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Thread: radio/antenna installation

  1. #1

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    radio/antenna installation

    Hey everybody
    I'm building a Hatz biplane and am wondering about the radio. Got any suggestions to someone with no clue as to what would be the best way to go? Need to keep the radio as small as possible and need to know what/how to install an antenna to do the job before covering the fuselage. Thanks for thinking about it.

  2. #2
    http://www.bowersflybaby.com/tech/velcro.html

    http://www.bowersflybaby.com/stories/antenna.htm

    ...but with your steel tube fuselage, you'll want an external antenna.

    Ron Wanttaja

  3. #3
    DanChief's Avatar
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    I installed a whip antenna in my Chief. Works great with an old Sporty's SP-200 handheld radio!

    http://flightmusings.blogspot.com/20...nna-mount.html
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Dan McCormack
    Smoketown, PA (S37)
    N24286, 1940 Aeronca Chief 65-LA (Lycoming O-145-B2)
    CFI
    http://flightmusings.blogspot.com/

  4. #4

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    Dan is right, a handheld works fine, I use a Terra, a little bulky but stronger output than Sporty's.
    The vital part is a simple external antenna, for the radio to plug into, otherwise it will not transmit with any real strenght.

  5. #5

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    Thanks guys
    I have a Sportys handheld but hadn't considered mounting it. I will now. The external antenna installation looks simple enough. The articles were great. Food for thought...thanks again.
    gpugh

  6. #6
    DanChief's Avatar
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    My "mount" for the SP-200 consists of Velcro on the back and on the panel, with Zip Ties helping to keep it in place.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Dan McCormack
    Smoketown, PA (S37)
    N24286, 1940 Aeronca Chief 65-LA (Lycoming O-145-B2)
    CFI
    http://flightmusings.blogspot.com/

  7. #7

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    Now that we've answered his question....

    I'm going to put a handheld radio in my open cockpit plane that is aluminum tube and gusset. Do I need to plan on an extended antenna?
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  8. #8
    DanChief's Avatar
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    My Chief isn't open cockpit, but is aluminum tube and polyfiber. I mounted the whip antenna to the wing root fairing (aluminum strip) and it works great!
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Dan McCormack
    Smoketown, PA (S37)
    N24286, 1940 Aeronca Chief 65-LA (Lycoming O-145-B2)
    CFI
    http://flightmusings.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
    Neil's Avatar
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    It is surprising how well a cheap radio will work if it is connected to a good antenna that is properly installed. The simple rod type whip antennas will work as good as any for about the first 100 channels, then it starts loosing ground. That's why they are under 20 bucks. For a belly mount the AV-17 from R. A. Miller and the Comant Ci 122 work pretty good for the money. These antennas are wound which I'm told broadens the channel range significantly. The antenna must be mounted to a satisfactory ground plain. Most Biplanes have a large enough alluminum belly panel to create a good ground plain. A minimum ground plain would be about 18" in diameter. Try to keep the antenna far enough back so it isn't blanked out by the landing gear. Don't scrip on the antenna coax. The RG-58U has been used for years and works pretty good but the RG-400U is the new kid on the block and is a better cable, particularly for transponders. Have someone that has the proper tools make up the coax. Many transmit/receive problems come from improper connections.

    I have a King KY 97A connected to the AV-17 on the bottom of my Acro Sport and it works well. Even sitting inside a metal hangar with the door down I can talk and receive with airplanes flying overhead

  10. #10
    Eric Page's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Giger View Post
    Do I need to plan on an extended antenna?
    Short answer is definitely yes. The "rubber duckie" antennas that come with handhelds are a substantial compromise. They give up a lot in performance to obtain small size and flexibility. Pretty much any decent external antenna, properly mounted, will perform a lot better.
    Eric Page
    Member: EAA, AOPA, ALPA, NRA
    ATP: MEL / Comm: SEL, Glider / ATCS: CTO
    Map of Landings

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