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 Antenna not doing what I won't it to do

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Victor
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PostSubject: Antenna not doing what I won't it to do   antenna - Antenna not doing what I won't it to do Icon_minitimeThu Jun 16, 2022 11:26 pm

I have a new SIGMA EXCALIBUR antenna and can't get anything on it I have a swr meeter and it's about 1 what els can I do
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PostSubject: Re: Antenna not doing what I won't it to do   antenna - Antenna not doing what I won't it to do Icon_minitimeFri Jun 17, 2022 6:24 am

Hi Aaron,

We've had this sort of question about this antenna before and I'm afraid it isn't an antenna I'd recommend to anyone.

The sales 'blurb' for this particular antenna states distance ranges as "possibly 5 miles range outdoors and 2 miles indoors" which sounds about right for what it is. Unfortunately CB'ers tend to be much further apart nowadays than they did in the heyday of CB radio back in 1981/82 so unless someone is in your next street or two you'll struggle to contact anyone.

There will of course be exceptions depending on circumstances such as propagation or 'skip' lifts where even a poor antenna can manage great distances but this is the exception rather than the rule. This will also depend on how 'high' the antenna is mounted so of you live in tall building on top of a big hill several hundred metres above sea level with a clear view.....then you might manage something!

The giveaway to this being a poor antenna is the fact that coax cable lengths seem to be specified in the sales 'blurb' too meaning that the coax is becoming part of the antenna itself. (Usually specified to try and keep the SWR down!!) Not a good sign.

So I'm sorry to say that you could try many things until you're blue in the face, but you just won't get much performance from such a piece of kit.


I can't see what equipment you're using in your profile and not stated here either but just to let you know that SSB or sideband performance will always beat FM hands down and claims for DX distances or performance are usually made with SSB. If you're using a basic FM radio plus this basic antenna you won't be getting very far at all.


Someone is bound to come along with a more 'eloquent' expression of it's performance by simply saying "it's cr*p!" and perhaps that's just a shorter version of what I've just said.


There may also be suggestions for other types of antenna to try, the "T2LT" coax antenna being a popular choice nowadays, but it will always be a different antenna from what you've already got.

I'm often known to spout "any antenna is better than no antenna" but in this instance I'd put the 'Excalibur' firmly in the ball park of an unshielded dummy load. Wink


I wish you well with your radio endeavours Aaron and hope you are able to sort a better setup eventually.

All the best,
Victor

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PostSubject: Re: Antenna not doing what I won't it to do   antenna - Antenna not doing what I won't it to do Icon_minitimeSat Jun 18, 2022 10:18 am

.
Hi Aaron

A quick question, did you pick the Excalibur because of restrictions at you home QTH?

Like Victor said, with a bit more information, there are many here will offer helpful suggestions.

And don't be scared of asking questions. 

Everybody on Charlie Tango was once a 'newbie' or 'beginner' in the radio hobby

73

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PostSubject: Re: Antenna not doing what I won't it to do   antenna - Antenna not doing what I won't it to do Icon_minitimeSat Jun 18, 2022 10:57 am

I have a PNI 8000L CB with Excalibur there are no restrictions it's coos it was cheap and I did not won't to spend a lot

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PostSubject: Re: Antenna not doing what I won't it to do   antenna - Antenna not doing what I won't it to do Icon_minitimeSat Jun 18, 2022 12:00 pm

Aaron1233 wrote:
I have a PNI 8000L CB with Excalibur there are no restrictions it's coos it was cheap and I did not won't to spend a lot

In my opinion and experience, the antenna is the problem.

Many years ago I saw a big change when I upgraded from a Boomerang antenna to a Silver Rod

So I would consider changing the Excalibur for a 'Silver Rod' type of antenna as listed below (bearing in mind to keep the cost down)

VENOM GPA 1/2 WAVE BASE ANTENNA (moonrakeronline.com)

Moonraker GAP-H 1/2 Wave Vertical (moonrakeronline.com)

1/2 Wave "silver rod" | H91 (kcb.co.uk)

Thunderpole Silver Rod 1/2 Wave CB Antenna | THUNDERPOLE

This will be a massive improvement on the Excalibur and should, I hope, allow you to hear the swearing and yelling on 19 UKFM, the Thursday night chit chat on channel 31 UKFM and more

73

Ray

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PostSubject: Re: Antenna not doing what I won't it to do   antenna - Antenna not doing what I won't it to do Icon_minitimeSat Jun 18, 2022 3:27 pm

Whats the consensus on dipoles ?

https://www.kcb.co.uk/contents/en-uk/p51.html

I used one homebase back in the day.
Seems a cheap option and one I'm considering if I ever set up at home.

