[amsat-bb] Egg beater antenna

Rico van Genugten rico.van.genugten at gmail.com
Wed Mar 16 09:04:20 UTC 2016

Hi Guys,

The main problem I'm having with omni antennas for sat work is the mounting
height. In short, this is the dilemma:
 - Mount it too low: horizon is obstructed badly
 - Mount it too high: antenna radiation pattern is distorted badly

In a lot of simulations you find online the ground systems of omni antennas
(radials, screen, you name it) are modeled in the same plane as the earth
surface, simulating a situation where the antenna is mounted very low. Or
worse: the antenna is modeled over perfect earth, as if the ground system
was solid, perfectly conducting and infinite in size (could be a good
approximation at sea, but definitely not in a typical home situation). To
simulate a more realistic situation I modeled the ground system (radials)
at the actual mounting height above the earth surface, with the radiating
elements above it.

In my case the antenna would be mounted at about 10 meters (33 feet) height
to get a clear view of the horizon. What I see when I simulate that
situation is that the ground system (radials) on an eggbeater works
perfectly to fix the near field of the antenna, i.e. to get a nice SWR and
even push the radiation pattern upwards, but it does little about the far
field of the antenna. What you typically see when you mount a (partially)
horizontally polarized omni at several times the wavelengths above earth,
you get very deep peaks and throughs varying with elevation. This is
because the signal arrives via several paths: it arrives directly, but also
via earth reflections. This results in constructive or destructive
interference depending on the elevation angle. This can be clearly observed
in this eggbeater simulation:

Eggbeater at 10m: http://postimg.org/image/p973lofrz/

Other (partially) horizontal omni's show the same effect. For example this
is a Lindenblad as I have built (EZ Lindenblad design by Tony Monteiro

Lindenblad at 10m: http://postimg.org/image/rrssmd1i7/

Of course these simulations don't take into account that the antenna isn't
mounted in free space but that there are buildings, trees, etc. nearby, but
the effect was pretty pronounced when I was testing my Lindenblad at about
10m height at a recent ARISS contact, notice the sharp signal drops every
now and then. This is not caused by polarization mismatch since a
Lindenblad is cross polarized for every elevation angle, unlike an
eggbeater which becomes horizontal near the horizon.

Contact: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6H6lqluWLwc
Antenna situation:

For uplink this is not a problem, since even with 5 watts the uplink power
is usually orders of magnitude bigger than the downlink power and I don't
really notice the peaks and throughs. But on downlink this could really be
a dealbreaker on difficult QSO's, but of course as always, ymmv. The amount
of peaks and throughs increases as you mount the antenna higher, so if you
are able to mount the antenna very low and still see the horizon this might
not be an issue.

Now I'm wondering, would you see the same effect with a yagi when it is
mounted at several wavelengths height and pointed to the horizon?
Especially near sea this effect should be pretty pronounced. Did anyone
ever experience this? Maybe I should spend some simulation time on this..


On Wed, Mar 16, 2016 at 1:13 AM, Dick Illman <ah6ez01 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I have successfully used UHF and VHF Egg Beaters in my attic for years. I
> used a TS2000 and ARR transceiver preamps (TS2000 is pretty deaf). I had
> 100 feet of 9913 cable.
> 73 Dick Illman
> AH6EZ/W7
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