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3 element beam....It's Done..

Help with installing an Antenna, or just choosing the right antenna to go with your radio, or your mobile.

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3 element beam....It's Done..

Post by 403 » Sunday, 19 July 2009, 14:29 PM

Has any one here ever built a 3 element beam for a cb?If so i would like to see some pics to put some ideas in my head.
I am thinking of building one and dont know were to start.I was thinking of useing and old tv ant for the base of the ant.
But if you have any ideas our thoughts on doing one let me know thanks.How long do the driven end need to be?





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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by Red Warrior » Sunday, 19 July 2009, 15:14 PM

A typical TV antenna boom is 7 feet long and the elements are 6 feet wide. A CB beam boom is 18 feet long and the shortest element is 18 feet wide.

Read here for additional info.

http://www.signalengineering.com/ultimate/yagi.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Use this calculator.

http://www.csgnetwork.com/antennae3ycalc.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by 403 » Sunday, 19 July 2009, 15:31 PM

Thanks Red Warrior That help me a bunch on the calculator.What would be the best thing to make the elements out of?
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by 'Doc » Sunday, 19 July 2009, 17:21 PM

At the most basic level, what you make an antenna out of has to conduct electricity. I don't know how to get any more 'basic' than that. From there, it needs to be strong enough to withstand the forces that will be acting on it and remain in one piece and usable. It also helps if it doesn't weight a ton per linear inch, light weight is good until it effects strength to some detrimental degree. So as weight goes up, so does the strength of the supporting/turning devices.
If the supporting structure is strong enough to hold the thing, making the antenna elements themselves out of wire will certainly work.
Using something that you already happen to have a lot of is also nice! But... don't count on having a lot of whatever it is you decide to use, you probably won't have it.
That leaves a huge amount of 'wiggle room' that you can use your imagination on.
All that's great, but it doesn't really tell you anything specific, right? Okay, why not use aluminum tubing?
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by 403 » Sunday, 19 July 2009, 17:30 PM

Aluminum tubing might be hard to come by but you think some small chain link fence tubing would work?And thanks for the help DOC.

O and one last thing how would i go about turning the ant without a rotor and having to unbolt it to move it???
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by 'Doc » Monday, 20 July 2009, 1:09 AM

Would that fence tubing/pipe work? Yes, but you're talking about at least doubling the weight.
Ever hear of something called an "arm-strong" rotor? :) Doesn't require electricity to use. Usually does require a sort of long handle of some kind. Got a really, really long bicycle chain and a couple of sprockets?
How do you take it down to move it? How about wadding it into a ball and pulling it behind your car? Maybe just put wheels on one end and tow it? Beats me, how would I know?
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by Night Crawler » Monday, 20 July 2009, 8:28 AM

403 wrote:Aluminum tubing might be hard to come by
Aluminum Tubing

http://www.airpartsinc.com/products/catalog-index.htm

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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by Red Warrior » Monday, 20 July 2009, 9:32 AM

A three element quad will give you more gain and is simpler to build. The signal engineering site link above describes one. Materials are a bunch cheaper as well.
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by Double D » Monday, 20 July 2009, 15:16 PM

Red Warrior wrote:A three element quad will give you more gain and is simpler to build. The signal engineering site link above describes one. Materials are a bunch cheaper as well.
The myth that the quad is better than a yagi was debunked years ago by Wayne Overbeck, N6NB. A 3 element quad has no more gain than a 3 element yagi.
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by Century21 » Monday, 20 July 2009, 15:56 PM

But they do normally have better F/B ratio's. And the standard quad or loops antenna may not be as good. Which is what someone at home would make. But there are better designs out there. The biggest problem with quads for a long time was the feed system. Signal engineering came up with a real basic one that works well.
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by Double D » Monday, 20 July 2009, 16:09 PM

Century21 wrote:But they do normally have better F/B ratio's. And the standard quad or loops antenna may not be as good. Which is what someone at home would make. But there are better designs out there. The biggest problem with quads for a long time was the feed system. Signal engineering came up with a real basic one that works well.
They do have better F/B ratios since loops couple strongly with other loops while yagi elements do not. :icon_e_smile:
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by 403 » Monday, 20 July 2009, 17:49 PM

Well i got the elements together and now i am trying to figure out what to use for the backbone of the ant.Was thinking of welding T posts together.