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PostSubject: Re: Antenna not doing what I won't it to do   antenna - Antenna not doing what I won't it to do Icon_minitimeSat Jun 18, 2022 3:50 pm

Technically nothing in it Nige them both being half wave antennas but an end fed is a heck of a lot easier to mount than a dipole and gain a bit of height to boot.

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PostSubject: Re: Antenna not doing what I won't it to do   antenna - Antenna not doing what I won't it to do Icon_minitimeSat Jun 18, 2022 8:47 pm

Victor wrote:
Technically nothing in it Nige them both being half wave antennas but an end fed is a heck of a lot easier to mount than a dipole and gain a bit of height to boot.


That's interesting Victor as I thought a dipole would of been easier to mount due to less height, or do you mean you can mount an end fed closer to ground level ?

What about swr adjustment between both?
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PostSubject: Re: Antenna not doing what I won't it to do   antenna - Antenna not doing what I won't it to do Icon_minitimeSun Jun 19, 2022 1:12 am

If we're talking 11m, there's no point in a dipole if you don't have the real estate and three supports at about a 1/2 wave above the ground, although it is more directional than a vertical, which is omnidirectional.

You can try an inverted-V or even a V antenna (see the other thread on V antennas which is an interesting challenge I've not pursued as yet), instead of a dipole.

Dipoles or inverted-Vs (and Vs) could be set up in a switchable fan of them at various angles of the compass, if you have the real-estate, and would out perform any vertical if you had the right one, or you could put a V on a rotator, which would be outperformed by a Hex Beam, H99CV, Box Antenna or Yagi on the same rotator.

In most cases a vertical, the bigger the better, the higher the better, the better performance in TX/RX, unless you can mount a beam, Yagi being the best, on a rotator, again as high as possible.

Tonight on the 11m TC Net  I was using a North-South Orientation Random Dipole resonant at 160m, but it does have a vertical ~14ft open wire 11" spaced feeder from ~7ft AGL to 20ft AGL.  I could hear only two stations from my QTH in Shrewsbury, one on the Longmynd in South Shropshire he was 59 (Net Control), and a guy in Llangollen he was 54, and the QRM Background Floor was S3.

I might have done better on the Sigma 5/8 Silver Rod, but I still haven't read the Albrecht Manual, ha.

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PostSubject: Re: Antenna not doing what I won't it to do   antenna - Antenna not doing what I won't it to do Icon_minitimeSun Jun 19, 2022 2:15 am

Wireless wrote:
If we're talking 11m, there's no point in a dipole if you don't have the real estate and three supports at about a 1/2 wave above the ground, although it is more directional than a vertical, which is omnidirectional.

You only need one support to support the centre. If you bring the legs down at an angle so it forms an inverted V then it's more omnidirectional. For 11m each leg will only be around 9ft long, if you use insulated wire that'll reduce by several inches. The legs can be bent to fit any space you have.

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PostSubject: Re: Antenna not doing what I won't it to do   antenna - Antenna not doing what I won't it to do Icon_minitimeSun Jun 19, 2022 6:12 am

To the original poster Aaron,


I said you'd get many suggestions for antennas and unfortunately no recommendations for your Excalibur.

Unless you get into building antennas but still want to go further with your CB interests then Ray's suggestions of some typical examples may be the best bet. Do consider the fact though that you may need mounting brackets, extra coax and a pole to interface between the brackets and antenna for a home base setup. Radio unfortunately can strip your pockets quicker than you'd first consider!

Another option which is popular is to install your CB into a vehicle utilising a typical mag mount antenna and then you can roam freely to higher locations in the clear and away from QRM or man made interference typical of human habitation. Works for many. antenna - Antenna not doing what I won't it to do 1f44d 

Again I wish you well with your endeavours. (Don't get hung up about buying the Excalibur either. Wink )

All the best,
Victor




Oh, Nige (sharpshooter) - a dipole is centre mounted and has to be in the clear usually requiring a horizontal pole mounting as well as your vertical and brackets so the end fed or bottom mounted half wave is typically easier to install. As for SWR? You only have one adjustment on the end fed the dipole has two, one at each end. Wink
(Sometimes end fed half wave verticals are dipoles in disguise....there's always exceptions when 'black-box' buying.)

