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ANTENTOP- 02- 2004, # 006  

Multirange  Trap Antennas




Multirange trap antenna: history and fundamentals


 Recently multirange trap antennas are widespread among  radioamateurs. As matter of fact, the type of antennas was invented in the USA by H. K. Morgan, US patent # 2229856, 1938 (by reference [1]). Probably the first article about a trap antenna was published in reference  [2] at 1940. So, what is the antenna and how is it work? Let’s see it on the example of a ham vertical trap antenna in order to simplify a problem.   Figure 1 shows us a schematic of such antenna.

Igor Grigorov, Rk3ZK


15 meters: By length of the Section B we tune the antenna parts “Section 1 plus L1C1 plus Section B” to resonance to 15-meters.  Trap L2C2 turn off upper antenna parts behind the trap from operation of the antenna when 15 meters range is used.


20 meters: By length of the Section C we tune the antenna parts “Section 1 plus L1C1 plus Section B plus Section C” to resonance to 20-meters. 



Figure 1 A ham vertical trap antenna


10 meters: Section A is tuned for operation on 10-meters by its length. Trap L1C1 turn off upper antenna parts behind the trap from operation of the antenna when 10 meters range is used.

And so on for other ranges: In the similar way the antenna would be tuned for others ham HF- ranges. You see, it is possible to do an antenna for any number of HF- ranges! But there are several lacks. Upper parts of the antenna behind a proper trap do not use (or, practically do not use) for radiation. Another lack is that the antenna wire is broken at several places by trap circuits. Every trap circuits should be tune in to own resonance frequency. Trap circuits must have high temperature stability, because the antenna is used at the open air. Traps work at a resonance mode so a high level of RF voltage is across trap capacitors at transmission mode.  Thereof it needs to use a high quality capacitor for every of the traps.


Vertical trap antenna WA1LNQ: One of the most popular sample vertical trap antenna is the antenna WA1LNQ [2]. The antenna is used on 10 and 15 meters. Figure 2 shows the scheme for the antenna.


The antenna made from two insulated from each other metal tubes by length of 240,7 (section A)  and 62,9 (section B) centimeters and in OD 18 to 25 millimeters. The length of an insulating insertion is 5,8 centimeters.  Over the insulating part is spooled the trap spool. A copper tube in diameter of 3 to 5 mm is used for the spool, and the spool contains 2 turns with   step 1 turn on 25-mm of winding. Average diameter of the trap spool is 55-mm. As a trap capacitor is used a length of a 50-Ohm coaxial cable with an initial length equal to 80 centimeters.


Tuning of the Antenna WA1LNQ: At first, tune the antenna in 10-m range. At the tuning the length of the coaxial cable, that makes the trap capacitor, is gradually shortened to minimum SWR in 10 meters.  After this, tune the antenna to minimum SWR at 15 meters. It is possible to do by a small changing of the length of the upper section B.


Below you can see input impedance, SWR and DD of the antenna W1LNQ. The figures are obtained with the help of Free Antenna Simulation Program

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August 7, 2016 19:55

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