I used 1/2" conduit so it is realy light.Any ideas for the backbone i am just blank on what to use........ :?: :?:






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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by Century21 » Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 11:51 AM

Get a piece of pipe about 2 inchs, however long you want. Then cut 3 pieces 4 or 6 inches long and about 2 1/2 inches wide. With muffler clamps attach the pieces to the boom. And with smaller u-bolts attach the elements to the pieces. And do the same for the boom to mast plate, just make it a little bigger. I went to a scrap yard and got aluminum plates and cut and drilled them myself when i made my 10 element. My 6 element now, only cost me the price of a good gamma, think it was 50 bucks. All the other parts i had laying around.
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by 403 » Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 12:25 PM

what does this mean??Would it be the same to just do it for 27.2050 cause its half of the 40?Are am i wrong? :oops: I think that just went clean ofer my head!

To optimize the antenna for a frequency RANGE, do the calculations twice, once for the low end of the range and once for the high end; then average the two and plan to adjust the VSWR on both ends of the range as needed.
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by Century21 » Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 12:38 PM

When people normally talk about optimizing, its done for a particular channel normally, that where your highest gain is, or best rejection, depending on what your looking for. Because they dont ever reach there max at the same time or frequency. The middle of the Cb band is more like channel 18. If your lookin for specs that work good on all channels, then find ya some maco 3 element specs or something similiar. And I would really do some research on the internet and learn how they work and what does what before slapping it all together in a permanent location. Everyone has different ideas on how to tune one, adjust the swr and everythings else. Not to say that any one is wrong. Its what works best for you in your situation. Everything you see on the ground changes when its in the air. Normally for the better, But its unlrealistic to tune a beam 55 feet in the air.
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by 'Doc » Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 13:13 PM

Booms.
They hold everything up, so they should be strong enough to do that. Typically, that means bigger than what you might think, and depends entirely on whatever it is you make them out of. They can (and have been) be made of dang near anything, wood, metal, whatever. A '2 x 4' will certainly work. May not look good, but it can work. The only element that "has" to be insulated from the boom is the driven element (not in all cases, but it does make things simpler). Do that how ever you can come up with, lots of possibilities. Want to 'direct feed' the antenna? Do so, it works. Wanna use a gamma match? Do so, that works too. One good idea when directly feeding abeam is to put a coax choke near the feed point. Certainly not a 'cure all' but it does help, very seldom ever hurts. Another sort of good idea is to build the thing so that when that 40 pound canary lands on it, it doesn't break/bend much. That's not that much of an exaggeration, unfortunately (may not be a canary though).
Good luck!
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by Century21 » Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 13:19 PM

Ive made them out of wood and wire, direct feed and all. They will all work and follow the same principles. The Element are parasitic and really dont ever have to be connected to each other electrically at all. Before I bought a quad in 1998, I made one out of PVC pipe and all wire. Just to see if i liked it. It was quite ugly, but i bought one after wards. Think i had less then 20 dollars in the antenna.
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by Double D » Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 13:42 PM

Those online yagi calculators are a joke, all they do is give generic numbers and no details on performance. If you are thinking about direct feeding a yagi, i think knowing the feedpoint impedance is important, don't you? :icon_e_surprised:
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by 403 » Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 14:18 PM

Dunno i have never built one so i have no clue thats why i am full of questions...... :icon_e_geek: So your saying not to go but the calculator?

Well i have 15 bucks in to it so far the 30 ft stik of drill steel for the mast was given to me and for the boom i had the T posts already.And i

Paid for the 60ft of 1/2" conduit and U bolts so if it does not work i am not that bad in the hole.I guess ill go for ch 18 since it is about half.
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by Red Warrior » Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 14:35 PM

403 wrote:Dunno i have never built one so i have no clue thats why i am full of questions...... :icon_e_geek: So your saying not to go but the calculator?

Well i have 15 bucks in to it so far the 30 ft stik of drill steel for the mast was given to me and for the boom i had the T posts already.And i

Paid for the 60ft of 1/2" conduit and U bolts so if it does not work i am not that bad in the hole.I guess ill go for ch 18 since it is about half.
They say that 86.4% of all statistics are made up on the spot so I am going to invent some to make a point. Using a standard on-line yagi calculator will result in a design that will get you about 75% of the yagi maximum performance. Careful construction and quality materials will add about 5% to that figure. Using a professional calculator, a long boom, quality materials and careful construction will result in a beam that meets 89% of it's maximum design performance. In my antenna building efforts, the on-line calculators were "good enough" since I was using cheap materials and whatever I had for assembly. The only compromise I made to quality engineering was the use of an antenna analyzer to baseline and tune the results.

