Vintage radio Antennas

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Vintage radio Antennas

Post by LarryC on Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:08 pm

We all collect the radios,
and some only focus on the radios, maybe a particular manufacturer only ( like Atwater Kent, or Philco),
others may round out their collections with some of the accessory items and commercial memorabilia associated with these radios but..........
WHAT ABOUT THE ANTENNAS!!??!!
Almost no one talks about Vintage radio antenna installations and their history.

I've been buying up a number of early radio antenna kits from AK, Philco, Silvertone, etc.
I am working on setting up a working example of the Atwater kent Type "D" Doublet antenna.
I also managed to get a great example of the AK DT matching transformer, not sure how rare they are as I have never seen an
example of one before. Pictures to follow after I take it a part to see if it's electrically in working condition or it it needs repairs.
Right now I currently have the antenna up, it's more of an off center doublet or WINDOM antenna than a true doublet but that's how I
am setting it up because of where the antenna is located in relation to my window.
It is about 30 feet on one element and I'm guessing 80 feet on the other. The feed line is a twisted pair right now, but will be a ladder line setup  at 2 inches spacing.
It won't be a true balanced setup but it will be close enough, also the WINDOM style is supposed to be better for multi wave than a straight dipole which is usually cut for the lowest frequency.
Most of the early radio antenna installations were a simple long wire, hung up where convenient, with a single wire lead in to where the radio was located.
Others were a bit more elaborate with either twisted pair lead ins or ladder line, also including a matching transformer at the antenna to lead in interface or even back at the radio, and a lightning arrester.
The AK DT transformer is for radios that did not have a balanced input for the antenna connections.

When I am done with this first antenna, it will have 3 glass strain insulators ( one on each end and one in the center), the ladder line lead in, a Philco lightning arrester,
and a good ground utilizing an 8 foot copper rod driven into the earth.
The wire is 18 gauge stranded copper that is rubber/plastic coated. ( Lowe's sells a 500 foot roll of this at a reasonable price, more than enough for a couple good antennas)

The Second antenna will be a recreation of the Silvertone system, this one did use twisted pair for the lead in and a antenna matching transformer on the antenna itself.
Why not try to have an authentic vintage style antenna to go with that vintage radio Smile
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Re: Vintage radio Antennas

Post by Greg Davis on Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:32 pm

Funny you should mention that. I was looking at a modern interpretation of a "Star Duster" CB base station antenna last week. I remember using the CB in the early '70s. I now have a base station and two walkie talkies, all with 40 channel coverage. I want to fire those puppies up... for absolutely no explicable reason.

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Re: Vintage radio Antennas

Post by LarryC on Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:04 pm

Why not??
I have heard some rumblings that there is a renewing interest in CB radio. Get yourself an antenna ( Vintage style of course Smile ) and get talking!!! bom
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Vintage radio Antennas

Post by Ed in W. PA on Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:42 pm

I presently have a very short ( approx. 45ft.) longwire antenna on the roof of my house that feeds into my basement radio workshop. It works good enough for most projects as I am located on top of a hill. I have since moved a few of my radios to the upstairs rooms and need an antenna or antennas to use on these sets and the outside antenna is not an option. I was thinking that perhaps a loop antenna would be my best option, however designing one that will work on BC as well as SW may be a challenge. Does anyone have any experience doing this or maybe a different approach to this problem.
Regards, Ed.

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Re: Vintage radio Antennas

Post by LarryC on Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:25 pm

Just do a search on the internet for loop antennas.
There's a ton of info available.
Just be warned that an indoor loop antenna will not be as sensitive as an outdoor antenna, contrary to what some may insist to
the contrary.
Also being that the loop will be inside your home, it will be subject to all the noise (Radio Frequency Interference)
your appliances, computers, etc are generating, the only upside here is that the loop can be turned ( rotated) to null out the interference in most cases.
Give it a try and see Smile
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