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G8MNY  > TECH     13.06.19 08:15l 148 Lines 6200 Bytes #5 (0) @ WW
BID : 8125_GB7CIP
Subj: True VHF Impedance with MFJ259B
Sent: 190613/0606Z @:GB7CIP.#32.GBR.EURO #:8125 [Caterham Surrey GBR] $:8125_GB

By G8MNY                                         (Updated Dec 16)
(8 Bit ASCII graphics use code page 437 or 850, Terminal Font)

I have used this SWR Analyser instrument to verify & tune up a new commercial
VHF Broadcast aerial for a local community radio station. I needed to confirm
it was on resonance, the aerial design Z was as predicted (27) from aerial
design (MM-ANA-GAL), & that my Matching & Balun to 50 unbalanced, was all
working correctly to help assure the predicted polar diagram would be met too.

At VHF this is the starting point, so that anything placed on the end of the
test lead, gives a true reading, without the need for Smith chart coax
Any multiple of an electrical half wave length will do this (1, 1.5, 2 etc.),
but coax losses can mask the real impedance.

Ŀ Electrical 1/2 Wave @ F MHz
R=Z  X=0 50 Test lead

To make this lead I would normally use the quoted velocity factor of the actual
coax. But with this analyser it is easy to cut to length, for a half wave, just
use half the wanted frequency, that gives a short circuit reading..

Ŀ Electrical 1/4 Wave @ F/2
Z=0  X=0 Cut length to give Z=0

Measuring the length also confirms the coax velocity factor & termination
length errors. (Start at a slightly lower frequency so there is something to
cut off as you get on frequency).

Now with this test lead made, I was able to confirm the accuracy of my method &

Ŀ Electrical 1/2 Wave @ F MHz
Z=?  X=0 50 Test lead
Freq= F 

Any good RF Resistors & combinations (?) I put on the test lead, the Analyser
accurately saw it, in the range to 0-650, & of course a good dummy load reads

Testing the actual experimental aerial, I needed the coax with fly leads for
the screw terminals, but later I terminated it in a PL259.


Ŀ Electrical 1/2 Wave @ F MHz    Test
Z=27 X=0 50 Test lead                  Aerial
Freq= F 

Using the test lead for measurement gave pretty close to the theoretical Z for
the aerial, but I had made it a bit bigger on purpose, so the reactance X was 0
at a lower frequency. I was then able to cut the aerial shorter until the
resonance (X=0) was exactly on frequency.

Some of the more accurate work was done outside, to eliminate the building
affecting things, e.g. any approach to either end of the elements saw quite a

As this was to be a permanent aerial, & I did not want exposed gamma matching
joints etc, so I used 1/4 wave of 37.5 coax, which is actually 2x 75 in
parallel. Tuning up the length of this was done in the same way as the test
coax except as 1/4 wave was wanted F was used...

Ŀ 1/4 Wave 75 @ F MHz
Z=0  X=0 Cut length to give Z=0
Freq= F 

Then using 25 load the matching was tested..,

Ŀ Electrical 1/2 Wave @ F MHz      1/4 wave 2x 75
Z=50 X=0 50 Test lead

The 2 matching coaxes were put into a PL259 plug, well you can't get 2 coaxes
into one plug other than a PL259! It was convenient to use a PL259 to
terminated onto an "Aerial Discharge Unit" bolted on the boom, The alternative
was to use the bigger waterproof 'N' connectors, & a T joiner near the aerial.

The PL259 was sealed from the Wx with water repellent Hot Vaseline inside, &
then the outside cleaned, & heat glued in the cable gap, & a heat shrink
sleeves put over the joint. 
                1st                         Glue  2nd Shrink   Glue
         Glue Shrink  Glue                     \ _____________ /
             \_______/ _____                    \______  ___/
          ----                    ----
 glue gap>______                 ______
             ------                      ----- 
                  Greased up plug                -------------

Once screwed up tight on the Aerial Discharge Unit, a 2nd glued on heat shrink
was applied over the lot & painted up. This was an alternative to Self Amalgum
tape, that can't be used with water repellent grease.

The 2x 75 matching coaxes were coiled up to make a choke Balun. The whole lot
was cable tied up close to the connection box to make the coils stay in place &
painted to stop movement & UV damage etc.

The plug was connected to an Aerial Discharge Unit bolted to the boom. This
ensured there would be no residual RF on the coax feed outer.

                                            | test aerial
                                     Choke  | \Touch 
    ===================================cc(:) either 
Ŀ 1/2 Wave @ F MHz     | /side
Z=50 X=0 50 Test lead           boom     |
Freq=F                                    |

The effectiveness of the balun could be seen with the Analyser by touching the
driven element either side of the connection box (:), it give the same SWR
readings. If the choke balun was not working, or the aerial was slightly
unbalanced, there would be a significant difference between the readings.

One problem I found using the MFJ Analyser on a hill top, was due to external
high field strengths being picked up by the aerial. In this case the low osc
power sent to the aerial was lower than the RF power being picked up from
nearby broadcast masts on the same hill. This resulted in as a misleading high
SWR & time wasted faulting "Red Herrings".

See my Tech Buls "PL259 Losses", & "Coiled Coax Choke Balun for VHF"

Why don't U send an interesting bul?

73 de John G8MNY @ GB7CIP

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