Radio and Antenna Checks: All you need to know

For any amateur radio, Antenna is the key for transmission. An antenna is an interface that is between radio waves that are traveling through space as well as electric current moving in metal conductors.

During transmission, the radio transmitter sends out an electric current to the terminals of the Antenna. Afterward, the Antenna radiates energy from the electric current in the form of electromagnetic waves or radio waves.

Common Antenna Problems

Most common antenna problems occur as a result of improper mounting. One such example is Trunk Lip mounts; it stresses both Antenna and mounts while the trunk is being accessed. This whole problem causes the holding screws to loosen with each operation.

Some other problems are related to the Radio Frequency Grounding system. Make sure to have a good grounding system to avoid this problem. Otherwise, you will lose most of your signals.

The problem may also arise if your antenna coupler starts tuning on most bands. It may not be able to find a match on any one or two bands.

Troubleshooting Antenna Problems

Here are some of the ways through which you can troubleshoot Antenna related problems:

Whenever you face a problem after a period of successful operation, check the connectors and other junction points. The smartuner in your system keeps hiding the initial damage in the Antenna system and the Radio Frequency ground until it has got too bad. So, make sure to check all the connections very carefully.

If you have been using an unbalanced antenna such as long, random wire or vertical or inverted L, then make sure that you have adequate radio frequency ground. A simple test can be done to check the adequacy of the Radio Frequency ground.

Replace the current Radio Frequency ground with a spread of 3-5 wires on the coupler. If your Antenna has started working with this ground system, then you need to work on your existing Radio Frequency ground system.

Your Antenna might not be working because of the lack of proper height. A simple way to check this problem is to wrap the end of the Antenna with a wire.

Extend the wire out to a tree or high support. The extra length will change the feed point impedance and tuning problem. If this helps your system to work better, then you need a longer antenna as a permanent solution.

Light Bulb Test is another way to check the antenna problem. If these steps don’t help you, then you should get your radio checked by a certified radio technician.

To sum it up

The Antenna is a necessity of every amateur radio. A good quality antenna helps in the smooth transmission of signals and frequencies. Any fault in the Antenna will hamper the radio transmission. Some of the problems can be related to other devices as well. So, it is necessary to check where the problem lies and take a step accordingly. Some of the most common issues and their way to troubleshoot are listed above.

Sources