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 Eastern Pennsylvania Amateur Radio Association 

In Search Of Amateur Radio Excellence

 

WAVELENGTH CALCULATIONS 

Formulas are based on the speed of light / electricity (approx. 186,000 miles per second). We measure frequency by the number of cycles completed in one second. A frequency of 1 cycle per second would travel approx. 186,000 miles from start to finish. At a frequency of 2 cycles per second ,the first cycle would only travel 1/2 that distance or approx. 93,000 miles from start to finish. By the time the second cycle has completed (1 second) the full distance(186,000 miles) would have been covered. You can see from this that as the frequency increases the distance traveled by a single cycle decreases. A conductor long enough to accommodate 1/2 of one cycle is an efficient radiator. With frequencies in the (millions of cycles) megahertz range antenna lengths become quiet manageable.


Examples:
492/1Mhz = 492 feet at 10 Mhz. only 49.2 feet and at 100Mhz only 4.92 feet
492/Fmhz = 1/2 wavelength in free space

Free space calculations are used to:
define the height of an antenna above ground
define the spacing between antenna elements
define the length of a transmission line which may then be multiplied by it's Velocity Factor to
determine its electrical length.
define length of antenna elements other than dipole type antennas ( inverted v's)


Dipoles
468/Fmhz = 1/2 wave element for a dipole

Dipoles exhibit a phenomenon (defined as an" observable fact") of being about 5% shorter then the 492/Fmhz formulas predicts.(492* .95 = 467.4 or approx. 468). We call this shortening " capacitive end effect". This is a fact, there are several theories as to why this is true. Since this formula (468/Fmhz) is so well known it is often used where the 492/Fmhz should be used. Often with acceptable results, the 5% being close enough .BUT NOT ALWAYS. 

Mobirise

Address

Eastern Pennsylvania Amateur Radio Association
PO Box 521, Sciota, PA 18354

Board of Directors

President - Chris Saunders AJ3C
Vice President - Bill Carpenter AB3ME
Secretary - Kevn Forrest   W3KCF
Treasurer - Scott Phelan
KC3IAO
Board Member at Large
Eric Weis N3SWR