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A whip antenna is an antenna consisting of a single straight flexible wire or rod, often mounted above some type of conducting surface called a ground plane. The bottom end of the whip is connected to the radio receiver or transmitter. They are designed to be flexible so that they won't break off, and the name is derived from their whip-like motion when disturbed. Often whip antennas for portable radios are made of a series of interlocking telescoping metal tubes, so they can be retracted when not in use. They are the most common type of monopole antenna. These antennas are widely used for hand-held radios such as cell phones, cordless phones, walkie-talkies, FM radios, boom boxes, Wifi enabled devices, and GPS receivers, and also attached to vehicles as the antennas for car radios and two way radios for police, fire and aircraft.
The whip antenna can be considered half of a dipole antenna, and like a vertical dipole has an omnidirectional radiation pattern, radiating equal radio power in all azimuthal directions (perpendicular to the antenna's axis), with the radiated power falling off with elevation angle to zero on the antenna's axis. Vertical whip antennas are widely used for nondirectional radio communication on the surface of the Earth, where the direction to the transmitter (or the receiver) is unknown or constantly changing, for example in portable FM radio receivers, walkie-talkies, and two-way radios in vehicles. This is because they transmit (or receive) equally well in all horizontal directions, while radiating little radio energy up into the sky where it is wasted.
Whip antennas are normally designed as resonant antennas. Therefore the length of the whip antenna is determined by the wavelength of the radio waves used. The most common length is one-quarter of the wavelength, called a quarter-wave whip (although this type of antenna is often shortened by the use of a loading coil; see Electrically short whips below). For example, the common quarter-wave whip antennas used on FM radios in the USA are approximately 75 cm long, which is roughly one-quarter the length of radio waves in the FM radio band, which are 2.78 to 3.41 meters long. Half-wave whip antennas are also common.
Whip antennas are very common in hand-held radios. This is a variation called aRubber Ducky antenna on a handheld UHFCB transciever.
Such antennas are usually not as effective as antennas whose length is adjusted to resonate at the wavelength to be used. This type of antenna sometimes is called the zig-zag antenna. The name reflects that the antenna looks like a turnstile when mounted horizontally. Typically it is made from number 12 or 14 AWG (1. as well as in situations where more permanent antennas cannot be installed. a remote tuner can be fed with feedline. Onequarter wavelength works best. the other to a good earth ground. the polarization of the signal doesn't rotate when the satellite rotates. as well as transmitting antennas on these bands for small outdoor. a random wire antenna usually will also require an antenna tuner. When mounted horizontally the antenna is nearly omnidirectional on the horizontal plane. temporary or emergency transmitting stations. A random wire antenna (or long-wire antenna) is a radio frequency antenna consisting of a wire whose length does not bear a relation to the wavelength of the radio waves used. A folded or zig-zag antenna will have an even more unpredictable pattern. an antenna for 3MHz might be 20 m (66 ft) . without a transmission line. Ideally.0 mm (0 in) diameter) copperclad wire. it consists of a long (at least one quarter wavelength) wire with one end connected to the radio and the other in free space. and short wavebands. RF feedback can be an issue. but is typically chosen more for convenience. RF feedback can be minimized by selecting a wire length that causes the low feed-point impedance at a current loop to occur at the transmitter. Folding (to fit in space available) will reduce effectiveness and make theoretical analysis extremely difficult. The turnstile antenna is often used for communication satellites because.Turnstile antenna A turnstile antenna is a set of two dipole antennas aligned at right angles to each other and fed 90 degrees out-of-phase.40 m (131 ft) long. arranged in any way most convenient for the space available. it is a straight wire strung as high as possible between trees or buildings. and one half wavelength will work poorly with most tuners. being circularly polarized. medium wave. (The added length helps more than the folding typically hurts. Construction Usually. the ends insulated from supports with strain insulators. Alternately. it may have several lobes at angles to the antenna axis. One side of the output of the tuner is connected directly to the antenna. Random wire antennas are a type of monopole antenna and the other side of the receiver or transmitter antenna terminal must be connected to an earth ground. For example. The radiation will drop off to zero on the axis. They are widely used as receiving antennas on the long wave. and the tuner located on the antenna. as it may be strung back and forth between trees just to get enough wire into the air.) If used for transmitting. as it has an unpredictable impedance that varies with frequency.6 to 2. When mounted vertically the antenna is directional to a right angle to its plane and iscircularly polarized. .  Since the antenna is located very close to the transmitter. The principles of the turnstile antenna are also applicable to Yagi and Log-periodic antennas. Radiation pattern The radiation pattern of a straight random wire antenna is unpredictable and depends on its electrical length.