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PostSubject: Re: Antenna not doing what I won't it to do   antenna - Antenna not doing what I won't it to do Icon_minitimeSun Jun 19, 2022 2:02 pm

Victor wrote:
To the original poster Aaron,


I said you'd get many suggestions for antennas and unfortunately no recommendations for your Excalibur.

Unless you get into building antennas but still want to go further with your CB interests then Ray's suggestions of some typical examples may be the best bet. Do consider the fact though that you may need mounting brackets, extra coax and a pole to interface between the brackets and antenna for a home base setup. Radio unfortunately can strip your pockets quicker than you'd first consider!

Another option which is popular is to install your CB into a vehicle utilising a typical mag mount antenna and then you can roam freely to higher locations in the clear and away from QRM or man made interference typical of human habitation. Works for many. antenna - Antenna not doing what I won't it to do 1f44d 

Again I wish you well with your endeavours. (Don't get hung up about buying the Excalibur either. Wink )

All the best,
Victor




Oh, Nige (sharpshooter) - a dipole is centre mounted and has to be in the clear usually requiring a horizontal pole mounting as well as your vertical and brackets so the end fed or bottom mounted half wave is typically easier to install. As for SWR? You only have one adjustment on the end fed the dipole has two, one at each end. Wink
(Sometimes end fed half wave verticals are dipoles in disguise....there's always exceptions when 'black-box' buying.)


Thanks Victor. 
Sorry for more questions, and hopefully they add to the thread and help the op too.

Why is a horizontal bracket needed. I know a dipole is centre fed but if installing vertical what am I missing here ?

Obviously one can mount a silver rod for instance from the ground up, not so with a dipole. Although I suppose all antennas are dipoles of some form lol 😁

How do you adjust the swr on a silver rod for instance ? Is it from the base or do you have to keep taking it down to adjust the tip ?

If my questions are annoying, please let me know and I shall desist 👍😁
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PostSubject: Re: Antenna not doing what I won't it to do   antenna - Antenna not doing what I won't it to do Icon_minitimeSun Jun 19, 2022 6:28 pm

Nige, questions aren't annoying at all but much of this information can be gleaned from the internet rather than relying on answers from one person. I'll be the very first to admit there is no possible way I could know everything about antennas nor would I want to only concentrating on the aspects I'm personally interested in. All I do is my very best to help people out where I can without prejudice or vested interest utilising my own free time.

I thought the vertical dipole arrangement was an easy issue to see with a centre fed type in that you want any metal mounting pole as far away from the active dipole elements as possible - hence the horizontal mounting pole reference. (Even then there will be some interaction.) With an end fed type dipole such as a 'sleeved dipole', the 'T2LT' being a common type you can feed them from the bottom and hence place upon the top of a pole or in the simple coax type hung from a non-conductive mast. (The non-conductive mast can also be used on a typical centre fed dipole BTW but you'll still get interaction with the coax.)

I'm not sure I can be clearer unless I resort to imagery and again this is covered in vast amounts of detail around the internet so I'd just be repeating info available. Obviously horizontally mounting a centre fed dipole alleviates all this but although it would make for a great DX antenna you'll struggle with local CB contacts as most setups run vertical arrangements. (Vertical vs Horizontally polarised signals.)

The SWR references you make in 'tuning' an antenna depend on the manufacture and design. Most simple units are trimmed or adjusted at the end and some 'clever' designs use a ring system at the base usually adjusting the inductive element of the antenna rather than adjusting it's length, (although there are design alternatives).

I hope that helps somewhat but like I say much of this information is already out there.

If you want to get deep into antennas and theory then I'd suggest searching out articles from L.B. Cebik W4RNL whom many regarded as a prominent antenna expert through his life and beyond.


Or I'm sure that questions can be asked on a new posting within the forum where many will be happy to discuss to their leisure. Wink


Last edited by Victor on Sun Jun 19, 2022 6:56 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Damn USA spell check again - not sure if it's my laptop or the site.)

