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antenna enclosure - RF Cafe Forums

Because of the high maintenance needed to monitor and filter spammers from the RF Cafe Forums, I decided that it would be best to just archive the pages to make all the good information posted in the past available for review. It is unfortunate that the scumbags of the world ruin an otherwise useful venue for people wanting to exchanged useful ideas and views. It seems that the more formal social media like Facebook pretty much dominate this kind of venue anymore anyway, so if you would like to post something on RF Cafe's Facebook page, please do.

Below are all of the forum threads, including all the responses to the original posts.

 Post subject: antenna enclosure
Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:08 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:13 pm
Posts: 34

I had designed an aperture coupled patch array antenna. I am looking for an easy, quick enclosure for this antenna so that I could mount it outside, open to the environment. The antenna is about 60cm long, 6 cm wide and about a couple of cm deep. Any suggestions? I dont want to spend too much time designing an enclosure. I'm essentially looking for a quick fix solution.



 Post subject: Antenna enclosure
Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:44 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:07 pm
Posts: 218
Location: London UK
My approach has been to locate a scrap plastic seedling tray from garden center purchases visits, line it with thin polythene film, place the assembly inside it and then foam in place either polystyrene packing foam or polyurethane insulation foam. Remove the seedling tray and thin polythene film when the curing process is complete.

Both materials are low loss up to 12GHz, and are fairly imune to UV. Birds will eventually peck most of it away but you have probably 5 years of cheap simple weather enclosure service from this method.

 Post subject:
Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 9:23 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:13 pm
Posts: 34
Hi Nubbage,

Thanks for the suggestion. But wont polystyrene get damaged in rain/snow? If I've understood you correct, polystyrene would be exposed to the environment.

 Post subject:
Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 12:22 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:07 pm
Posts: 218
Location: London UK
Hi Karthik
No, if you buy the higher density foams, they are fairly resistant to ice and snow.
To improve water protection, a thin coat of polyurethane varnish seals the outer layer of cells. Because the cell structure is closed, water ingress should not be a problem.
The biggest risk is cracking due to wind pressure distortion, but the mechanical strength of the metalic parts should take care that no stress passes to the plastic foam.

 Post subject:
Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 9:50 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:13 pm
Posts: 34
Hi Nubbage,

Wind load was another issue I had in mind. At present, I've just got two PCBs held in place by spacers. I dont have a metallic part to provide mechanical stability. I was in two minds about adding a metallic back plate to the antennas. I think I should add the back plate. I was thinking in terms of a molded ABS plastic cover sort of thing which will enclose the antenna. But havent been able to find a readymade solution for this size. I guess your idea would be the quickest fix. I've never done garden center shopping, but I did look online for the plastic seedling tray. I think I need to have it in front of me to really get a good grasp of your idea!!

 Post subject:
Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 4:13 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:07 pm
Posts: 218
Location: London UK
Hi Karthik
Three points I would advise on
1) definitely use the backing plate. Aluminum plate about 0.25 inch thick for mounting the boards on, and that gives a firm platform for the mast clamp.
2) avoid ABS: the loss at microwave frequencies can be significant. If you must use it, try the microwave oven test before you do. It is not necessarily the ABS, but the plasticisers they use, and these change with manufacturers so it is difficult to define exactly.
3) Imagine the seedling tray as a large pie baking dish, shallow but deep enough for the boards and backing plate, and with sloping sides.

 Post subject: TESSCO
Posted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:01 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:29 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Reno, NV
Visit us or call me. As the largest wireless distributor in the world, we carry 450 manufacturers and 38,000 products to include Terrawave enclosures - see below. ... groupId=50

Scott Compton

Scott Compton
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Posted  11/12/2012

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