 The development of radar in World War 2 stimulated horn research. . allowing low VSWR over the bandwidth. 1936) and theoretical analysis (Barrow and Chu. with 10 . a wide bandwidth. low SWR. Their advantages are moderate directivity (gain). Horns are widely used as antennas at UHF andmicrowave frequencies. and can be up to 20:1 (for example allowing it to operate from 1 GHz to 20 GHz). One of the first horn antennas was constructed in 1897 by Indian radio researcher Jagadish Chandra Bose in his pioneering experiments with microwaves. broad bandwidth.20 dBi being typical. and as directive antennas for such devices as radar guns.  An advantage of horn antennas is that since they don't have any resonant elements. The input impedance is slowly-varying over this wide frequency range. and microwave radiometers. They are used as feeders (called feed horns) for larger antenna structures such as parabolic antennas. and simple construction and adjustment. above 300 MHz. they can operate over a wide range of frequencies. as standard calibration antennas to measure thegain of other antennas. 1939) of horns as antennas was done. In the 1930s the first experimental research (Southworth and Barrow. The corrugated horn proposed by Kay in 1962 has become widely used as a feed horn for microwave antennas such as satellite dishes and radio telescopes.The gain of horn antennas ranges up to 25 dBi. The useable bandwidth of horn antennas is typically of the order of 10:1. automatic door openers.Horn antenna A horn antenna or microwave horn is an antenna that consists of a flaring metal waveguideshaped like a horn to direct the radio waves.
which need to emit a narrow beam of radio waves to locate objects like ships and airplanes. The main advantage of a parabolic antenna is that it is highly directive. parabolic antennas have become a ubiquitous feature of the modern landscape. satellite and spacecraft communication antennas. and radio telescopes. Patch antenna A patch antenna (also known as a rectangular microstrip antenna) is a type of radio antenna with a low profile. in applications such as microwave relay links that carry telephone and television signals between nearby cities. a curved surface with the cross-sectional shape of a parabola. that is they can produce the narrowest beam width angles. so parabolic antennas are used in the high frequency part of theradio spectrum. They are the original type of microstrip antenna described by Howell. wireless WAN/LAN links for data communications. which can be mounted on a flat surface. Their other large use is in radarantennas. Parabolic antennas have some of the highest gains. at which wavelengths are small enough that conveniently sized dishes can be used. In order to achieve narrow beamwidths. at UHF and microwave (SHF) frequencies. The assembly is usually contained inside a plastic radome.Parabolic antenna A parabolic antenna is an antenna that uses a parabolic reflector. of any antenna type. Patch antennas are simple to fabricate and easy to modify and customize. it functions similarly to asearchlight or flashlight reflector to direct the radio waves in a narrow beam. mounted over a larger sheet of metal called a ground plane. or receive radio waves from one particular direction only. The most common form is shaped like a dish and is popularly called a dish antenna or parabolic dish. It consists of a flat rectangular sheet or "patch" of metal. With the advent of home satellite television dishes. which protects the antenna structure from damage. the parabolic reflector must be much larger than the wavelengthof the radio waves used. to direct the radio waves. the two metal sheets . Parabolic antennas are used as high-gain antennas for point-to-point communication.
