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The J-pole, X-pole and the new Y-pole Antenna

By Edward J. Shortridge W4JOQ Introduction The new Y-pole antenna has been derived from the X-pole antenna, which was discussed in detail in an article titled "The J-pole, and now the new X-pole antenna" by Edward J. Shortridge, published in antenneX, Issue 149, September 2009. The Y-pole antenna was developed primarily to overcome the possible problems with static buildup on the radiator of the X-pole antenna. This buildup of a high-voltage static charge is possible because the radiator is isolated from any ground return path, and may not have an insulated covering to protect it from charged air or rain particles. Attempts were made on the X-pole antenna to provide a discharge path without destroying its excellent SWR bandwidth and gain. Since the nearest point to ground is the highest impedance end of the radiator, only a very high resistance, in the order of 100,000 to 500,000 Ohms, appeared practical. Unfortunately, when transmitting power levels of 100 W are considered the resistor dissipation was over 1.5 W. This was not considered practical, particularly since such a high value of resistance may not discharge at an adequate rate compared to the possible static buildup. The new Y-pole antenna does not use a small pico-Farad top coupling capacitor as used in the X-pole, but instead, uses Mutual-inductive coupling to an isolated radiator. This type of coupling ties the radiator electrically more closely to the Quarter-wave matching section and we lose the possibility of having two isolated resonant components tied together with a small pico-Farad capacitor, thus achieving a wide over-coupled bandwidth. Nevertheless, the Y-pole antenna has good SWR across the band and can match to 50 Ohms without the aid of tapping the transmission line up on the Quarter-wave matching transformer. In not having to tap, the need for a series capacitive reactants in series with the source is eliminated.

Figure 2

A J-pole antenna covering 28 to 29.7 MHz band This antenna was shown in the previous referenced article and is reshown here again in Figures 1, 2 and 3, as the basis of comparison for this article.
Figure 1

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As you can see in Figure 1, this antenna is very typical, but wires 4, 5 of the Quarter-wave matching section were arbitrarily spaced 8.9 inches apart. The source impedance of this section is only 26 Ohms and in order to match 50 Ohms, they would have to be spaced considerably further. If this was done, the far-field radiation Figure 3 pattern would be more loppedsided. If a tap on the Quarter-wave transformer was provided, there would be no improvement in the SWR bandwidth. So instead, Series-section matching was used to match the 26 Ohms of the antenna to 50 Ohms. The J-pole antenna SWR bandwidth as shown in Figure 3 is considered inadequate, and can only be improved by a much wider spacing of wires 4 and 5. With a spacing of 30 inches, a source impedance of 50 Ohms can be obtained, but the SWR bandwidth across the 10-meter band would be only improved to a value of 2/1. Therefore, it might be said that the J-pole antenna is not a suitable antenna for the 27-29.7 MHz or 50-54 MHz bands, which are fairly wide band percentage-wise. For the 2-meter band, a scaled-up version would have a suitable SWR bandwidth. An X-pole antenna covering 28 to 29.7 MHz band As explained in the previous article, the Xpole antenna was developed to overcome the inadequate SWR bandwidth of the J-pole antenna. Figure 4 shows this improved antenna, which has the radiator separated from the Quarter-wave matching section by the insertion of a 6 pico-Farad capacitor. The dimensions shown in Figure 5 indicates that the same spacing was to used for wires 4 and 5, but the SWR bandwidth, as shown in Figure 6, has improved drastically to below 1.1/1 SWR across the entire band.
Figure 5

Figure 4

All of the improvement is due to separating the Radiator from the Quarter-wave matching section, and allowing each of these to act as isolated Figure 6 resonators. When a small coupling capacitor is used for top-coupling, it can be adjusted to bring the coupling beyond critical coupling, to achieve a much wider SWR bandwidth in this antenna.
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antenneX Issue No. 150 October 2009

A Y-pole antenna covering 28 to 29.7 MHz band with a 50 Ohm Source The X-pole antenna uses an isolated radiator that is capacitive top-coupled to a Quarter-wave matching section. If this coupling capacitor is deleted, it is possible to use mutualinductive coupling instead to achieve good SWR bandwidth, and a good match to 50 Ohms without resorting to any additional matching lines. This can be done with a much closer spacing of the Quarter-wave wires. This is called the Y-pole antenna.
Figure 8

