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Lutenna - The antenna made of Sugar

Discussion in 'Pictures of Members' Setups and general satellite' started by casser, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. casser

    casser Regular Member

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    It´s not my invention, but i should be the first to build a multibeam antenna made of sugar :cool:

    I´m preparing a PDF to explain the antenna and some possible versions of these type of antenna.
     

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  2. casser

    casser Regular Member

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    humm..nobody comment, maybe nobody believe in a antenna made of sugar? :-rofl2

    I didint had time to translate my PDF about these antennas, so i will give a little explanation.

    The idea came from Farragsat antennas, then i study a little a couple of articles on the internet..what i understand:

    Luneberg invented this type of antennas in the 40´s, but he proposed that the antenna should have several layers of dielectric materials. The highest dielectric material should be at the surface of the antenna and the lowest should be inside of the antenna.

    But building a antenna according to Luneberg theory it´s very hard because the need of several layer´s of materials. So i tried a one layer version..having a dielectric constant of 2.0 (Sugar in this case).

    In a single layer version, the dielectric constant is what determines the focal point of the antenna, lower is the dielectric constant of the material..far is the focal point. But if the dielectric constant is 2.5, the antenna will not work, because the Focal point will be "inside" the antenna. A good around dielectric constant to medium size antennas should be between 1.6 and 2.2.

    There are a lot of materials that can be used..sugar is one, dielectric foams should be perfect;)

    There are a lot of versions:

    -A full Sphere
    -Half-Sphere
    -Half-Shpere cutted (to reduce the volume of the antenna)
    -Half-Sphere+conical Horn
    -Half-Sphere+dielectric conical horn
    -Half-Sphere+reflector
    ...

    Make your own homemade multibeam high efficiency antenna using cooking materials:p
     
  3. pipino

    pipino Sat Freak

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    hi.
    thanx for sharing with us this strange looking antenna,but since its sugar with water would melt and with sun will cock to caramel state,could you use other material like concrete or sand??
     
  4. Topper

    Topper Amo Amas Amant Admin Staff Member

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    Not really sure where this is heading, since I was under the impression that all dishes (with exception of a torroidal) were simply sections cut from part of a sphere. If they were not cut from part of a sphere they would not have a focal point, the focal point of which is determined by the original diameter of the sphere they were cut from.

    Apart from the sugar what is new here?
     
  5. casser

    casser Regular Member

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    Sugar is the only material that i know thar work..but it´s probably the worse material, 2 days in the outside, the sugar will crystallize.

    The material like i said before, should have a dielectric constant between 1.6 and 2.2 and it should not be very lossy at 11.75Ghz.

    Check this sites, and search for better materials:

    _http://www.clippercontrols.com/info/dielectric_constants.html
    _http://www.deltacnt.com/99-00032.htm
    _http://www.rafoeg.de/20,Dokumentenarchiv/20,Daten/dielectric_chart.pdf

    This is not a dish..this is a dielectric spherical antenna, only the version with reflector have metal, all others doesnt have a bit of metal on it.

    The shape of the Sphere is what makes the signal focal to a point, but the distance of the FC to the antenna is determined by the dielectric constant of the material, not by the size of the sphere..example for a Sphere (not real values):

    Sugar have DC=2.0

    -In a 20cm diameter version, the focal point is at 30mm of the antenna
    -In a 40cm diameter version, the focal point is at 30mm of the antenna.

    Cadmium oxide, DC=1.6

    -In a 20cm diameter version, the focal point is at 100mm of the antenna
    ...
     

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  6. Trust1

    Trust1 Regular Member

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    The same princyple ?
     

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  7. CROSSBONES

    CROSSBONES Specialist Contributor

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    I read an article in Telesatellite, about an Indian guy who did the same set up on a globe type dish
     
  8. Analoguesat

    Analoguesat Administrator Staff Member

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    Fascinating casser :)

    As a matter of interest how well does it perform?
     
  9. casser

    casser Regular Member

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    Yes, there are some (few) companies trying to put these antennas on the market..

    See this video for a motorized version to work on a train, another thing about these antennas is using a motor, the antenna doesnt need to move, only the LNB:):

    _http://www.technologyreview.com/video/?vid=199


    All my ideas came from that Indian guy (Farragsat), but i dont know how did he get some very high efficiency antennas:confused I can get 130% in a 15cm version, but bigger the sizes, smaller is the efficiency..but i dont believe anyone using a 1.5meter sphere..the dimensions/volume are....:eek:

    A 62cm half-version without reflector (10cm cut to reduce volume)..have 36.2dBi, +-70%.

