2×3 2m/70cm Cross element yagi build instruction – compact that works

2x3 2m/70 cm Cross Yagi

Compact satellite communication antenna

If you’re a fan of satellite monitoring (hunting for birds) as they call it, you probably want a bigger antenna with lots of elements for good contacts. Long antennas are good for satellite contacts with low elevation angle now the downside of those antennas are the lengths and they are cumbersome to work with specially if you’re home brewing and the materials available are not light enough. Each element will add up to the weight and will easily become unwieldy for hand operations holding the antenna on one hand and on the other the radio unless you are muscular then that would be easy. For casual contacts and mobility a compact antenna will get you where you want to go and still hunt for satellite with high elevation passes if you’re a fan of long distance and low elevation then this may not be for you.




Antenna measurements and mounting guide

2x3 2m/70cm Cross Yagi measurements and mounting

Download the PDF document here

Materials list

1″ X 1″ Rectangular Aluminum tubing for the boom (cut to length)
3/8″ Aluminum tubing for antenna elements (cut to length)
2pc SO239 connector
#12 AWG Copper wire with insulation (12″for Gamma match)
Soldering iron
5pcs Stainless steel nuts and bolts 30mm length 3mm diameter
6pcs Stainless steel nuts and bolts 30mm length 3mm diameter
1, Butterfly nut and 1 bolt 18mm length 3mm diameter
Aluminum plate 0.5mm thickness
Collapsible tube (shrinkable tubes)

4Nec2 data analysis

Antenna gain, beamwith and predicted pattern spit out by 4Nec2 antenna modelling software

2x3 Cross Yagi VHF side
2×3 Cross Yagi VHF side – VHF side data was optimized using 4Nec2 antenna modelling optimization option SWR is spot on at 1.1:1
2x3 Elements cross yagi UHF side
2×3 Elements cross yagi UHF side – don’t worry with the SWR data being spit out by 4Nec as you still need to match the UHF antenna for optimum SWR. The gamma matching can bring it down as you will see on the vector impedance analyzer.

Vector impedance analyzer frequency response data




This is the result of impedance analyzer testing for 2×3 elements cross yagi. Obtainable SWR is around 1.2:1 at the center frequency antenna reflection coefficient is at -23dB at VHF and -19dB at UHF. Pretty usable antenna, as you can see as well, the data spit out by 4Nec2 with regards to SWR on VHF side is close enough, I just directly cut the elements and assemble it with respect to the antenna measurement for the UHF side it was compensated with the use of gamma matching and correct length of the phasing harness. The capacitance of the gamma match when un-attached to the antenna assembly is around 10nf (0.01uf) and 20nf (0.02uf) respectively for UHF and the VHF side as measured using capacitance meter.

Actual testing of the antenna

This is actual testing of the antenna see the video around 2:30-2:38 I called out DV2JHA unfortunately we didn’t manage to confirm a successful QSO until the satellite signal started to fade out. Over all it’s a successful build.




Dualband 3×5 Cross Yagi 145Mhz – 435Mhz mounting and measurements

Dualband Cross 3x5 Cross Yagi

Dualband 3×5 cross yagi 145Mhz – 435Mhz

This is the actual measurements of the cross yagi antenna I’ve used for satellite work, though the inline version of this yagi in which the VHF and UHF side are mounted inline but on the opposite side of the boom will also work for satellite communication. Inline version is here.

I have optimized this antenna for 145Mhz and 435Mhz painfully adjusting the exact length of the phasing harness to obtain lowest possible SWR/S11 curve on the antenna analyzer (measurements taken while actually holding the antenna). I just use 1/4λ length of the phasing harness, factoring the velocity factor of the coax for the actual length of the cable. VHF 145Mhz and UHF 435Mhz are complimentary harmonics frequency by design, actual length of the phasing harness are equal and using PL259 connector at both ends of the coaxial cable this connects to T-connector SO239. Patch cable is RG58 coax connector at the end is PL259 which will connect to the T-connector SO239, the opposite end of the RG58 coax is an SMA male connector which connect to my Vector Impedance Analyzer and also double as a patch cable for the radio which is about 65cm.



