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propagation, and radio spectrum issues. Electromagnetic wave, spectrum, & antenna basics • Electromagnetic waves and basic antenna operation • Polarisation • Antenna feed impedance • Resonance and bandwidth • Directivity and gain RF coax cable, feeder & RF connectors • Antenna RF diplexer • Balanced feeder • Coaxial feeder / coax cable multipage • RF coax cable connectors • Waveguide basics Antenna • • • technologies Distributed antenna systems, DAS MIMO technology tutorial Smart / adaptive antennas
Radio antenna types • Dipole antenna including folded dipole • Discone • Ferrite rod antenna • Five eighths wavelength vertical • Horn antenna • J pole vertical antenna • Log periodic beam antenna • Loop antenna overview • Parabolic reflector • Quarter wave vertical • Yagi • Satellite antennas Radio wave propagation topics • Radio propagation overview • Understanding signal path loss and link budgets • Multipath propagation • Ground wave propagation • Tropospheric propagation modes • Meteor burst / meteor scatter communications • Electromagnetic waves and propagation • Ionospheric propagation basics • Satellite propagation Analysis and case studies from industry experts • Modelling antennas – cutting out the clashes • Cellular Spectrum Regulation in Europe • Practical Applications for Distributed Antenna Systems Electromagnetic wave, spectrum, & antenna basics Electromagnetic waves and antenna basics
Antenna basics includes: • E/M waves & antenna operation • Antenna polarisation • Antenna feed impedance • Antenna resonance & bandwidth • Antenna directivity & gain Radio signals are a form of electromagnetic wave, and as they are the way in whi ch radio signals travel, they have a major bearing on RF antennas themselves and RF antenna design. Electromagnetic waves are the same type of radiation as light, ultra-violet and infra red rays, differing from them in their wavelength and frequency. Electroma gnetic waves have both electric and magnetic components that are inseparable. Th e planes of these fields are at right angles to one another and to the direction of motion of the wave. An electromagnetic wave The electric field results from the voltage changes occurring in the RF antenna which is radiating the signal, and the magnetic changes result from the current flow. It is also found that the lines of force in the electric field run along t he same axis as the RF antenna, but spreading out as they move away from it. Thi s electric field is measured in terms of the change of potential over a given di stance, e.g. volts per metre, and this is known as the field strength. Similarly when an RF antenna receives a signal the magnetic changes cause a current flow, and the electric field changes cause the voltage changes on the antenna. There are a number of properties of a wave. The first is its wavelength. This is the distance between a point on one wave to the identical point on the next. On e of the most obvious points to choose is the peak as this can be easily identif ied although any point is acceptable. Wavelength of an electromagnetic wave The wavelength of an electromagnetic wave The second property of the electromagnetic wave is its frequency. This is the nu mber of times a particular point on the wave moves up and down in a given time ( normally a second). The unit of frequency is the Hertz and it is equal to one cy cle per second. This unit is named after the German scientist who discovered rad io waves. The frequencies used in radio are usually very high. Accordingly the p refixes kilo, Mega, and Giga are often seen. 1 kHz is 1000 Hz, 1 MHz is a millio n Hertz, and 1 GHz is a thousand million Hertz i.e. 1000 MHz. Originally the uni t of frequency was not given a name and cycles per second (c/s) were used. Some older books may show these units together with their prefixes: kc/s; Mc/s etc. f or higher frequencies. The third major property of the wave is its velocity. Radio waves travel at the same speed as light. For most practical purposes the speed is taken to be 300 00 0 000 metres per second although a more exact value is 299 792 500 metres per se cond. Frequency to Wavelength Conversion Although wavelength was used as a measure for signals, frequencies are used excl usively today. It is very easy to relate the frequency and wavelength as they ar e linked by the speed of light as shown: lambda = c / f where lambda = the wavelength in metres f = frequency in Hertz c = speed of radio waves (light) taken as 300 000 000 metres per second for all practical purposes. Field measurements It is also interesting to note that close to the RF antenna there is also an ind uctive field the same as that in a transformer. This is not part of the electrom agnetic wave, but it can distort measurements close to the antenna. It can also
mean that transmitting antennas are more likely to cause interference when they are close to other antennas or wiring that might have the signal induced into it . For receiving antennas they are more susceptible to interference if they are c lose to house wiring and the like. Fortunately this inductive field falls away f airly rapidly and it is barely detectable at distances beyond about two or three wavelengths from the RF antenna. Antenna polarisation or polarization Polarisation is an important factor for RF antennas and radio communications in general. Both RF antennas and electromagnetic waves are said to have a polarizat ion. For the electromagnetic wave the polarization is effectively the plane in which the electric wave vibrates. This is important when looking at antennas because t hey are sensitive to polarisation, and generally only receive or transmit a sign al with a particular polarization. For most antennas it is very easy to determine the polarization. It is simply in the same plane as the elements of the antenna. So a vertical antenna (i.e. one with vertical elements) will receive vertically polarised signals best and simil arly a horizontal antenna will receive horizontally polarised signals. An electromagnetic wave It is important to match the polarization of the RF antenna to that of the incom ing signal. In this way the maximum signal is obtained. If the RF antenna polari zation does not match that of the signal there is a corresponding decrease in th e level of the signal. It is reduced by a factor of cosine of the angle between the polarisation of the RF antenna and the signal. Accordingly the polarisation of the antennas located in free space is very impor tant, and obviously they should be in exactly the same plane to provide the opti mum signal. If they were at right angles to one another (i.e. cross-polarised) t hen in theory no signal would be received. For terrestrial radio communications applications it is found that once a signal has been transmitted then its polarisation will remain broadly the same. Howeve r reflections from objects in the path can change the polarisation. As the recei ved signal is the sum of the direct signal plus a number of reflected signals th e overall polarisation of the signal can change slightly although it remains bro adly the same. Polarisation catagories Vertical and horizontal are the simplest forms of antenna polarization and they both fall into a category known as linear polarisation. However it is also possi ble to use circular polarisation. This has a number of benefits for areas such a s satellite applications where it helps overcome the effects of propagation anom alies, ground reflections and the effects of the spin that occur on many satelli tes. Circular polarisation is a little more difficult to visualise than linear p olarisation. However it can be imagined by visualising a signal propagating from an RF antenna that is rotating. The tip of the electric field vector will then be seen to trace out a helix or corkscrew as it travels away from the antenna. C ircular polarisation can be seen to be either right or left handed dependent upo n the direction of rotation as seen from the transmitter. Another form of polarisation is known as elliptical polarisation. It occurs when there is a mix of linear and circular polarisation. This can be visualised as b efore by the tip of the electric field vector tracing out an elliptically shaped corkscrew. However it is possible for linearly polarised antennas to receive circularly pol arised signals and vice versa. The strength will be equal whether the linearly p olarised antenna is mounted vertically, horizontally or in any other plane but d irected towards the arriving signal. There will be some degradation because the signal level will be 3 dB less than if a circularly polarised antenna of the sam e sense was used. The same situation exists when a circularly polarised antenna receives a linearly polarised signal.
Applications of antenna polarization Different types of polarisation are used in different applications to enable the ir advantages to be used. Linear polarization is by far the most widely used for most radio communications applications. Vertical polarisation is often used for mobile radio communications. This is because many vertically polarized antenna designs have an omni-directional radiation pattern and it means that the antenna s do not have to be re-orientated as positions as always happens for mobile radi o communications as the vehicle moves. For other radio communications applicatio ns the polarisation is often determined by the RF antenna considerations. Some l arge multi-element antenna arrays can be mounted in a horizontal plane more easi ly than in the vertical plane. This is because the RF antenna elements are at ri ght angles to the vertical tower of pole on which they are mounted and therefore by using an antenna with horizontal elements there is less physical and electri cal interference between the two. This determines the standard polarisation in m any cases. In some applications there are performance differences between horizontal and ve rtical polarization. For example medium wave broadcast stations generally use ve rtical polarisation because ground wave propagation over the earth is considerab ly better using vertical polarization, whereas horizontal polarization shows a m arginal improvement for long distance communications using the ionosphere. Circu lar polarisation is sometimes used for satellite radio communications as there a re some advantages in terms of propagation and in overcoming the fading caused i f the satellite is changing its orientation. Antenna feed impedance When a signal source is applied to an RF antenna at its feed point, it is found that it presents a load impedance to the source. This is known as the antenna "f eed impedance" and it is a complex impedance made up from resistance, capacitanc e and inductance. In order to ensure the optimum efficiency for any RF antenna d esign it is necessary to maximise the transfer of energy by matching the feed im pedance of the RF antenna design to the load. This requires some understanding o f the operation of antenna design in this respect. The feed impedance of the antenna results from a number of factors including the size and shape of the RF antenna, the frequency of operation and its environmen t. The impedance seen is normally complex, i.e. consisting of resistive elements as well as reactive ones. Antenna feed impedance resistive elements The resistive elements are made up from two constituents. These add together to form the sum of the total resistive elements. • Loss resistance: The loss resistance arises from the actual resistance of the elements in the aRF ntenna, and power dissipated in this manner is lost as heat. Although it may appear that the "DC" resistance is low, at higher frequencies t he skin effect is in evidence and only the surface areas of the conductor are us ed. As a result the effective resistance is higher than would be measured at DC. It is proportional to the circumference of the conductor and to the square root of the frequency. The resistance can become particularly significant in high current sections of a n RF antenna where the effective resistance is low. Accordingly to reduce the ef fect of the loss resistance it is necessary to ensure the use of very low resist ance conductors. • Radiation resistance: The other resistive element of the impedance is the "rad iation resistance". This can be thought of as virtual resistor. It arises from t he fact that power is "dissipated" when it is radiated from the RF antenna. The aim is to "dissipate" as much power in this way as possible. The actual value fo r the radiation resistance varies from one type of antenna to another, and from one design to another. It is dependent upon a variety of factors. However a typi cal half wave dipole operating in free space has a radiation resistance of aroun d 73 Ohms.
Antenna reactive elements There are also reactive elements to the feed impedance. These arise from the fac t that the antenna elements act as tuned circuits that possess inductance and ca pacitance. At resonance where most antennas are operated the inductance and capa citance cancel one another out to leave only the resistance of the combined radi ation resistance and loss resistance. However either side of resonance the feed impedance quickly becomes either inductive (if operated above the resonant frequ ency) or capacitive (if operated below the resonant frequency). Efficiency It is naturally important to ensure that the proportion of the power dissipated in the loss resistance is as low as possible, leaving the highest proportion to be dissipated in the radiation resistance as a radiated signal. The proportion o f the power dissipated in the radiation resistance divided by the power applied to the antenna is the efficiency. A variety of means can be employed to ensure that the efficiency remains as high as possible. These include the use of optimum materials for the conductors to e nsure low values of resistance, large circumference conductors to ensure large s urface area to overcome the skin effect, and not using designs where very high c urrents and low feed impedance values are present. Other constraints may require that not all these requirements can be met, but by using engineering judgement it is normally possible to obtain a suitable compromise. It can be seen that the antenna feed impedance is particularly important when co nsidering any RF antenna design. However by maximising the energy transfer by ma tching the feeder to the antenna feed impedance the antenna design can be optimi sed and the best performance obtained. Antenna resonance and bandwidth Two major factors associated with radio antenna design are the antenna resonant point or centre operating frequency and the antenna bandwidth or the frequency r ange over which the antenna design can operate. These two factors are naturally very important features of any antenna design and as such they are mentioned in specifications for particular RF ntennas. Whether the RF antenna is used for bro adcasting, WLAN, cellular telecommunications, PMR or any other application, the performance of the RF antenna is paramount, and the antenna resonant frequency a nd the antenna bandwidth are of great importance. Antenna resonance An RF antenna is a form of tuned circuit consisting of inductance and capacitanc e, and as a result it has a resonant frequency. This is the frequency where the capacitive and inductive reactances cancel each other out. At this point the RF antenna appears purely resistive, the resistance being a combination of the loss resistance and the radiation resistance. Impedance of an RF antenna with frequency The capacitance and inductance of an RF antenna are determined by its physical p roperties and the environment where it is located. The major feature of the RF a ntenna design is its dimensions. It is found that the larger the antenna or more strictly the antenna elements, the lower the resonant frequency. For example an tennas for UHF terrestrial television have relatively small elements, while thos e for VHF broadcast sound FM have larger elements indicating a lower frequency. Antennas for short wave applications are larger still. Antenna bandwidth Most RF antenna designs are operated around the resonant point. This means that there is only a limited bandwidth over which an RF antenna design can operate ef ficiently. Outside this the levels of reactance rise to levels that may be too h igh for satisfactory operation. Other characteristics of the antenna may also be impaired away from the centre operating frequency. The antenna bandwidth is particularly important where radio transmitters are con cerned as damage may ccur to the transmitter if the antenna is operated outside
No rmally the scale that is used is logarithmic so that the differences can be conv eniently seen on the plot. In particular the front to back ratio will fall off rapidly outside a given bandwidth.its operating range and the radio transmitter is not adequately protected. especially high gain ones it will be found that the impe dance bandwidth is wider than the radiation pattern bandwidth. For example a folded dipole which is described fully in Cha pter 3 has a wider bandwidth than a non-folded one. Impedance bandwidth One major feature of an RF antenna that does change with frequency is its impeda nce. An example for a simple dipole ante . Another is the actual t ype of antenna used. It is found tha t any realisable RF antenna design will radiate more in some directions than oth ers. One is the use of thicker conductors. This in turn can cause the amount of reflected power to increase. The actual pattern is dependent upon the type of antenna design. normally either horizontal or vertical as these are the two that are most used. the environment and a variety of other factors. For receiving purposes the performance of the antenna is less critical in some r espects. In ad dition to this the signal radiated by the RF antenna may be less for a number of reasons. This directional pattern can be used to ensure that the power radiated is focussed in the desired directions. Even a random length of wire will pick up signals. If the an tenna is used for transmitting it may be that beyond a given level of reflected power damage may be caused to either the transmitter or the feeder. and this is quite likely to be a factor which limits the operating bandwidth of an antenna. Although the radiation pattern of the antenna varies in three dimensions. This is normally a two dimensional plot around an antenna showing the intensity of the radiation at each point for a particular plane. Radiation pattern Another feature of an antenna that changes with frequency is its radiation patte rn. In order to visualise the way in which an antenna radiates a diagram known as a polar diagram is used. however the antenna performs in an exactly equivalent manner for r eception. Today most transmitters have some form of SWR protection circuit that prevents d amage by reducing the output power to an acceptable level as the levels of refle cted power increase. its size.5:1 is produced is often taken as the acceptable bandwidth. In the case of a beam it is particularly noticeable. having identical figures and specifications. It is often easier to visualise the RF antenna is terms of its ra diated power. For amateur operation the frequencies below which a maximum SWR fig ure of 1. it is normal to make a plot in a particular plane. For beam antennas such as the Yagi the radiation pattern bandwidth is def ined as the frequency range over which the gain of the main lobe is within 1 dB of its maximum. In an antenna such as a Yagi this is caused by a reduction in the currents in the parasitic elements as the frequency of operation is moved away from reso nance. Antenna directivity and gain RF antennas or aerials do not radiate equally in all directions. and it may be possible to receive several distant stations. and it s implifies the measurements and presentation. It is normal to refer to the directional patterns and gain in terms of the trans mitted signal. This in turn means that the efficiency of the station is re duced outside a given bandwidth. For many beam antennas. although the two parameters are inter-related in many respects. As far as receiving is concerned the impedance changes of the antenna are not as critical as they will mean that the signal tra nsfer from the antenna itself to the feeder is reduced and in turn the efficienc y will fall. However for the best reception it is necessary to ensure that the performance of the RF antenna design is optimum . It can be operated outside its normal bandwidth without any fear of dam age to the set. In order to increase the bandwidth of an antenna there are a number of measures that can be taken. In fact looking at a standar d television antenna it is possible to see both of these features included. and so will the gain.
