Index

 

80 m. dipole

matching

btransformer

load R

series R

versions

practical

measurements

buy

apply

pre-loaded antenna matching

(published in Electron #8, #10, 2007)

 

 

 

Introduction

 

Resistors in and around antenna systems usually also provoke resistance around radio-hams as HF-power is a limited 'asset' and if not, restricted by the government. Nevertheless various antenna systems have been in operation for quite some time that involve resistors, as in a Beverage antenna (ca 500 Ohm), Rhombic antenna (ca 800 Ohm) and Terminated Folded Loop antenna (T2FD, 400 - 700 Ohm). Even so most radio-hams are still very suspicious about antenna resistance and losses around this area. In this article we will demonstrate that a little loss may be worth considering especially since this could make radio-life very comfortable.

 

 

A few dipole characteristics

 

For radio-communication we usually depend on antenna systems at 'some' position up in the air, fed through 'some' transmission line by a transmitter somewhere away from the antenna. Broadcast stations usually transmit on a single frequency, so the antenna and feed lines will be optimized for this one frequency, showing optimal radiation characteristics and low loss feed lines. A radio ham likes to operate on many frequencies and different radio bands, usually without enough 'real estate' or financial resources for optimized antenna systems on all of these frequencies. The antenna system therefore is usually a compromise between a number of antenna and feeding parameters. Let's look at such an antenna system that often is used on more than one frequency, but is optimized at one frequency only, in the characteristics of figure 1.

 

 

Figure 1: Dipole characteristics

 

 

The blue graph is showing the real part of the impedance of this antenna over frequency while the green graph shows total impedance, i.e. the vector sum of real and imaginary part of a dipool antenna of 20 + 20 m. at 10 meter above 'average' ground (left hand scale). The pink line is showing maximum gain over frequency (right hand scale), not necessarily always in the same direction. The red rectangles approximate the HF radio amateur bands.

 

From the impedance graphs it is clear this antenna to be designed to operate on 3,6 MHz. as only within the first rectangle both blue and green line are low. More low positions (but not as low) may be seen at 11,1 MHz., 18,7 MHz., and 26,1 MHz, unfortunately outside the amateur frequency bands. On all other frequencies the antenna impedance is (much) higher and always above the lower red line, representing SWR = 2 as a limiting condition for connecting this antenna directly to a modern transceiver.

This is a pity, as the pink line, representing antenna gain, is showing a nice 6 dBi at the 80 m. amateur band and is rising to a very good 12 dBi on 10 m., although the azimuth of this maximum may be different and on the higher frequencies with more than one lobe with deep nulls in between.

 

 

Connecting the antenna

 

This nice antenna gain unfortunately is 'consumed' to a large extend by the coaxial feed line when connecting the high impedance antenna with a high standing wave ratio to the transceiver. To illustrate this situation the purple line represents the situation when 15 meter of RG58 coaxial feed line is dissipating 50 % of the input power (3 dB) when terminated into the left hand scale impedance. Above this line conditions are even worse and you may appreciate system penalties when you see at how 'low' an impedance level this line has been drawn in this graph. For more information on transmission line loss, please see "Where does the power go?".

A tuner at the transceiver side will 'translate' the variable and unmatched complex impedances at this side of the feed line to the 50 Ohm requirement of the transceiver, but it will not compensate for lost energy.

 

Do not think to get around the feed-line problem by applying open feeder line. Indeed feed-line loss will be low once you have learned how to deal with open-line peculiarities around metal roof trimmings, leading this line to and into the shack. Now you will find high SWR at the lowest and highest antenna impedances when connecting to the antenna, compared to using coaxial cable. The antenna tuner now should be of a more complicated symmetrical design with high(er) quality components that will be more (voltage) stressed. Also the tuning coil in the tuner will be of higher inductance, leading to higher loss when not constructed to the highest standards (very high Q).

 

 

Antenna matching

 

A practical conclusion may be that 'wild' antenna impedances should be 'tamed' directly at the antenna to avoid excessive cable loss. This idea has been worked out further by various companies that offer remote and automatic antenna tuning units, e.g. Alinco (EDX 2), ICOM (IC AH 2,3,4) en SGC (SG 211, SG237) . These systems connect directly to the antenna and handle a large range of impedances, though not necessarily the entire range. Prices are ranging from 350,- to over 1000,-.