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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by 'Doc » Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 16:03 PM

Input impedance for a typical 3 element directly fed yagi is something between about 35 ohms and 50 ohms. So I would figure on the SWR being something between 1.2:1 and 1.7:1, give or take a little. The only way I know of getting any closer to it is by measuring it. And since everything around that antenna will affect it too, don't bet too much on what you think you'll end up with.
Adding parasitic elements to any antenna means that the input impedance is going to be lowered. That's the way it works...
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by 403 » Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 16:32 PM

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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by Double D » Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 17:22 PM

If you are going to direct feed that antenna, the driven element must be split an isolated from the boom. :ugeek:
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by 403 » Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 18:31 PM

Ok umm the other 2 (Director,Reflector)is it ok if they are grounded to the boom and boom to the mast?Cause i found a piece of pipe that fits snugg in the drill steel

I am going to weld the boom to the pipe that it going to slide in to the mast (Drill steel) and the mast is going to be grounded.


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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by Double D » Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 23:14 PM

403 wrote:Ok umm the other 2 (Director,Reflector)is it ok if they are grounded to the boom and boom to the mast?Cause i found a piece of pipe that fits snugg in the drill steel

I am going to weld the boom to the pipe that it going to slide in to the mast (Drill steel) and the mast is going to be grounded.
That's ok, just make sure that they are properly aligned on the boom. :chef:
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by 721HACKSAW » Wednesday, 22 July 2009, 6:16 AM

In my opinion the whole thing is going to be WAY TOO HEAVY! The Maco 3 element beam is made of an 1 1/2" 11' aluminum boom with 5/8" and 1/2" aluminum tubing for the elements. It weighs about 8 lbs. total. All of the engineering has been done for you, and in my opinion the cost is very little. If you coud use PVC and wire it would be much lighter.
Good luck.

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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by 403 » Wednesday, 22 July 2009, 12:16 PM

Do you think this is to close for the directors to be?



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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by Red Warrior » Wednesday, 22 July 2009, 12:36 PM

I hope you are referring to the active element (radiator) and not the passive element (director). Only the radiator needs to be isolated. Depends on the power you want to run (arcing), but generally no they are not too close.
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by 403 » Wednesday, 22 July 2009, 19:06 PM

Yeah thats what i ment.And i dont have the grounded.I just need to wire it in and silicone it water tight and make a balun for it.Can i test it on the ground?

Are should i put it in the air?O and i painted it flat green :mrgreen:


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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by Double D » Wednesday, 22 July 2009, 23:21 PM

Testing it too close to the ground can be problematic. I would get it at least 9 ft off the ground in order get reasonable measurements.
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by 'Doc » Thursday, 23 July 2009, 0:51 AM

Another trick is to stand it up on it's reflector (back side) and test it that way. Won't be exactly the same as when it's in the air, but close.
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by Red Warrior » Thursday, 23 July 2009, 9:19 AM

Ahhh ya painted it GREEN! Everyone knows pink antennas get out better. :lol:
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by Double D » Thursday, 23 July 2009, 11:21 AM

LOL, i think that's camoflage green... :P
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by 403 » Saturday, 25 July 2009, 15:58 PM

WELL SHE'S IS UP AND WOW!!!!!!!!The SWR is 1 on 1 and 1:3 on 40 and i can hear like crazy!!!
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Re: 3 element beam....It's Done..

Post by Double D » Sunday, 26 July 2009, 2:54 AM

It looks nice, good job. :cheers:
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Re: 3 element beam....It's Done..

Post by 403 » Sunday, 26 July 2009, 14:58 PM

Thanks Double D I didnt even have to ajust it at all and it works great :icon_e_geek:
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Re: 3 element beam....It's Done..

Post by 721HACKSAW » Monday, 27 July 2009, 7:03 AM

Can you turn it? How about wind load? Keep us updated.

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Re: 3 element beam....It's Done..

Post by 403 » Monday, 27 July 2009, 8:36 AM

721HACKSAW wrote:Can you turn it? How about wind load? Keep us updated.

Well it has been raining and wind has picked up for the last 2 days and has been good so far.And it turns to easy i need to make some kind of lock to keep it from turning after its set.And to turn it i have a piece of rope on the end of it.
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Re: 3 element beam....It's Done..

Post by Red Warrior » Monday, 27 July 2009, 9:10 AM

That's just awesome! How much money did you end up investing?
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Re: 3 element beam....It's Done..

Post by 403 » Monday, 27 July 2009, 10:07 AM

Red Warrior wrote:That's just awesome! How much money did you end up investing?

Well the only thing i had to buy was 6 10' 1/2 conduit and 10 U-bolts.It was 15-16 bucks and i had the rest. :icon_e_geek:
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Re: 3 element beam....It's Done..

Post by Red Warrior » Monday, 27 July 2009, 10:08 AM

In the best tradition of home-built antennas. Congratulations!
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Re: 3 element beam....It's Done..