. However the Yagi-Uda design only achieves this high gain over a rather narrow bandwidth. Amateur radiooperators ("hams") frequently employ these for communication on HF.together form a resonant piece of microstrip transmission line with a length of approximately onehalf wavelength of the radio waves. A patch antenna is usually constructed on adielectric substrate. Japan. a length of microstrip transmission line slightly shorter than one-half a wavelength at the frequency is used. Yagi-Uda Antenna A Yagi-Uda array. in that one element is "up" and the other "down".a set of wires along or just beneath the ground that act as the reflective portion. which is often confused with the Yagi-Uda array due to its superficially similar appearance. with a lesser role played by his colleagueHidetsuguYagi. so in order for the antenna to be resonant. it is very similar to a vertically oriented dipole. Wideband antennas used for VHF/UHF broadcast bands include the lower-gain log-periodic dipole array. The radiation at the edges causes the antenna to act slightly larger electrically than its physical dimensions. Highly directional antennas such as the Yagi-Uda are commonly referred to as "beam antennas" due to their high gain. Marconi Antenna The term "Marconi antenna" usually refers to a two part antenna consisting of a vertical portion and a "reflective" or "ground" portion. leading to a quantity of technical papers and software. using the same materials and lithography processes used to make printed circuit boards. VHF. The radiation mechanism arises from discontinuities at each truncated edge of the microstrip transmission line. whereas the Yagi-Uda design operates on the basis of electromagnetic interaction between the "parasitic" elements and the one driven (dipole) element. commonly known simply as a Yagi antenna. often constructing such antennas themselves ("homebrewing"). The Yagi-Uda array was invented in 1926 by ShintaroUda of Tohoku Imperial University. When constructed properly. A Marconi antenna is an omni-directional (same transmit/receive in all directions) antenna that has good long distance characteristics on HF (high frequency) and MW (medium wave. but often either natural earth ground (where the soil conductivity is sufficient) or ground "radials" . or AM) frequencies. The reflective portion is not always a physical element. That design along with other phased arrays have electrical connections on each element. However the "Yagi" name has become more familiar with the name of Uda often omitted. is a directional antennaconsisting of a driven element (typically a dipole or folded dipole) and additional parasitic elements(usually a socalled reflector and one or more directors). making it more useful for various communications bands (including amateur radio) but less suitable for traditional radio and television broadcast bands. The reflector element is slightly longer (typically 5% longer) than the driven dipole. whereas the so-called directors are a little bit shorter. and UHF bands. This design achieves a very substantial increase in the antenna's directionality and gain compared to a simple dipole.
vertically polarized and exhibiting unity gain.5ft. making its sensitivity highest in the plane tangent to the Earth's surface.A Marconi is typically built with a 1/4 wavelength vertical element. Omnidirectional. These antennas were ordered from Marconi to be mount overseas mainly. they carried manufacturing these antennas for some years. It is usually mounted vertically. and similar length radial(s). it is exceptionally wideband. a 1/4 wavelength vertical element would be almost 223ft for that station! The antenna was originally made using telescopic fiber glass tubes and then covered with a copper film to make them look electrically like a huge copper tube.050MHz and therefore a wavelength of over 990ft. Since an AM station at 1050 on an AM dial is equal to 1. with the disc at the top and the cone beneath. For example. the full wavelength for 7MHz is about 133ft. The radiation pattern in the horizontal plane is quite narrow. . A 1/4 wavelength vertical element (and each radial) would therefore be about 33. They were real big monsters! Discone antenna A discone antenna is a version of a biconical antenna in which one of the cones is replaced by a disc. The antenna was made by a company located in London called Bantex Antennas. This company shut down and the team of engineer was take over and built a new company called Renair Antennae Ltd. offering a frequency range ratio of up to ~10:1. Most AM broadcast stations use some variation of a Marconi antenna.