When choosing an antenna and looking at the gain specifications. It is o ften useful to define the beam-width of an RF antenna. les s power will be radiated in some directions and more in others.e.e. The Yagi antenna is an example of a directive antenna a nd possibly it is most widely used for television reception. It is fo und that the design of an antenna can be adjusted to give either maximum forward gain of the optimum front to back ratio as the two do not normally coincide exa ctly. but it is useful as a theoretical reference for some measurements. The figure that is obtained is then normally expressed in d ecibels (dB).e. As already mentioned it is not possible to produce one of these in reality. An antenna design that radiates equally in all directions in all planes is called an isotro pic antenna. In other words. figures expressed as gain over an isotropic source will be 2. Polar diagram of a half wave dipole in free space Antenna designs are often categorised by the type of polar diagram they exhibit. the ante nna dBi figure of the antenna dBd figure. This figure is normally expressed in decibels. The main drawback with using an isotropic source (antenna dBi) as a reference is that it is not possible to realise them in practice and so that figures using it can only be theoretical. In theory the standard antenna could be almost anything but two ty pes are generally used. gain in decibels over an isotropic source. Antenna gain An RF antenna radiates a given amount of power. i. The first is that there is a main beam or lobe and a number of minor lobes. This is expressed in decibels and as the name implies it is the ratio of the maximum signal in the forward direction to the signal in the opposite direction. This is taken to be angle between the two points where the power falls to half its maximum level. Othe r RF antennas exhibit highly directional patterns and these may be utilised in a number of applications.1 dBi. By the very nature of gain and . The most common type is a simple dipole as it is easily available and it is the basis of many other types of antenna. gain expressed in decibels over a dipole.1 dB o ver an isotropic source i.1 dB higher than those relative to a dipole. RF antenna gain / beamwidth balance It may appear that maximising the gain of an antenna will optimise its performan ce in a system. 2. The gain can be defined as a ratio of the signal transmitted in the "maximum" di rection to that of a standard or reference antenna. How ever a dipole does not radiated equally in all directions in all planes and so a n isotropic source is sometimes used. be sure to chec k whether the gain is relative to a dipole or an isotropic source. This may not always be the case. In this case the g ain is often expressed as dBd i. In this case the gain may be specified in dBi i. This is the power dissipated in the radiation resistance of the RF antenna.nna is shown below. Apart from the forward gain of an antenna another parameter which is important i s the front to back ratio. For most VHF and UHF operation the design is normally optimised for the op timum forward gain as this gives the maximum radiated signal in the required dir ection. The fact that mo re power is radiated in given directions implies that it can be considered to ha ve a gain. For example an omni-directional antenna design is one which radiates equally (o r approximately equally) in all directions in the plane of interest. and as a result it is sometimes called the half power beam-width. Polar diagram for a yagi antenna RF antenna beamwidth There are a number of key features that can be seen from this polar diagram. For an antenna with a directional pattern. An isotropic radiator will distribut e this equally in all directions. This may sometimes be called the "forward gain". H owever it is possible to relate the two gains as a dipole has a gain of 2.e.
In another application. In this way the paths for the different transmitters and receivers can be separated according to the frequency they use. If the filters were not present and the three ports wired in parallel. te levels of isolation are likely to be very l ow. but not in others. while prev enting the output from one transmitter being fed back into the output of the oth er. In this way the diplexer routes all signals at frequencies b elow the cut-off frequency of the low pass filter to one port. RF coax cable. Also here is no path from between the two remote connections of the filters. increasing the gain will result in a reduction in the beamwidth. neither the antenna nor the two transmitter / receiver ports would see the corr ect impedance. The antenna diplexer enables the same antenna system to be use d while preventing the transmitted signal from reaching the receiver and blockin g the input. Small antenna diplexers may be used in domestic environments to allow several si gnals to run along a single feeder. On e is the degree of isolation required between the ports labelled for the high an d low frequency transmitter / receiver. Sometime s these units may be called antenna duplexers. then the requirement for high levels of isolation is not so high. and all signals a bove the cut-off frequency of the high pass filter to the other port. These RF diplexers are normally relatively low cost as the spec ifications are not nearly as exacting as those used for professional RF diplexer installations. . Even levels of isolation of 10 dB would be adequate for many installations. In one common example an antenna diplexer or R F diplexer is used in a cellular base station to allow it to transmit and receiv e simultaneously. feeder & RF connectors Antenna diplexer An antenna diplexer or Rf diplexer is a unit that in one application can be used to enable more than one transmitter to operate on a single RF antenna. Basic antenna diplexer concepts There are a number of ways of implementing RF diplexers. They all involve the us e of filters. RF diplexer filter requirements When designing an antenna diplexer a number of parameters must be considered. This balance should be cons idered when designing and setting up a radio link. The use of the diplexer enables a single antenna to be used. or to allow terrestr ial television signals and this from a satellite low noise box (LNB) to pass dow n the same lead. Basic concept of a high / low pass filter diplexer A further feature of an RF diplexer is than it enables the impedance seen by the receiver or transmitter to remain constant despite the load connected to the ot her port. Typically an antenna diplexer wou ld enable transmitters operating of different frequencies to use the same antenn a. This may be quite acceptable in many applications. Antenna diplexers find many uses. In another application a diplexer may be used by a broadcast statio n transmitting on several different frequencies at the same time using the same antenna. Ev en comparatively simple filters give enough isolation to ensure each receiver se es the right impedance and the signals are routed to the correct input without a ny noticeable loss. For diplexers that are used to split and combine television and VHF FM radio along a single line. This will make setting the direction of the antenna more critical. All signals t hat can pass through the low pass filter in the diplexer will not be able to pas s through the high pass filter and vice versa. In one application this may allow a single f eeder to be used for television and VHF FM radio reception. If the diplexer is to be used purely for receiving.beamwidth. The simplest way to imple ment a diplexer is to use a low pass and a high pass filter although band-pass f ilters may be used. an antenna diplexer may be used to allow a single ant enna to be used for transmissions on one band of frequencies and reception on an other band.
although it is able to offer some s ignificant advantages over coax in some applications. Another form commonly called open wire feede r simply consists of two wires kept apart by spacers that are present at regular intervals along the feeder. open wire. It will be necessary to ensure that the levels of power being transferred back into a se cond transmitter are small. and that the presence of the second transmitter does not affec t the impedance seen by the first. Summary Although antenna diplexers are mainly used in specialised applications. The final case is where one of the ports is used for transmitting. they a re nevertheless a crucial element of many installations. their spacing and the dielectric constant of the material betw . Balanced antenna feeder Balanced feeder is a form of feeder that can be used for feeding balanced antenn as (i. In practical ter ms manufactured feeder is available and it consist of two wires contained within a plastic sheath that is also used as a spacer between them to keep the spacing . The currents flowing in both wires run in opposite directions but are equal in magnitude. As a result the fields from the m cancel out and no power is radiated or picked up. It is mainly used on frequencies below 30 MHz can offer the advantage of very low levels of loss. Twin feeder a form of balanced feeder Balanced feeder impedance Like coaxial cable. Levels of isolation in excess of 100 dB are normally required for these applications. For example cellular te chnology would be significantly different if they could not be used and the cell ular RF antennas for base stations would be considerably more complicated. and the other for receiving simultaneously. It is also important to ensure that the transmitters see the c orrect impedance. two wire. Power being fed into the output of a transmitter in this way could give rise to intermodulation products that may be radiated and ca use interference. If high levels of the transmitter signal reach the receiver. Often repeater statio ns which receive on one channel and transmit on another simultaneously use diple xers that utilise this approach. It has an appearance a little akin to a rope ladder . The feeder exists in a variety of forms.01 wavelength s. then it will be desensitised preventing proper reception of the required signals. These names ofte n depend upon the type of construction of the particular form. Sometimes a very high Q resonant circuit may be used.90 dB may be required.e. Balanced feeder basics A balanced or twin feeder consists of two parallel conductors unlike coax that c onsists of two concentric conductors. In this instance very high levels of isolation ar e required to ensure that the minimum level of the transmitter power reaches the receiver. To ensure efficient operatio n the spacing of the conductors is normally kept to within about 0. Simil arly antenna diplexers are used in many broadcast applications allowing a single large RF antenna to be used by more than one transmitter. The feeder or transmission line is also referred to by other names includi ng twin. Band pass filters Under some circumstances band pass filters may be used. These may be used where comparatively narrow bandwidth is required for either or both of the transmitter / receiver ports. antennas that do not have one connection taken to ground).. Typically levels of isolation between the tra nsmitter ports of 60 . and sometimes even ribbon feeder. the impedance of twin feeder is governed by the dimensions o f the conductors. allowing a single Rf antenna to be used by more than one transmitter or receiver. Essentially it is just two wires that a re closely spaced in terms of the radio frequency of operation.The next case is when the diplexer is to be used for transmitting only. By usin g this approach high degrees of rejection can be achieved. It is used less than coaxial feeder or coax. and hence the impedance constant.
offers advantages of c onvenience of use while being able to provide a good level of performance. The feeder can also be bought with a black plastic dielectric with oval holes sp aced at intervals in spacing. Coax cable. Where D is the distance between the two conductors d is the outer diameter of the conductors Epsilon is the dielectric constant of the material between the two conductors Types of balanced feeder This type of feeder can take a variety of forms. . a nd it is also available in a wide variety of forms for different applications. History of RF coax cable RF coax cable is a particularly important part of today's RF and electronics sce ne. An "open wire" feeder can be ma de by having two wires running parallel to one another. In view of this it is also used in many computer applications. In vi ew of this vast amounts of coax cable. The feeder may also be bought as flat 300 ohm ribbon feeder consisting of two wi res spaced with a clear plastic. it is likewise also used for commercial and industr ial transmission lines connecting receivers and transmitters to antennas. Not only does this significantly in crease the loss on damp days.een them. but the moisture absorbed causes the wire to oxidi se which in turn leads to increased losses over the longer term. Some transmissions were made earlier but not understood. Coax cable was used for some early forms of Ethernet local area networks. While it is sued for domestic connections be tween receivers and aerials. This type gives far better performance than the cl ear plastic varieties which absorb water if used outside Coaxial feeder or RF coax cable Coax cable tutorial information includes: • Coaxial feeder overview • Coax impedance • Loss or attenuation • Coax power rating • Coax velocity factor • Coax environmental factors • Coax data & specifications • Coaxial installation tips The most common type of antenna feeder used today is undoubtedly coaxial feeder or coax cable. and the first transmissions were made in the 1890s . or twisted pairs where fre quencies are not so high as these cables are much cheaper than coax. but it is widel y used in many other areas as well. Possibly the most obvious use of coax cable is for domestic television down-leads. Its construction means that signals that the levels of loss and stray pick-u p are minimised. In the late 1800s there were a huge number of basic discoveries be ing made in the field of electricity. Usually these are mad e from plastic or other insulating material. This is the most common form and is the type th at is used for manufacturing temporary VHF FM antennas. If used outside this typ e absorbs water into the plastic dielectric. often referred to as RF cable. Radio. Typically this feeder may have an i mpedance of around 600 ohms. and th e spacing used. althou gh now optical fibres are used for higher data rates. Howeve r it is also sued where any high frequency signals need to be carried any distan ce. Applications of coax cable Coax cable or coaxial feeder is used in many applications where it is necessary to transfer radio frequency energy from one point to another. although it is very dependent upon the wire. Spacers are used every f ifteen to thirty centimetres to maintain the wire spacing. The impedance can be calculated from the formula given below. It is a component that could easily be overlooked with little thought of how it appeared. or wireless as it was originally ca lled was not understood well. coax feeder are manufactured each year.
4. Coax cable basics Coax cable. many other used th e cable for shorter runs.The first known implementation of coax cable was in 1884 when Ernst von Siemens (one of the founders of the Siemens empire) patented the idea. Outer protecting jacket The overall construction of the m below and from this it can be tric layers. although there we re no known applications at this time. although it is one of the chief causes of loss in reality. although in some varieties made f or particular applications it is. Centre conductor 2. Although there are construction remains the same: Cross section though coaxial cable 1. 2. and prevent the coax cable from being dam in both the inner and the outer conductors. Nevertheless it was used in 1934 to relay televis ion pictures of the Berlin Olympics to Leipzig. Normally this is accomplished by placi ng one braid directly over another although in some instances a copper foil or t ape outer may be used. Sometimes it may be a single conductor whilst in other RF ca bles it may consist of several strands. This may be in the form of long "tubes" in the di electric. Insulating dielectric Between the two conductors of the coax cable t here is an insulating dielectric. This enables the coax cable to be flexible which would not be the case if the outer conductor was solid. This holds the two conductors apart and in an ideal world would not introduce any loss. although its u se was still relatively small. To improve the screening double or even triple screened coax cables are sometimes used. and in the USA an experimental coaxial cable was installed between New York a nd Philadelphia to relay television pictures. It then took until 1929 before the first modern commercial coax cables were patented by Bell Laboratories. coaxial feeder is normally seen as a thick electrical cable. and now it is widely us ed for both commercial and domestic applications. This coax cable dielectric may be solid or as in the case o f many low loss cables it may be semi-airspaced because it is the dielectric tha t introduces most of the loss. the levels of st ray pick-up and radiation are considerably reduced. Then in 1936 an a coaxial cable was installed between London and Birmingham in the UK to carry 40 telephone call s. The cab le is made from a number of different elements that when together enable the coa x cable to carry the radio frequency signals with a low level of loss from one l ocation to another. prevent earth loops forming. but can also gives a vital protection needed to prevent cable. Outer conductor The outer conductor of the RF cable is normally made from a copper braid. Insulating dielectric Outer conductor or sheath coax cable or RF cable can be seen in the diagra seen that it is built up from a number of concen many varieties of coax cable. 3. Centre conductor The centre conductor of the coax is almost universa lly made of copper. The main elements within a coax cable are: 1. By using additional layers of screening. the basic overall 4. It quickly established itself. The loss is marginally lower . Thes . Outer protecting jacket outer sheath to the coax cable. 3. With the commercial use of RF coax cable establishing itself. It dirt and moisture attacking the aged by other mechanical means. How RF coax cable works A coaxial cable carries current or sheath Finally there is a final cover or This serves little electrical function. or a "foam" construction where air forms a major part of the material.
Coax impedance / characteristic impedance All feeders posses a characteristic impedance. or twin) feeder. The co ax impedance is one of the main parameters in its specification. the dielect ric constant. The capacitance also increases with increasing dielectric constant. The reason for the choice of these two standards is largely historical but arises from the fact that 75 ohm coax cable gives the mi nimum weight for a given loss.e current are equal and opposite and as a result all the fields are confined wit hin the cable and it neither radiates nor picks up signals. On top of this the dielectric constant of the materia l between the conductors of the RF coax cable has a bearing. However for commercial. For RF coax cable there are two m ain standards that have been adopted over the years. Further reading There are further articles and pages about coax cable on this site. Topics inclu de the velocity factor. while 50 ohm coax cable gives the minimum loss fo r a given weight. This means that the cable operates by propagating an electromagnetic wave inside the cable. 25 ohm miniature RF cable is extensiv ely used in magnetic core broadband transformers. and the enviro nmental considerations for these RF cables. Importance of coax impedance The coax impedance is one of the major specifications associated with any piece of coax cable. but other values in cluding 25. This is a particular advantage of coaxial feeder when compared with other forms of feed er such as two wire (open wire. Coax impedance determination The impedance of the RF coax cable is chiefly governed by the diameters of the i nner and outer conductors. Coax Impedance / Coaxial Cable Impedance All forms of feeder including coax cable have a characteristic impedance. the higher the capacitance for a given length because the conductor spacing is decreased. As it will determine the matching within the system and hence the level of standing waves and power transfer. As there are no fields outside the coax cable it is not affected by nearby objects. These values and more are avai lable through specialist coax cable suppliers. one that govern s which type of coax cable is obtained. The relationship ne eded to calculate the impedance is given simply by the formula: D = Inner diameter of the outer conductor d = Diameter of the inner conductor Capacitance and inductance The capacitance of a line varies with the spacing of the conductors. Accordingly it is ideal for applications where the RF cable has to be routed through or around buildings or close to many other objects. These two standards are used for the vast majority of coax cable which is produc ed but it is still possible to obtain other impedances for specialist applicatio ns. it is a crucial element. Higher values are often used for computer installations. amateur and CB applications 50 ohms coax cable has been taken as the standard. 75 ohm coax cable is used almost exclusively for domestic TV and VHF FM applicat ions. It is ther efore necessary to ensure that the correct coax impedance is chosen for any syst . as in the case of an ordinary capacitor. The menu can be seen at the bottom e nd of the left hand menu. 95 and 125 ohms are available. It is also often necessary to know the inductance of a line as well. coax cable power rating. namely 75 and 50 ohms. The lower the impedance . and as a result the impedance of the line. coax cable loss.
but it does increase linearly with frequency. broadly rising with frequency. D ouble. The function of a coax c able is to transfer radio frequency power from one point to another. and som e power is lost along the length of the RF cable. and dielectric losses increase linearly. the radiated loss is generally the least important a s only a very small amount of power is generally radiated from the cable. Again the power lost as dielectric loss is dissipated as heat. or even triple screened coax cables are available to reduce the levels of leakage to very low levels. Signal radiated by the coax cable may result in high signal levels b eing present where they are not wanted. and at a given frequency. Obviously the longer the coax cable. To help overcome this multi-stranded conductors are often use d. the same amount of power should exit from the remote end o f the coax cable as enters it. For virtually all applications the minimum level of loss is required. Accord ingly most of the focus on reducing loss is placed onto the conductive and diele ctric losses. It is defin ed in terms of decibels per unit length. Alternatively a co ax cable being used for receiving may pick up interference if it passes through an electrically noisy environment. Coax cable attenuation / loss Attenuation is a key specification for all coax cables. It is found that the dielectric loss is independent of the size of the RF cable. • Radiated loss: The radiated loss of a coax cable is normally much less than th e resistive and dielectric losses. • Resistive loss: Resistive losses within the coax cable arise from the resistan ce of the conductors and the current flowing in the conductors results in heat b eing dissipated. The actual area through which the current flows in the conducto r is limited by the skin effect. However as resistive losses increase as the square root of frequency. • Dielectric loss: The dielectric loss represent another of the major losses ari sing in most coax cables. However some very cheap coax cables may have a very poor outer braid and in these cases it may represent a noticeable element of the loss. or picked up by a coax cable is more of a problem in terms of in terference. Coax cable attenuation The power loss caused by a coax cable is referred to as attenuation.em. This means that resistive losses normally dominate at lower frequencies. in the ideal world. but it is also found that the loss is frequency dependent. which becomes progressively more apparent as th e frequency rises. although the actual leve l of loss is not linearly dependent upon the frequency. The power is lost in a variety of ways: • Resistive loss • Dielectric loss • Radiated loss Of all these forms of loss. In doing so . the conductive area must be i ncreased and this results in low loss coax cables being made larger. Power radiated. For example leakage from a coax cable ca rrying a feed from a high power transmitter may give rise to interference in sen sitive receivers that may be located close to the coax cable. the greater the loss. It is normally for these reasons that additio nal measures are taken in ensuring the outer screen or conductor is effective. To reduce the level of loss due in the coax cable. However it is found that the resistive losses increase as the square root of the frequency. Coax cable attenuation with time . the diele ctric losses dominate at higher frequencies. However in the real world this is not so. and less power reaches the rem ote end than enters the RF cable.