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PostSubject: Re: Antenna not doing what I won't it to do   antenna - Antenna not doing what I won't it to do Icon_minitimeSun Jun 19, 2022 11:08 pm

Victor wrote:
Nige, questions aren't annoying at all but much of this information can be gleaned from the internet rather than relying on answers from one person. I'll be the very first to admit there is no possible way I could know everything about antennas nor would I want to only concentrating on the aspects I'm personally interested in. All I do is my very best to help people out where I can without prejudice or vested interest utilising my own free time.

I thought the vertical dipole arrangement was an easy issue to see with a centre fed type in that you want any metal mounting pole as far away from the active dipole elements as possible - hence the horizontal mounting pole reference. (Even then there will be some interaction.) With an end fed type dipole such as a 'sleeved dipole', the 'T2LT' being a common type you can feed them from the bottom and hence place upon the top of a pole or in the simple coax type hung from a non-conductive mast. (The non-conductive mast can also be used on a typical centre fed dipole BTW but you'll still get interaction with the coax.)

I'm not sure I can be clearer unless I resort to imagery and again this is covered in vast amounts of detail around the internet so I'd just be repeating info available. Obviously horizontally mounting a centre fed dipole alleviates all this but although it would make for a great DX antenna you'll struggle with local CB contacts as most setups run vertical arrangements. (Vertical vs Horizontally polarised signals.)

The SWR references you make in 'tuning' an antenna depend on the manufacture and design. Most simple units are trimmed or adjusted at the end and some 'clever' designs use a ring system at the base usually adjusting the inductive element of the antenna rather than adjusting it's length, (although there are design alternatives).

I hope that helps somewhat but like I say much of this information is already out there.

If you want to get deep into antennas and theory then I'd suggest searching out articles from L.B. Cebik W4RNL whom many regarded as a prominent antenna expert through his life and beyond.


Or I'm sure that questions can be asked on a new posting within the forum where many will be happy to discuss to their leisure. Wink

Apologies Victor. 
I hope you didn't take my post the wrong way.
I have searched for answers to my questions, and didn't find much info. but I'd rather ask learned members like yourself on the forum than just search and not post.
And although I quoted you, I was hoping to encourage other responses.

 I realise new members like myself might ask tedious questions over and over etc. Wink

Thanks for the link, and as a complete novice I really haven't got a clue to most things radio related.
I appreciate any advice on here and although you say you don't know everything about antennas, 
You probably know more than I will ever learn. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Antenna not doing what I won't it to do   antenna - Antenna not doing what I won't it to do Icon_minitimeMon Jun 20, 2022 5:18 am

No worries Nige and no need for an apology.

Charlie Tango does have a lot of very knowledgeable members which makes for a good mix with those that have less experience. 
Hopefully everyone coming together in such a group means that we can all help each other out where and when we can.

However such a group can never be a font of all knowledge and neither can one single member.

It's always worth asking questions but sometimes a bit of research can go a long way first.


I think the original poster Aaron has enough answers regards his Excalibur antenna question so I'll leave this posting at that.


Any further questions anyone may have can be started as a new posting and hopefully it will make for an easy resource to search and find ensuring that information isn't repeated and available to all.

All the best,
Victor

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PostSubject: Re: Antenna not doing what I won't it to do   antenna - Antenna not doing what I won't it to do Icon_minitimeTue Jun 21, 2022 9:15 am

Northern Crusader wrote:
Wireless wrote:
If we're talking 11m, there's no point in a dipole if you don't have the real estate and three supports at about a 1/2 wave above the ground, although it is more directional than a vertical, which is omnidirectional.

You only need one support to support the centre. If you bring the legs down at an angle so it forms an inverted V then it's more omnidirectional. For 11m each leg will only be around 9ft long, if you use insulated wire that'll reduce by several inches. The legs can be bent to fit any space you have.

Yes, I've got inverted-Vs for Portable RAYNET use (built in 2001) using a drive on mast base, depends on what angle V you decide upon for the preferred propagation path or band generally I've only ever designed for NVIS HF, and 160/80/60/40, and ensured that the insulated ends are above 7ft AGL when the antenna is tied down, for public safety.

Tuning can be done by slackening or tightening the legs rather than by cutting.

The mast is also handy for putting up a vertical dipole or colinear for VHF/UHF locally as well.

I'm also in the process of using NVIS antennas whilst Mobile, the focus will be horizontal mobile whip dipoles, having explored tilted whips and angles in the past.
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