 

At this stage one might conclude that the above antenna may look good, but is either impractical to apply or at too high an (financial) offer. Alternatives to multiband operation may than be found in applying a number of mono band dipoles, all cut for a specific frequency and all connecting to the same balun (lowest impedance carrying highest current, performing most of the radiation) as a workable way out.

As a different solution also specific multi-band antenna's may be considered, like a Duo-band antenna or Multiband trap antenna, a G5RV or one of the 'Windom' antenna types by Fritzel (FD3, FD4 etc). All of these examples have been designed to offer a low enough impedance to connect to the transceiver through standard coaxial cable, usually requiring a simple and a-symmetric tuner.

In this article we will discuss yet an other way out of the wide impedance range enigma, that will offer other practical benefits.

 

 

Antenna transformer

 

If we still would like to employ the 2 x 20 m. dipole with the nice gain figures, we should think about solutions to reduce the high impedance variations to within range of the receiver requirements (SWR < 2) , also to reduce cable loss. An impedance transformer could be such a first step, provided this component is connected directly to the antenna terminals.

 

Looking at the impedance 'landscape' of figure 1, it could be a good idea to bring impedance values of up to about 1000 Ohm within reach of the transceiver. This may be accomplished by starting from a 1 : 3 voltage transformer, 1 : 9 in impedance. The impedance range of 225 to 900 Ohm will now be transformed to 25 to 100 Ohms, i.e. within SWR 1 : 2. With a careful construction, also a simple balun function may be incorporated, as in figure 2.

 

 

 

Figure 2. Antenna impedance transformer

 

 

The (auto-) transformer in figure 2 exhibits a windings ratio of n1 : nt, in our first example 1 : 3. In the rest of this article we will write nt / n1 = n

 

Couple factor should be as close to k = 1, as possible and stay that way over as wide a frequency range as possible, by ensuring all windings to see exactly the same flux field. This may be accomplished by not putting all windings next to each other but spreading each 'winding' over the entire toroide core circumference, putting the next winding in between the first and the last winding in between again. Easiest way to do this is to just keep on winding, like a screw within a screw.

 

Transformer calculation

 

The transformer is part of the signal path but should be invisible herein to not absorb any power. It is easy to demonstrate this is already pretty much the situation when transformer impedance is at least four times as high as system impedance; for reference see 'Ferrite for HF applications'.

 

To ensure this factor is preserved over the entire frequency range of interest we best select a ferrite type with a ferri-magnetic resonance frequency above the highest operating frequency, but not too high since an inverted relation exists between this ferri-magnetic resonance and permeability: the higher the resonance frequency, the lower permeability. Lower permeability means more turns for adequate impedance and this in turn means high parasitic capacitance, lowering the maximum usable frequency. Considering this, it comes at no surprise best choice for HF frequencies is 4C65 ferrite (Ferroxcube, type '61' by MicoMetals) with a ferri-magnetic resonance frequency at 45 MHz. and permeability μi = 125. A toroidal shape with outside diameter of 36 mm., has a typical winding factor Al = 170 nH per winding squared. Attention! Some 'popular' core manufacturers specify this winding factor as μH/100 turns to make numbers look bigger. For design purposes one better recalculates into the more general standard of nH/n2.

 

When operating in a 50 Ohms environment at position n1 of the transformer, impedance at this side should be: 4 x 50 Ohm = 200 Ohm. At a lowest operating frequency of 2 MHz., the transformers is easily calculated:

 

Zl = ώ . L = 200 = 2 . p . 2 . 106 . L, from which: L = 16 μH.; and further,

 

L = 16 . 10-6 = n12 . Al = n12 . 170 . 10-9. from which: n1 = 9,6 (= 10) turns.

 

For the 1 : 3 transformer, nt will be 3 x 10 = 30 turns, of which n1 is the center part. Keep in mind this simple calculation for n1 to always be valid, whatever the final transformer ratio.

 

Let's look at the behavior of the antenna system with this transformer from a SWR point of view in figure 3.

 

 

 

Figure 3. Simple antenna transformer

 

 

The transformer indeed translates the input range 225 to 900 Ohm to a SWR < 2, giving access to more HF amateur bands with this antenna (30 m., 17 m., 12 m. and part of 10 m. bands) although the basic 80 m. band now drops out of range because of too high SWR value.

 

 

Pre loading

 

Looking at antenna impedances, one should be aware of the nature of this impedance. When regarding figure 1, we find a few positions where the green and blue curve overlap, meaning the antenna impedance to have a real value. This phenomenon may be seen around 3,6 MHz., 7,0 MHz., 11,1 MHz., 14,8 MHz., 18,6 MHz., 22,1 MHz., 26,1 MHz. and 29,6 MHz. In between curves for R and Z diverge, meaning the antenna impedance to be of a complex nature. This situation should be kept in mind when we are discussing Rb in the following paragraphs.