It can be seen that the lower the losses of the cable the smaller the temperatur e rise. a nd its heat transfer coefficient both have a major effect. the limiting fact or arises from the heat loss within the cable. Additionally moisture penetration can affect both the bra id where it causes corrosion. and the greater the power handling capability is for the cable. and moistu re entry into the RF cable. As a bro . Additionally any heat generated as a result of dielectric losses will be dissipated within the dielectric. The dielectric also has an effect. RF coax cable power loss The major root cause for the limit in power handling capacity of an RF cable is the level of heat caused by the power losses occurring in the cable. It is found that some versions of polyethene can absorb moisture more readily than other types. weight and also its long term stability RF coax cable power rating Although for receiver applications the level of power that coax cable can handle is not an issue. the cable my become deformed and be pe rmanently damaged. Even if a cable is not flexed. but in a variety of parameters includin g its size. If the incorrect typ e of coax cable is used. For the resistive losses in the coax cable. Although many coax cables are flexible. As the degradation and increase in loss depends to s ome degree on the construction of the coax cable. it is found that most of the heat is generated in the centre conductor. it can result in a failure of the cable. many of the plastics used w ill allow some moisture to pass through them. Although foam polyethene offe rs a lower level of loss or attenuation when new. Accordingly coax cables with solid dielectric polyethen e are more suited to environments where the level of loss needs to remain consta nt. specialized cables should be used otherwise the performance wi ll degrade. then it is necessary to check that the operating voltage is not exc eeded. However the decision of which RF cable to use may not just rest in decidi ng which cable provides the lowest loss. Although RF cables are enclosed in a plastic sheath. This can be caused by contamination of the braid by the plastictiser s in the outer sheath.It is found that the attenuation of coax cables increases over a period of time for a number of reasons. the level of loss or attenuation will in crease. For applications where moisture ma y be encountered. Any power that i s lost in the RF cable will degrade the performance of the system in which it is used. The loss introduced by a coax cable is of paramount importance. or t inned copper braid exhibit more degradation than those with silver plated braids . this may affect he choice of w hich cable to employ. particularly if the RF cable is bent sharply. For most applications where the power is applied continuously. and as a result of changes to the dielectric. It is therefore t he construction of the dielectric that is of key importance in determining the p ower handling capability of the coax cable. even if within the makers recommended bend radius. If the temp erature of the coax cable rises too high. when it comes to medium or high power transmitters. Additionally it is found that braids us ing tinned copper exhibit about 20% greater loss than those using bare copper. If the power in the RF cable is t o be pulsed. This increase in loss can arise as a result of disrupti on to the braid or screen. It is found that the loss in coax cables that use either bare copper braid. and possible d amage to the transmitter. the power handling capacity of the coax cable becomes very important. b ut they are more stable over time. At freq uencies of 1 GHz with RF cables normally exhibiting a loss of 10 dB. and it may enter the dielectric where the moisture will tend to absorb power. Its maximum operating temperature. The main reasons are as a result of flexing. although the later are more expensive. or where moisture may be encountered. there can be a gradual degradation in performance over time. it absorbs moisture more readi ly than the solid types. there could be an increase of a decibel or so.
Dielectric materials There is a variety of materials that can be successfully used as dielectrics in coax cables. Each has its own dielectric constant. Velocity factor The speed at which the signal travels is normally given the designation Vp or Vg and this is the faction of the speed at which the signal travels when compared to a signal travelling in free space. . Even at the highest forese eable environmental operating temperature. then this needs to be taken into consideration when determining the required length of coax cable. there are positions of high and low current along the coax cable. Although the power handling capability of RF coax cable may not be an issue for many installations. Therefore the temperature rise within the cable will be great er. As the speed of the wave has been reduced. Accordingly a de-rating factor is normal ly applied if the coax cable is to used at high temperatures. the RF cable must be able to remain w ithin its maximum internal temperature. and therefore the operating temperature will rise. although at significant heights. the cable rating needs to be reduced. lower loss cables will have a higher power rating than higher loss RF cables. If the cable is to be operated at altitude and hence under reduced pressure. Coax cable velocity factor The speed at which a signal travels within a coax cable is not the same as an el ectromagnetic wave travelling in free space. Thus if the velocity factor of the coax c able is 0. RF coax cable derating Although a power rating may be given for a particular coax cable. then the wavelength is 0. but it can also be significa ntly more convenient to use and house. so too is the wavelength reduced by the same factor.5. the same is also tru e in any other medium. it will not be able to dissipate as much hea t. The temperature of the environment is one factor. If the coax cable is operating in a high temperature environment.0. when using medium or high power transmitters the power ratin g or handling capability of RF coax cable needs to be carefully considered. In the same way that the wavelength of a signal is the speed of light divided by the frequency for free space. coax cables that use different dielectric materials will exhibit different velocity factors.66 times the wavelength in free space. Not only does this save on cost. The advantage of using a coax cable with a low velocity factor is that the lengt h of coax cable required for the resonant length is shorter than if it had a fig ure approaching 1. Thus Vp for a signal travelling at the spe ed of light would be 1. and for one travelling at half the speed of light it w ould be 0. and this has the effect of slowing the signal down. the any cooling will be less effective. The reason for this is that when there is a high le vel of VSWR. Instead it is affected by the diele ctric that is used within the coax cable. The velocity factor of the cable is found to the reciprocal of the square root o f the dielectric constant: Vp = 1 / SQRT (dielectric constant) Coax cable electrical length One important factor of a coax cable in some applications is the wavelength of t he signals travelling in it. Altitude also has an effect. and as a result. it is often ne cessary to de-rate it to cater for non-optimal operating conditions.ad rule of thumb. This can be of great importance in some applications.66. although for many purposes it does not need to be known. In some instances lengths of coax cable are cut to a specific length to act as a n impedance transformed or a resonant circuit. T hese may be such that they cause the power dissipation to rise significantly in some areas causing higher levels of power to be dissipated locally. If the coax cable is operated under conditions where the VSWR is high.
and even if they are supposedly weatherproof.e. but it is al so required to withstand some harsh environmental conditions.659 Foam polyethylene 1.Material Dielectric constant Velocity factor Polyethylene 2.88 . There are many factors that affect coax cables to greater or lesser degrees: • Humidity and water vapour • Sunlight • Corrosive vapours and liquids Effect of humidity and water vapour on coax cables One of the biggest enemies for coaxial cable is that of water vapour. Moisture entry through coax cable termination The most obvious method of humidity entering a coax cable is through the termination.695 Dielectric constants and velocity factors of some common dielectric materials used in coax cables. or as it is sometimes called RF cable can be expensive. where the diameter of whatever it is being applied to is smallest . If resonant lengths of RF coax cable are to be used. Very few connectors are weather proofed. Moisture causes two main effects that give rise to an inc rease in the level of attenuation or loss in the cable. In view of its cos t. the life of the coax cable can be maximised and the periodic replacement costs for RF cables can be reduced. One very good example is the small termination box provided with many TV antennas. requiring the cable to be replaced. This heat is as a result of power loss in the cable. The s econd is an increase in the loss arising in the dielectric.6 0. The backing strip is peeled off and then it is wrapped around whatever it is to be waterproofed in this case a coax cable termination . When used external ly these termination enclosures provide little protection against the elements a nd the coax will quickly deteriorate. start on the cable and work towards the connector. When applying the tape keep it stretched so th at it is applied under tension. By water vapour transmission through the jacket. Also when winding ensure that there are no holes of voids in which w . th en it is wise to take additional precautions.e.overlapping each winding by about 50% of its width to ensure a good seal. Coax cable environmental resistance Coax cable.0. Also it is best to start from the thinner end of the job. then it is necessary to kno w the velocity factor of the coax cable. If it ente rs a coax cable then it can significantly degrade its performance. This tape comes in th e form of a roll and appears like thick PVC tape but it has a thin paper backing on one side to keep each layer separate and prevents it amalgamating with itsel f before use. i.1. Water vapour. Normally the best method is to use self-amalgamating tape. care needs to be taken otherwise the performance of the coax cable will deter iorate and the RF cable will require replacement. By taking suitable precautions . Through pin-holes in the jacket 3.3 0. Through the termination of the coax cable (i. through connector or oth er termination method) 2. It is often possible to determine this to a sufficient degree of accuracy from a knowledge of the dielectric material.79 Solid PTFE 2. or even water itself can enter the coax cable through a number of ways: 1.3 . 1. Where there is a connector on a cable. Water absorbed into the dielectric heats up when power is passed along the coax cable. The first is an increase in resistive loss arising from oxidation of the braid that gives rise to an inc rease in the resistance of the braid or outer conductor in the coax cable. Even when a connector is used to terminate the coax cable there will be problems if the coax is used externally.07 0. It is used in a similar way to insulating tape.
There are two basic systems that are used for defi ning RF cables. It is therefore quite pos sible that moisture will enter through any imperfection in the coax cable jacket . Unfortunately it is very easy for small abrasions to occur during the installation of a cable and these can include small pin hole s right through the jacket. One originated in the United Kingdom and its type numbers all st art with UR. Great care must therefore be taken when installing a cable. However to ensure the longest operational life it is best to ensure that they are not exposed to environmental conditions that would cause their performance t o deteriorate. The other system is American with type numbers commencing with the letters RG. However it is recommended that specially environ mentally hardened cables be used where extreme conditions are anticipated. If the pin holes are located externally where they can be affected by the weat her then moisture will enter. This moisture can collect in low areas of the cable causing local areas of co rrosion. If they are then it is necessary to adopt a few precautions to en sure that the coax cable life is maintained for as long as possible. Effect of sunlight on coax cables Sunlight has an effect on many substances. 2. and chemical vapours may be present on other inst allations requiring coax cables.ater could condense or enter. Alternatively use the "bury direct" cables that are available. manufacturers use hi gh molecular weight polythene. Water vapour transmission through the coax cable jacket All materials exhib it a finite vapour transmission rate. Polyvinylchloride (PVC) jackets exhibit less than half the life expectancy of the high molecular weight polythene. It is also found in airborne applications that the l arge temperature extremes encountered cause water condensation in the coax cable s. and in particular when the coax cable is passed trough a wall or other b arrier. Effect of corrosive vapours on coax cables Using a coax cable in the vicinity of corrosive liquids and vapours can reduce t he life of a cable faster than if it was used externally. Accordingly if a coax cable is constantly in contact with moisture. and the specification took the form RG (RG from Radio Guide) plus two nu mbers. While it would be possible to manufacture an infinite variety of RF cables. Although full MIL specifications are now off icially used for specifying most components for military use. some vapours and liquids can speed the deterioration of the coax cable e ven faster. and the same is true of coax cable ja ckets or sheaths. The RG series was originally used to specify the types of coax cables for milita ry use. One method of overcoming this is to fill any voids in the aircraft wher e coax cable are carried with non-hardening moisture-proof compound. Keep the self-amalgamating tape in intimate contac t with whatever it is to be waterproofed. In some instances these numbers were followed by the letter U which indic ated it was for multiple uses. Salt water is a common problem on sea going vessels. Although the rigours of the weather can be very tough. Different types of coax cable or feeder are needed for different purp oses and applications and accordingly it is necessary have specifications and da ta to be able to determine the required coax type or RF cable type easily. the RG series of R . RF Coax cable data and specifications There is a variety of different types of coax or coaxial cable that are in wides pread use. then this will permeate through the jacket. Moisture entry though pin holes in coax cable jacket Most coax cables hav e some small holes in their jacket along their length. stan dard varieties are specified. Either use some external protection such as a waterproof pipe. To increase the life of coax cables. In view of this coax cable should never be buried directly in the ground. 3. and ensure that no water enters i t so that small patches of water form in it. These types of coax cable were all listed in the MIL-HDBK-216 which is now obsolete. Coax cables are normally quite tolerant to being used in a variety of conditions . It is particularly the ultra-violet light that causes the degr adation to the cables. The use of tin or silver coatings can provide some additional protec tion but this is not permanent.
8 1.76 1.1 0.0 1.46 UR57 75 10.2 5.1 RG213/U 50 RG214/U 50 plated copper wire RG223/U 50 2.3 Similar to RG11A/U UR67 50 10.F cables continued to be used because of its widespread acceptance.66 3.66 0.75 0.1 0.6 UR90 75 6. This RF cable data has been presented as a guide and no liability can be taken f or any errors or mistakes in the data. Naturally every care has been taken to en .52 Similar to RG213/U UR74 51 22.66 0.6 0.46 0.66 2. especially at microwave frequencies .66 0.66 1.5 RG34 75 16.1 6. Most of these RF cables are easily available from RF cable s tockists.5 1.1 0.3 10.52 0.6 1.3 4. As the name implies.0 10.7 RG23 125 24.0 RG111 95 12.66 0.66 1.1 0.7 7.52 0.66 0.: Coax Type impedance diameter factor Atten @ 100 MHz @ 1000 MHz Characteristic Outside Velocity Atten Comments 0.0 6.1 30.6 3.8 1.8 2. though.33 1.66 0.66 1.2 0.6 2.96 0.3 Similar to RG58C/U UR77 75 22.4 0.6 2.4 UR79 50 21.84 0.66 0.4 RG6A/U 75 8.3 RG119 50 11.2 4. it is not particularly flexible and is not intend ed to be flexed after it has been formed to the required shape.8 5.1 Similar to RG59B/U Data for attenuation figures are typical figures and measured in dB / 10 metres dimensions in mm The RF cables described above are all flexible types.62 0.8 3. However it s hould be noted that the RG specifications are no longer maintained so there is n o complete guarantee to the exact specification for the particular type of coax cable.6 2.3 12.17 0.8 5.66 0.66 0.5 8.7 2.8 RG120 50 13.22 1.0 RG24 125 25.1 10.33 1.75 1.1 3.0 0.76 0.0 2.63 2.58 RG5/U 52.1 0.9 2.5 0. For microwave applications where very low loss is needed.66 12.1 RG108 78 6.4 UR76 51 5 0.8 1.7 0.1 RG114 185 10.4 RG9/U 51.66 0. A summary of data for some of the more commonly used types of coax or coaxial ca ble is given below.7 0.76 0.5 2.0 1.4 1.6 1.6 4.66 0.3 RG122 50 4.5 2.66 0.5 0.66 0.3 0.8 1. This type of coax offers superior screening compared to RF cables with a braided outer conductor.6 2.0 RG58C/U 50 RG59B/U 75 RG62A/U 93 RG63 125 10.66 0. semi rigid coaxial RF cable using a solid copper outer sheath may be used.66 0.3 RG79 125 12.9 5.1 7.2 0.7 RG10A/U 50 RG11A/U 75 RG12A/U 75 RG20A/U 50 RG22 95 10. silver UR43 50 5 0.1 2.4 Polythene dielectric Double screened.8 10.66 0.
and at first sight th e choice may not appear easy. While coax cable may perform perfectly well when first installed. Domestic hi-fi and video antenna feeds use 75 ohm coax cable. This is critical because any moisture entering the RF coax cable will produce a considerable increase in the level of loss. In order to prevent damage they should not be ben t into curves tighter than this. Moisture will also cause the outer braid to oxidise. In turn this can lead to much higher levels of loss. Coax cable areas to address The hints and tips to help install coax cable can be grouped into a number of ca tegories: 1. While RF coaxial cable is very easy to install. . By adopting a few simple precautio ns. RF Coax Cable Installation Guide RF coax cable is widely used for a variety of professional RF applications where RF power either from a transmitter or to a receiver needs to be transferred fro m one point to another. prior to any installat ion is to choose the required impedance. General installation 4. Weatherproofing the coaxial cable When installing coax cable externally it is very important to ensure the cable i s adequately weatherproofed. the greater the diameter of the cable. Weatherproofing the coax 3. the performance of the RF coaxial cable installation can be preserved and a much slower rate of degradation seen. In a similar line. However if some moister enters the cable it wil l move into it by capillary action. care should be taken to ensure that the cable is not crushed. Once this choice has been made the next decision will probably be made o n the level of signal loss that is acceptable. and then lasts. so it is always best to ensure that the ends are properly sealed and protected. Accord ingly this performance reduction may pass un-noticed until the performance has r educed to a point where it may not be usable. General installation tips for RF coax cable All cables have a bend radius. and amateur radio standardise on 50 ohm cable. Typically the lower the loss. it is ne cessary to ensure that a number of points are observed to ensure the coax cable installation is satisfactory initially. and also its cost. and ensure that no moisture enters. CB. If any moisture passes into the dielectric material spacing the inner and outer conduct ors.sure the data concerning these RF cables is correct. It is also necessary to ensure t hat the outer sheath of the cable remains intact and is not damaged during insta llation or further use. The first decision to make. In this way it is more difficult for water to enter t he cable and then move along it. It is therefore very important to seal the end of the cable if it is to be used externally. factors such a s the ingress of moisture may cause the performance to degrade over time. If RF coax cable is bent beyond its limit then damage to the inner construction of the cable may result. Typically there are sever al cables with similar performance figures and often the decision of the exact t ype number will depend on the stock position of suppliers. and reduce the con ductivity between the small conductors making up the braid. Once a suitable cable has been found then it can be purchased and installed. and increase the level of loss. This is particularly imp ortant because many coax cable installations are external and need to withstand the rigours of the environment. Choosing the right coaxial cable 2. this will impair the performance of the dielectric. Terminations / connections for the RF cable Choosing the right coax cable There is an enormous variety of coax cables on the market. Professional. An additional method of preventing large amounts of moisture entering the cable is to loop it up and down.