and the radiation pattern. In most cases. In the axial mode or end-fire helix. the dimensions of the helix are comparable to a wavelength. These simple and practical "Helicals" were primarily designed to replace very large antennas. top-loaded or centerloaded whips. with maximum radiation at right angles to the helix axis. . It radiates circularly polarized radio waves. Helical antennas can operate in one of two principal modes: normal mode or axial mode. The antenna functions as a directional antenna radiating a beam off the ends of the helix.Helical antenna A helical antenna is an antenna consisting of a conducting wire wound in the form of a helix. Their reduced size is therefore most suitable for Mobile and Portable High-frequency (HF) communications in the 1 MHz to 30 MHz operating range. Normal-mode helical Radiating at 90 degrees from the axis of the helix this design is efficient as a practical reduced-length radiator when compared with the operation of other types such as base-loaded. the dimensions of the helix (the diameter and the pitch) are small compared with the wavelength. The antenna acts similarly to an electrically short dipole ormonopole. similar to these antennas is omnidirectional. The feed line is connected between the bottom of the helix and the ground plane. along the antenna's axis. The radiation is linearly polarized parallel to the helix axis. In the normal mode or broadside helix. helical antennas are mounted over a ground plane. They are typically used for applications where reduced size is a critical operational factor.
Illinois. Scott Air Force base. the helix dimensions are at or above the wavelength of operation. Axial-mode helical End fire helical satellite communications antenna. USA. This does not seem to be adverse to operation or matching with a normal 50 ohm transmission line. An effect of this type of concertinaed 'reduced size 1/4 wave' is that the matching impedance is changed from the nominal 50 ohms to between 25 to 35 ohms base impedance. Most examples were wound with copper wire using a fiberglass rod as a former. The antenna then falls under the class of waveguide antennas.A common form of normal-mode helical antenna is the Rubber Ducky antenna used in portable radios. Usually wound in a linear "spiroidal" pattern (constant parallel spaced turns) providing consistent uniform radiation as a reduced sized equivalent in respect to the standard 1/4 wave antenna. This flexible radiator is then covered with heat-shrink tubingwhich provides a resilient and rugged waterproof covering for the finished mobile antenna. These popular designs are still in common use today (2010) and have been universally adapted as standard FM receiving antennas for many factory produced motor vehicles as well as the existing basic style of aftermarket HF and VHF mobile helical. provided the connecting feed is the electrical equivalent of a 1/2 wave at the frequency of operation. The broadside helixes most common use is in the Rubber Ducky antenna found on most portable VHF and UHF radios. and produces radio waves with circular polarization. . Another example of the type as used in mobile communications is "spaced constant turn" in which two or more different linear windings are wound on a single former and spaced so as to provide an efficient balance between capacitance and inductance for the radiating element at a particular resonant frequency. Multi-frequency versions with plug-in taps have become the mainstay for multi-band Single-sideband modulation (SSB) HF communications. The loading provided by the helix allows the antenna to be shorter than its electrical length of a quarter-wavelength. Many examples of this type have been used extensively for 27 MHz CB radio with a wide variety of designs originating in the US and Australia in the late 1960s. because the satellite antenna may be oriented at any angle in space without affecting the transmission. Satellite communication systems often usecircularly polarized radio waves. and axial mode (end fire) helical antennas are often used as the ground antenna. In the axial mode. This concept was proven practical by an Australian design.