 

In figure 3, the green 'loading curve' is crossing the SWR = 2 line at 900 Ohm. As we have seen in figure 1, this value of 900 Ohm is surpassed at some positions of the antenna impedance curve. To safeguard the transceiver and to keep feed line loss low, these extreme impedance excursions may be 'swamped' by pre-loading the transformer with a resistor 'R' in such a way, that the most extreme antenna impedance (say 6000 Ohm; just above the maximum antenna impedance at 7 MHz. in figure 1) in parallel to this resistor always ensures SWR < 2. Calculations are going like this:

 

Transforming Rb to the primary side:

 

Rb' = Rb / n2

 

Total input load resistance becomes:

 

Rt = R // Rb' , to rewrite as: R = Rt . Rb / (Rb - Rt . n2) formula 1

 

According to the definition: SWR = Rt / Z0 (or inverse since SWR > 1), we may write:

 

R = Z0 . SWR . Rb / (Rb - Z0 . SWR . n2) formula 2

 

As an example, in a Z0 = 50 Ohm system, preferred SWR = 2, maximum load resistance Rb = 6000 Ohm (see figure 1):

 

R = 50 . 2 . 6000 / (6000 - 50 . 2. 9) = 118 Ohm

 

The picture of figure 2 now becomes figure 3:

 

 

 

Figure 3. Pre-loaded transformer

 

 

Load resistor 'R' will dissipate part of the transmitter power and more so when 'Rb' is approaching high values. This sounds like wasting energy but should be compared to the energy that otherwise would have been dissipated in an un-matched feed line plus tuner, usually without even noticing. It may be instructive to find out just how much energy will be wasted by calculating total transferred power to the load.

 

PRb' / PRt = ή = V2 / Rb' / V2 / Rt = Rt / Rb'

 

We already found: Rt = R // Rb' en Rb' = Rb / n2, so we may write:

 

ή = 1 / (1 + Rb / (R . n2)) formula 3

 

Let's see what is happening to this 'transfer efficiency' at various load conditions, while plotting the outcome in a relative way (dB), like in figure 4.

 

 

 

Figure 4. Pre-loaded transformer

 

 

Compared to figure 3 things have really changed. The green SWR curve is now below the SWR = 2 line, all the way up tot the maximum antenna load. Although also the lower load value below SWR = 2 has shifted somewhat (285 Ohm) we now have an intrinsically 'safe' system for any high load value. The impedance range ratio, which was 1 : 4 in the basic situation did not change after adding the transformer, has now gone up to a range of 1 : 21!

 

Everything comes at a price and in this situation the penalty is 6 dB of transfer loss ( 1 S-point) at 3165 Ohm and a bit more (8 dB) at the extreme antenna load of 6000 Ohm.

 

 

More protection

 

The impedance range below 285 Ohm is still troublesome as this will bring SWR > 2. This situation is acute for this particular antenna at frequencies below 4,1 MHz. and between 10,8 and 11,5 MHz, 18,2 and 19,1 MHz and between 25,6 and 26,6 MHz. Staying away from these frequencies should not be too difficult since none of these are inside radio-amateur band except for the first value.

When we also would like to bring frequencies below 4,1 MHz. into reach (at 3,6 MHz. the original design frequency for this antenna!), we may repeat the resistor 'trick' by placing a series resistor in the transformer output of such value that also at the lowest antenna impedance (of this particular antenna!): SWR < 2. Calculus is simple again:

 

SWR = Z0 / Rt, or Rt = Z0 / SWR (now 'reversed' since we are operating on the 'other side' of SWR = 1)

 

The value for Rt may again be found from formula 1, so

 

Z0 / SWR = R . Rb / (n2 . R + Rb), and this is reworked into:

 

Rb = Z0 . n2 . R / (SWR . R - Z0) formula 4

 

As an example we again set: SWR = 2, system impedance: Z0 = 50 Ohm, transformer is: n = 3 and the value we found for protection against the highest loading values: R = 118 Ohm, we find:

 

Rbmin = 50 . 9 . 118 / (2 . 118 - 50) = 285 Ohm.