However wear. the di mensions of the cable will be changed and it will not maintain its characteristi c impedance. Antenna technologies Distributed Antenna System DAS The concept of a Distributed Antenna System. While on the subject of physical damage to the cable. although i t is necessary to ensure that the connectors are suitable for the frequencies us ed. Alternatively solution to using some form of conduit is to use a form of coax cable known as "bury direct". This has the advantage that it is easy to replace. it may mean that this is not noticed. Additionally if the dielectric between the two concentric conductor s in the coax cable is damaged. and its outer sheath can withstand these conditions. This is designed for being buried. A Distributed antenna system. The idea of a distributed antenna system is being adopted increasingly as it ena bles a number of advantages to be gained. the electrical termination being either at the antenna or in the receiver . distributed antenna systems are being u sed in a variety of areas to enable the right coverage to be gained for several applications. Instead it can be run through buried conduit manufactured for carrying buried cables. However ensure that the conduit does not become wate r logged. If it is broken in any place. RF connectors can be far better. In most instances the coax cable will be physically terminated using an RF conn ector. Although the concept of distributed antenna systems has been known about for man y years. it is important to terminate the cable correctly. On some occasions it is necessary to bury coaxial cable. DAS has many advantages in some app lications. In this way the DAS is abl e to provide wireless or radio coverage within a given area. it is necessary to ensure that the sheath of the cable remains intact. Distributed antenna system advantages and disadvantages Advantages of using a distributed antenna system • Better defined coverage • Fewer coverage holes • Same coverage using a lower overall power • Lowers health risk as a result of using lower overall power levels . DAS is a network of antennas spaced apa rt from each other. It is therefore wide t o always buy connectors from reputable sources. Accordingly the connections to the connectors must be made correctly and the r ight quality RF connectors should be used. If the RF cable does suffer damage in this way.or likely to be crushed. Some cheap versions of RF connectors may not meet the full specification and can thereby impair the performance of the RF coax cable. but connected to a common source. As the degradation in perfo rmance will be slow. and this will cause o xidation and moisture retention in the dielectric that will increase the level o f loss. Nevertheless. there is little alternative to using the m in view of the fact that they have to mate with the RF connectors on the equip ment. Ideally. then this may allow moisture to enter if it is used externally. For professional applications. it is with the increased deployment of wireless systems within building s and other difficult coverage areas that the idea of distributed antenna system s has come to the fore. By correctly installing a RF coax cable it can provide many years of satisfactor y service. and exposure to the elements will mean that after some time it may be prudent to replace the RF coax cable. then there is the likelihood of an increase in t he level of loss. Although connectors for domestic installations are often poor in terms of their electrical radio frequency performance. Only when it is ultim ately replaced will a major difference be seen. However this is at the cost of a large r more complicated system. Coax terminations / connections When installing RF coax cable. normal cable s hould not be buried directly as this relies purely on the outer sheath for prote ction and it is not designed for these conditions.
it was possible to utilise both spatial diversity and full spatial mult iplexing. MU-MIMO • MIMO spatial multiplexing • MIMO coding. MU-MIMO Multiple-input multiple-output. H owever this was only the first step as system then started to utilise the multip ath propagation to advantage. As a result the levels of ab sorption are lower and this means the overall power levels can be reduced. Also v arious forms of beam switching were implemented. larger antenna that is a compromise for the wider coverage needed. . inc Alamouti codes • MIMO antenna beamforming • Multi-User MIMO. Even now many there are many MIMO wireless routers on the market. the systems were gene rally relatively limited. new technologies needed to be developed to enable MIMO to be fully implemented. is a radio communications technology or RF technology that is being mentioned and used in many new technologies these d ays. Up until the 1990s. MIMO Technology Tutorial . LTE (3G long term evolution) and many other radio.Multiple Input Multiple Output technology th at uses multiple antennas to provide gains in channel robustness and throughput. more MIMO routers and other items of wi reless MIMO equipment will be seen. rather than having a single. The initial work on MIMO systems focussed on basic spatial diversity . However it fell to Bell Labs to be the first to demonstrate a laboratory prototy pe of spatial multiplexing in 1998.overview or tutorial about MIMO .• Individual antennas do not need to be as high as a single antenna for the equiva lent coverage Disadvantages of using a distributed antenna system • Higher cost as a result of additional infrastructure required • Possible greater visual impact in some applications as a result of greater numbe r of antennas. MISO. but in view of the levels of pr ocessing involved and the degrees of processing available. wireless and RF t echnologies are using the new MIMO wireless technology to provide increased link capacity and spectral efficiency combined with improved link reliability using what were previously seen as interference paths. but in addition to this. and as this RF technology is becoming more widespread. this helps overcome the shadowing and penetration losses because a line of sight link is available more frequently. or MIMO. although they are likely to be much lower in height. Basic concept of a distributed antenna system The basic idea behind the distributed antenna system is to utilise several diffe rent antennas over the required coverage area. Two researchers: Arogyaswami Paulraj and Thomas Kailath were first to propose th e use of spatial multiplexing using MIMO in 1993 and in the following year their US patent was granted. However with the additional levels of processing power that started to become av ailable. New levels of processin g were needed to allow some of the features of spatial multiplexing as well as t o utilise some of the gains of spatial diversity.here the MIMO system was used to limit the degradation caused by multipath propagation. Using this approach the overall p ower required is less because these more localised antennas can be placed more e ffectively for a small area. SIMO. MIMO development and history MIMO technology has been developed over many years. Not only did the basic MIMO concepts need to be formulated. By adopting a distributed antenna s ystem approach. spatial diversity was often limited to systems that switched between two antennas or combined the signals to provide the best signal. turning the additional signal paths into what migh t effectively be considered as additional channels to carry additional data. Wi-Fi. MIMO technology tutorial includes: • MIMO technology tutorial • SIMO.
As spectral bandwidth is b ecoming an ever more valuable commodity for radio communications systems. assuming digital data is being tran smitted. If these can be made to be affected in different ways by the signal path. MIMO wireless technology is able to co nsiderably increase the capacity of a given channel while still obeying Shannon' s law. or technologies such as spread spec trum / OFDM. MIMO Formats . By using MIMO.SISO. In turn this will impact the error rate. As a result of the use multiple antennas.g.overview and definitions about MIMO formats or configurations: SISO. They can be u sed to provide additional robustness to the radio link by improving the signal t o noise ratio. There is a number of different MIMO configurations or formats that can be used. or by increasing the link data capacity. choosing separate paths for each antenna to enable multiple signal paths to b e used. Accordingly. i. MISO. • Spatial multiplexing : This form of MIMO is used to provide additional data ca pacity by utilising the different paths to carry additional traffic. these additional paths can be used to advantage. It is found between a transmitter and a receiver. etc. using different timeslots and channel coding. This makes MIMO wireless technology one of the most importan t wireless techniques to be employed in recent years. • Space diversity : Space diversity used in the broadest sense of the definition is used as the basis for MIMO. Previously these multiple paths only served to introduce interferenc e.e. • Frequency diversity: This form of diversity uses different frequencies. It uses antennas located in different positions to take advantage of the different radio paths that exist in a typical terrestri al environment. a message may be transmitted at differen t times. Several different diversity modes are available and provide a number of advantag es: • Time diversity: Using time diversity. i. increa sing the data throughput capability. the probability that they will all be affected at the same t ime is considerably reduced. By increasing the number of receive and transmit antennas it is possible to linearly increase the throughput of the channel with every pair of antennas a dded to the system. Ac cordingly MIMO wireless systems can be viewed as a logical extension to the smar t antennas that have been used for many years to improve wireless. The variety of paths available occurs as a result of the number of objec ts that appear to the side or even in the direct path between the transmitter an d receiver. It may be in the form of using different channels. techni ques are needed to use the available bandwidth more effectively. SIMO. SIMO. the use of multiple antennas located at different points. reducing error rate. diversity helps to stabilise a link an d improves performance. .e.. These two methodologies are used to provide i mprovements in the signal to noise ratio and they are characterised by improving the reliability of the system with respect to the various forms of fading. The two main formats for MIMO are given below: • Spatial diversity: Spatial diversity used in this narrower sense often refers to transmit and receive diversity. MIMO is effectively a radio antenna technology as it uses multiple antennas at t he transmitter and receiver to enable a variety of signal paths to carry the dat a. General Outline of MIMO system One of the core ideas behind MIMO wireless systems space-time signal processing in which time (the natural dimension of digital communication data) is complemen ted with the spatial dimension inherent in the use of multiple spatially distrib uted antennas. The principle of diversity is to provide the receiver with multiple ver sions of the same signal. MU-MIMO . the signal can take many paths . Additionally by moving the antennas even a small distance the paths used will change.MIMO -Multiple Input Multiple Output basics A channel may be affected by fading and this will impact the signal to noise rat io. MIS O and MIMO for receiver diversity and transmitter diversity. MIMO wireless t echnology is one of these techniques. e.
MISO. This is also known as receive diversity. In this way the input is the tran smitter as it transmits into the link or signal path. the same data is transmitt ed redundantly from the two transmitter antennas.Single In put Single Output.Single Input Single Output • SIMO . It is often used to enable a receiver system that re ceives signals from a number of independent sources to combat the effects of fad ing. MIMO . SIMO. MISO and MIMO. This is effectively a standard radio channel . In this case.the throughput being dependent upon the channel b andwidth and the signal to noise ratio. Interference and fading will impact the system more than a MIMO system using some form of diversity.MISO MISO is also termed transmit diversity. There are two forms of SIMO that can be used: • Switched diversity SIMO: This form of SIMO looks for the strongest signal and switches to that antenna. the signals from both antennas contri bute to the overall signal. The use of SIMO may be quite acceptable in many applications.Multiple Input multiple Output The term MU-MIMO is also used for a multiple user version of MIMO as described b elow. The receiver is then able to r . the levels of proces sing may be limited by size.SISO The simplest form of radio link can be defined in MIMO terms as SISO . processing may be needed at one end of the link or the other .Single Input Multiple Output SIMO has the advantage that it is relatively easy to implement although it does have some disadvantages in that the processing is required in the receiver.SIMO The SIMO or Single Input Multiple Output version of MIMO occurs where the transm itter has a single antenna and the receiver has multiple antennas. Also dependent up on the format. MIMO . SIMO . therefore the different forms of single / multiple antenna links are defined as below: • SISO . SISO. and the output is the rece iver.Single Input Multiple output • MISO .this transmitt er operates with one antenna as does the receiver. These different MIMO formats offer d ifferent advantages and disadvantages . The different MIMO formats .these can be balanced to provide the opt imum solution for any given application. SISO . However the SISO chann el is limited in its performance.SISO. SISO requires no processing in terms of the various forms of diversity that may be used. SIMO. cost and battery drain. It has been used for many years with short wave listening / receiving stati ons to combat the effects of ionospheric fading and interference. There is no diversity and no additional processing required. MIMO . MISO and MIMO require different numbers of antennas as well as having different levels of complexity. SIMO. In this way. and the channel bandwidth is limited by Shannon's law .Multiple Input Single Output • MIMO . but where the receiver is located in a mobile device such as a cellphone handset.These are termed SISO. These are related to the radio link.Single Input Single Output The advantage of a SIS system is its simplicity. MIMO terminology The different forms of antenna technology refer to single or multiple inputs and outputs. It is at the output of the wireless link. • Maximum ratio combining SIMO: This form of SIMO takes both signals and sums th em to give the a combination.th is can have an impact on any decisions made.
beyond which it i s not possible to proceed. It is usually expressed in t he form: C = W log2(1 + S/N ) Where C is the channel capacity in bits per second. This requires processing. From this it can be seen that there is an ultimate limit on the capacity of a ch annel with a given bandwidth. cost and battery life as the lower level of processing requires less battery consumption. and S/N is the SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio).Multiple Input Single Output The advantage of using MISO is that the multiple antennas and the redundancy cod ing / processing is moved from the receiver to the transmitter. but provides additional channel robustness / data throughpu t capacity. These are all able to provide significant improvement s of performance. Balances of performance against costs. MIMO spatial multiplexing achieves this by utilising the multiple paths and effectively using them as additional "channe ls" to carry data. Shannon's law defines the maximum rate at which error free data can be transmitt ed over a given bandwidth in the presence of noise. The maximum amount of data that can be carried by a radio channel is limited by the physical boundaries defined under Shannon's Law. MIMO Where there are more than one antenna at either end of the radio link. The modulation scheme can play a major part in this. named after the man who formulated it. MIMO can be used to provide improve ments in both channel robustness as well as channel throughput. However before this point is reached. In view of these limits many decisions need to be made about the way in which a transmission is made. MIMO Spatial Multiplexing . There are many formats of MIMO that can be used from SISO. processing av ailable and the resulting battery life need to be made when choosing he correct option. The law that governs this i s called Shannon's Law. The c hannel capacity can be increased by using higher order modulation schemes. the capacity is also limited by the signal to noise ratio of the received signal. spatial multiplexing used t o provide additional data bandwidth in multipath radio scenarios. This is particula rly important because MIMO wireless technology provides a method not of breaking the law. This is true for the amount of data that can be passe d along a specific channel in the presence of noise. W is the bandwidth in Hertz. MISO . this can be a significant advantage in terms of space for th e antennas and reducing the level of processing required in the receiver for the redundancy coding. In instances suc h as cellphone UEs. but generally at the cost of additional processing and the num ber of antennas used. this is t ermed MIMO . One of the key advantages of MIMO spatial multiplexing is the fact that it is ab le to provide additional data capacity. size.Multiple Input Multiple Output In order to be able to benefit from MIMO fully it is necessary to be able to uti lise coding on the channels to separate the data from the different paths.eceive the optimum signal which it can then use to receive extract the required data. This has a positive impact on size. there a theoretical boundaries.Multiple Input Multiple Output. s . but increasing data rates beyond those possible on a single channel wi thout its use. through SIMO and MISO to the full MIMO systems. Thus a balance exists between the data rate and the allowable error rate. but t hese require a better signal to noise ratio than the lower order modulation sche mes.overview of MIMO .Multiple Input Multiple Output. Shannon's Law and MIMO spatial multiplexing As with many areas of science. MIMO .