Figure 7 and 8 shows this 50 Ohm Y-pole antenna, and as you can see, it is almost the same configuration as the X-pole antenna, but without the top pico-Farad capacitor. There is an additional Quarter-wavelength wire section added onto wire 5, extending its length up to, and parallel with the center of the radiator wire 1. This added wire might be considered as having capacitive coupling to the radiator, but because of its length, the coupling can be considered Mutual-Inductive Coupling. Because of the use of this type of coupling, the impedance presented to the top of the Quarter-wave matching section is very much lower than that achieved by either the J-pole or the X-pole antennas. This allows the impedance of the Quarter-wave matching section to be much lower to achieve a 50 Ohm Source impedance. Therefore, as you can see in Figures 7 and 8, wires 4 and 5 are spaced only 4.4 inches apart. Whereas, the Xpole antenna had to use a wire spacing of 8.9 inches in order to match to a 50 Ohm Source. The J-pole antenna, which is the same 8.9 inches, has an Figure 7 impedance of 26 Ohms, and that spacing had to be moved to 30 inches separation in order to achieve a 50 Ohm Source impedance. The Use of Mutual-inductive Coupling with the same spacing as the Quarter-wave matching wire spacing, cannot produce the excellent SWR bandwidth achieved with the X-pole antenna, but it can achieve an adequate SWR across the band, far better than the J-pole antenna. Figure 9 shows the SWR bandwidth that is achieved by this Y-pole antenna. The SWR is approximately 1.7/1 at the band edges, and most modern HF transceivers that have internal antenna tuners can handle this SWR without any difficulty.

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Figure 9

Figure 10

Figure 9 also shows that the antenna has a radiated gain of 2.48 dBi in one direction and 1.8 dBi in the other direction at 12. Figure 10 shows the radiated gain patterns for both the Azimuth and Elevation. The maximum antenna gain is shown as 3.24 dBi at an angle of 37.5. These figures are generally consistent with the other previous antennas. The Radiator of this Y-pole antenna is isolated from ground and can be prone to picking up a high-voltage static charge under certain weather conditions. To avoid this, one solution is to cover the radiator with a thin highly insulated coating, so that charged air and rain particles are insulated from the metal surface of the radiator. Another solution to the problem is to provide a resistive discharge path for the static charge in a manner that does not alter the antenna characteristics. This was tried with the X-pole
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antenna, but the power dissipation in the resistor was too great. Figure 11 shows the same Y-pole antenna but, as you will note, a resistive load of 10,000 Ohms has been connected from the junction of wires 1 and 2, which is the lowest impedance point of the Radiator to the top of wire 3. If a transmitter power of 100 W is used, the dissipation of this resistor will be in the order of 0.58 W, which is a tolerable amount. Placing this resistor at this point has no noticeable effect on the SWR bandwidth and very minimal effect on the radiation gain. Therefore, the resistor or the insulated coating can be used, but a lightning spark gap is also recommended. A Y-pole antenna covering 28 to 29.7 MHz band with Series-section matching to a 50 Ohm Source If the SWR bandwidth as shown in Figure 9 is not low enough to be acceptable, it is possible to improve it by increasing the spacing of wires 3 and 5, so that they are further from wires 2 and 4, as shown in Figure 12 and 13 The spacing was adjusted in this antenna to 7.3 inches, which gave a Source impedance of 112.5 Ohms. A 1/4 wL 85.9 inches long 75 Ohm matching line L1 is used, as shown in Figure 12, in order to match this impedance to a 50 Ohms Source. A SWR of approximately 1.3/1 was obtained on the band edges, and gains of 2.56 dBi in one direction and 1.8 dBi in the other direction appear normal, as shown in Figure 14. The Far-field radiation as shown in the elevation view, Figure 15, is a typical 3.27 dBi at 38. The static discharge methods used in previous antenna can also be used in this one, but it might not be necessary in either case. The Radiator in each of these antennas is separated from wire 4 by a distance of 2 inches, it is very doubtful that a static buildup can occur that would cause a discharge across such a wide gap. Also, the Radiator in each case is separated at an even greater distance from wire 3. Therefore, the static discharge steps may not be necessary in either of these two antennas.

