Thursday, August 10, 2006

A SID Antenna Design


The above two pictures are of the antenna that I put on line last week. Students will return in another week, so I wanted to have something of interest already started. We will worry about data analysis after we resolve some issues with the noise that we seem to have. Our "TLU" SID uses the NML radio station almost due north of us , about 1200 mi along US Highway 281, in central ND. So we see the vast Midwest storm corridor.

Here is the parts list to make our antenna:

TLU Antenna Parts List

1 1/4" Schedule 40 PVC pipe, two 10' stands
1 1/4" PVC pipe cross
1 1/4" PVC pipe Tee, four
1 1/4" endcap, eight

80 lb sack of concrete
large plastic dishpan
2x4" 8' length, three
a few small scraps of 3/8" plywood to shim the support 'V' blocks
assorted wood screws & some spray paint
one long 1/4" lag bolt ( serves as axle during the wire wrapping)
1/4" nylon rope, to be tied in tautline hitch knots
two plastic electrical boxes with covers
some white electrical tape and two crimp connectors

1000' of solid 24 AWG hook-up wire
three PL-259 coax connectors
Times Microwave LMR-400UF low-loss coax cable (a ham radio favorite)
OPEK model LP-350 UHF coax lightning surge protector (a ham radio favorite)

The antenna is quite sturdy and should be able to handle a shielded coax antenna wire (RG174 for small size). The double arm might also be able to accomodate a second pickup antenna in a two-antenna design. I recently discovered a techie VHF reference in "RadioScience Observng, Vol. 1" by J. J. Carr. It's a ham oriented Sams publication that covered lots of the earlier designs I have seen on the web.

If you have interest in this antenna design, I could email or post a whole series of jpg exhibits of the system. Alas, no vacation slides are available. ;)

Many thanks to Shannon & Ray for recently looking at my noise data!

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