Materials preparation

The bill of materials are similar to the inline version of this build except for the boom which uses 1 X 1 inch square boom.

Cross Yagi 3x5 145Mhz - 435Mhz

Download the PDF document version here

4NEC2 Antenna Data

4Nec2 data shows beamwidth, expected pattern and predicted gain.

145Mhz 4NEC2 Data
145Mhz 4NEC2 Data
435Mhz 4NEC2 Data
435Mhz 4NEC2 Data

Antenna analyzer measurements and actual video footage

Measurements are taken while holding the antenna and the analyzer since we know that yagi interacts with the actual measurements if it’s too close to an object. This is to simulate the actual use case when using the antenna aiming it to the satellites.

Actual build, measure, cut and drill

These are some photos I took when building the antenna.



Preparing the materials 3x5 cross yagi
Preparing the materials 3×5 cross yagi and drilling holes.
Mounting the elements
Mounting the elements of the 3×5 cross yagi. Elements are fastened at the center with the screw, chosen so that it just touches the wall of the boom.
Preparing the feed point
Preparing the feed point. Dual feed point which will connect to the T-connector via phasing harness
Gamma match preparation
Gamma match preparation which will serve as our feed point for our yagi
Gamma Match final look
Gamma Match final look and feel. The tuning stub are now properly connected to the antenna.

Initial testing of this antenna

I initially test this antenna using a phasing harness of 75ohms at 1/4λ x 3 for the actual length of the harness considering the velocity factor of the coax. The final use case testing, uses 1/4λ x velocity factor for the actual length of the phasing harness.

The fun part programming the radio before the hunt

Programming the radio with the satellite frequencies before the actual bird hunting. Since I work on a budget a Baofeng radio will suffice. I used a CIGNUS radio a rebranded radio that uses Baofeng internally ;). I encoded the frequency on the radio using CHIRP taking note of the CTCSS tone for each satellite and marking the channel name as name of the satellite and U for uplink D for downlink and A for arm to trigger some satellite timers before use.

Programming the satellite frequencies
Programming the satellite frequencies before actual hunt. This setup will work on cheap radios for the budget concious ;).
Cignus UV85
Cignus UV85 a rebranded Baofeng radio which I uses for satellite work. Who say’s you need too expensive gear to work satellites?

Aside from programming the frequencies on your radio you also need a satellite tracker to predict the passes of the satellite you’re hunting. I uses Gpredict which works on both Windows and Linux machines, for Android you may use AmsatDroid Free version and tons of other satellites tracking apps on both Android and IOS.

Satellite tracking
I use Gpredict for satellite tracking which work on both Windows and Linux machines, because of a very useful interface for predicting satellite passes. You may also use apps on both Android and IOS smart phones

The fun part really start when you begin the hunt and successfully received a very readable reception on your radio coupled with your homebrew antenna. If you’re not familiar with the actual satellite operations listen first until you feel comfortable pressing the PTT on your radio. Satellite resource hog are always frown upon so be courteous every time. Have fun!, and if you feel this will help someone feel free to share, thanks again!



Tuning 3 Elements two stacked Yagi – effects of feed line to a tuned antenna

Two stacked 3 elements Yagi

Stacking two antennas – and effects of feed line to a properly tuned antenna

Stacking antenna is done to achieve additional gain ideally a 3dB additional gain is targeted but may not be achievable in real world due to losses introduced by additional cables, you need to make sure that the phasing harness is of the same length and construction. If your cable is not the same length then the signal from those won’t reach the antennas at the same time. The differences may be small but it is enough to create phasing problems, when your signal get to the antenna at two different times they don’t result in a much stronger signal in fact in extreme cases if the signal are exactly 180° degrees out of phase they would cancel each other and you’ll get nothing.