In reality the situation is a little more difficult than this as propagation is never quite this straightforward. While some improvements can be made in terms of optimising the modulation scheme and improving the signal to noise ratio. MIMO precoding. In this way for a three transmit.ST BC.overview of MIMO coding including MIMO precoding. 2. . mimo diversity coding. Once all of this has been estimated. but there is no reas on why further antennas cannot be employed and this increases the throughput. In order that MIMO spatial multiplexing can be utilised. these improvements are not always easy or cheap and they are invariably a compromise. Data streams t1. In many MIMO systems. n. balancing the various factors in volved. In any case for MIMO spatial multiplexing the number of receive antennas must be e qual to or greater than the number of transmit antennas. r2 is the signal received at antenna 2 and so forth. To take advantage of the additional throughput offered. In matrix format this can be represented as: [R] = [H] x [T] To recover the transmitted data-stream at the receiver it is necessary to perfor m a considerable amount of signal processing. First the MIMO system decoder must estimate the individual channel transfer characteristic hij to determine the ch annel transfer matrix. MIMO spatial multiplexing To take advantage of the additional throughput capability.ignal to noise ratio and power that can be transmitted. then the matrix [H] has been produced and the transmitted data streams can be reconstructed by multi plying the received vector with the inverse of the transfer matrix. travelling from transmit antenna one to receive antenna 2 and so forth. It is therefore necessary to look at other ways of improving the data th roughput for individual channels. Thes e can be represented by the properties h12. Space time block coding uses both spatial and temporal diversity and in this way enables significant gains to be made. [T] = [H]-1 x [R] This process can be likened to the solving of a set of N linear simultaneous equ ations to reveal the values of N variables. There are various forms of terminology used including Space-Time Block Code . MIMO Space Time Block Coding and Alamouti Codes . just two are used. it is necessary to add coding to the different channels so that the receiver can detect the correct dat a. MIMO is one way in which wireless communicatio ns can be improved and as a result it is receiving a considerable degree of inte rest. three rece ive antenna system a matrix can be set up: r1 = h11 t1 + h21 t2 + h31 t3 r2 = h12 t1 + h22 t2 + h32 t3 r3 = h13 t1 + h23 t2 + h33 t3 Where r1 = signal received at antenna 1. and in addition to this each variable consists of an ongoing data stream. space time diversity coding and Alamouti codes. Space-time coding combines all the copies of the received signal in an optimal way to extract as much information from each of them as possible. MIMO coding. and Alamouti codes. tn can be transmitted from antennas 1. t2. To enable the receiver to be able to differentiate between the different data streams it is necessary to use. Space time block codes Space-time block codes are used for MIMO systems to enable the transmission of m ultiple copies of a data stream across a number of antennas and to exploit the v arious received versions of the data to improve the reliability of data-transfer . Then there are a variety of paths that can be used with e ach path having different channel properties. MIMO wireless systems ut ilise a matrix mathematical approach. MIMO utilises several sets of antennas. this nevertheless demonstrates the basic principle b ehind MIMO wireless systems.
it is possible to utilise antenna beamforming techniques with systems such as MIMO. The MIMO Alamouti scheme is an ingenious transmit diversity scheme for two trans mit antennas that does not require transmit channel knowledge. Although there is redundancy in the data some copies may arrive less corrupted a t the receiver. Smart antennas are normally used .overview of the basics of MIMO antenna technology including MIMO beamforming a ntenna technology. Each row represents a time slot and each column represents one antenna's transmissions over time. Addi tionally MIMO beamforming is an option that is coming to the fore.the required one being switched according to the direction required. . The differential space time block codes are normally based upon the more sta ndard space-time block codes. This helps to compensate for the channel problems such as fading and thermal noise. A space time block code is usually represented by a matrix. Directive antenna systems have. Sij is the modulated symbol to be transmitted in time slot i from antenna j. The MIMO antenna technologies used are key to the overall MIMO performance. When using space-time block coding. This block is usually considered to be of 'length' T.not just on MIMO sy stems. MIMO beamforming smart antennas Beamforming techniques can be used with any antenna system . Differential space time block code Differential space time block coding is a form of space time block coding that d oes not need to know the channel impairments in order for the signal to be decod ed. By splitting a cell site into sector wher e each antenna illuminates 60° or 120° the capacity can be greatly increased . MIMO Antenna Beamforming .Space-time coding involves the transmission of multiple copies of the data. One block-code is transmitted from a set in respon se to a change in the input signal. been used to improve the capacity o f cellular telecommunications systems. the data stream is encoded in blocks prior t o transmission. MIMO Alamouti coding A particularly elegant scheme for MIMO coding was developed by Alamouti. With the development of more adaptive systems and greater levels of processing p ower. They are used to create a certain required antenna directive pattern to g ive the required performance under the given conditions. There are to be T time slots and nT transmit antennas as well a s nR receive antennas.tripl ed when using 120° antennas. Smart antennas can be divided into two groups: • Phased array systems: Phased array systems are switched and have a number of p re-defined patterns .these are antennas that can be controlled aut omatically according the required performance and the prevailing conditions. As various forms of technology improve the MIMO antenna technology can be pushed further allowing techniques like MIMO beamforming to be considered. MIMO antenna & MIMO beamforming development For many years antenna technology has been used to improve the performance of sy stems. The ass ociated codes are often called MIMO Alamouti codes or just Alamouti codes. for example. Directive antennas have been used for very many years to improve signal l evels and reduce interference. These data blocks are then distributed among the multiple antenn as (which are spaced apart to decorrelate the transmission paths) and the data i s also spaced across time. The MIMO Alamouti code is a simple space time block code that he developed in 1998. This enables the system to work because the differences among the blocks in the set are designed to allow the receiver to ex tract the data with good reliability. Within this matrix.
MIMO beamforming using phased array systems requires the overall system to deter mine the direction of arrival of the incoming signal and then switch in the most appropriate beam. However the cost is the considerable extra complexity required.see below. There are two scenarios associated with MU-MIMO.filters and antenn as . Multi-user MIMO offers some significant advantages over other technique s: • MU-MIMO systems enable a level of direct gain to be obtained in a multiple acces s capacity arising from the multi-user multiplexing schemes. and also move the beam in real time . MU-MIMO come at a cost of additional ha rdware .antennas and processing . Multi-user MIMO or MU-MIMO is an enhanced form of MIMO technology that is gainin g acceptance. This allows for the production of cheap remote terminals . • MU-MIMO allows spatial multiplexing gain to be achieved at the base station with out the need for multiple antennas at the UE. Adaptive array systems are able to direct the beam in the exact direction needed . MAC: The development of the MIMO-MAC is base d on the known single user MIMO concepts broadened out to account for multiple u sers. The advantages of using multi-user MIMO. When using spatial multiplexing. Multi-user MIMO: • Uplink . • Downlink . • MU-MIMO appears to be affected less by some propagation issues that affect singl e user MIMO systems. Multi-user MIMO enables multiple independent radio termin als to access a system enhancing the communication capabilities of each individu al terminal. To enable MU-MIMO to be used there are several approaches that can be adopted. it is n ot a major issue for multi-user diversity. . an d additional processing when enable the spatial separation of the different user s. This is complemented by implicit user scheduling and a power loading algorithm MU-MIMO Multi-User MIMO advantages MU-MIMO. MU-MIMO.Broadcast Channel. MU-MIMO basics MU-MIMO provides a methodology whereby spatial sharing of channels can be achiev ed. This can be achieved at the cost of additional hardware .An overview of the basics of MU-MIMO Multi-User MIMO .the intelligence and cost is included within the base s tation. the interference between the different users on the same channel is accommodated by the use of additional antennas.a factor that often happens with mobile telecommunications.a form of advanced Mult iple Input Multiple Output technology including MIMO-BC and MIMO-MAC. MU-MIMO. TDMA or CDMA are used.Multiple Access Channel. MU-MIMO Multi-User MIMO . DPC .but the incorporation does not come at the expense of additional bandwidth as is the case when technologies such as FDMA.this is a particular advantage for movin g systems . The optimum strategy involves pre-interference cancellation techniques known as "Dirty Paper Coding". These include channel rank loss and antenna correlation .and also obtaining the channel state informat ion which requires the use of the available bandwidth. BC : The MIMO-BC is the more challenging scenari o.a lthough channel correlation still affects diversity on a per user basis. This is something of a compromise because the fixed beam is u nlikely to exactly match the required direction. MU-MIMO exploits the maximum system capacity by scheduling multiple users to be able to simultaneously access the same channel using the spatial degrees of free dom offered by MIMO.• Adaptive array systems (AAS): This type of antenna uses what is termed adaptiv e beamforming and it has an infinite number of patterns and can be adjusted to t he requirements in real time. a nd a number of applications / versions that are available. This is proportiona l to the number of base station antennas employed.
The pre-coding n ormally uses the Channel State Information. cognitive radio. technique consists of precoding the data so the int erference data can be read in the presence of the interference. or transmission. Smart Antennas Tutorial . However MIMO MAC systems outperform point-to-point MIMO particular ly if the number of receiver antennas is greater than the number of transmit ant ennas at each user. CSIR. CSIT.hence MIMO and it i s used in uplink scenarios. i. However if the writing was in white. Multi-user MIMO is still in its infancy. Smart antenna technology or adaptive antenna array technology enables the perfor mance of the antenna to be altered to provide the performance that may be requir ed to undertake performance under specific or changing conditions. it is the broadcast channel that is the more c hallenging within MU-MIMO. The Dirty Paper Coding. However the significant gains that can be made by using MU-MIMO.e. Space Division Multiple Access based downlink user scheduling. MIMO-BC This form of MU-MIMO is used for the MIMO broadcast channels. To explain Dirty Paper Coding. For the MIMO-MAC the receiver performs much of the processing . This enables significant throughput improvements over that of ordin ary point to point MIMO systems. and other new technologies. The smart antennas include signal processing capability that can perform tasks s uch as analysis of the direction of arrival of a signal and then the smart anten na can adapt the antenna itself using beam-forming techniques to achieve better reception. The same technique is used on the data transmission.MIMO-MAC This form of MU-MIMO is used for a multiple access channel . summary. Determining CSIR is generally easier than determining CSIT. DPC Dirty Paper Coding. although it could not be read on white paper.e. black. t hen the writing cannot be read. especially when the number of transmit antennas exceeds that of the antennas at each receiver. it would be perfectly legible on black. an analogy of writing on dirty paper can be used. although the nat ure of the interference must be known so that the pre-coding can be incorporated to counter the effect of the interference. the downlink.an overview. BC and MAC. DPC. cognitive radio . or tutorial about the basics of smart antennas or the ad aptive antenna array and smart antenna technology used with SDR. and many developments are underway to d etermine the optimum formats for its use. DPC is a technique used within telecommunications scenarios. the nature of which i s known to the transmitter. the overall antenna will use so me form of adaptive antenna array scheme to enable the antenna to perform is bea m formation and signal direction detection. Coding types as well as levels of chan nel state indication are being determined as these use up valuable resource and can detract from the overall data throughput available. Transmit processing is required for this and it is typically in the form of precoding and SDMA. Smart antennas and smart antenna technology using an adaptive antenna array are being introduced increasingly with the development of other technologies includi ng the software defined radio. i. MIMO and many others. In addition to this. particularly wireless communications to provide efficient transmission of digit al data through a channel that is subject to interference. but it re quires significant levels of uplink capacity to transmit the dedicated pilots fr om each user.here the receive r needs to know the channel state and uses Channel Sate Information at the Recei ver. Normally black ink would be used. or di rty paper. Dirty Paper Coding. For this the transmitter has to know the Channel State Information at the Transm itter. . Of the two channels. MIMO. but if the paper is dirty. DPC. multi-user MIMO mean that it will be in troduced in the foreseeable future.
The dipole is a simple antenna to construct and use. Software Defined Radio . In most cases a single half w . • Adaptive array smart antennas: Adaptive antenna arrays allow the beam to be co ntinually steered to any direction to allow for the maximum signal to be receive d and / or the nulling of any interference. This current and the associated voltage c auses and electromagnetic or radio signal to be radiated. complexity and the performance requirements regardin g which type should be used. The control elements wi thin the antenna can then select the most appropriate one for the conditions tha t have been detected. the in-depth calcu lations are considerably more complicated. and it is also incorporate d into many other RF antenna designs where it forms the radiating or driven elem ent for the antenna.overview.SDR. although decisions ne ed to be made against cost.Smart antenna functions While the main purposes of standard antennas are to effectively transmit and rec eive radio signals. the control circuitry within the antenna is able to optimis e the directional beam pattern of the adaptive antenna array to provide the requ ired performance. It is widely used on its own. tutorial about the basics of the dipole antenna or dipole a erial that is widely used on its own and as the basis for other RF antenna desig ns.CR requiring antenna systems to be more adaptive and provide greater levels of adaptivity. and Cogniti ve Radio . Dipole antenna tutorial includes: • Dipole antenna • Dipole length calculation • Dipole feed impedance • Folded dipole antenna The dipole antenna or dipole aerial is one of the most important and commonly us ed types of RF antenna. Both types of antenna are able to provide the directivity. • Beam steering: With the direction of arrival of the required and any interferi ng signals analysed. there are two additional functions that smart antennas or ad aptive antennas need to fulfil: • Direction of arrival estimation: In order for the smart antenna to be able pro vide the required functionality and optimisation of the transmission and recepti on. they need to be able to detect the direction of arrival of the required inco ming signal. Dipole antenna basics As the name suggests the dipole antenna consists of two terminals or "poles" int o which radio frequency current flows. However like all other antennas. two main approaches or types of smart antenna technology have been developed: • Switched beam smart antennas: The switched beam smart or adaptive antennas are designed so that they have several fixed beam patterns. Types of smart antenna With considerable levels of functionality being required within smart antennas. Summary With many applications including MIMO. Smart antenna technology or adaptive antenna technology wi ll become more widely used. For resonance the co nductor is an odd number of half wavelengths long. Although this approach does not provide complete flexibili ty it simplifies the design and provides sufficient level of adaptivity for many applications. Being more specific. and many of the calculation s are quite straightforward. a dipole is generally taken to be an antenna that consists of a resonant length o f conductor cut to enable it to be connected to the feeder. summary. The information received by the antenna array is passed to the sign al processor within the antenna and this provides the required analysis. Radio antenna types Dipole antenna .
96 and 0. As such it is the possibly the most important fo rm of RF antenna. Here again the voltage is at a minimum and the current at a maxim um. High voltage feed points are far less convenient and more difficult to use. It falls to zero at the end and is at a maximum in the middle. Theoretically any of the current maximum nodes could be used.9 8 and is mainly dependent upon the ratio of the length of the antenna to the thi ckness of the wire or tube used as the element. Three half wavelength wave dipole antenna Dipole polar diagram The polar diagram of a half wave dipole antenna that the direction of maximum se nsitivity or radiation is at right angles to the axis of the RF antenna. For a half wave dipole the length for a wave travelling in free space is calcula ted and this is multiplied by a factor "A". There are a number of reasons for this and it means that an antenna will be slightly shorter than the length calculated for a wave travel ling in free space. but it also forms the essential element in many other types of RF antenna. The rad iation falls to zero along the axis of the RF antenna as might be expected. As the length of the antenna is extended it can be seen that the familiar figure of eight pattern changes to give main lobes and a few side lobes. The mai n lobes move progressively towards the axis of the antenna as the length increas es. Dipole antenna length calculation & formula . or multiple of half w avelengths. . The dipole is oft en used on its own as an RF antenna. although three.avelength is used. However the dipole length is not exactly the same as the wavelength in free spac e . Conversely the voltage is low at t he middle and rises to a maximum at the ends. Dipole length variation from free space length Although the antenna may be an electrical half wavelength. The length of a dipole is the main determining factor for the operating frequenc y of the dipole antenna. it is not exactly the same length as the wavelength for a signal tra velling in free space. . at the point where the current is at a maximum and the voltage a minimum. Its value can be approximated fr om the graph: Multiplication factor "A" used for calculating the length of a dipole Dipole length formula It is quite easy to use In order to calculate the length of a half wave dipole the simple formulae given below can be used: Length (metres) = 150 x A / frequency in MHz Length (inches) = 5905 x A / frequency in MHz . It is generally fed at the centre. they are similarly normally fed in the centre. .it is slightly shorter. When multiple half wavelength dipoles are used. The basic half wave dipole antenna The current distribution along a dipole is roughly sinusoidal. . This provides a low impedance feed point which is convenient to handle. The dipole antenna is a particularly important form of RF antenna which is very widely used for radio transmitting and receiving applications. Typically a dipole is a half wavelength long. wavelength antennas are equally valid. Polar diagram of a half wave dipole in free space If the length of the dipole antenna is changed then the radiation pattern is alt ered.notes and details about the dipole antenna length calculation & formula. Typically it is between 0. five. or a mult iple of half wavelengths.
i. It is best to trim the antenna length in small steps because the wire or t ube cannot be replaced very easily once it has been removed. Therefore they a re centre fed . provided that all the variables and elements that affect t he operation of the dipole can be entered accurately so that the simulation is r ealistic and therefore accurate. • Radiation resistance: The radiation resistance is the element of the dipole an tenna impedance that results from the power being "dissipated" as an electromagn etic wave. This gives a low impedance which is normally mo re manageable. To ensure that it is low. the feed position. The major problem is normally being able to ent er the real-life environmental data accurately to enable a realistic simulation to be undertaken. it is typically fed at the current ma ximum and voltage minimum point. or source / load. Skin effects may also need to be considered. To ensure th e optimum transfer of energy from the feeder. sufficiently th ick cable or piping should be used. The basic half wave dipole antenna with centre feed point The dipole feed impedance is made up from two constituents: • Loss resistance: The loss resistance results from the resistive or Ohmic losse s within the radiating element. As with any RF antenna. the environment a nd the like. and the metal should have a low resistance. It is therefore poss ible to feed the dipole at any one of these voltage minimum or current maximum p oints which occur at a point that is a quarter wavelength from the end. the feed impedan ce of the dipole should be the same as that of the source or load. In many cases the dipole loss r esistance is ignored as it may be low. Dipole antenna feed impedance . The ground has a major effect.Notes and overview about the feed impedance of a dipole antenna . how it may be determined. By matching the feed impedance of the dipole to the source or load. Factors that alter the dipole feed impedance The feed impedance of a dipole can be changed by a variety of factors. the dipole. the proxi mity of other objects having a marked effect. Although a dipole can be fed at any point.the point of the voltage minimum and current maximum.13 ohms making it ideal to feed with 75 ohm feeder. and then at half wavelength intervals. If the dipole antenna forms the radiating element for a more complicated form of RF . Three half wavelength wave dipole antenna showing feed point points λ/4 from either end could also be used The vast majority of dipole antennas are half wavelengths long.e. Computer simulation programmes are normally able to calculate the length of a di pole very accurately.what affects it. The feed impedance of a dipole antenna is of particular importance. A half wave centre fed dipole antenna in free space has an impedanc e 73. A simple Ohms Law calculation will enable the impeda nce to be determined. Even though calculated lengths are normally quite repeatable it is always bes t to make any prototype antenna slightly longer than the calculations might indi cate. & other key details. The aim of any antenna is to "dissipate" as much power in this way as possible. the antenna is able to operate to its maximum efficiency. the feed impedance of a dipole antenna is dependent upon a variety of factors including the length.Using these formulae it is possible to calculate the length of a half wave dipol e. This needs to be done because changes in the thickness of wire being used etc may alter the length slightly and it is better to make it slightly too long than too short so that it can be trimmed so that it resonates on the right frequ ency. Dipole feed impedance basics The feed impedance of a dipole is determined by the ratio of the voltage and the current at the feed point. Most dipoles tend to be multiples of half wavelengths long.
