2m Band Eggbeater Satellite Antenna

I’ve been chatting a lot recently on Matrix about antennas for the amateur satellites.

Since I’m currently working on building a ground station for the QO-100 satellite a group of satellite enthusiasts having been talking about the other satellites that are in orbit around this little planet of ours.

The ISS FM voice repeater on 145.990Mhz is very popular and is one of the easiest satellite stations to get into apparently. Many are using Eggbeater antennas to get an all round radiation pattern.

I’ve never looked into building or modelling such antennas and so I decided to have a go at modelling one and use it as an opportunity to see how it works.

All the modelling has been done with the antenna at 5m above ground level.

2m Band Eggbeater satellite Antenna with 8 Radials

Each loop has a circumference of 2.17m and each of the 8 radials is 0.5425m long and 5cm below the eggbeater elements. I’ve modelled the antenna using 5mm diameter conductors as this should make them resistant to wind etc. I am planning on using 5mm copper tubing for the build.

2m Band Eggbeater Satellite Antenna 3D Far Field Plot

The 3D far field plot shows a typical radiation pattern for such an antenna with a very good low angle gain for working satellites on the horizon and multiple high gain lobes as the radiation angle increases. At 5 degrees the RF is horizontally polarised, ideal for shooting directly out at the horizon. This is mainly due to the phasing of the two elements. At the higher angles the RF is vertically polarised thus giving the ability to receive both horizontal, vertical and some circular radiation at a good range of angles. There is however, a very slight null directly above the antenna and so signals to satellites directly above will be attenuated slightly compared to the other two high angle high gain lobes. This will also be the case on receive.

2m Band Eggbeater Satellite Antenna 2D Far Field Elevation Plot

With 5.42dBi gain at 5 Deg this antenna has a real good shot at the horizon with the maximum gain of 6.65dBi being at the much higher angle of 65 Deg. Overall this antenna should work well for all satellites from the horizon up to almost directly above the antenna.

2m Band Eggbeater satellite Antenna SWR Curve

With an SWR of 1.5:1 across most of the 2m band this antenna will match perfectly to 50 Ohm coax feed. It’s really important to remember that when building this antenna the loops must be fed with a phase angle difference of exactly 90 degrees. If this isn’t accurate then the radiation pattern is affected quite drastically and spoils the overall performance of the antenna.

Details on how to create the 90 Degree phase shift between the two elements using 2 pieces of 50 Ohm coax can be found in the excellent article by ON6WG.

More soon …

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