Figure 11

Figure 12

Figure 13

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Figure 14

Figure 15

Mounting the Antenna to the Mast Most J-pole antennas are connected to the Mast in a manner so that the Mast is in line with the Radiator as shown in Figure 1. This is not the best location for the lowest RF currents on the Mast. Instead, if the antenna is shifted to where wire 5 connects directly to the Mast, the RF currents can be greatly reduced and there will be minimal effects on the radiation gain. The X-pole, as shown in Figure 4, is connected with wire 5 connected directly to the Mast and the RF currents are minimal under this condition. The Y-pole antennas as shown in Figure 7 and 12 are mounted with the Radiators in-line with the Mast. This gives the lowest RF currents. The "Y-pole One" antenna covering 28 to 29.7 MHz All of the Y-pole antennas shown previously were all elevated above ground. If the half wave radiator is brought down close to ground, a different feed arrangement can be used which eliminates the need for a trap to isolate the radiator from the transmission line. I have taken the liberty to call this new type of feed "The Y-pole One" antenna. This antenna is shown in Figure 16. It consists of a shortened radiator, wires 1 thru 4, which uses step-diameter aluminum tubing and it is isolated and separated from all other parts of the antenna by 7.75 inches.

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In order to use a Real/High accuracy ground during Modeling, 6 quarter wave #10 AWG radials, which are mounted 0.5 inches above Average Soil are used. These radials are not necessarily for the antenna to function in actual use. Instead, a more modest ground rod can be used. Wires 5, 6 and 7 form a step-diameter coupling rod with a 200 Ohm source impedance located 11.0 inches up on wire 5. Normally, this coupling rod feed point would present a highly Capacitive reactive component along with the 200 Ohm resistive component. In order to achieve the best SWR, this reactance must be tuned out, with the use of discrete components, or a shorted coaxial stub. Another method was used instead. The main radiator, which typically is about 16.75 feet long, can be shortened to 14.75 feet long in order to tune out all of the Capacitive reactance at the source. Of course, this shortened radiator will not project this high, so there will be a very slight loss of radiated gain, which might amount to approximately 0.1 to 0.2 dB. Figure 17 shows all of the dimensions for this antenna but keep in mind that the 6 ground radial can be reduced to a limited ground. Figure 18 shows that this antenna presents a very good SWR of about 1.25/1 across the entire 10-meter band, using a 200 Ohm Source impedance. There are several ways to match this 200 Ohm impedance to 50 Ohms. The original intent was to use a 200/50 Ohm Unun, which would match nicely, but other methods will be discussed later.
Figure 16

Figure 17

Figure 18

The Far-field radiation pattern is shown in Figure 19 and it has again of 0.95 dBi at 22 in one direction and a gain slightly less than in the other direction. A typical full one-half wave length would produce slightly more.

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Figure 19

Another means of matching the 200 Ohm source impedance to 50 Ohms, is to use a 100 Ohm quarter wave coaxial transformer. The closest coaxial cable impedance would be 93 Ohms. When this was used, it did not provide a perfect match, and it was somewhat lopsided across the bandwidth. When the length was reduced from 0.21wl, with a velocity factor of VP= 0.84, to a length of 0.20wL, a much more uniform SWR was attained as shown in figure 20. For most uses this seems adequate, but it can be improved.

Figure 20

The radiator spacing from the coupling rod is 7.75 inches, and it has been found, that this spacing can be changed to 9.0 inches, which produces a more perfect match as shown in Figure 21. The symmetry of this is not quite as good as shown in Figure 18, but it seems adequate considering that this is the only change.

Figure 21

The mounting of the main radiator was taken into account in the modeling of this antenna, as shown in Figure 22. The main radiator can be mounted with a strong insulated support beneath with a length of 7 inches. The normal source on wire 5 is located 11 inches above the wire 7. This provides adequate room to attach supporting insulators for the main radiator. Keep in mind that the bottom end of the main radiator is very high impedance and any

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insulator must be very low capacitance so the radiator resonance is not altered. Of course, if some de-tuning occurs, the length of wire 1 at the top of the radiator can be altered slightly. To assure that the antenna has a sturdy mount, it is possible to increase the diameter of the main support wire 7, and the remaining distance up to the source feed point. It is unlikely that such a change will have any de-tuning effects on the antenna. The typical half wave radiator that is mounted close to ground requires a good tuned-trap, or a high inductance choke using coaxial cable. The "Y-pole One antenna eliminates the necessity for such an items. If the 93 Ohm quarter-wave matching section is used, there are no other components used except the coupling rod. This length of coax also becomes part of the transmission line, so most of any loss can be considered transmission loss, and not matching line loss.

