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W1JR Yagi Antenna Design

W1JR Yagi Antenna Design

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Published by: anon849270 on Sep 06, 2011
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10/10/2012

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Joe
Reisert,
WI
JR
3
Hubbard DriveAmherst.
New
Hampshire
0303
1
ANTENNA
DESIGN
Part
7:
A
different approach
T
e YagiIUda antenna, comnlonlythe difficulty
in
gauging small differences
(
I
dB
referred to as the Yagi, has been aor less) in forward gain. Impedance matchingproven performer for over
70
years. Forwas left to the imagination of the builder. andmuch of that time. this type
of
antenna designthe (;amma match was usually favored becauserequired builders use the "cut-and-try" [nethod.
of
its simplicity and ability to be tuned for aOften front-to-back (FIB) ratio was the soleI:!
VSWK.
parameter measurable by amateurs because of'The design approach mentioned above
Figure
1.
Actual gain attainable and recommended number of elements versus the boomlength for a Yagi antenna. 'Theupper curve is the maximum gain attainable if other parameters are sacrificed: the middle curve shows an optimized Yagi;the lower one represents a poor performance design.
 
E-PLANEH-PLANE
I
I
Figure
2.
Typical radiation patterns for the simple three-element Yagi described in the text.
worked well because the basic Yagi antenna isvery tolerant to wide variations in spacing andelement lengths. You might say that a Yagiantenna just "wants to work." Cut-and-try tun-ing for the best
FIB
ratio often yields a reason-able forward gain because the two parametersare somewhat interrelated in the overall schemeof things.Nowadays, most Yagi designs are modeledand optimized on a computer, which has led to
a
big
step forward in performance. In this arti-cle,
I
will discuss computer-optimized Yagis,make suggestions for improvements, and pro-vide an alternative design approach that hasworked quite well for me.
Enter computer modeling
for
antennas
In
1964,
I.
Larry
Morris, while working atHarvard University on his doctoral thesis,] pro-
50
Winter
I908
 
duced what
1
believe was the first useful soft-ware program to model Yagi antennas. Theprogram was written in FORTRAN andrequired a large mainframe computer like theIBM
7094.
Morris discovered how to computegain. pattern. and the impedance of a Yagi.Morris' program was probably the basis forthe early work done by the late Dr. JamesLawson, W2PV. His classic set of articles waspublished in the early 1980s in
Ham
Ratlio
mag-azine and later summarized in his book,
Yqi
Al~fer~nue.si~n.~
ohn Kenney,
W
I
KK,
aterobtained a copy of the Morris program andmodified it to optimize
HI:
Yagi
dimension^.^
Since the mid- 1980s, modeling programssuch as NEC (Numerical ElectromagneticsCode) and MlNlNEC (a smaller program basedon NEC) have been avai1able.j Both programshave now been optimized for the personal com-puter
(PC)
market and incorporated withinmany software programs that are available tothe general public at reasonable prices. 'Thebeauty of these modeling programs is that weno longer have to get dirty hands and achingbacks cutting aluminum and testing a new Yagidesign in the field until we have an acceptableworking antenna. We can now "cut-and-try" aYagi antenna design for maximum gain.
FIB
ratio, impedance, or a combination of the threeby changing element lengths, diameters, andspacings using a
PC
keyboard.For the more sophisticated designer, soft-ware programs are now available which. with aproperly weighted set of input parameters, willperform the optimization for you. All that'srequired is that you input a reasonable Yagidesign, properly weigh the tradeoffs or Figureof Merit (FOM), the relative importance ofeach antenna optimizing parameter such asgain, pattern, and impedance and, voila, outcomes
n
design. Now all you have to do isproperly interpret the computer results andbuild the antenna of your dreams!
Pitfall
#
1
:
modeling
The new field of modeling antennas on a PCis quite exciting, but the picture I've presented
I
Element diameter is
0.00105A
I
Diameters shown in
(
)
are for shorter boom lengths.
1
Figure 3.1,engths and spacing of a typical 50-ohm three-element Yagi, as mentioned in the text. Values shown inparentheses arefor the ~horter oom version. The diameter of all elements is 0.00105 wavelength (0.875 inch
at
14.175
MHz).

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