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Just Asking: What About Antennas

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Old 11-28-2010, 12:36 PM
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Default Just Asking: What About Antennas

Theorists v Empiricists

On another forum I read with interest a debate that started from another homebrewer asking whether someone could tell him the diameter of the 10k antenna shaft. However, soon enough the thread split into two camps that reminded me of the battle between the geeks and the jocks in High School. No one was really answering any questions by that time; simply ridiculing each other: name calling, etc.
The scientists of antennas vs the machinists without a clue (not my idea/words) were at it and I wasn't learning anything. . . so I asked for some answers twice, 24 hrs apart, and seemed to be ignored.

This forum, WWRF is an incredibly informed, very helpful forum who seem to have a lot of interest in understanding antennas, and in sharing that knowledge. I hope I'm not rubbing a empty genii lamp at this point, but I want to repost here my request and see if there are any intelligent responses forthcoming.

Thnx, Homer

Originally Posted by HomerBB

1st Post

Once again, I am aware of my limitations, but the only thing I'm learning in this lengthy dialog is that regardless of the position either side of the debate is taking, the only real objective is the measurable results; how does it perform in the environment in which it is employed. I'm one of those people who have bought and thrown away antennas (radios too, for that matter), and it has not prevented me from trying another one, and most recently attempting to make one. I'm no inventor, so I simply copy what I've seen, ask questions, and move forward. My personal goal is twofold; learn a little more, and improve my listening/transmitting experience without paying the price of the production antennas. It's also fun.

What I've learned as a non-partisan reader so far on this thread is it's okay to mock processes, but impossible to refute results.
As I read I bear in mind that one's experience has never been the servant of another's argument.

So in this skirmish between the geeks and the jocks I await my personal results. I am following advice from each camp in the refining of my novice level effort. Who will win? the camp whose antenna works the best? Nah. Me. . . because next week I'll mount the antenna that's working so well on another vehicle, or another place on the current one, and the other antenna will do better.

As an aside, when I read various threads on various forums about all types of antennas regardless of whether the antenna originated in the lab or the garage, the discussion centers on WHY the antenna works.
Perhaps the geeks would do all of us novice antenna newbies a favor and take one of the jocks antennas and definitively show us with applied science why it works, or not. And when that is done you can show us why the bumblebee can't fly.

Ok, the point is that no matter where one is in their knowledge of what makes an antenna work, what we know is what we hear on our stations; more or less from our antenna. Or am I wrong?

I'm just looking for the fun, the right to say I did it, and the opportunity to share the tiny bit I can offer. So hopefully no one misunderstands what I've written here. Show me.


2nd Post

I had really hoped that someone would make their point with a combination of the science and one of the competition winning antennas. A war of words hasn't taught me anything new. I'd like to know more. Coily's antennas clearly work. Dumb as I am, I know the "dummy load" sound bite doesn't work here. No one is winning competitions with dummy loads. Before you become angry with my honestly legitimate inquiry please bear in mind that I do not have a horse in this race. However, as it stacks up so far all I've got to look at is the track record of the horses that are running. Science has governed the design of antennas for decades,and antennas that perform well conform to science, yet in spite of my so recent interest in antennas and why they work, I conclude that an antenna that doesn't work failed scientifically, therefore one that does work apparently has conformed to science;
all scientific disciplines accept this.
Why Coily's antennas work, because they do, will teach all of us more, I think. If our current understanding of science holds true, then we will need to learn about the additional ways that science can be applied than what we're familiar with presently.
I like debate, it's healthy, but it should ultimately result in answers. I hate to be wrong, but I like much less than that to be stupid, and stupidity is easily defined as the cultural phenomenon of being unable to learn rather than the physiological incapacity to learn. In other words, I don't want to be stupid, so if there's any way you can intelligently save me from either mine or anyone else's stupidity, please do.
The 11 Meters MacGyver

Last edited by HomerBB; 11-28-2010 at 04:02 PM.

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Old 11-28-2010, 02:00 PM
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Hello homer BB,

I fully am with your point of view in behavior of people.

And although im at least 8hrs a day busy with antennas if there is one thing i know is that i certainly do not know all...

So, guess you have many followers along with your point of view.

Reading through your post...trying to help lol... i only managed to find 1 question....
Perhaps there were more, but my lack of the langue migth be the problem.

quote; Ok, the point is that no matter where one is in their knowledge of what makes an antenna work, what we know is what we hear on our stations; more or less from our antenna. Or am I wrong?
end of qoute.

Yes you are rigth....
If for your purpose the antenna does what it needs to do it is the best for sure.
The problem comes with two things:
At first the antenna will not do that all the time, you need to have a "known" starting point to wich we all can refer and often people are not willing to lisen to things like that...
The mind is set: "the antenna is louder at my neighbour...end of story."
For example there are a view videos of the sirio gainmaster in Europa with European sproadic E propagation. Everyone is impressed with the big signals etc...
But if you knew that sproadic depends on high angle TOA it would be so fancy anymore..

Secondly, often people start speaking about this is better etc in comparisment to that etc...Often antenna 1 is changed to antenna 2 but perhaps also the coax is renewed etc..
A 1/4 ground plane can outperform a 5/8 wave vertical for Dx...but does it have more gain...no...
So you need to get those things straigth...what are you searching for...
You need to have some background information some basic knowledge about antennas.

Secondly, i have actually constructed hundreds of antennas there isn't one who was different for theory. If theory says it cant be done....it can if not it wont work.
Surly it can happen that people without theory construct something that works...
But if that was the case it can be backed up by theory.

I have seen "respected" antenna manufacturers making many mistakes.
You can actually fill a day job getting into arguments on different forums.
Getting foolish arguments...

Not saying that i havnt or wont in the future (make mistakes)...but at least im pointing out as you are the willingness to make one.

What i am confident that there are better ways to go to just change things and "hope" for the best...that not a efficient way....
The worse thing is you cant back anything up...the only thing you can mention..."it works great!" now, why believe that while everything can be explained.

Kind regards,


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Old 11-28-2010, 03:59 PM
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Thanks, Henry.
You read the post right. I guess I was only letting a little steam off.
I see the points you made, and I agree. I know the best place to start is at a known and true point of science, and just trial and error leads to more frustration than success. Because I am so new to seeking understanding I get a little frustrated when those who know would rather argue about their different perspectives than teach from their common understanding.

What I wanted from them was to find out through scientific theory why the antennas that were built by someone who wasn't supposed to know what they were doing were working so well. No one arose to the challenge. . . and so another learning opportunity seemed lost. I guess i wasn't too clear

That's why I really enjoy the threads on forums like this one. Someone always takes the time to look for the real answers, and share them.

Thanks again.
It's just good to be here.
The 11 Meters MacGyver

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