Basic Stacking Requirements

1. Two antenna’s with similar characteristics in terms of
Gain: 8.89 dBi
Center Frequency: 145Mhz
Matching: Gamma Match (Tuning stub)
Impedance: 50 ohms
Beamwidth: 84° vertical 58°horizontal
Front/Back ratio: 11dB
SWR: 1:1 @ center frequency



2. Phasing harness – must be of the same length Velocity Factor of coaxial cable accounted for, use two basically identical cables. If the cable types are different, or if the connectors are different, you can have the same phasing problems.

phasing-harness

3. Tune the antenna to the lowest possible VSWR match, identically the same response is ideal but a slight mismatch or mis-alignment is acceptable but not much. Your antenna analyzer can help you check this before stacking.

Tuning two stacked Yagi Antenna

Conclusion

A properly matched single antenna, combined with a similar antenna to achieve stacking gain will perform much better than a single antenna, however care must be taken to achieve a good stacking practice. The result of a combined antenna when tested with a good antenna analyzer will result in very little deviation in its Center Frequency , VSWR curve, S11 curve, and Impedance even if different lengths of feed lines are used to test the antenna system.

2.42 Ghz 15 Element High Gain Yagi Antenna for WiFi

Improving on the design of my 15 Element Yagi Antenna for 2.4Ghz Wifi band, now with a much cleaner pattern no side lobes and higher front to back ratio at 24.8 dB. This antenna is pretty much usable from to 2340 Mhz to 2460 Mhz with less than 2:1 SWR this is centered at 2420Mhz with 1:1 SWR and about -30dB S11 antenna reflection coefficient.

2420Ghz WiFi Antenna
Download the PDF Document Here



WiFi 2.420Ghz Pattern

Im still using the same materials to build the antenna

Materials Lists
1. 12mm x 8mm uPvc moulding (Boom)
2. #12AWg solid wire for elements
3. Measuring tool / precision cutter
4. 1 SMA female connector
5. Coaxial cable suitable for SMA connector
6. Sandpaper or file tool for removing rough edges of the elements

antenna materials

Building it is pretty straight forward just cut and paste (lol) bend the driven element and feed it with a 50 ohm coaxial cable rated for WiFi frequency, and check the SWR of the antenna.

Cut and paste the elements directly to the boom
Cut and paste the elements directly to the boom use the wire insulators as fittings to glue on the boom

Here’s the finished antenna side by side with my previous build.

Finished antenna
Finished antenna with center frequency at 2.42Ghz

SWR testing video of 15 Element 2.4Ghz yagi antenna

Actual receive analysis and link performance of the yagi antenna



Build the 3 x 5 Elements 2m/70cm Dualband Yagi

3x5 2m/60cm dualband yagi

Build your own 2m/70cm 3 Elements VHF by 5 Elements UHF Yagi antenna with excellent gain for both VHF and UHF operation. This antenna is designed for amateur band frequency for both VHF (2m) and UHF (70cm). The antenna has good reflection coefficient and VSWR ratio @ 1.2:1 at center frequency and 1.7:1 at band edge.

3 x 5 Elements Dualband Yagi 2m/70cm



Antenna Specs from 4Nec2

VHF Gain: 7.25dBi @ 145Mhz
Beamwidth: 114° degrees
Front to Back Ratio: 14.1dB
VSWR: 1.0:1

Expected Pattern VHF
3 Element VHF Pattern Dualband

UHF Gain: 10dBi @ 440Mhz
Beamwidth: 60° degrees
Front to Back Ratio: 14.4dB
VSWR: 1.2:1

Expected Pattern UHF
UHF Pattern Dualband

Building Video 3 Elements by 5 Elements 2m/70cm Dual band Yagi including Tuning

Material list for 3×5 Elements Dualband Yagi

1. 1″ X 0.5″ Rectangular Aluminum tubing for the boom
2. 3/8″ Aluminum tubing for antenna elements
3. 1cm Outside diameter antenna tubing for elements holder
4. 2pc SO239 connector
5. Pop rivets / Rivet tool
6. #12 AWG Copper wire with insulation (12″for Gamma match)
7. Soldering iron
8. 10pcs Stainless steel nuts and bolts 20mm length 3mm diameter
9. 1pc, Butterfly nut and 1 bolt 18mm length 3mm diameter
10. Aluminum plate 0.5mm thickness
11. 4 X 2″ Aluminum tube for bracket
12. Collapsible tube (shrinkable tubes)

Gamma Match for Dualband Yagi

Gamma Match for Dualband Yagi 3 Elements c 5 Elements 2m/70cm



Replacing broken RF finals QYT KT8900 and adding fan modification.