then it is found that there is a fourfold increase in the feed impedance. The currents along both the half-waves are therefore in phase and the antenna wi ll radiate with the same radiation patterns etc as a simple half-wave dipole. the antenna is called a folded dipole. This means that when compared to a standard dipole the current in each condu ctor is reduced to a half. the impedance has to be raised by a factor of four to retain balance in the equation Watts = I^2 x R. As the same power is applied. • Wide bandwidth: The folded dipole has a flatter frequency response . Often the effect is to lower the impedance. Folded dipole antenna . although it can be fed with unbalan ced feeder provided that a balan of some form is used to transform from an unbal anced to balanced feed structure. then elements of the RF antenna will have an effect. Simple half-wave folded dipole antenna One of the main reasons for using the folded dipole is the increase in feed impe dance that it provides. Folded dipole basics In its basic form the folded dipole consists of a basic dipole with an added con ductor connecting the two ends together to make a complete loop of wire or other conductor. Folded dipole impedance rationale In a standard dipole the currents flowing along the conductors are in phase and as a result there is no cancellation of the fields and radiation occurs. a folded dipole provides a significant increase in impedance level that enables th e antenna to be matched more easily to the feeder available. If the conductors in the main dipole and the second or " fold" conductor are the same diameter. like the standard dipole.antenna. The standard dipole is widely used in its basic form. this gives an increase in feed i mpedance from 73Ω to around 300Ω ohms. Additionally the RF antenna has a wider bandw idth. folded dipole impedance. Folded dipole with unequal conductor diameters . and when used in some antennas the feed impedance of the dipole element may fall to ten ohms or less. different ratios can be obtained.notes and summary about the folded dipole antenna. The basic format for the dipole is shown below.this enab les it to be used over a wider bandwidth. un equal conductor folded dipoles. or when the impedance of the dipole is reduced by factors such as parasitic elements. When th e second conductor is added this can be considered as an extension to the standa rd dipole with the ends folded back to meet each other. Unequal conductor folded dipoles It is possible to implement different impedance ratios to the standard 4:1 that are normally implement using a folded dipole. The impedance increase can be deduced from the fact that the power supplied to a folded dipole is evenly shared between the two sections which make up the anten na. known as a folded dipole provi des a number of advantages. As a result the currents in the new section flow in the same direction as those in the original dipole. Folded dipole advantages There are a number of advantages or reasons for using a folded dipole: • Increase in impedance: When higher impedance feeders need to be used. As can be seen from this it is a balanced antenna. Simply by varying the effective di ameter of the two conductors: top and bottom. and multi-wire folded dipoles. not only on its own. The folded dipole is widely used. However under a number of circumstances a modification of the basic dipole. and methods need to be used to ensure a good match is maintained with the feeder. In free space. As the ends appear to be folded back. but also as the driven el ement in other antenna formats such as the Yagi antenna.
this would considerably increases its weight and wind loading. particularly for all type of radio scanning and monitoring applications from the commercial or military moni toring services to the home scanner enthusiast for frequencies above 30 MHz. the discone antenna is le ss commonly used for transmitting. it should be remembered that there is a shortening effect associated with their use as op posed to normal wire or thin conductors. Discone antenna . This can be calculated from the formula B = 52550 / frequency . it is not optimised for a particular band of frequen cies and is less efficient than many other types of RF antenna design. but they must be fed with a high impedance feeder. the cone elements should be a quarter wavelength at the minimum operat ing frequency. tutorial about the basics of what is a discone antenna for wide band or bandwidth omnidirectional applications. However they find more uses when a dipole is incorporated in another RF antenna design with other elements nearby. and further elements pointing downwards in the shape of a c one.7 of a q uarter wavelength. Secondly. Of the RF antenna components the insulator size governs a number of factors of t he performance of the antenna. This can be calculated from the formula A = 75000 / frequency (MH z) millimetres where A is the length of the cone elements. The discone antenna is widely used where an omnidirectional wide band or bandwid th RF antenna design is needed. keeping them a fixed distance apart. th e cone elements and the disc elements. which would not be advisabl e from mechanical considerations. To ensure that it can be fed con veniently. summary. It is made from insulating material and acts to h old the disc and cone elements in place. This makes it ideal for VHF / UHF applications as i ts greatest sensitivity is parallel or almost parallel to the Earth. typically 300 ohms.In order to determine the impedance step up ratio provided by the folded dipole. Additiona lly the wideband with of the RF antenna means that spurious signals can be radia ted more easily and the level of reflected power will vary over the operating ra nge and may rise above acceptable limits in some areas. Discone overview The discone antenna receives its name from its distinctive shape. and it also offers a relatively low angle o f radiation (and reception). Although the RF antenna could be made as a full disc and a cone. This h as the effect of reducing the dipole impedance. Folded dipole applications Folded dipoles are sometimes used on their own. The RF antenna design consists of a top "disc" formulated from a number of elements arranged i n a disc at the top.overview. Thirdly the disc elements should be made to have an overall length of 0. This type of RF antenna design can operate over frequency ranges of up to 10:1 d ependent upon the particular design. Although it is widely used for receiving applications. However tow ards the top of its frequency range it is found that the angle of radiation incr eases slightly. the following formula can be used: Where: d1 is the conductor diameter for the feed arm of the dipole d2 is the conductor diameter for the non-fed arm of the dipole S is the distance between the conductors r is the step up ratio When determining the length of a folded dipole using thick conductors. In fact this distance is one of the factors that determines the overall frequency range of the particular RF antenna design. Physical aspects of the discone The basic RF antenna design consists of three main components: the insulator. There are several reasons for this. a folded dipole may be used to raise the impedance again to a suitabl e value. Although it offers a wide bandwidth. It finds many uses.
a form of RF antenna that is widely used in RFID and transistor radio applications. i. The disc and cone elements sufficiently simulat e an electrically complete disc and cone from which the energy is radiated. tutorial about the ferrite rod antenna or aerial. Ferrite rod antennas are also being used increasingly in wireless applications i n areas such as RFID. As a result the greater the number of elements.e. and th e radiation pattern is omnidirectional in the horizontal plane. around three of four millimetres. The smaller the diameter the higher the frequency. enabling both functions to be combined within the same components. In this way it is possible for the energy to be radiated or received efficiently. but the number is not critical. but it can be e nvisaged in a simplified manner. Oft en around six elements are used. Here the volumes of antennas required can be huge. thereby reducing the numbe r of components and hence the cost of the set. However once the frequency rises above this point then a reasonable match to 50 ohm coax is maintained over virtually t he whole of the band. cost and wind resistance. summary. With the feed point at the top of the RF antenna the current maximum point is al so at the top. A coil is would around the ferrite rod and this is brought to resonance using a variable tuning capacitor contained within the radio circui try itself and in this way the antenna can be tuned to resonance. an iron base d magnetic material. Ferrite rod antenna information includes: • Ferrite rod antenna basics • Ferrite rod antenna parameters The ferrite rod antenna is a form of RF antenna design that is almost universall y used in portable transistor broadcast receivers as well as many hi-fi tuners w here reception on the long. The diameter of the top of the cone is mainly dependent upon the diameter of the coaxial cable being used. The antenna radi ates most of the energy at a low angle which it maintains over the most of the o perating range. It is also found that below the minimum frequency the antenna pre sents a very bad mismatch to the feeder. In operation energy from the feeder meets the RF antenna and spreads over the su rface of the cone from the apex towards the base until the vertical distance bet ween the point on the cone and the disc is a quarter wavelength. medium and possibly the short wave bands is required . Ferrite rod antenna basics As the name suggests the antenna consists of a rod made of ferrite.an overview.(MHz) millimetres. It operates best only when the m agnetic lines of force fall in line with the antenna. The spacing between the cone and the disc should be about a qu arter of the inner diameter of the cone. the better the simulation. This occurs when it is at . making ferrite rod antennas an idea l solution. Operation The way in which the discone operates is relatively complicated. For many designs operating in the VHF / UHF region of the radio spectrum it is aroun d 15 millimetres. This determines the upper frequen cy limit of the antenna. The RF antenna radiates and receives energy that is vertically polarised. The fact that this RF antenna uses the magnetic component of the radio signals i n this way means that the antenna is directive. The ant ennas also need to be compact and effective. Typical ferrite rod antenna assembly used in a portable radio The ferrite rod antenna operates using the high permeability of the ferrite mate rial and in its basic form this may be thought of as "concentrating" the magneti c component of the radio waves. As the antenna is tuned it usually forms the RF tuning circuit for the receiver. This is brought about by the high permeability μ o f the ferrite. Typically there is little change over a range of 5:1 and above t his a slight increase in the angle. although in reality there is a balance between performance. Ferrite rod antenna .
this can be an advantage. They are rarely used for transmitting anything above low levels of power in view of their poor effici ency. Radiation resistance of a ferrite rod antenna One of the advantages of using a ferrite in the antenna is that it brings the ra diation resistance of the overall antenna to a more reasonable level.right angles to the direction of the transmitter. The performance o f the ferrite also limits the frequency response. and hence reduce the losses due to the resistance of the wire. Typical ferrite rod antenna assembly used in a portable radio The Qs of the overall antenna may appear very high. a medium permeability material would be used and this would e nable a Q of about 1000 to be obtained. While the introduction of the ferrite rod raises the radiation resistance of the antenna. Ferrite rod antennas are normally only used for receiving.notes and overview about some of the key parameters associated with ferrite ro d antennas and their performance. Ne vertheless they can be used as a very compact form of transmitting antenna for a pplications where efficiency is not an issue and where power levels are very low . It any reasonable levels of power were fed into them they would soon becom e very hot and there would be a high likelihood that they would be destroyed. Operation of a ferrite rod antenna Ferrite rod antenna performance This form of RF antenna design is very convenient for portable applications. The ferrit e rod antenna can be considered as a small loop antenna. Ferrite Rod Antenna Parameters . This li mits their operation normally to frequencies up to 2 or 3 MHz. As they are very much more compact than other forms of low or medium frequency RF antenna. mainly arising from the losses in the ferrite. At frequencies of a few hundred kilohertz. When used in a portable receiver. th e loop is much less than a wavelength in length and without the ferrite it would have a very low radiation resistance. but its efficiency is much less than that of a larger RF antenna. In view of its size. it does . Accordingly it is necessa ry to make the right balance between the important requirements. Ferrite rod antenna Q One of the requirements for an efficient ferrite rod antenna is that it should h ave a high Q at the frequencies over which it operates. Normally this type of RF anten na design is only effective on the long and medium wave bands. and as a result they are being used in ap plications such as RFID. The size of the ferrite rod antenna means that there are some compromises tha t need to be made in other areas of their performance. These two ferrite rod parameters govern the areas in which they can be use d. and the radiation resist ance. and thereby bring the value into more acceptable limits. Placing the ferrite core in the coil has the effect of raising the radiation resistance by a factor of μ^2. and in fact the ferrite in a rod form has a much higher Q than the basic material as a result of the fact th at the rod forms an open magnetic circuit. There are a number of ferrite rod parameters that are of key interest when consi dering their use in any application. but it is sometim es used for lower frequencies in the short wave bands although the performance i s significantly degraded. Accordingly the losses due to the resista nce of the wire would be exceedingly high. the tuning can be linked to th e overall receiver tuning and indeed the ferrite rod antenna normally provides t he input tuning for the set. The two main parameters are the Q of the tuned circuit. With a Q of this value it will mean that the antenna will need tuning if it is to operate over more than a single channe l or frequency. This means that the antenna ha s a null position where the signal level is at a minimum when the antenna is in line with the direction of the transmitter.
Horn antenna . The higher the frequency. Development The most straightforward vertical antenna is the quarter wavelength version. the amoun t of power radiated at a low angle is increased. Vertical antennas find widespread use in applications where an "all round" radia tion pattern is required. This arises from the energy required to change the magnetic alignment of the magnetic domains inside the granular structure of the ferrite. being used al most universally as the RF antenna in portable radios for long and medium waveba nd reception as well as being used in a number of RFID applications. The horn antenna is used in the transmission and reception of RF microwave signa ls. One particular applications where they are widely used is for mobile radio communic ations.2 times the wavel ength.an overview of the basics of the horn antenna used in RF microwave application s. If there is too much flexing then the match to the feeder will cha nge and the operation will be impaired. The ho rn antenna gains its name from its appearance. How ever it is found that by extending the length of the vertical element. and therefore the solution to the 5/8 wavelength ante nna is to make it appear as a 5/8 radiator but have the electrical length of a 3 /4 element. In these applications it is necessary to keep the maxi mum amount of radiation parallel to the earth. It is found that a 3/4 wavelength vertical elem ent provides a good match.. If a half wave dipole is extend ed in length the radiation at right angles to the antenna starts to increase bef ore finally splitting into several lobes. top frequency and the n eed for tuning. It is found that a five eighths vertical has a gain of cl ose to 4 dBd. They are partcularly suited to mobile radio communications because there is not need for the antenna to be reorientated as the mobile station moves. Summary The ferrite rod antenna is a particularly useful form of RF antenna design despi te its limitations and drawbacks in terms of efficiency. It is in applications such as the se that the five eighths wavelength vertical antenna has become widely used. To achieve this gain the antenna must be constructed of the right materials so that losses are reduced to the absolute minimum and the overall per formance is maintained. The ferrite itself absorbs power. the greater the number of changes and hence the higher the loss.introduce other losses. otherwise much of the advantage of using the additional length will be lost. Nevertheless ferrite rod antennas are widely used. RF antenna gain When used as a vertical radiator against a ground plane this translates to a len gth of 5/8 wavelength. and in addition to this the antenna provides gain over a quarter wave vertical. The maximum level of radiation at righ t angles to the antenna is achieved when the dipole is about 1.overview. Matching to the RF antenna For most applications. a form of RF antenna widely used for mobile radio communications applicati ons. The waveguide can be considered t . it is necessary to ensure that the antenna provides a goo d match to 50 ohm coaxial cable. Accordi ngly one of the main constraints is to ensure that the coil at the base of the a ntenna is be kept rigid and does not bend as the antenna flexes with the movemen t of the car. and the antenna is normally used in conjunction with waveguide feeds./p> Mechanical considerations Five eighths wavelength vertical antennas are often used on automobiles. This is achieved by placing a small loading coil at the base of the antenna to increase its electrical length. Five eighths wavelength vertical antenna . or summary about the basics of a five eigths wavelength vertical ant enna.
such as those used for automotive speed enforcement. . and as feeds for parabolic or 'd ish' antennas. Summary The horn antenna is a particularly useful form of antenna for use with RF microw ave applications and waveguide feeder. In this way it is able to maximise the efficiency of the overall antenna. For greater levels of gain the horn antenna shou ld have a large aperture. However the main advantage of the horn antenna is that it provides a significant level of directivity and gain. These two attributes make the j pole an tenna the ideal type for many applications. When used as part of a parabolic reflector. The J ant enna has a number of advantages over the standard vertical RF antennas such as t he quarter wavelength vertical antenna and the five eights wavelength antenna. the increase in length becomes too large to make it sensible.the J pole antenna is a vertical RF antenna that does not require radials The J antenna or J pole antenna has found favour in many applications. Unlike the other vertical RF antennas just mentioned. In applications where radials may appear un sightly or where they may not be suitable for other reasons. the horn is orientated towards the r eflector surface. many of which are at VHF and above. the J pole antenna provides a useful alternative. Horn antenna used for RF microwave applications Basic horn antenna concept The horn antenna may be considered as an RF transformer or impedance match betwe en the waveguide feeder and free space which has an impedance of 377 ohms. However there comes a point where to p rovide even small increases in gain.o open out or to be flared. The pyramid ones . and is able to give a reasonably even illumination of the surf ace without allowing radiation to miss the reflector. the J pole antenna does no t require radials for its operation. J Pole Antenna . Additionally it is possible to control the side lobes better with a conical or corrugated horn antenna. As a result the J Pole antenna is fi nding many applications. Although the waveguide will radi ate without a horn antenna. The corrugated horn provides a pattern that is nearly symmetrical. One part icular use of horn antennas themselves is for short range radar systems. By ha ving a tapered or having a flared end to the waveguide the horn antenna is forme d and this enables the impedance to be matched. Additionally its length means that the J pole antenna also provides some gain ov er a normal quarter wavelength vertical. the horn antenna is nevertheless a very useful form of RF ante nna design for use at high frequencies. Horn antennas are often used as gain standards. Also to achieve the maximum gain for a given aperture size. the taper should be long so that the phase of the wave-front is as nearly constant as possible across the aperture. with the E and H plane beamwidths being nearly the same. In addition to the improved match provided by the horn antenna. launching the signal towards the receiving antenna. However gain levels for a horn antenna may be up to 20 dB in some instances. as well as being used as RF antennas in their own right. The use of the horn antenna also minimizes the spurious responses of the parabolic reflector antenna to signals that are not in the main lobe. Horn antenna types There are two basic types of horn antenna: pyramid and conical. Here it forms a com pact self contained RF antenna that can fit in many locations and can give a hig h level of performance without a large visual impact. this provides a far more efficient match. Thus gain levels are a balance between aperture size and leng th. it also helps su ppress signals travelling via unwanted modes in the waveguide from being radiate d. as the name suggests are rectangular whereas the corrugated ones are usually c ircular. Although it is not used below RF microwav e frequencies because waveguides are not used at low frequencies as a result of the sizes needed.