a righthanded helix radiates right-circularly-polarized radio waves. In radio transmission. the spacing between the coils should be approximately onequarter of the wavelength (λ/4). Since in a directional antenna only radiation in one direction is wanted. In an axial-mode helical antenna the direction of twist of the helix determines the polarization of the radio waves: a left-handed helix radiates left-circularly-polarized radio waves. Helical antennas can receive signals with any type of linear polarization. typically at least one wavelength high.The main lobes of the radiation pattern are along the axis of the helix. A horizontal rhombic antenna (picture below) radiates horizontally polarised waves. It is typically fed at one of the two sharper angles through a balanced transmission line. such as in animal tracking andspacecraft communications. the design is commonly employed only at higher frequencies. left-hand polarized antennas suffer a severe loss of gain when receiving right-circularly-polarized signals. and the diameter of the coils should be approximately the wavelength divided by pi (λ/π). Each vertex is supported by a pole. and vice versa. The opposite end is either left open for bi- . Less commonly. which depends on the frequency. Rhombic antenna Rhombic antenna signal-gathering action compared to other end-fire. high forward gain and the ability to operate over a wide range of frequencies. such as horizontal or vertical polarization. The dimensions of the helix are determined by the wavelength λ of the radio waves used. A rhombic  antenna is a broadband directional antenna co-invented by Edmond Bruce and HaraldFriis. with each side typically at least onewavelength (λ) or longer in length. The helix in the antenna can twist in two possible directions: right-handed or left-handed. Technical Detail It is named after its "rhombic" diamond shape. so end-fire helical antennas are frequently used for these applications. as defined by the right hand rule. also calledshortwave) ranges. Since large helices are difficult to build and unwieldy to steer and aim. ranging from VHF up to microwave. it can be fed with coaxial cable through a balun transformer. mostly commonly used in HF (high frequency. off both ends. The length of the coil determines how directional the antenna will be as well as its gain. circular polarization is often used where the relative orientation of the transmitting and receiving antennas cannot be easily controlled. the other end of the helix is terminated in a flat metal sheet or screen reflector to reflect the waves forward. longer antennas will be more sensitive in the direction in which they point. backfire and traveling-wave types. In axial-mode operation. or where the polarization of the signal may change. Its principal advantages over other choices of antenna are its simplicity. but when receiving circularly polarized signals the handedness of the receiving antenna must be the same as the transmitting antenna.
A proper combination of size. significant powerwasting spurious lobes. At the expense of system simplicity. Such systems bring a low-loss balanced line back from the termination end to the feedpoint through a matching and phasing system. and coupling to the lossy soil below the antenna. The rhombic remains one of the least complex medium-gain options for sustained long distance communications over point-to-point circuits. Use of a recirculating termination system can move efficiency into the 70-80% range by combining power that would have been wasted in the termination with the transmitter power. It is directional towards the resistor end. After WWII the rhombic largely fell out of favor for shortwave broadcast and point-to-point communications work. Likewise. simplicity. rhombic antennas are used in cases where the combination of high forward gain (despite the losses described above) and large operating bandwidth cannot be achieved by other means. Even when unterminated (bi-directional) the rhombic is not perfectly bi-directional. or terminated at the opposite sharp angle with a non-inductive resistor. its beam can be narrow or broad. The rhombic's low cost. Energy that would otherwise dissipated in the termination resistance is applied in-phase with the excitation.directional use. much higher efficiency. height. the rhombic was one of the most popular point-to-point high frequency antenna arrays. Prior to WWII. The low efficiency significantly reduces gain for a given main lobe beamwidth when compared to other arrays of the same beamwidth. conductor resistance. reliability. Larger log periodics provide wider frequency coverage with comparable gain to rhombics. can radiate at elevation angles close to the horizon or at higher angles depending on its height above ground relative to the operating frequency and its physical construction. ability to steer the pattern in elevation and azimuth. since they have essentially uniform voltage and current distribution. being replaced by log periodics and curtain arrays. Rhombics also handle considerable transmitter power. This is because of losses in the system primarily caused by radiation. The rhombic suffers from efficiency problems due to earth losses below the antenna. like other horizontal antennas. it is possible to improve efficiency by recirculation of power wasted in the termination resistance of unidirectional rhombics. However. and operating frequency make it fit for medium or long range communication. termination losses. The rhombic antenna. so the termination end points towards the region of the world it is designed to serve. A rhombic requires a large area of land — especially if several antennas are installed to serve a variety of geographic regions at different distances or directions or to cover widely different frequencies. and the inability to maintain constant current along the length of the conductors. NOTCH Antenna . depending primarily on its length. and significantly higher gain in less space. and ease of construction sometimes outweighs performance advantages offered by other more complex arrays. Typical radiation efficiency is in the order of 40-50%. Distributed feed curtains or HRS curtain arrays provided a cleaner pattern.
