Yet another biquad antenna

I needed a waterproof 2.4GHz antenna, fast. So, I built my own.

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was suppose to be a fast and cheap construction job. It wasn't. Everything went wrong including trashing the memory card in my digital camera with photos of my mistakes in progress. Argh.

The 5"x5"x2" PVC box in the photo is made by Stahlin, but I can't find the part number. About $11/ea. The inside dimensions at the bottom are just shorts of the 120mm needed for a real 1/2 wavelength. So, I ran the aluminium tape up the sides slightly. Not ideal, but close enough.

I used LMR-400 UltraFlex coax cable. It was really tricky getting the rubber outer jacket through the cable clamp and crimp on N-connector. The smooth jacket standard (stiff) LMR-400 is easier to work with.

The center cable feed thru is a 1/2" Liquid Tight Cord entry. Arlington Industries LPCG50-1. About $2.50. The LMR-400 fits perfectly around the clamping end. However, to keep the coax from flopping around, I wrapped the coax at the antenna end with electrical tape until the diameter gave a snug fit inside the cord entry.

The coax cable was trimmed as in the photo. A small "tab" of the shield braid was left intact and tinned. This is where the ground connections for the biquad antenna elements were connected.

Bending the antenna elements is the only critical part of the puzzle. See:

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instructions on how to cut and bend the elements. The only difference is that Martin suggests cutting the ground end of the elements to accomidate the increased coax cable (copper pipe) diameter. Bad idea. Leave them long, even if they are odd looking. That basic idea is for each loop to be exactly 1 wavelength long. The locations of the corner bends are non-critical. It could be circular shapped if that were easier. Only the length is important. Also, each quad antenna should be identical, and the ground points soldered as close together as possible.

The 1/2" nylon plus 2ea 3/16" washers in the pictures were suppose to support the ends of the biquad. That's un-necessary as the assembly is self supporting thanks to the thick coax cable.

Cost on this model is more than I would like. Stalin box $11.00 cable feed $2.75 3ft LMR-400 (scrap) N-connector $5.00 =================== $17.75

Methinks I'll try a cheaper box on the next model. I haven't done much testing with the finished antenna. It certainly has more gain than any of the rubber duckies or small panel antennas I have floating around. VSWR with my home made directional coupler is tolerable at under 2:1. Resonance ended up at 2380Mhz which is way too low. Cut and tweak comes tomorrow. I'll make some real measurements when I have time.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann
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