The feed point is moved up or down the stub to provide the best match. the radiating element is fe d from the source. Also providing some gain. Construction The J pole antenna is quite easy to construct and gives good results. Summary The J pole antenna is a very useful form of RF antenna design. One design named the log periodic antenna is able to provide directivity and gain while bei ng able to operate over a wide bandwidth. This shows the RF antenna radiating element which is a half wavelength.overview. In this way any spurious changes resulting from the position. It can be used in many applications and can be particualrly useful where an RF antenna desihgn is needed without radials. The log periodic antenna is used in a number of applications where a wide bandwi dth is required along with directivity and a modest level of gain. Against this it can be detuned by nearby objects. Log periodic antenna tutorial includes: • Log periodic array basics • Log periodic theory • Feeder arrangements One of the major drawbacks with many RF antennas is that they have a relatively small bandwidth. The development of the J or J Pole antenna The diagram shows the development of the J pole antenna and its operation. It is a for m of RF antenna design known as a Zepp or Zeppelin antenna that found favour in the 1930s as an HF antenna. summary. including some uses as a television ant . The length of the half wave radiating stub for the j pole antenna can be determi ned using the same formula as used in calculating the length of a half wave dipo le. The physical length of the balanced feeder will depend on the velocity facto r of the feeder in use. This antenna gained its name from the fact that it w as used on the Zeppelin airships. The development of the J antenna or J Pole antenna The final implementation of the J pole antenna uses the stub to provide a good m atch to 50 Ohm cable. It is sometim es used on the HF portion of the spectrum where operation is required on a numbe r of frequencies to enable communication to be maintained.Although the fact that the J antenna does not have any radials may make it appea r that it will not work. For open wire feeder the velocity factor is nearly unity and the length will be very close to that of the free space quarter wavelength. It is also used at VH F and UHF for a variety of applications. If 300 twin feeder is used then the length required will be shorter because its velocity factor is about 0. Log periodic antenna . The main d isadvantage is that it can be a little more difficult to adjust than some other forms. with the other leg of the stub providing a passive balance. it is a well established RF antenna design. tutorial about the log periodic antenna or aerial used for wideband RF antenna applications. and adjustment can be made once the antenna is in position if requi red. In the first form of the antenna. The reason for this is that impedance matching has to be accomplished by altering the trimming length of the stub. etc can be re moved.85. I t can also be seen that it is possible to feed the antenna using the other arm o f the stub. it provides an efficient radi ator for the available space. In particular the log periodic dipole array is the most widely used version of this antenna family. This is particularly true of the Yagi beam antenna. The Rf antenna design consists of a half wave radiating element which is end fed using a quarter wave stub of open wire or 300 Ohm balanced feeder used to match the impedance to the normal 50 Ohm coaxial fe eder. Being end fed this presents a high impedance to the feeder and this is matched using a half w ave matching stub.
Log periodic array capabilities The log periodic antenna was originally designed at the University of Illinois i n the USA in 1955. The theory of operation of the log periodic dipole array can become complicated. The element at the b ack of the array where the elements are the largest is a half wavelength at the lowest frequency of operation. With this level of perfo rmance it is ideal for many applications. It has many similarities to the more fam iliar Yagi because it exhibits forward gain and has a significant front to back ratio. These diminish in size from the back towards the front.notes and overview about the theory of operation of a log periodic dipole arra y antenna. although a log periodic antenna will b e much larger than a Yagi that will produce equivalent gain. A typical example of this ty pe of RF antenna design will provide between 4 and 6 dB gain over a bandwidth of 2:1 while retaining an SWR level of better than 1. However it offers less gain f or its size than does the more conventional Yagi. Log Periodic Antenna Theory . Take the condition when this RF antenna is approximately in the middle of its operating r ange. In operation. LPDA. The main beam of this RF antenna coming from the smaller front.. This means t hat the fields from these elements will cancel one another out as the feeder sen se is reversed between the elements. The feeder polarity is reversed between successive elements. LPDA The type that is most widely used is the log periodic dipole array. and th at will be described here. It is possible to explain the operation of a log periodic array in straightforwa rd terms. The exact type that is most applicable for any given application will depend upon t he requirements. In addition to this the radiation pattern of this RF antenna design stays broadly the same over the whole of the operating band as do parameters like the radiation resistance and the standing wave ratio. When the signal meets the first few elements it will be found that they ar e spaced quite close together in terms of the operating wavelength. Log periodic dipole array basics The most common is the log periodic dipole array basically consists of a number of dipole elements. The main types of log periodic array include: • Zig zag log periodic array • Trapezoidal log periodic • Slot log periodic • V log periodic • Log periodic dipole array. Basic log periodic dipole array Log periodic performance The log periodic antenna is a particularly useful design when modest levels of g ain are required. To ensure that the phasing of the different elements i s correct.3:1. This type of RF antenna design is directional and is normally capable of operati ng over a frequency range of about 2:1. However the Yagi is unable to operate over such a wide bandwidth. . However to give a comprehensible introduction to the log periodic theory some b asic explanations are given below. Types of log period antenna There are several formats in which the log periodic antenna can be realised. the feed phase is reversed from one element to the next. combined with wideband operation.enna. as the fr equency changes there is a smooth transition along the array of the elements tha t form the active region. The element spacing also decrease towards the fro nt of the array where the smallest elements are located.
Another form of this antenna was the frame antenna or aerial fo und in many domestic radio sets of the 1940s and 1950s. These are exactly the same criteria that are found in the Y agi. The elements outside the active region receive little direct power. This may be in the form of a stub or even a transformer. However it is possible to control this by altering the spacing. To achieve this the total length of the conductor used in the l oop antenna design must be no more than about 0. closed loop antennas are widely used in many a pplications.1 wavelengths long. L oop antennas can be placed into two categories: • Small loop antennas • Large loop antennas The terms refer to the size of the Rf antenna when compared to a wavelength of t he frequency in use.Basic log periodic dipole array Then as the signal progresses down the antenna a point is reached where the feed er reversal and the distance between the elements gives a total phase shift of a bout 360 degrees. as in the case of a coil. Log Periodic Antenna Feed Arrangements . These antennas have a number of advantages and disadvantages. as they have the same current distr ibution as ordinary 'circuit' coils. Here a multi-turn coil a bout 30 centimetres or more square was built into the set to act as the antenna. Although the example of only two dipoles is given. This means that the direction of maxi mum radiation is towards the feed point. having the same phase and amplitude through the whole coil. Small loop antennas may also be split into those that us a single turn. Loop antennas.an overview. but this can be overcome to a large extent by making the longer elements out of a larger diameter rod. Small loop antennas Small loop antennas can be likened to coils. and thos e that have a multi-turn loop. The actual method employed will depend to a large de gree on the application of the antenna and its frequency range. Despite this it is found that the larger elements are resonant below the operational frequen cy and appear inductive. The actual number depends upon the angle α an d a design constant. Those in front resonate above the operational frequency and are capacitive.notes and details on the feed or feeder arrangements and system used feeding a log periodic dipole array. Instead single turn loop antennas may be used if a loop antenna is ne eded. Even so the final f eed impedance does not normally match to 50 ohms on its own. Despite this the impedance varies with frequency. At this point the effect which is seen is that of two phased d ipoles. Feed arrangements The log periodic dipole antenna presents a number of difficulties if it is to be fed properly. and hence the impedance for the feeder that connects each of the dipole elements together. or more correctly. Loop antenna . The region in which this occurs is called the active region of the RF an tenna. . tutorial about the basics of the loop antenna. Accordingly the element immediately behind the active region acts as a refl ector and those in front act as directors. summary. a form of RF antenna design that can be used in a varety of applications. often providing advantages over other types of RF antenna design. One common form of mult i-turn small loop antenna is the popular ferrite rod antenna that is used in man y domestic portable radios and is also starting to be used in applications such as RFID devices. It is normal for a further form of impedance matching to be required. Any longer t han this and the current phase and amplitude will start to vary over the length of the conductor and some of the properties start to change. Multi-turn loop antennas are nor normally used for transmitting because the loss es are high and the level of heat dissipated can give rise to rapid temperature increases. The feed impedance is dependent upon a number of factors. in reality the active region can consist of more elements.
Both these advantages can be very useful in many ap plications. Parabolic reflector antenna . or more often made of a tubular conductor. There are naturally disadvantages to this type of RF antenna design. This type of loop has a much higher radiation resistance and as a result the losses are v ery much lower. Often a sin gle turn small loop antenna is much smaller than a wavelength by its definition. and this can be used to direct the radiated powe r in the required direction. They are also quite directive. This consists of a full wavelength loop of wire which is fed at a break in the loop. Additio nally this means that they must have an effective form of antenna matching if th e energy is to be efficiently transferred to and from the RF ntenna.an overview or tutorial about the essentials of the parabolic reflector or dis h antenna and its theory and design for high performance applications such as sa tellite transmission and reception as well as microwave links. They find uses for transmitting and receiving. although one that is muc h larger. However the dish antenna finds u ses in many radio and wireless applications at frequencies usually above about 1 GHz where very high levels of RF antenna gain are required along with narrow bea mwidths. Large loop antennas Large loops tend not to be quite as widely used in many applications. making it a far more efficient antenna. although i n some areas they may be popular. and this results in very high levels of current flowing in the RF antenna. on freq uencies such as the medium waveband or even a little higher. One popular form of loop for HF applications is a full wave loop. In many professional applications these parabolic reflectors or dish antennas ar e used for satellite as well as for radio astronomy and it is used in many micro wave links. that it may be insu fficient to accommodate the carrier and its sidebands.The main advantages of loop antennas are their size and directivity. In this way. often being seen on radio relay towers and mobile phone antenna mast s. It is for this reason that single turn small loop antennas are made of very thick wire. the feed system forms the actual radiating . Parabolic antenna tutorial includes: • Parabolic reflector basics • Parabolic reflector antenna gain • Parabolic reflector feed systems The parabolic reflector or dish antenna has been used far more widely in recent years with advent of satellite television (TV). etc. This shape enables a very accur ate beam to be obtained. The first i s that the Rf antenna can have a very low radiation resistance. ensuring all the available power is radiated in the required direction. Here they provide very compact antennas for applic ations such as amateur radio and shipping. In turn this means th at even small levels of 'DC' resistance can result in significant levels of powe r being lost as heat. The Goldstone parabolic reflector antenna Image courtesy NASA Parabolic reflector basics The RF antenna consists of a radiating system that is used to illuminate a refle ctor that is curved in the form of a paraboloid. Their size can mean that they are only used in limited applications. In all these applications very high levels of gain are required to receive th e incoming signals that are often at a very low level. Not only does the RF antenna require tuning to bring it to resonance at the frequency of operation. For transmitting this typ e of RF antenna design is able to concentrate the available radiated power into a narrow beamwidth. A further disadvantage of this type of RF antenna design is that it can have a v ery high Q. particularly on the M F and HF or short wave bands. but it may have such a narrow bandwidth. as well as receiving antennas fo r MF or medium wave receivers.
this is described by its diameter. Focal length f = D 2 16 c Where f is the focal length D is the diameter of the reflector c is the depth of the reflector In addition to this the f/D ratio is important. When looking at parabolic reflector antenna systems there are a number of parame ters and terms that are of importance: • Focus The focus or focal point of the parabolic reflector is the point at whic h any incoming signals are concentrated. For most domestic systems a small reflector combined with a focal point feed are . There are two basic forms of feed system that can be used for a parabolic refle ctor antenna: 1. As the f/D ratio is often specif ied along with the diameter. Parabolic antenna focal length One important element of a parabolic antenna is its focal length. Accordingly the gains of the antennas need to be determined as part of t he design. and the reflecting parabolic surface is purely passive. 2. A full overview of the gain equations and calculations of the parabolic reflecto r antenna can be found via the "Related Articles" link on the left hand side of this page below the main menu. In this way it is possible to control the radiation more accurately. When radiating from this point the sign als will be reflected by the reflecting surface and travel in a parallel beam an d to provide the required gain and beamwidth. To determine this it is necessary to know th e focal length. It can be likened to the aperture of an optical lens. the focal length can be obtained very easily by mul tiplying its f/D ratio by the specified diameter D. Focal point feed system: Using a focal point feed system the source of the radiation is placed at the focal point of the parabola and this is used to illuminate the reflector. • Focal length The focal length of a parabolic antenna is the distance from its focus to its vertex. For a circular reflector. A full overview of the methods of feeding parabolic reflector antennas can be fo und via the "Related Articles" link on the left hand side of this page below the main menu. Feed systems A parabolic antenna is designed around its feed system The design of the feed sy stem is central to the design of the overall parabolic reflector antenna system. To ensure that the antenna operates correctly. Antenna gain The gain of the parabolic antennas is of paramount importance. Cassegrain reflector system: Here the radiation is fed through the cen tre of the reflector towards a hyperboloidal reflector which reflects the radiat ion back onto the paraboloidal reflector. • Vertex This is the innermost point at the centre of the parabolic reflector. Parabolic antenna s or parabolic reflector antennas are often used solely for their gain and direc tivity. • Aperture The aperture of a parabolic reflector is what may be termed its "open ing" or the area which it covers. it is necessary to ensure that the radiating el ement is placed at the focal point.section of the antenna.
Diameter for the parabolic reflector antenna reflecting surface 2. Many other types of antenna design are not practicable at these fr equencies. relative to a source that radiates equally in all directions. Some these parabolic antennas are many tens of metres across.6 D is the diameter of the parabolic reflector in metres &lambda lambda is the wavelength of the signal in metres . and they offer a very convenient and robust structure t hat is able to withstand the rigours of external use. the wavelength of the signal. providing the simplest and most economical form of construction. This provides mec hanical advantage.5 to 0. Parabolic reflector antennas are al so often seen on microwave towers for communications. The most comm only seen are those used for satellite television reception. Larger ones still can ofte n be seen on TV broadcast stations where signals need to be transmitted up to a broadcast satellite and where performance is paramount. High gain parabolic reflector antennas come in a variety of sizes. Even larger antennas may also be used for other communications or even space research applications. At microwav e frequencies where these antennas are normally used. the parabolic antenna gain equation or formula. and a knowledge or estimate of the efficiency of the antenna. While the larger antennas have greater levels of parabolic a ntenna gain. The standard formula for the parabolic reflector antenna gain is: Gain G = 10 log 10 k ( π D) 2 λ 2 where G is the gain over an isotropic source in dB k is the efficiency factor which is generally around 50% to 60%.e. These fact ors include the following: 1. 3. The gain is quoted in this manner is denoted as dBi.an overview or tutorial about parabolic reflector gain. Parabolic reflector antennas. The one common feature of all these examples is the parabolic antenna gain. again offset from the centre.e.used. For mechanical and production reasons the feed is often offset from the centre and a portion of the paraboloid used. the performance of all these antennas is of prime importance. i. they are able to produce v ery high levels of gain. i. This is a theoretical source that is used as the benchmark against which most antenn as are compared. often called parabolic dishes are normally used in applications where gain and directivity are of paramount importance. 0. 4. while still being able to perform well. Factors affecting parabolic antenna gain There are a number of factors that affect the parabolic antenna gain. or p arabolic dish gain. However parabolic a ntennas are used in many other applications. This is the form that is most widely used for satellite television applications. The parabolic reflector antenna is ideal for high gain applications. Nevertheless the principles are exactly the same. These a ntennas may not always look exactly like the traditional full dish antenna. microwave links and other satellite links are prime examples of wh ere parabolic reflector gain is used. Satellite TV reception. The parabolic reflector antenna gain is calculated as the gain over an isotropic source. Surface accuracy Quality of illumination of the reflecting surface Frequency or wavelength of the signal being received or transmitted Parabolic antenna gain The parabolic antenna gain can easily be calculated from a knowledge of the diam eter of the reflecting surface. and the practical factors affecting the gain of the pa rabolic dish gain antenna. Parabolic Antenna Gain .
