Terrestrial Antenna

The FLEMO Made by Yagi
• gives better results than a 4-times bigger Yagi-style antenna • can be mounted horizontally and vertically • arms can be folded for omnidirectional reception • requires strong transmitter signals • very easy to transport in laptop bag

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Terrestrial Antenna

Very Small Indoor UHF Antenna
In the old times, terrestrial TV reception was firmaly assocciated with regular TVsets. Not so anymore! Today there is a wide choice of USB tuners available, to be connected to portable devices such as laptops. This transforms the laptop into a full TV set. However, what is still missing in such a setup is a small and portable terrestrial TV antenna. Only with a suitable antenna you can say you are really flexible and can watch TV anywhere. But of course, exactly such antennas are also available nowadays. For this report we picked a model from the very inventors of TV antennas: Dr. Yagi invented the principle already in 1926. Today, Yagi is part of the Hitachi group and they manufacture a small portable UHF antenna under the FLEMO brand. The FLEMO antenna is not only small but it is even collapsible, so you can transport it without any problem in a notebook bag. When unfolded, it is 250 mm long, 95 mm high and 35 mm deep. In such state, it acts like a regular dipole and has a typical “8 shaped” horizontal radiation pattern. However, you can fold each arm of the dipole in the middle of their length and form a rhomboidal antenna which has more or less omnidirectional characteristics. This can be useful when you live in a place when TV reception is possible from more than one direction, from transmitters placed in different locations. Thanks to a plastic clip the FLEMO can easily be attached to the edge of the laptop monitor. The attached extensive User Manual has a number of drawings showing how to attach the antenna to the monitor. Normally, you

FLEMO Indoor UHF Antenna Well designed small portable antenna with excellent results


will do that on the top edge of the monitor. Consequentially, the dipole will then receive signals in horizontal polarization. But if you need to receive the vertical polarization its all the same: just attach the FLEMO not to the top edge but to one of the side edge of the monitor. Because the FLEMO has been equipped with a thin and flexible coaxial cable it is very easy to arrange all

the cabling around the laptop. Our test sample of the FLEMO was equipped with an F connector. Most TV tuners come with an IEC socket, but this is a minor problem: suitable adaptors are readily available. At first, the FLEMO antenna felt and looked to us rather fragile. But after folding and unfolding it a number of times we gained a lot of confidence that it would

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not break when operated in a normal way. Evidently, it has been made of good quality materials. In our test location in Western Poland we receive relatively weak terrestrial TV signals. Therefore, we weren’t surprised that the FLEMO was not able to pick up a useful signal indoors. We moved out to the balcony where our huge multi element wideband yagi is mounted. After installing FLEMO next to its big brother we could conduct a parallel test. We connected a signal analyzer to both antennas and checked signal quality. After checking different frequencies we found that at 634 MHz the FLEMO’s output signal was about 8 decibels weaker than that of the big antenna (49.5 versus 57.3 dBμV). Carrier to noise ratio was 36.8 dB compared to 44.2 dB. Difference in MER readings was also ca. 8 dB (23.5 vs. 31.4). So, to our big surprise, the FLEMO’s antenna gain was just 8 dB below that of a multi element yagi 1 meter long and 0.5 meter wide. A sign of the well thought of design of the FLEMO. We felt it was a bit unfair to use a fully grown up antenna to compare with the miniature FLEMO so to make the competition a bit more fair we took another set of measurements with a single element yagi-type antenna with a center frequency of 565 MHz and about 1 meter wide. We wanted to check if such an antenna - 4 times bigger than the FLEMO - would produce comparable results. And this time the FLEMO was an indisputable winner. The yagi-style single element antenna produced only 37 dBμV of output signal while the FLEMO delivered a very similar results to the first test: a channel power of 50 dBμV, C/N 36.3 dB and
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■ The FLEMO mounted on top

of a full grown UHF antenna during our tests. Reception of the FLEMO is only 8 dB less compared to the big antenna.

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MER 24 dB. The FLEMO’s noise margin was 2.7 dB which means that even in slightly inferior weather conditions it should guarantee a solid reception. Finally, we changed the configuration of the FLEMO to the omnidirectional mode by folding its flexible arms. The output signal dropped down by about 3 dB and TV reception was practically on the edge. This means using the FLEMO in omnidirectional mode only makes sense if it is used close to a transmitter site or of the transmitter itself is very powerful. Normally, the flat (dipole like) configuration of the FLEMO is a better choice. Our tests revealed what we expected – due to physi-

cal realities (dimensions) the FLEMO can not produce results comparable to a big external wideband antenna. However, the FLEMO can yield much better results than a random narrow band yagi-style antenna; even if such a antenna is much bigger than the FLEMO. The FLEMO is indeed designed in a very perfect way. After our measurements we can say that the FLEMO can perform well up to about 20 km distance from a 50 kW transmitter working at a frequency in the UHF range of 500-600 MHz.


Jacek Pawlowski Test Center Poland

+ Small and very simple to install
Excellent to connect at USB terrestrial tuners for laptops or desktop PC Easy installation for horizontal and vertical polarization

– FLEMO‘s usage is limited to locations where the terrestrial TV
signals are strong

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