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Thread: NAV Antenna location / style

  1. #1
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    NAV Antenna location / style

    So there's a guy that needs a NAV antenna, and the top of his new cub tail isn't an option.

    Now I've read alot about mounting internally in a chromoly fuselage, but I just can't help but think it can't work as well. Perhaps just lack of experience shooting an ILS is a cub.

    I found Bob Archer, and now his son Lee it seems, that make extremely simple 6061 aluminum antenna's designed to be mounted specifically inside a wingtip, tail, stab, wing.... or airframe. Some for tube and fabric, some for composite. And all the reports are good, that are printed....

    Anyone have any personal experience actually using (and/or installing) something like this, specifically for NAV ?

    https://sportcraftantennas.wordpress.com/

    http://home.hiwaay.net/~sbuc/journal/sportcraft.htm

    https://sportcraftantennas.wordpress.com/shop/

    pb

  2. #2
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Suck it up and put the whiskers on top of the vertical stab. That will give reasonable 360º performance.

    Read the limitations on these 'internal' style antennas. They need to be oriented correctly, which is impossible in a Cub wing tip, and they need to be kept away from ferrous metals, which rules out the fuselage. The guys that have flown them complain about directionality, which means they work better in certain directions and poorly in others.

    Neat antennas for wood or composite aircraft but not so great for steel tube or aluminum.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.
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  3. #3
    Grand Pooh Bah soyAnarchisto's Avatar
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    I put one of these Advanced Aircraft Electronics antennas mounted temporarily with zip ties in my nordo J3C and used a sportys handheld which had both com and nav functionality. Receive was okay, but transmit on com was not great - likely a combo of the lack of ground plane and the lack of transmission power from the battery powered handheld.

    https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catal...nnasystems.php

    They are cheap and easy to install/remove but you will very likely end up just putting a real whip antenna on the wing root fairing and/or the dipole whiskers on the vertical like everyone else.

  4. #4

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    Listen to Web - and remember, you need a "balun" to hook the coax to the nav antenna.

    Also remember - com antennae do not work for nav, and vice versa.
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  5. #5
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    YES! Antennas are designed for the frequency of the equipment they are connected to. This is why a com and an FM radio need different antennas in spite of being communications radios.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.

  6. #6
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    NAV Antenna location / style

    Okay you’ve gone a bit off track but there are a ton of RV guys using the archer NAV antenna in a wingtip. Haven’t seen a bad report.

    There is nothing about “sucking it up” and Installing in the tail. That ship sailed. Other options are the only answer.

    So no one here has used one.


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org

  7. #7
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Ok. Then install it.

    When you're at a good distance from a VOR, turn the aircraft in different directions. Check for loss of signal, especially when the nose or tail of the aircraft is pointed toward the VOR.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.

  8. #8
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    I've seen the regular rabbit ears mounted on the outside of the belly. Can't tell you anything about the quality of the reception though.
    N1PA

  9. #9
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Want better com with the VHF-5 mount it vertically. Want better Nav mount it horizontally. Compromise is 45*. It looks like a folded dipole antenna.

    Gary

  10. #10
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    Okay you’ve gone a bit off track but there are a ton of RV guys using the archer NAV antenna in a wingtip. Haven’t seen a bad report.

    There is nothing about “sucking it up” and Installing in the tail. That ship sailed. Other options are the only answer.

    So no one here has used one.


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org
    So, if you’ve already decided there’s only one way you’re going to install the antenna, why even ask the question. Do it and enjoy.

    MTV
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  11. #11
    frequent_flyer's Avatar
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    Did the OP ever define how this NAV antenna would be used? It's one thing to get an acceptable LOC signal at the FAF. Quite another to get an acceptable VOR signal at low altitude mid point on an airway.

    State the requirements then come up with a solution that meets them.

    If LOC from FAF is the only requirement I suspect a simple rubber ducky antenna mounted anywhere with a unobstructed forward view would be more than adequate. Who uses VOR for navigation anymore?
    Last edited by frequent_flyer; 09-24-2022 at 07:54 PM.

  12. #12
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    So, if you’ve already decided there’s only one way you’re going to install the antenna, why even ask the question. Do it and enjoy.

    MTV
    Looking for someone that has used one.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Farmboy; 09-25-2022 at 05:47 AM.
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  13. #13
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frequent_flyer View Post
    Did the OP ever define how this NAV antenna would be used? It's one thing to get an acceptable LOC signal at the FAF. Quite another to get an acceptable VOR signal at low altitude mid point on an airway.

    State the requirements then come up with a solution that meets them.

    If LOC from FAF is the only requirement I suspect a simple rubber ducky antenna mounted anywhere with a unobstructed forward view would be more than adequate. Who uses VOR for navigation anymore?
    Yes, LOC reception is the requirement, purely for ILS approaches. Otherwise has little value.


    Transmitted from my FlightPhone on fingers…

  14. #14
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    This: https://sportcraftantennas.wordpress...010/09/17/vor/ from your link doesn't seem to recommend the installation between two metal spars in a Cub.
    N1PA
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  15. #15

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    As I recall, I could not get localizer reception until I disconnected the coax from my dipole on the vertical fin and re-did the connection with a balun.

    Somebody had hooked the center conductor up to one of the horizontal elements and the shield to the other. I assume it had never worked - it sure didn't work for the KN-53.
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  16. #16
    marcusofcotton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    Looking for someone that has used one.
    The Builder of my Avid had installed one (or similar) on the inside of the bottom fabric behind the seats. It has worked fine for VOR NAV, but I've not shot any approaches with it.
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  17. #17
    Charlie Longley's Avatar
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    This is an interesting discussion. I am debating making my Super Cub IFR. Realistically all I need to do is shoot an ILS with it. Otherwise just WAAS GPS.

  18. #18
    frequent_flyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Longley View Post
    This is an interesting discussion. I am debating making my Super Cub IFR. Realistically all I need to do is shoot an ILS with it. Otherwise just WAAS GPS.
    ILS implies LOC and GS. Satisfactory GS reception may be more difficult than satisfactory VOR/LOC reception. It certainly requires more equipment.

    I have no ILS at my base airport but there are LPV approaches to 2 runways. Going LPV rather than ILS was an easy choice for me.

  19. #19
    aflyer's Avatar
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    On my RV8, I installed a Bob Archer style VOR antenna in one wingtip, and a COM in the other. The VOR seemed to work just fine, but the COM (which requires vertical polarization) did not. The best I could do in the space available was to put the COM at a 30 degree ish angle, and it ended up with about a five mile range.

    I did not do any detailed testing, but I did fly it around the country for 8 years. I ended up replacing the COM with a belly whip style antenna.
    If it ain't broke - improve it
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