Figure 21

Conclusions The X-pole antenna as described in this and the previous article can produce an SWR bandwidth far superior to most antennas and this band width can readily be controlled by the choice of a small coupling capacitor value. Static buildup on the radiator might destroy such a capacitor, but if this capacitor is constructed using the insulation of a large diameter coaxial cable, along with a spark gap, this problem can be overcome. If you intend to operate on the 10and 6-meter bands, you might consider such an antenna since its bandwidth is well-suited to the width of these bands. The Y-pole antennas as described have one basic advantage over the X-pole antenna and that is the elimination of a small pico-Farad capacitor by the use of Mutual-inductive coupling instead. When this type of coupling is used, the Radiator is well isolated and unlikely to discharge to the remaining part of the antenna. This antenna can give moderately good SWR across the band with much closer spaced wires. This reduces some of the offset to the far-field radiation pattern. When the Y-pole antenna is scaled to the VHF frequencies, such as 2 meters, and the wire sizes are reduced to #14 thru #20 AWG, it can be placed in smaller diameter fiberglass housing or whips than an X-pole or J-pole antenna. Its SWR bandwidth should be far superior to the J-pole. The use of Mutual-inductive coupling to feed a Radiator is a totally different method than normally used. If given suitable consideration, it may lead to use in other types of antennas. Comments are welcome at eshortridge@verizon.net -30-

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Brief Biography of Author

Edward J. Shortridge, W4JOQ has been a licensed amateur for 70+ years. Ed began his interest in radio and electronics at the early age of 14, when the VHF/UHF state-of-the-art was superregenerative tube detectors, Long-Line oscillator transmitters, using #45 or #10 tubes. The only choice of frequency measuring devices at that time was Lecher Wires. He became a licensed Amateur radio operator at 18 years of age. He joined the Naval reserves as a radioman in order to save money for college. After radio school, he was assigned to the Key West naval base. He had duty in the radio laboratory, radio receiving room, and was in charge of the main transmitter room. Ed met his wife Marilyn while stationed at the Key West Naval base (NAR) and they were happily married together for only a short period of time before a national emergency was declared and he was soon shipped overseas during World War II. He had to remain in the U.S. Navy for a total of five years. He was chief radioman for two years as part of Admiral Halls staff of the 5th Amphibious Force and participated in invasions of Algeria, Italy (Salerno), Normandy (Omaha Beach), Philippine Islands and Okinawa. After returning to civilian life he fathered two children and worked at the following companies in Miami, Florida: Communications Company- Chief engineer-22 years Microtenna-Chief engineer-2 years Wackenhut Electronics-Chief engineer-3 years Shakespeare Marine Electronics-Chief Engineer - 7 years Hallicrafters-Director of radio engineering-3 years Aerocom-Chief engineer-7 years First VHF/UHF land mobile radio, and repeaters Balloon mounted VHF/UHF repeaters for Vietnam war Moon Landing VHF radio communication simulation Ground base to satellite communications HF and VHF Marine radio Marine depth finding equipment US military radio equipment Antenna design and manufacturing

Profession was directly involved in the design and development of:

Constant study, correspondence and seminar courses, along with professional engineering study groups, provided him with a background for continued electronic knowledge enhancement. His antenna design experience at several of these companies propelled his interest and experience in antenna design.

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He retired in 1990, built a very nice retirement home. But in 1992, one third of it was destroyed by Hurricane Andrew, with all the ham radio, very good test equipment and the entire engineering library. In 1999, Ed bought a 116 acre mountain cove in western North Carolina and built another home. Being in a mountain cove, there were concerns about what type of antenna could be used to get signals out of the cove, so the purchase of an EZNEC antenna modeling program helped. Over his engineering career, he designed many types of antennas, but had to do it the hard way without the new technological tools that emerged. There were many ideas over the years, but they had been too difficult, and time-consuming to pursue. With the new modeling program, it became much easier to come up with designs. Several basic ideas that seemed a standout were worked on. They worked out quite well and were expanded into a large variety of antennas. First it was wideband antennas, but another basic idea was adaptable to widening most narrow-band antennas. So far, Ed has spent 9 years of constant full-time effort on antenna designs, and is very excited about many ideas and concepts. There is not enough time in the day to satisfy his curiosity. In July 2009, Ed turned 89 years of age, still in relatively good health. His Grandfather lived to be 98 and was quite active throughout. Possibly, Ed can equal or even outlive him and have many more years of productive life ahead with the hope of contributing to the understanding of antennas.

antenneX Online Issue No. 150 October 2009 Send mail to webmaster@antennex.com with questions or comments. Copyright 1988-2009 All rights reserved - antenneX

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