QYT KT8900 fan mod

QYT KT8900 has good form factor that fits in the palm of your hand. It’s a dual band radio 2m/70cm that supports dual frequency monitoring has an acceptable receiver capability for the price, good audio performance (loud and crispy). Supports FM radio broadcast listening moreover it has a built in repeater function that will work in combination of another QYT KT8900 or pair it with QYT KT8900D by just enabling the function on the menu system and adding a repeater interface cable which can be built easily with spare LAN cable, RJ45 connectors and crimping tool.



If it’s not for the faulty heat sinking then probably this radio will work longer than expected rather than giving up the magic smoke of the RF finals too soon.

QYT KT8900 default heat sink
QYT KT8900 default copper heatsink that floats above the RF finals, flimsy attached by a mismatched screw and a portion of copper strip to secure the screw.

Preparing the RF finals removal and replacement

Disassembling the radio to replace the broken RF finals reveals that the screw holding the heat sink is loose just secured by a piece of copper strip inserted to the metal spacer to float the heat sink above the RF finals.

Faulty RF heat sink QYT KT8900

The radio board showing the QYT RF finals

QYT Radio board
The QYT radio board showing the RF finals when the copper heat sink is removed, also shown is the screw holder with a piece of copper strip used to tighten the loose screw a bit. This copper heat sink is not enough to absorbed the heat coming from the finals and not even touching the aluminum body

Replacing the RF finals is moderately easy provided you have the right tools a hot air rework station, solder flux, a pair of tweezers. The radio board backside reveals a slightly bigger heat sink which probably is intended to absorbed the heat more effectively by coupling it on the radio chassis, but without using a heat sink compound this also is not too effective to properly address the heat issue.

Copper heat sink at the back of QYT Radio board
A much bigger copper heat sink attached at the back of radio board to couple directly to the radio chassis, but QYT didn’t used a heat sink compound to properly transfer the heat to the body.



Time to replace the RF finals, apply the solder flux on the chip, heat the board just enough for the solder to melt at the bottom of the RF finals, remember that this is also attached to a copper heat sink below so heating it will take a little longer before you can see that a solder is flowing on the side of the finals. Once removed successfully replaced the finals with a new one. Good news for people living in the Philippines, the RF finals is now available by visiting your favorite electronics store in Gonzalo Puyat street in Sta. Cruz Manila price varies depending on the stores.

Intended heat sink replacement
Shown in the picture is the intended aluminum heat sink replacement on top of the QYT RF finals I will attached it directly to the chassis and apply a heat sink compound when finished.
Replacing QYT RF Finals
Preparing the RF finals to be replace. Look for the solder to melt and flow on the side of the finals.
replace finals with AFT05M
Replace the RF finals with AFT05M

Preparing the fan modification on the radio chassis

Attaching the fan on the radio chassis requires a bit of drilling and tapping to hold the fan securely at the back of the chassis. For QYT KT8900 you can see at the back of the chassis that they somewhat prepared a fan mounting holes, but they didn’t pushed through with the plan. On later versions of this radio a fan is now attached to help in cooling the radio.

Preparing the fan mount
At the back of the radio you can see four holes probably intended for mount the cooling fan. I also added an audio port modification here as this radio doesn’t have a way to attached a headset

Drilling the fan mounting hole with a drill step bit.

Drilling the fan mounting hole
Drilling the fan mounting hole with a drill step bit. This easily enlarge the holes without using multiple drill bits.

Preparing the screws holder by tapping a thread.

Tapping a thread for the cooling fan
Tapping a thread for the cooling fam I used M3 tap bits for this. Also shown is the wiring going to the audio port this is attached to the speaker point on the board.

Putting it back together.

Putting it back together
The cooling fan is ready for mounting on the chassis. The heat sink is attached firmly on the chassis. Heat sink mounting compound is applied at the bottom of the chassis and at the side holding the heat sink.
Putting it back together
The cooling fan is now mounted on the chassis. The heat sink is attached firmly on the radio chassis. Heat sink mounting compound is applied at the bottom of the chassis and at the side holding the heat sink.

