As with any standard three element design, this three element direct connect antenna utilizes a reflector and a director to achieve gain. As in the case of the 'Tiny 2',
the front-to-back was sacrificed in order to squeeze as much gain as possible from the antenna. I managed to obtain 6.52 dB over a dipole in free space while still
retaining a direct connect antenna. Right up front you might ask, "Why build this antenna rather than some other design?". The first reason is the very fact that it IS a
direct connect antenna. The design allows you to hook your cable directly to the antenna without the time consuming process of matching, yet the SWR is just 1.18
to 1. The 6 1/2 dBd gain is of course a nice side bonus. Another nice feature of this design is the element diameter. Each of the elements is made from 1 inch
diameter aluminum tubing. I like the fact that you don't have to play around sliding elements in and out trying to get to the proper lengths. You simply cut each to the
lengths shown in the side bar and position the elements on the boom. It is also easy to find 1 inch furniture tips at local hardware stores which give the antenna a
nice professional look!
on the boom
Things to keep in mind: You will need a boom length of about 4 feet 2 inches even though the distance between the reflector and the director is only 4 feet. The
extra space is needed to allow for the use of mounting brackets to hold each element to the boom. Center each of the elements by using the center point column in
the chart above. When mounting the driven element, remember that it is split at the center and must be insulated from the boom, you can use PVC pipe to
accomplish this. It not only helps insulate the elements, but also supports them at the same time.
The proper location for connecting the mast is exactly center, either between the driven element and the director, or between the driven element and the reflector.
Connecting a metallic mast any closer to the elements will detune the antenna causing a higher SWR.
To Build Or Not To Build, That Is The Question
There are so many antenna designs out there that it is sometimes difficult to decide which one is worth while building. The simplicity of this antenna makes it perfect
for clubs and organizations that are looking for a "First Time" antenna project.