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Author Topic: Paper clip anteae?  (Read 499 times)
KE5KFP
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Posts: 17




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« on: June 06, 2007, 07:36:56 AM »

The local club was asking for ideas for unusual antenae to use for field day. I was wondering if stringing together paper clips to form a dipole would work. I know it would be time consuming, but I have a 13 Y.O. niece with lots of time on her hands who would help.
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K4JSR
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Posts: 513




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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2007, 08:02:09 AM »

Just think of the fun when the wind starts blowing.
The VSWR of your paper clip antenna will go wild.
Chain linking has never been a great way to electrically bond conductors!

Of course you could just use a single paper clip and make a J-Pole for 10.5 GHz!!  Smiley

One of the wilder things we used to do for Field Day in my ill-spent youth was making beer can verticals
by soldering empty beer cans together.
Today's beer cans are aluminum so conventional soldering techniques do not work very well.
There are products on the market that will solder
aluminum together.  They (whoever they is.) used to pop up at hamfests hawking the stuff. Usually a very attractive YL would demonstrate by soldering soft drink cans together.  I bought $50 worth from her! But that is another story for another time--
after my injuries heal!

73,  Cal  K4JSR Beautiful Downtown Bethlehem, Ga.
 
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KV6O
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Posts: 90




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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2007, 08:05:21 AM »

I can imagine keeping the tension just right (enough to maintain solid connection, not enough to rip it apart) with wind and other factors would be tricky!

Don’t try this at 160M (yikes!), but maybe a 6M or 2M would be doable…

Steve
KV6O
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20635




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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2007, 08:34:39 AM »

Good exercise in learning to solder:

Make a 160m dipole of paper clips, but solder them all together to assure a good electrical connection.  Average paper clip is 1.125" long; 160m dipole is 260 feet; this will take 2773 paper clips.

First solder joint probably won't be so great, but the 2773rd one should be perfect!

WB2WIK/6
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N3JBH
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Posts: 2358




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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2007, 08:34:41 AM »

that may be just the key ! solder them togther then they would be bounded toghter better and some what more rigid. but like other's said i forget making a 160 meter version
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N3JBH
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Posts: 2358




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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2007, 08:35:52 AM »

or hey you could do like we did one year and hike to john boats in the air. really worked pretty good
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K4JC
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Posts: 76




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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2007, 09:02:33 AM »

Years ago there was a gentleman (now SK) in the Baltimore area who would put on antenna demonstrations using antennas made from paper clips. I think he was using frequencies around 2300 MHz and could demo radiation patterns, gain and all kinds of interesting stuff for just about any kind of antenna you could think of. All made from paper clips. Pretty fascinating stuff.
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5689




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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2007, 11:03:09 AM »

Even if you soldered them, which may prove problematic, steel paper clips would prove to be as lossy as using steel wire for an antenna.  Conductivity is way down compared to copper.  

Copper plated paper clips might work, but might not be an easy find.  

Don't do this to your radio.  

Want to wow 'em on Field Day?

Make a dipole out of common electric lamp zipcord.  

From PL-259 to antenna, the whole thing.  

Solder the two leads from the 14-16 AWG zipcord directly to the PL-259, then run it as balanced line to the antenna feedpoint, clear of any parallel metal, of course.  

Measure the wire after the feedpoint using the dipole formula, add a bit on so you can trim.  

Wrap the feedpoint with electrical tape tightly or use a wiretie so it will not keep splitting in operation.  No center insulator needed.  

SPLIT the zipcord from feedpoint to ends to make the dipole arms.  

Hang it using nylon rope at the ends, loop the endwires back on themselves to make an easy job of trimming the lengths to tune the antenna instead of cutting wire.  

Now, before all the hams and experts chime in with dire warnings, the zipcord feedline will measure out around the 68-75 ohm mark.  That will be close enough to feed from a 52 ohm radio and don't forget that the dipoles impedence at the input is typically around 72 ohms anyway.  

This one always makes the hams take notice -- and ask questions about the "safety" of the thing, etc.  

I've had fun with this one for years off and on, especially that one ham who stands there telling you why it won't work while you're sitting there filling the log with contacts the whole time.  

And it is a good excercise in realworld emergency antenna/feedline thought.  

Okay, my flamesuit's on, have at me!


73
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KI4TJJ
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Posts: 35




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« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2007, 08:22:54 PM »

Yeah, I was thinking solder too.

I am in Bethlehem, GA as well.
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KE3WD
Member

Posts: 5689




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« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2007, 09:52:10 PM »

I wouldn't trust solder joints for that.  

Hundreds of solder joints swinging freely up in the air under the load of the mass of all those clips is not the place for the infamous load bearing solder joint.  


Especially if it happens to crack at a voltage point on the wire...

If you do try this, use a tube PA radio at 50W, it might survive better than solid state finals.  


.
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9921




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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2007, 10:37:01 PM »

ARRL has a video of that guy with the 3 ghz antennas on the little platform.  I probably learnd more from that ione tape about antennas than in most all the books I have read. the other topic on the tap is about spark gap.  its worth it for the info on antennas..
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