Finally the finished modification applied to the radio.

The radio with cooling fan attached
The QYT KT8900 radio with the cooling fan attached at the back, the old heat sink removed and replaced with a new one.

The final look and successful cooling fan modification.

QYT KT8900 fan mod
The QYT KY8900 with the cooling fan modification applied. An aluminum tape is applied to closed the gap on the fan so air suction will work more effectively inside the chassis



QYT KT800 & KT8900D and variants X-band repeater system interface

QYT KT8900 and KT8900D Repeater System

QYT KT8900 and QYT KT8900D Repeater system

QTY KT8900 and QYT KT8900D chinese radios and variants have a built in repeater function that works out of the box without additional modification on the radio. You just need to enable the repeater function (cross band repeater VHF/UHF or UHF/VHF) via the menu system. Connect the two radios via the mic port using the cable shown here and enable the repeater function on the radio. The radios will work in the repeater mode cross band and will re-transmit your audio either on the VHF or UHF and vice versa.



QYT-X-Band-repeater-interface
Download the PDF document here for repeater interface



The repeater interface will work on the variants of these radios in either combination of at least 2 KT8900 RX/TX,
2 KT8900D RX/TX or 1 KT8900 and 1 KT900D and of course Baofeng Tech radios. The configuration is done on individual radios by setting the REP-M (Repeater transponder function on both radio). Once a matched Carrier, CTCSS/DCS, TONE or DTMF is received in either of the radios it will re-transmit the audio on the other radio and vice versa.

QYT KT8900 and KT8900D Repeater System
QYT KT8900 and KT8900D Repeater System

Build the cable

Do it yourself using RJ45 modular connector and a piece of LAN UTP cable

DIY X-Band Repeater Cable for KT8900 and 8900D and variants
DIY X-Band Repeater Cable for KT8900 and 8900D and variants

Finished Cross Band X-Band repeater interface

Finished X-Band (Cross Band) repeater cable
Finished X-Band (Cross Band) repeater cable

Let’s see how it works

Testing video of working repeater system

Features

1. Easy deployment for field work to extend portable radio range with acceptable results
2. Will fit easily in a go box
3. Inexpensive but it works

Caveats

1. Recommended for light usage as QYT Radios tend to heat up easily
2. Use the upgraded version of QYT the KT8900D for more stability
3. Suitable only for Cross Band configuration
3. KT 8900 heats up like a barbecue grill if it didn’t burn your finals at least bring a hotdog to grill …



3 Elements Yagi 2m at 146Mhz dimensions

Dimension of 3 Elements Yagi @ 146Mhz

3 Elements Yagi optimized for 2m 146Mhz. The design is very similar to 3 Elements Yagi for 145Mhz for the boom and elements spacing. The only difference is on the cutting of the elements. Check the design for 145Mhz Yagi here.



Like most of my design this is an end mount type yagi which is more efficient than a mid mount type yagi as the mounting will not introduce a pattern distortion.

Similar materials are used in the construction:

Materials list

3 Elements Yagi Antenna Materials List

1″ X 0.5″ Rectangular Aluminum tubing for the boom
3/8″ Aluminum tubing for antenna elements
1cm Outside diameter antenna tubing for elements holder
1pc SO239 connector
Pop rivets / Rivet tool
#12 AWG Copper wire with insulation (12″for Gamma match)
Soldering iron
6pcs Stainless steel nuts and bolts 20mm length 3mm diameter
1, Butterfly nut and 1 bolt 18mm length 3mm diameter
Aluminum plate 0.5mm thickness
Collapsible tube (shrinkable tubes)

Dimensions
Dimension of 3 Elements Yagi @ 146Mhz

Download the PDF document Yagi Dimensions for 146Mhz



Building construction technique is also the same except for elements cutting. You may check the how to video of building the 3 Elements Yagi on my youtube channel.

