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Antennas
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Antennas what's the big deal?

This is not meant to be a technical article, just informative.

The subject of antennas can be overwhelming to new and old Hams a like. There are vertical, horizontal, slopers, beams, wire, directional, unidirectional, quads, yagi etc. and all kinds of combinations of the aforementioned. Not to mention theory, design, construction technique and material selection.

Your antenna is the most important part of your amateur radio station, your antenna is more important to making contacts than a linear amplifier.

 

There are trade offs to every antenna but probably the easiest to put up and least expensive choice that almost every Ham has had is the horizontal dipole. Below is a representative drawing of a horizontal dipole.

Horizantal dipole.

 

Below is what a 3D plot of the radiated pattern of a horizontal dipole would look like in free space .  As you can see the horizontal dipole has some directivity. Y axis represents the antenna.

3D Dipole

 

Below is a representative drawing of a vertical dipole.

Vertical dipole.

Below is what a 3D plot of the radiated pattern of a vertical dipole would look like in free space . The vertical dipole broadcast a 360 degree pattern and would be better for receiving than transmitting as your power is not transmitted in a directional pattern. This is not to say that the vertical dipole does not have its place in radio communication. Z axis represents the antenna.

3D Vertical

 

Below is a representative drawing of a horizontal beam top view.

Horizontal beam top view.

 

Below is what a 3D plot of the radiated pattern of a horizontal beam would look like in free space . The antenna focuses the radiated energy on transmit primarily toward a specific area and also the received signals are more dominate from the same direction particularly if a reflector is used in addition to a director. The X axis represents the boom of the antenna and the Y axis represents the elements of the antenna.

3D 3 Element Quad 14.2mhz