Join Date: Apr 2006
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Re: Still holding its own - HF Radio
"Back in the day ,used to build a copper mesh into the cabin top to act as a ground plane "
Len, technically that would be a counterpoise and not a ground of any kind. One can be just as effective as the other, and the two terms are often interchanged, but they are different and a primary difference is that there is no electrical ground, no risk of galvanic actions, etc. , from a counterpoise. Which can also be made to match a resonant length for the antenna it is being used with.
The inline gizmo is usually an antenna tuner, and again, that's often misunderstood. An antenna tuner doesn't actually "tune" the antenna, what it does is eat the radio energy which is being reflected back from the antenna, that otherwise would enter the radio and typically damage or destroy it. A good purpose--but it doesn't make the antenna any more efficient, it is just a "spatter shield" that is blocking the "spatter" coming back down the antenna cable. An antenna can radiate power, or absorb power, or spit it back at the radio. Radiating power is the best trick. Absorbing power is a great way to hide a poor design because it "matches" everything. But for practical reasons, an antenna tuner is usually the best solution. Pretty much like a "lobster bib" when you're eating lobsters.(G)