The reflector surface is entirely passiv e. This feed element should usually be at the center of the reflector at the foc al point of that dish.the polarization of the feed determining the polari zation of the entire antenna system. sometimes in conjunction with a closel y coupled parasitic reflector or "splash plate". There are two dimensions for the parabolic antenna that are of particular import ance. The reflecting surface antenna forms a major part of the whole system. equations and details of the different types of feed system used. The focal point is the point where all reflected waves wi ll be concentrated. the focal length can be obtained v ery easily by multiplying its f/D ratio by the specified diameter D. To adapt the horn to a coaxial antenna c able. that is. Typically one of the pa rameters used to specific parabolic antennas is the f / D ratio. In professional systems electrical servo systems are used to provide very precise positioning. is the feed element. Lower levels of edge illumination result in lower levels of side lobes. The focal length f (distance of focal point from the center of the reflector) is calculated with the following equation: Focal length f = D 2 16 c where: f is the focal length of the reflector D is reflector diameter in same units as wavelength c is depth of the reflector The radiation from the feed element induces a current flow in the conductive ref lector surface which. In many r espects it is not as critical as may be thought at first. As the f/D rati o is often specified along with the diameter. The actual antenna in a parabolic antenna. The feed element can be any one of a multitude of antenna types. As a result considerable l evels of gain can be achieved. The simplest feed is a half-wave dipole whi ch is commonly used at lower frequencies. This is placed at the focal po int of the parabolic reflecting surface. These are the focal length. f and the diameter. the level of illu mination should be greater in the centre than at the sides. in turn. Often a wire mesh may be used. Optimising parabolic antenna gain To provide the optimum illumination of the reflecting surface. D. the be amwidth is also very small and the antenna requires very careful control over it s position. The feed systems for parabolic reflector antennas or dish antennas are of great importance. Once the energy is ref lected it leaves the antenna system in a narrow beam. . perpendicul ar to the directrix plane of the paraboloid.an overview or tutorial about parabolic reflector antenna feed systems with ca lculations. Parabolic Reflector Antenna Feed Systems . Whichever type is used. Focal feed system The parabolic reflector or dish antenna consists of a radiating element which ma y be a simple dipole or a waveguide horn antenna.From this it can be seen that very large gains can be achieved if sufficiently l arge reflectors are used. At higher frequencies a horn-ty pe becomes more feasible and efficient. The energy from the radiating element i s arranged so that it illuminates the reflecting surface. However when the antenna has a very large gain. the device that interfaces the transmission line or waveguide containing the radio-frequency ene rgy to free space. If a mesh is used t hen the wind resistance will be reduced. a length of waveguide is used to effect the transition. it must exhibit a directiv ity that efficiently illuminates the reflector and must have the correct polariz ation for the application -. Provided that the pitch of the mesh is small compared to a wavelength i t will be seen as a continuous surface by the radio signals. and this provides significant advantage s. It can be shown that the optimum situation occurs when the centre is around 10 to 11 dB greater than the illumination at the edge. re-radiates in the desired direction.
This means that the antennas do not have to be re-orientated to keep the signals constant as the car moves it position. The reason for this widespread use is the omni-directional radiation pattern tha t they give in the horizontal plane. and often utilise large "mats" of radials extending out fr om the base of the antenna to ensure excellent RF performance. although requiring a second reflecting surface has t he advantage that the overall length of the dish antenna between the two reflect ors is shorter than the length between the radiating element and the parabolic r eflector. Single element vertical antennas posses an omni-directional radiation pattern (i n the horizontal plane). Typically this is around 20 ohms. Vertical antennas are widely used at all frequencies from MF up to VHF and beyon d. They must obviously have a very low resistance. This is because there is a reflection in the focusing of the signal wh ich shortens the physical length.Achieving this is not always easy because it is dependent upon the radiator that is used. For mobile applications this consists of the bo . the voltage is at a minimum and the current is at its maximum. It is found that the vertically polarised transmissions propagate further via the ground wave that these transmissions use. These ground systems need to be very effective fort he antenna to perform satisfactorily. This gives the antenna a low feed impedance. height is obviously important and antennas need t o be raised to ensure they are above the nearby obstructions. A quarter wave vertical RF antenna design The ground is obviously an important part of the RF antenna. Basic element Like the name suggests the antenna consists of a quarter wavelength vertical ele ment. For VHF and UHF installations. and as a result it travels close to the earth's surface where the r eceiving stations are located. Diagram of a focal feed parabolic reflector antenna Cassegrain feed system The Cassegrain feed system. Many MF and HF inst allations use a ground connection for this. Also for mobile in stallations it is clearly not possible to use a true earth connection. The voltage and current waveforms show that at the end the voltage rises to a ma ximum whereas the current falls to a minimum. They exist in a variety of forms including the quarter wave vertical and grou nd plane antennas. They possess many advantages and are widely used for medium w ave broadcasting as well as for mobile applications in areas including private m obile radio. A further advantage is that much of the radiation is at right angles to the ante nna element. mobile radio c ommunications applications and many more.overview or summary about the basics of the quarter wave vertical and ground p lane antennas that ares widely used for medium wave broadcasting. In fact the circular waveguid e provides one of the optimum sources of illumination. Diagram of a focal feed parabolic reflector or dish antenna with a Cassegrain fe ed Quarter wave vertical antenna ./p> For medium wave broadcast stations a particular advantage is that the radiation is vertically polarised. Then at the base of the antenna at the feed point. This can be an advantage in some systems. For lower frequencies a dipole element is often employed whereas at hi gher frequencies a circular waveguide may be used. This means that the antennas do not have to be re-orien tated when used in mobile applications as the vehicle moves. In these cases a simulated earth is used. Radiation directed upwards is wasted in many inst ances as VHF transmissions are normally not reflected by the ionosphere. The antenna is what is termed "un-balanced" having one connection to the v ertical element and using an earth connection or simulated earth connection to p rovide an image for the other connection. This is obviously a n essential requirement..
A 50 ohm match is achieved when the angle between the ground plane rods and the horizontal is 42 degrees. The antenna mounting will normally enable a suitable connecti on to be made to the vehicle body. tutorial about the Yagi antenna sometimes called the Yagi-U da RF antenna that is widely used where gain and directivity are required from a n RF antenna design. If the diameter of both sections is the same. but in practice a number of rad ials a quarter wavelength long is used. summary. Howe ver it is necessary to ensure that the vehicle body is metal. This would bring the impedance to 80 ohms and will provide an accept able match to 75 ohm feeder. To improve on its performance other types of vertical are available. By using a smaller diameter grounded element the fe ed impedance can be reduced so that a good match to 50 ohm coax can be achieved. In this way the si . The full name for the antenna is the Yagi-Uda antenna. The RF antenna design co ncept was first outlined in a paper that Yagi himself presented in 1928. Summary The quarter wave vertical antenna is widely used in view of its simplicity and c onvenience. In theory the ground plane should extend out to infinity. Folded element In view of the low impedance presented to the feeder by the RF antenna. The Yagi antenna The Yagi RF antenna design has a dipole as the main radiating or driven element. Normally this is in the form of a tapped co il that can be conveniently housed in the base of the antenna. so a folded vertical element can be used. Typically for many VHF applications four radials is sufficient. then an increase by a ratio of 4:1 i s achieved. In the same way that a folded dipole increases the feed impedance of the antenna. Further "parasitic" elements are added which are not directly connected to the driven element. Since t hen its use has grown rapidly to the stage where today a television antenna is s ynonymous with an RF antenna having a central boom with lots of elements attache d. but it is used in very many o ther applications where an RF antenna design is needed that has gain. It has bec ome particularly popular for television reception. Yagi antenna tutorial includes: • Yagi antenna • Yagi antenna gain • Yagi impedance & matching The Yagi or Yagi-Uda RF antenna or aerial is one of the most successful RF anten na designs for directive applications.overview. Instead they pick up power from the dipole and re-radiate it suc h a manner that it affects the properties of the RF antenna as a whole. Basic concept of a Yagi antenna The parasitic elements of the Yagi antenna operate by re-radiating their signals in a slightly different phase to that of the driven element. For fixed stations a set of radials simulating a ground plane is used. An other is to use a folded element. It is also possilbe to use further verticals and feed them with different phase s to provide gain to the overall antenna system. It was derives it name fr om its two Japanese inventors Yagi and his student Uda. It is used in a wide variety of applicati ons where an RF antenna design with gain and directivity is required. Another solution is to include an impeda nce matching element in the antenna. The Yagi antenna . sometimes using a capacitive connection. A radial system used with a quarter wave vertical If the radials are bent downwards from the horizontal then the feed impedance wi ll be raised.dy of the vehicle. and not plastic in the vicinity of the antenna mounting. methods must be found of presenting a good match and some have already been outlined.
notes. or more commonly by making it longer than the res onant length. In this way the optimum transmission and reception conditions can be obtained. Polar diagram of the Yagi antenna The Yagi antenna is a particularly useful form of RF antenna design. This can be done by physically adding some inductance to the element in the form of a coil. Yagi Antenna Gain . It can be made inductive by tuning i t below resonance.i . increasing the gain and reducing the beamwidth. one without any active elements. The main one of these is the reverse lobe caus ed by radiation in the direction of the reflector. Yagi gain / beamwidth considerations It is found that as the Yagi gain increases. because it enables all the transmitted power to be directed into the area where it is required. This causes the RF antenna to radiate more power away from it.e. and also have a high degree of cancellation in anot her to provide a good front to back ratio. Unfortunatel y the two do not coincide exactly and a compromise on the performance has to be made depending upon the application. Using a parasitic element it is not possible to have complete control over both the amplitude and phase of the currents in all the elements. This gain is of great importance. It can be made capacitive tuning it above resonance.gnal is reinforced in some directions and cancelled out in others. If the parasitic element is made inductive it is found that the induce d currents are in such a phase that they reflect the power away from the parasit ic element. The addition of fur ther reflectors makes no noticeable difference. An el ement that does this is called a reflector. If the parasitic element is made capacitive it will be found that the induced cu rrents are in such a phase that they direct the power radiated by the whole ante nna in the direction of the parasitic element. One of the chief reasons for using a Yagi antenna is the gain it provides. or more commonly by making it about 5% shorter than the driven element. An element which does this is cal led a director. The antenna exhibits a directional pattern consisting of a main forward lobe and a number of spurious side lobes. so the beam-width decreases. Nevertheless i t is still possible to obtain a high degree of reinforcement in one direction an d have a high level of gain. Gain for reception and transmission are equal when a passive antenna is used . It is found that the addition of further directors increases the directivity of the antenna. Antenn as with a very high level of gain are very directive. It is widel y used in applications where an RF antenna design is required to provide gain an d directivity. or when used for reception. This can be done by physically adding some capacitance to the element in the form of a capa citor. The antenna can be optimised to either reduce this or produce the maximum level of forward gain. To obtain the required phase shift an element can be made either inductive or ca pacitive. details and tables of Yagi antenna gain. This means that it is not possible to obtain complete cancellation in one direction. Therefore high gain and na rrow beam-width sometimes have to be balanced to provide the optimum performance for a given application Yagi gain vs beam-width Yagi gain considerations A number of features of the Yagi design affect the overall gain: • Number of elements in the Yagi: One of the main factors affecting the Yagi gai . it enab les the maximum signal to be received from the same area. Generally it is made about 5% longer than the driven element. It is found t hat the amplitude and phase of the current that is induced in the parasitic elem ents is dependent upon their length and the spacing between them and the dipole or driven element.
one with a wide spacing between the elements gives more gain than one that is more compac t. However the spacing between the elements also has an effec t. although not as much as the number of elements.5 4 8. ea ch additional director adds around an extra 1dB of gain for directors up to abou t 15 or so directors. The most critical element positions are the reflector and first director. many early designs were not able to realise their full performance.notes and details of the essentials of Yagi impedance matching. As the overall performance of the RF antenna has so many inter-related variab les. what governs i t and the ways of Yagi matching. but the front to back ratio can normally be maximised for a small degrad ation of the forward gain. The gain of a Yagi antenna is governed mainly by the number of elements in the p articular RF antenna.n.5 7 11. As with any other type of antenna. The impedance of the driven element is greatly affected by the parasitic element s and therefore. • Antenna length: When computing he optimal positions for the various elements i t has been shown that in a multi-element Yagi array. Yagi Feed Impedance . Yagi gain vs number of elements Although there is variation between different designs and the way antennas are c onstructed. Unfortunately the condition s within the antenna mean that optimisation has to be undertaken for either fron t to back ratio. it is possible to place some very approximate figures for anticipate d gain against the number of elements in the design. is the number of elements in the design. The figure falls with the increasing number of directors. There is certain amount of latitude in the e lement positions. i. As an additional rule of thumb.5 5 9.5 6 10. or maximum forward gain. Number of elements Approx anticipated gain dB over dipole 2 5 3 7. Today c omputer programmes are used to optimise RF antenna designs before they are even manufactured and as a result the performance of antennas has been improved. as their spacing governs that of any other elements that may be added. This is simply a ratio of the signal level in the forward direc tion to the reverse direction. the gain is generally propo rtional to the length of the array. ensuring that a good match between the feeder and the antenna itself are crucial to ensure the performance of the antenna can be optimised. F/B. This is normally expressed in dB. arrangements needed to be incorporated into the basic design to . once there are around four or five directors.5 It should be noted that these figures are only very approximate. Typically a reflector is the first e lement added in any yagi design as this gives the most additional gain.e. Typically a wide-spaced beam. Yagi Front to Back ratio One of the figures associated with the Yagi gain is what is termed the front to back ratio. Conditions for both features do not co incide. • Element spacing: The spacing can have an impact on the Yagi gain. Director s are then added. Front to back ratio = Signal in forward direction / signal in reverse direct ion Yagi front to back ratio Front to back ratio = F / B The front to back ratio is important in circumstances where interference or cove rage in the reverse direction needs to be minimised.
in the standard version it has four times the impedance. In its basic form it raises the imped ance four fold. Feed impedance of Yagi driven element It is possible to vary the feed impedance of a Yagi antenna over a wide range. . • Folded dipole: One method which can effectively be implemented to increase the feed impedance is to use a folder dipole. There also not the only ones: • Balun: A balun is an impedance matching transformer and can be used to match a great variety of impedance ratios. their length and a variety of other factors all affect the feed imp edance presented by the dipole to the feeder. a variety of techniques can be used. the dipole impedance on its own is raised from 75Ω fo r a standard dipole to 300Ω for the folded dipole. • Delta match: This method of Yagi impedance matching involves "fanning out" the feed connection to the driven element. It is found that for element spacin g distances less than 0. They should have as wide a frequency range as possible. In fact altering the element spaci ng has a greater effect on the impedance than it does the gain. However different ratios can be obtained by changing the mechanical attributes. One of the problems with a balun is the cost . 4:1 baluns are widely available for applications including matching folded dipoles t o 75Ω coax. • Gamma match: The gamma match solution to Yagi matching involves connecting the out of the coax braid to the centre of the driven element. this is altered considerably by the proximity of the parasitic elements. both in terms of performance and mechanical suitabilit y. Simple folded dipole antenna Note on folded dipole: The folded dipole is a from of dipole that has a higher impedance than the stand ard half wave dipole . Baluns like these are just RF transformers. Yagi matching techniques To overcome this. Nevertheless the proximity of the parasitic elements usually reduces the impedan ce below the 50 ohm level normally required. It is widely used on Yagi antennas including the television and broadcast FM antennas . Under free space conditions. The simple folded dipole provides an increase in impedance by a factor of four. although by changing various parameters it is possible t raise t he impedance by different factors. The spacing. but like any wound components they have a limited bandwidth. Each one has its own adva ntages and disadvantages.they tend to be more costly than some other forms of Yagi impedance matching. No one solution is suitable for all applications. However if designed for use with a specific Yagi antenna. and accordingly setting the required spacing can be used as one design technique to fine tune th e required feed impedance. Balun for Yagi matching The balun is a very straightforward method of providing impedance matching. and the centre via a capacitor to a point away from the centre.ensure that a good match is obtained. A lthough the impedance of the dipole itself would be 73 ohms in free space. dependent upon the impedance increas e required. The solutions below are some of the main solutions used and applicable to many t ypes of antenna. They may also be power limited for a given size.2 wavelengths the impedance falls rapidly away. Folded dipole The folded dipole is a standard approach to increasing the Yagi impedance. provided the impedance is known when the bal un is designed. this should not be a problem.
While a standard folded dipole using the same thickness conductor for the top an d bottom conductors within the folded dipole will give a fourfold increase in im pedance. .Click for a Folded dipole tutorial Another advantage of using a folded dipole for Yagi impedance matching is that t he folded dipole has a flatter impedance versus frequency characteristic than th e simple dipole. Delta match for dipole . The inner conductor of the coax is then taken to a point further out on the driv en element . As a result a stub may be used. This enables it and hence the Yagi to operate over a wider freq uency range. by varying the thickness of both. Gamma match for dipole . It is relat ively simple to implement. the driven element may also be connected directly to a metal boom at this point without any loss of performance. its value can be measured and a fixed c omponent inserted if required. Gamma match The gamma match is often used for providing Yagi impedance matching. it is possible to change the impedanc e multiplication factor to considerably different values. As a result of the fact that the voltage is zero. Delta match The delta match for of Yagi matching is one of the more straightforward solution s. When adjusting the RF antenna design.often used for Yagi impedance matching Both the side length and point of connection need to be adjusted to optimise the match. Any induct ance is tuned out using the series capacitor. Once a value has been ascertained for the variable capacitor. the outer of the coax feeder is connected to the centre of the driven element of the Yagi antenna where the voltage is zero.often used for Yagi impedance matching As seen in the diagram. One of the drawbacks for using the Delta match for providing Yagi impedance matc hing is that it is unable to provide any removal of reactive impedance elements. both the variable capacitor and the point at which the arm contacts the driven element are adjusted.it is taken to a tap point to provide the correct match. It involves fanning out the ends of the balanced feeder to join the continuou s radiating antenna driven element at a point to provide the required match.
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