 

In figure 1 we found lowest relevant antenna impedance: Zant.min = 50 Ohm. For full 'protection' we now need a series resistor:

 

Rs = Rbmin - Zant.min = 285 - 50 = 235 Ohm formula 5

 

to safeguard our transceiver while keeping feed line loss low at the same time since SWR < 2 over the entire impedance range for this particular antenna. Figure 3 will now be changed into figure 6.

 

 

 

Figure 6. Fool-proof pre-loaded antenna matching

 

 

Again we have to forget a 'free lunch', so figure 4 has been recalculated to show all relevant changes in figure 7.

 

 

 

Figure 7. Fully pre-loaded antenna matching

 

 

Figure 7 shows that now we pay the penalty of additional loss at the low impedance side. When comparing the light blue curve with the blue graph it shows that at the lowest antenna impedance, around 8 dB of power (1,3 S-point at the receiving side) is lost to the series resistor. On the positive side we created an intrinsically 'safe' antenna matching that will never allow SWR to rise above 2 over the entire HF-radio band while at the same time will free the operator from retuning the antenna going from one frequency (band) to the next, which may be good news to contesters and wide-band system operators (ALE equipment).

 

More variations

Up to this moment we have been designing around an antenna transformer with a 1 : 3 winding / voltage ratio. To complete the picture, I have calculated other transformers in the range n = 1 to n = 5 to look for better parameters. All transformers have been pre-loaded such that SWR < 2 at all impedance conditions of the original 2 x 20 m. dipole antenna, so all are equally 'safe' and will ensure negligible feed line loss between 3,5 MHz. and 30 MHz., see figure 7.

 

 

 

Figure 7. Variations to the pre-loaded matching theme

 

 

 

Figure 7 is showing various transformers with associated loading resistors to fulfill SWR < 2 for all loading conditions of our 'standard dipole'. Let's look at the extremes first.

 

- The n = 1 graph denominations actually mean that no transformer has been used but the antenna has been pre-loaded with a resistor of 102 Ohm. At the extreme high end, SWR is nicely approaching 1 : 2 but at the extreme low impedance end (50 Ohm), SWR is only 1,5. So a single load resistor of 102 Ohm makes the widest SWR curve! Transfer efficiency is also highest at 50 Ohm antenna load as compared to all other transformers below 300 Ohm loading impedance. This nevertheless is not a preferred situation which may be appreciated when looking at upward 300 Ohm; transfer is now lower than any other variation, reaching an 'all time low' at the highest load (6000 Ohm) with a loss of 18 dB (3 S-points).

 

- The highest transformer ratio is 1 : 5 is showing lowest loss at the high load side with only 4,5 dB at the extreme. This is what we like to see, but we are sorry to find a 12 dB loss ( 2 S-points) when loaded with 50 Ohm at the 80 m. band.

 

As usual the 'truth' is in between and our original 1 : 3 transformer is showing a nicely symmetric behavior at both extreme load conditions with acceptable transfer in between.

 

 

Practical transformer considerations

 

After our exploration of the design space lets look at some practical implications. For this I have made several transformers and have tested under various load conditions.

 

Transformer winding

 

As stated earlier, it is important that all windings 'see' the same field. Putting all windings next to each other results in a lower coupling, with flux leakage as a consequence and a diminished high frequency behavior. Using 4C65 ferrite (or 61 type) in a 36 mm. toroide former, ten turns are needed in a 50 Ohm system. These ten turns should be spread around the entire core circumference, continuing to wind in-between for the next winding and so on. When ready an even spacing at the inner diameter ensures lowest parasitic capacitance, again providing for best high-frequency behavior.

 

Load resistors

 

Some attention has to be paid to the load resistor. In our design we constantly put this resistor at the transformer input, but this appears not to be the most efficient position. Best results have been obtained when 'symmetrically' loading the transformer by having each winding 'damped' with the same load. In case of the 1 : 3 transformer this means the load resistor R will be subdivided into three resistors of equal value but 3x the original value. This subdivision will be different with other transformer ratios. At low frequencies no difference could be measured at different loading schemes but at higher frequencies (20 MHz. and above) this better loading condition was showing up as extended good SWR behavior and power transfer, up to double the original frequency range.

 

Also keep in mind that power not radiated from the antenna, is lost in the loading resistors. From figure 7 it may be appreciated that at the loading edges, around -8 dB of power will be radiated, which is around 16 % of the input. The rest (84 %) will be dissipated in the (distributed) load resistor, meaning that the combined power rating should roughly equal the total power output of the transceiver. This is especially true for FM mode of operation and to a lesser extent for SSB and CW. In the latter situation average power is less than half peak power with relaxed power requirements for these loading resistors. As a guideline and in case n = 3 and three distributed resistors, each should be capable of handling about 1/6 total input power.