Antenna Patterns

To check the antenna pattern and expected gain if the antenna will perform similarly on other bands these are the results with both slight increased in SWR and little decreased in gain on 144Mhz and 148Mhz respectively but the expected pattern are generally the same. I’m using 4NEC2 for antenna simulation and analysis.

Predicted Antenna Pattern for 146Mhz
Antenna Pattern @ 146Mhz

Predicted Antenna Pattern for 144Mhz
Antenna Pattern for 146Mhz

Predicted Antenna Pattern for 148Mhz
3 Elements Yagi for 148Mhz

For SWR curve this antenna exhibits a pretty wide band performance on 4NEC2 simulation.



SWR on 139Mhz
SWR on 139Mhz

SWR on 146Mhz
3 Elements Yagi 2m @ 146Mhz

SWR on 154Mhz
SWR on 154Mhz

See the performance testing video here on my youtube channel. As you can see in this video the yagi antenna is performing well on a mountainous terrain with lush vegetation.



Antenna Matching Technique

Antenna matching for this yagi is by Gamma Match which is similar to the one I used on my previous build for 3 Elements Yagi Gamma Match or 4 Elements Yagi Gamma Match. Use whatever you like.

Build a Sleeve Dipole Antenna for 2m VHF

Sleeve Dipole

Sleeve Dipole Antenna
Build a 2m VHF lightweight sleeve dipole antenna. A compact portable antenna and easy for deployment. You can even operate the dipole while holding it. Building it is easy just follow the antenna plans below. The antenna specifications are below including the testing video.

Antenna Gain: 3dBi
Pattern: Omni
Features: Lightweight and Portable easy deployment



Sleeve dipole

MATERIALS
3/8” round tube aluminum
1” round tube aluminum
2pc rubber or plastic stopper
2pc self tapping screw
RG58 Coax
SO239 or PL259 Connector
Hose Clamp

Sleeve Dipole

Wiring the Feedpoint

Wiring the feedpoint

Antenna Measurements
SleeveDipole

Performance Testing



Build the 5 Elements 2m VHF Yagi for the homebrewers

5 Elements 2m VHF Yagi high gain

Homebrew 5 elements yagi for 2m at 145Mhz VHF, great performance and lightweight construction make it a suitable long distance point to point contact antenna.

Build the 5 Elements 2m VHF Yagi with the following specifications
Antenna Gain: 9.82dBi or 7.67dBd
Front to back: 14.2dB
Beamwidth: 54° Vertical, 27° Horizontal
SWR: <= 1.5:1 @ Band Edge

Material list for building a 5 Elements 2m VHF Yagi

1. 1″ X 0.5″ Rectangular Aluminum tubing for the boom
2. 3/8″ Aluminum tubing for antenna elements
3. 1cm Outside diameter antenna tubing for elements holder
4. 1pc SO239 connector
5. Pop rivets / Rivet tool
6. #12 AWG Copper wire with insulation (12″for Gamma match)
7. Soldering iron
8. 10pcs Stainless steel nuts and bolts 20mm length 3mm diameter
9. 1pc, Butterfly nut and 1 bolt 18mm length 3mm diameter
10. Aluminum plate 0.5mm thickness
11. Collapsible tube (shrinkable tubes)

Note: the measurement for the mounting hole is entirely up to you depending on the size of U bolt that you’re using.

If you are still confuse on how to start from building this Yagi, you may look into the tutorial on Building the 3 Elements Yagi video tutorial here: https://dw1zws.com/3-elements-yagi-lightweight-end-mount-antenna-by-panda-build/



5 Elements Yagi 2m VHF

Antenna Matching: This is a gamma match antenna you can use the same gamma match I used for building the 4 Elements Gamma Match Yagi you may open the link here: https://dw1zws.com/building-the-gamma-match-for-4-elements-yagi/

To obtain the antenna pattern and approximate gain I used 4NEC2 antenna simulation software which is free to download and use.

Antenna Pattern

Vertical Pattern
Vertical Antenna Pattern

Horizontal Pattern

Current Magnitude
Current Magnitude

Current and Phase
Current and Phase

For the SWR results and measurement of this 5 Element 2m VHF Yagi you may see it here on the link below:
https://dw1zws.com/5-elements-yagi-swr-response/