply the dipole wavelength by about 95% to account for the difference in the velocity of wave propagation in wireas opposed to the same wave in free space. If the wire velocity is known, that valueshould be used to get the magic numbers of 468 feet or 142.65 metric. All that is left isto divide by the desired frequency as measured in MHz to obtain the length of theantenna element.
ii.Gain and Radiation Pattern
In antenna design, gain is the logarithm of the ratio of the intensity of an antenna'sradiation pattern in the direction of strongest radiation to that of a reference antenna. If the reference antenna is an isotropic antenna, the gain is often expressed in units of dBi(decibels over isotropic). For example, a dipole antenna has a gain of 2.14 dBi. Often,the dipole antenna is used as the reference (since a perfect isotropic reference isimpossible to build), in which case the gain of the antenna in question is measured indBd (decibels over dipole).

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