Post by HomerBB » Monday, 27 July 2009, 21:44 PM

Great Job!
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Re: 3 element beam....It's Done..

Post by linx » Tuesday, 28 July 2009, 4:05 AM

Not 100% what I would have done, but I think ya did a good job, and was very creative in making the beam. Thanks for posting this.

Back to Hacksaw's question. Can you rotate it? Do you have to worry about wind problems?
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Re: 3 element beam....It's Done..

Post by 403 » Tuesday, 28 July 2009, 9:42 AM

403 wrote:
721HACKSAW wrote:Can you turn it? How about wind load? Keep us updated.

Well it has been raining and wind has picked up for the last 2 days and has been good so far.And it turns to easy i need to make some kind of lock to keep it from turning after its set.And to turn it i have a piece of rope on the end of it.
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Re: 3 element beam....It's Done..

Post by byuhnterII » Saturday, 29 August 2009, 9:37 AM

403 wrote:
403 wrote:
721HACKSAW wrote:Can you turn it? How about wind load? Keep us updated.

Well it has been raining and wind has picked up for the last 2 days and has been good so far.And it turns to easy i need to make some kind of lock to keep it from turning after its set.And to turn it i have a piece of rope on the end of it.
well you invent it all, NOW invent the wheel welded at window high with a pointing arrow and just go to window open window and point it dat-a-away GREAT JOB WELL DONE !!

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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by 209 first class » Saturday, 29 August 2009, 16:15 PM

Double D wrote:
Red Warrior wrote:A three element quad will give you more gain and is simpler to build. The signal engineering site link above describes one. Materials are a bunch cheaper as well.
The myth that the quad is better than a yagi was debunked years ago by Wayne Overbeck, N6NB. A 3 element quad has no more gain than a 3 element yagi.
******* where is this info available ? if all he proved was the gain factor, what about the other factors? so william orr and stuart cowan were wrong all these years? good lord. i need to study up on this. i found this link. good arguments. http://forums.qrz.com/archive/index.php/t-107399.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; one section says 'he put a quad and a yagi next to each other, and used a field strength meter" well if the antennas were next to each other the radiation patterns would be distorted and the results no good anyways. you also have to ask your self "maybe one performs better and has a less distorted radiation pattern in the presence of other metal" making it seem better on the measurements. i hang in an internet chatroom and these guys talk and snicker about the dudes who only have yagis. i mean these guys stations make ham radio stations seem like walkie talkies. 5k-30k watts? i figure with all that power, the antenna shouldent matter,lol. i am very interested in all of this and its further discussion. 209 massachusetts
2zero9 workin this top secret station in massachusetts.



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Re: 3 element beam....It's Done..

Post by 209 first class » Saturday, 29 August 2009, 16:18 PM

whoops, by the way, excellent job on the antenna. i got sidetracked. :drunken: astounding build quality too !. 209 massachusetts
2zero9 workin this top secret station in massachusetts.



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403
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Re: 3 element beam....It's Done..

Post by 403 » Monday, 31 August 2009, 8:35 AM

209 first class wrote:whoops, by the way, excellent job on the antenna. i got sidetracked. :drunken: astounding build quality too !. 209 massachusetts
Hey thx 2zero9 not bad for junk a? :mrgreen:
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Re: 3 element beam....

Post by Double D » Monday, 31 August 2009, 12:19 PM

209 first class wrote:******* where is this info available ? if all he proved was the gain factor, what about the other factors? so william orr and stuart cowan were wrong all these years? good lord. i need to study up on this. i found this link. good arguments. http://forums.qrz.com/archive/index.php/t-107399.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; one section says 'he put a quad and a yagi next to each other, and used a field strength meter" well if the antennas were next to each other the radiation patterns would be distorted and the results no good anyways. you also have to ask your self "maybe one performs better and has a less distorted radiation pattern in the presence of other metal" making it seem better on the measurements. i hang in an internet chatroom and these guys talk and snicker about the dudes who only have yagis. i mean these guys stations make ham radio stations seem like walkie talkies. 5k-30k watts? i figure with all that power, the antenna shouldent matter,lol. i am very interested in all of this and its further discussion. 209 massachusetts
Ham Radio magazine published the study in May 1979.
Last edited by Double D on Tuesday, 01 September 2009, 0:50 AM, edited 1 time in total.
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but to acquire wisdom, one must observe."



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Re: 3 element beam....It's Done..

Post by 403 » Monday, 31 August 2009, 22:08 PM

was it 1979????Wow i was born in 81 lol!!!! :mrgreen:
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