 

Series resistor

 

With a series resistor in the output circuit, the above calculations for the power rating of R still are valid since at the highest antenna impedance hardly any current will flow in the output circuit, so neither in the output series resistor. At very low antenna impedance output currents are much higher. At n = 3, R = 118 Ohm, Rb = 50 Ohm, and Rs = 235 Ohm, total input resistance now is 25 Ohm of which the transformed value of Rb plus Rs is 31,7 Ohm. Of total input current, this series connection takes 25 / 31,7 = 79 %, of which Rs takes 235 / 285 = 82 %. In this extreme situation the series resistor Rs will also take 82 % of 79 % = 65 % of total input power meaning this resistor should have a power rating of over half total system power in FM mode or just over one quarter in case of CW or SSB. Furthermore, both the load resistors and series resistor should be of and induction-free or carbon-composite type for HF use. A mounting flange for connecting to a solid metal surface (transformer box) is advisable to conduct heat away.

 

Transformer rating

 

The step-up transformer may also absorb some power so let's take a closer look here. In other articles more information on ferrite loss mechanisms is available and may be checked here. For this material and core size (4C65 and 36 mm. toroide) one should stay below 24 V. of RF voltage per winding for a maximum of 4 Watt internal power dissipation (good for a temperature rise of about 30 C in a free air), up to 30 MHz.

 

In our calculations for total transformer impedance we found 10 turns to be the number in a 50 Ohms environment, which brings us to:

 

Vmax = Vwdg x Wind = 24 x 10 = 240 Volt, and this leads to

 

Pmax = Vmax2 / Z0 = 2402 / 50 = 1152 Watt,

 

or more than 1 kW. in a 50 Ohm system. The transformer therefore will not easily be a limiting factor for pre-loaded antenna matching.

 

Measuring the transformer

At the input of the transformer one side is grounded as may be seen in figure 3. When measuring transformer characteristics, one would like to see one of the output leads to be grounded too, but this should short circuit (part of) the transformer. A way around this problem is to make two such devices and measure performance in a back-to-back situation, dividing results over both half's. An alternative method is to decouple the input from ground by connecting the input to the generator by means of a choke. The latter is easily constructed by winding the connecting coax around a ferrite core again, preferably a higher permeability type to raise series impedance. When applying a 36 mm. toroide again, around 8 turns of coax around 4A11 ('43') or 3S4 type of ferrite is quite sufficient, as may be found in Ferrites in EMC applications . We are now free to ground any of the output leads for measuring purposes.

 

 

Practical measurements

 

A good many different transformer types have been made in various transformer ratio's. A few of these may be seen in figure 8.

 

 

 

Figure 8. A few transformer examples

 

 

Some construction details:

- left hand transformer has been constructed on a 58 mm. toroide of 3S4 ferrite with 17 quadrifilar turns. Windings may be connected at will to obtain different types of transformers.

- middle transformer has been constructed on a 36 mm. toroide of 4C65 ferrite using 'continuous winding' technique to obtain a 5 + 10 + 5 transformer type (n = 2).

- right hand transformer has been constructed on a 36 mm. toroide of 4C65 ferrite. Windings 10 + 10 + 10 to obtain n = 3 transformer, again in the 'continuous winding' technique. Different color is showing color-batch tolerance; newer deliveries are uniform beige for all ferrite types by Ferroxcube.

Best performance and widest bandwidth is with 4C65 ferrite.

 

For measurement set up and connection details, please see above.

As an example a transformer measurement is shown in figure 9 of the n = 3 type, analogue to the left hand transformer in figure 8. Loading resistors are 330 Ohm, 390 Ohm, 330 Ohm to arrive closest to 118 Ohm from above calculations. No series resistor has been applied in this measurement.

 

 

 

Figure 9. Pre-loaded matching transformer over frequency

 

 

Figure 9 is showing transformer is well behaved over frequency with antenna loading up to the highest value of 5600 Ohm. Bandwidth is very good starting from the calculated lower cut-off frequency of 2 MHz. to well over 30 MHz., in fact to over 60MHz. when not too extremely loaded. Even an unloaded transformer will end up around SWR = 2 as may be predicted from above measurements.

Power transfer is equally satisfactory with less than 0,5 dB difference from theory at 1 MHz. up to well over 30 MHz., making this component a good candidate to replace the more common tuning unit. For this latter test the transformer has been loaded with 600 Ohm, a value from the middle of the range.

