1.420 GHz Antenna

With on-board matching network.

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Antenna for radio astronomy DAS.

This is project is part of the Radio Astronomy SDR DAS project.

  • 1 × 0805CS-2N7EJTS Non-IC RF, IF, RFID, ZigBee Components / Inductors and Coils

  • Antenna Matching Success

    Robert Rouquette09/05/2020 at 18:52 0 comments

    The final boards have arrived.   After assembling the boards, the VNA shows that the port impedance is 54 Ohms at resonance with an S11 of -26dB.

    The blue 0805 inductor is 2.7 nH.

  • Latest Patch Antennas Arrived

    Robert Rouquette08/23/2020 at 20:46 0 comments

    The latest revision of the path antennas arrived.  The network analyzer indicates that the patch resonance frequency is no correctly centered at 1.420 GHz, but the impedance matching is still incorrect.  Working backwards from an input impedance of 86-40j Ohms with a 147.6 Ohm quarter-wave TL yields an impedance of 208+97j at the patch edge.  Changing the TL impedance to 112.8 Ohms (20 mils) reduces the input impedance to 50.2-23.4j.  The imaginary part can then be canceled out with a 2.7nH series inductor.  I've submitted the revised board to OSH Park.

  • After Dark Characterization

    Robert Rouquette08/13/2020 at 16:24 0 comments

    I've completed characterization of the "after dark" prototype boards, and the FR4 material has significantly lower relative permittivity than the standard purple boards.

    TL LengthTL 1/2 Wave ResonanceResonance Period
    0.0254 m 2.920 GHz0.3425 ns
    0.0381 m2.040 GHz0.4902 ns
    0.0508 m1.553 GHz0.6439 ns

    Performing a regression between the length and resonance period yields a fairly clean result:

    This indicates that the phase velocity is 0.1685 m / ns which results in a relative permittivity of 3.164:

    In summary:
    • purple boards: 4.202 relative permittivity
    • after dark: 3.164 relative permittivity

  • Patch Antennas Arrived

    Robert Rouquette08/10/2020 at 18:16 0 comments

    The patch antenna boards have arrived.  The measured resonant frequency is 1.311 GHz, so I've adjusted the patch size proportionately and sent the revised boards off to OSH Park.  I also added mounting holes on the off chance that the center frequency is correct this time.

  • Antenna Design Change

    Robert Rouquette07/23/2020 at 21:25 0 comments

    So, after reviewing the antenna design and characterizing the FR4 material, it has become apparent to me that my initial log-periodic design is simply incorrect.  The substrate permittivity only affects the feed line line impedance and does not change the phase velocity of the radiators.  As a result the antenna simply does not work, and would need to be twice as large to operate correctly.  A board that large would be prohibitively expensive for a single antenna, so I've decided to pivot to a patch-based array design that is dual polarized.  This effectively gives me two antennas in the same footprint and should also improve better beam symmetry.  My prototype patch layout is shown below.

    Once I've verified the resonant frequency of the patch, and the port isolation, I'll complete the array layout.    The final design will contain four patches in a grid layout with combiners and impedance matching to produce the broadside radiation pattern. The final board dimensions are expected to be 8 in. x 8 in.

  • Prototype Characterization Complete

    Robert Rouquette07/21/2020 at 15:39 0 comments

    I've completed characterization of the purple prototype boards, and the FR4 material is surprisingly good.

    TL LengthTL 1/2 Wave ResonanceResonance Period
    0.0254 m
    2.847 GHz0.3512 ns
    0.0381 m1.870 GHz0.5347 ns
    0.0508 m1.432 GHz0.6983 ns

    Performing a regression between the length and resonance period yields a fairly clean result:

    This indicates that the phase velocity is 0.1462 m / ns which results in a relative permittivity of 4.202:

    I'm still waiting on the after dark boards.

  • Characterization Boards Arrived

    Robert Rouquette07/20/2020 at 19:36 0 comments

    Finally received the characterization boards form OSH Park.  Sadly the "after dark" boards they sent me were from a different customer, so I only have the regular purple prototype boards at the moment.

    I'll populate them and compute the permittivity tonight.

  • FR4 Permittivity Issues

    Robert Rouquette07/02/2020 at 21:35 0 comments

    I assembled the board with components I had on hand to test the LNA and noticed some issues.  The LNA circuit itself works correctly and produces about 19dB of gain.  The antenna itself, however, does not appear to operate correctly.  I suspect this is a result of the difference between the OSH Park prototype boards and their "After Dark" process.  In an effort to preserve my sanity, I've ordered some simple characterization boards to compare the two processes.  The boards have three open-ended transmission lines to allow for measuring the permittivity at different frequencies.

  • Received circuit boards

    Robert Rouquette06/22/2020 at 17:47 0 comments

    I received the circuits from OSH Park today.  I'll assemble them once the parts arrive.

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