Sunday, 24 July 2011

A new project - the Voltage Probe Antenna

About this time last year I paid a visit to an old radio amateur friend whilst away on holiday, and he was enthusing at the time about a little "Active Aerial" he had built very quickly more or less from parts in his junk box.   This little aerial was about the size of a beer mat and was suspended from a piece of shelving, and was connected to his FT-817.   All kinds of stuff was being received, most impressive.

This was to a design by PA0RDT.

Moving forward to more recent times, in fact last weekend, I noticed from EMail traffic that our local radio club, the Eden Valley Radio Society were possibly embarking on another club project, and an "Active Aerial" was one of the contenders.   Ron, G4GXO (proprietor of Cumbria Designs) had come up with a circuit in part inspired by the PA0RDT design and it was mooted that this might be the basis of such a project.

Naturally my previous experience caused my ears to prick up, and after some correspondence with Ron I now have a new project - to build this little circuit and evaluate it.

In terms of complexity it is completely different from the "Eden9" project, in that an experienced constructor should be able to build it more or less as a "weekend project".   Looking at the modest parts requirement I realised that had all that was needed available and resolved to give it a go this weekend.

However, as is the way of the world, outside influences intervened, a major influence being the unexpectedly fine weather we were blessed with - cloudless blue skies and pleasant temperatures, so in the end I only got chance to get this project started, hopefully to be completed next weekend..

The aerial including the amplifier is all contained on the single piece of PCB - the photo below shows the project getting under way before I tidied the garden shed up to placate my XYL who insists on doing "things horticultural which I don't understand" in it whilst I am not around!

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