in which the feed antenna itself is mounted suspended in front of the dish at the focus. Another reason for using the Cassegrain design is that modifying the shape of the secondary reflector offers additional possibilities for shaping the beam pattern of the antenna over what is possible with a simple parabolic antenna. The beam of radio waves from the feed illuminates the secondary reflector. and the resonant loop antenna with a circumference approximately equal to the wavelength.(electromagnetism) Microwave antenna in which the radiation pattern is determined by the size and shape of a notch or slot in a radiating surface. called "front feed". radio telescopes. a Cassegrain antenna is a parabolic antenna in which the feed radiator is mounted at or behind the surface of the concave main parabolic reflector dish and is aimed at a smaller convex secondary reflector suspended in front of the primary reflector. which reflects it forward again to form the desired beam. tubing. This design is an alternative to the most common parabolic antenna design. which reflects it back to the main reflector dish. Within this physical description there are two very distinct antenna designs: the small loop (or magnetic loop) with a size muchsmaller than a wavelength. Loop antenna A loop antenna is a radio antenna consisting of a loop (or loops) of wire. Cassegrain antenna In telecommunications and radar. or other electrical conductor with its ends connected to a balanced transmission line.  Therefore this design is used for antennas with bulky or complicated feeds. . rather than suspended in front where they block part of the outgoing beam.  such as satellite communication ground antennas. One advantage of the Cassegrain design is that the feed antennas and associated waveguides and "front end" electronics can be located on or behind the dish. and the antennas on some communication satellites.
The radiation efficiency is also high and similar to that of a dipole. should have a circumference of one tenth of a wavelength or less. a biconical antenna is a broad-bandwith antenna made of two roughly conical conductive objects. They are typically used at higher frequencies. Self-resonant loop antennas are larger. a standing wave starts to develop in the current. A simple conical monopole antenna is a wire approximation of the solid biconical antenna and has increased bandwidth (over a simple monopole).Small loops have a poor efficiency and are mainly used as receiving antennas at low frequencies. Except for car radios. The conical conductors need not be solid cones nor infinitely long. nearly touching at their points. for . Biconical antenna In radio systems. also known as a magnetic loop.  Biconical antennas are broadband dipole antennas. especially VHF and UHF. where their size is manageable. These antennas are also used for radio direction finding. typically exhibiting a bandwidth of 3 octaves or more. and the antenna starts to have some of the characteristics of a folded dipole antenna or a self-resonant loop. As the frequency or the size are increased. A technically small loop. They can be viewed as a form of folded dipole and have somewhat similar characteristics. Abowtie antenna is simple broadband wire approximation in two dimensions of a biconic dipole antenna (used. This is necessary to ensure a constant current distribution round the loop. almost every AM broadcast receiver sold has such an antenna built inside of it or directly attached to it.
it exhibits poor efficiency at low frequencies. where one of the cones has a vertex angle of 180 degrees (or is reduced to a plane). While the Bicon is very broadband. the analysis for a theoretical infinite antenna resembles that of a transmission line. Practical antennas have finite length and a definite resonant frequency. yagi-uda arrays. Log periodic dipole arrays. and reverberation chambers have shown to achieve much higher field stregths for the power input than a simple biconical antenna in an anechoic chamber. thecharacteristic impedance at the point of connection is a function of the cone angle only and is independent of the frequency. The biconical antenna has a broad bandwidth because it is an example of a travelling wave structure. . resulting in low field strengths when compared to the input power. A common variant is the Discone antenna.  Biconical (or "Bicon") antennas are often used in electromagnetic interference (EMI) testing either for immunity testing. For an infinite antenna. for UHF television reception).example. or emissions testing.
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