 

 

 

Relative behavior using a real antenna

 

The pre-loaded matching unit is to bring down the large impedance excursions of our typical dipole as in figure 1. For a fair comparison, we modeled the component (n = 3, including R 118 Ohm and Rs 236 Ohm) in parallel to the real behavior of the dipole antenna as in figure 1 (real and imaginary values) on all HF frequencies. This situation does not require the usual antenna tuner, since SWR < 2.

To obtain a fair comparison, the same antenna has also been modeled while connected to a 1 : 1 balun and 15 m. coax, which is common radio-ham practice. The situation is somewhat flattering for the latter situation, since loss in the tuner and balun have not been included. Results are in figure 10.

 

 

 

Figure 10. Relative behavior of pre-loaded matching transformer

 

 

 

In figure 10 some interesting features may be observed.

- SWR in the situation of balun plus feed-line plus tuner has been omitted as this is supposed to yield a SWR = 1 situation when the tuner has sufficient range.

- SWR of the pre-loaded matcher is showing the predicted behavior and will stay safely beneath SWR = 2 over the entire HF frequency range with this antenna.

- Total power transfer has now been calculated as perceived by a receiving station (S-points), with the '0' mark meaning a perfect power transfer.

- The green transfer curve is showing the 'usual' situation with a (lossless) balun to the antenna, 15 m. of RG58 feed line to the shack where a (lossless) tuner is transforming all complex impedances into real 50 Ohm for the transceiver. It is clear that only at the original antenna design frequency (80 m. band) power transfer is fairly good; on all other frequencies and amateur bands power loss may not be neglected anymore and will rise to more than two S-point on several HF amateur bands. This power loss usually will go unnoticed by the not so aware radio-ham!

- The blue power transfer curve of the pre-loaded matching transformer is beating the unmatched cable on nearly all amateur bands except for 80 m. On most other amateur radio bands the transformer is better by 0,5 to almost 2 S-points. This superior behavior comes on top of the intrinsic safety to the transceiver plus the freedom from retuning the antenna situation at any frequency change.

Mind that the above curves are generated using a more or less randomly selected antenna system and a pre-loaded transformer to match antenna behavior over a very wide impedance and frequency range. Other antenna types over a different frequency range may yield different results, that may be better or worse.

 

 

Components on the market

 

As it happens, the idea of a pre-loaded matching transformer is not particularly new. In the last quarter of the last century Maxxcom has put a 'Maxxcom automatic antenna matcher' on the market which may be connected to 'almost any' antenna while keeping the transceiver safe at SWR < 1,5, even when completely shorted or with no antenna connected at all. The behavior over frequency is very good and may be compared to graphs we already have seen from comparable transformers in this article.

This very safe behavior comes at a price. The Maxxcom actually is also a pre-loaded matching transformer, this time designed as n = 2, R = 40 Ohm and Rs = 800 Ohm. This configuration is eating power away when connected to our 'standard dipole'; At 3,6 MHz power transfer will be - 20 dB (almost 3 S-point) below maximum rising to an optimal transfer of - 13 dB (more than 2 S-point) below maximum when loading into 1000 Ohm. Although not very efficient, this may still be the component of choice when laymen are left alone with valuable equipment that may not easily be replaced due to adverse terrain conditions.

 

I found ICOM as a second manufacturer of pre-loaded matching transformers on the internet. Looking at the specs this may well be our n = 3 model with resistors to match, as insertion loss is specified at 6 dB with SWR < 2.

Prices for Maxxcom and ICOM units are around 300,-

 

 

Applying the component

 

Lets look at how to apply the pre-loaded matching transformer with the tools from this article.

A good approach may be to first select a range of frequencies, communication modes and required communication distances. From this starting position an effective antenna may be designed using Eznec or Mmana as a free and efficient design tool. When starting conditions are satisfied, next step could be to calculate antenna behavior (impedance) over all application frequencies, arriving at a comparable graph as in figure 1. Next step is to determine a transformer ratio, to best bring impedance excursions within range of the transceiver specifications. As a last step R and Rs may be calculated applying the tools in this article. When being less 'greedy' than myself in desiring to cover a very wide frequency range, the final pre-loaded matching transformer may be even more efficient than the one presented above, while protecting your receiver from overload conditions on any frequency setting and not having to tune your antenna ever again.

 

Bob J. van Donselaar

mailto:on9cvd@amsat.org