All of my projects embrace think learn do, a circular process of discovery. I think of an idea, do something, and learn along the way.
Over the next few months, I am setting off on a new adventure. My goal is to build some wideband active loops for diversity reception. Now, I could just spend around $1000 and buy some Wellbrook 1530 loop antennas. That would work, but I would not learn very much.
On the other hand, I am a novice when it comes to building and understanding loop antennas. My previous two projects have been mostly cookbook efforts. If I am really honest, I have never learned enough about circuit analysis, impedance matching, antenna theory and so on.
You could say I have a problem. I say I have an opportunity to think learn do a lot if I take on this DIY project. So here goes.
Over the past month, I have “assembled the literature”. Between web searches and reference texts, I have enough information to learn about and build some wideband active antennas. The web searches provided mainly project descriptions and experiences. I even struck gold on a couple of web sites that explained the theory behind these antennas. The reference texts, particularly those on electrically small antennas, are very useful but a challenge to follow.
My friend Jim VE6JF had recommended that I try simulation to help with learning. So, I have installed LTSpice to support modeling and analysis of different antenna and amplifier circuits. More on SPICE – an open source analog circuit simulator – later.
Think Learn Do easily translates to blog content
A great think learn do project provides a lot of content for this blog. My wideband magnetic loop project will result in a whole range of articles about antenna theory, circuit simulation and practical building.
Over the next few months, topics will include:
- Basic antenna notes which supplement what you will find in popular texts such as ARRL Handbook.
- Magnetic loop design and simulation, with a focus on using LTSpice to understand wideband variants.
- Actual construction of a pair of low cost wideband loops for diversity reception.
This project will take some time, so be patient.