    I believe the antennas have the same 3dB extra gain like Conical Horn´s..adding the high efficiency (100%), a 40cm version will perform like a 80cm dish. Adding to their multibeam capabilities, i think is the perfect antenna for medium dimensions. I have a feeling that a half version with reflector loose the 3dB extra..

    Check farragsat site, he says that a 50cm version (with 35dBi) can receive up to 45dBW satellite..


    The secret of these antennas is the material to use on it and since one layer version works pretty good..it´s much more simple than the original Luneberg principle. All we need to get is a right material with a DC between 1.6 and 2.2 and it should not be very lossy at 12.75Ghz. This sugar version is a life dream for ants:-rofl2

    I prefer to look for Powdered/small granulated materials because the density of materials change the dielectric constant. It can be a material so simple like Sugar (i was lucky on this one), but it can be a bunch of other things..Maybe it´s possible to get a powdered material with DC >2.2 and mix with styrofoam (DC=1.02, which is pretty close to vacuum), and get the perfect DC.

    A 25cm version will work up to 50dBW, if you want to try some powdered/granulated materials, get a "street ball of lightning" / beach ball / basket ball/ anything oval (except glass/metal balls)..make a hole in it, and fill the ball with the material. If the material have a DC=2.0/2.1, the FC will be almost at the surface of the ball, lower is the DC.. far is the FC from the ball.

    Sorry for the long statements..but more people understanding how simple this antenna is, more people will try it using different materials, more easily we can get the perfect material to make our own multibeam/multifrequency/high efficiency antenna:)
     
  10. Low Profile

    Low Profile Regular Member

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    If you can get the outer DC to around 1.7 then this will give you an effective F/d to around 0.6 - ideal for generic LNBs!
     
  11. Low Profile

    Low Profile Regular Member

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    Are you sure you can get Styrofoam (Expanded PolyStyrene) with a DC as low as 1.02? I thought that normally it's around 2.5
     
  12. Low Profile

    Low Profile Regular Member

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    From what I've seen, LL's have a gain similar to dishes of the same size, not sure about noise levels, but I think that effective beamwidth may come into play. A hemi should have roughly the same gain as a full sphere.
     
  13. casser

    casser Regular Member

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    Polystyrene have 2.5-2.6, but the expanded polystyrene have 1.02-1.08, put a brick of styrofoam in front of a dish it wont affect the signal..it´s almost vacuum.

    I will get a bag of styrofoam (loose form) and try some mixes with sugar to see if the Focal Point is affected, if have the same signal and the FC get´s longer...so using styrofoam with materials lower the dielectric constant of the antenna.

    Do you know what´s the impact of the "Loss Tangent" in these types of antennas? It can affect the performance of the antenna using a high "Loss Tangent" material?
     
  14. Low Profile

    Low Profile Regular Member

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    The higher the loss tangent, the less signal will get through the lens, so you want it to be as low as possible.
    I had considered making a (large) transparent lens.......
    Until I considered the solar effect :-rofl2
     
  15. casser

    casser Regular Member

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    Transperent lens should be stylish, but..:p

    Thanks for the "Loss Tangent" info, unfortunately is rare to get information about the Loss Tangent of each materials..only RF Cafe have some information:

    _http://www.rfcafe.com/references/electrical/dielectric-constants-strengths.htm

    Another material that possible work is wood shavings, i filled the 12cm version with shavings, got 17% of signal..with sugar i have 45%, so i dont know if i filled the ball with few or too many shavings to get the poor result´s, or maybe it´s the Loss Tangent of wood.

    Pressed board made of wood have a DC between 1.6 and 2.6, but no Loss tangent info.

    Cat´s litter is another material i will try someday:-rofl2

    The ideal material should be Teflon, but it would become the most expensive homemade antenna ever made..

    Just for curiosity.. LUTENNA = Luneberg + Antenna
     
  16. casser

    casser Regular Member

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    Rudimentary 2D images of the many versions that could work..
     

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  17. casser

    casser Regular Member

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    Just got confirmation that granulated Polystyrene works:)

    A portuguese user from another forum, said that polystyrene have the same performance like sugar..but the LNB should be placed 2cm away from the position using sugar. This suggest´s that the dielectric constant of granulated polystyrene is 0.1/0.2 lower than sugar.

    I dont know if there are different types of granulated polystyrene, but it´s better than having sugar in the outside.:p
     
  18. krithika

    krithika Member

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    Thanks for opening such a nice thread. I have few doubts. Can we use these following materials instead of sugar? Charcoal 1.2-1.81, Cement 1.5 - 2.1, Cement, Portland 2.5-2.6, Ash (Fly ) 1.7 - 2.0?

    Suppose I buy a big plastic/rubber ball and fill it with one of these above materials can I get signal? Is it as simple like that or I miss some thing else?
     
  19. casser

    casser Regular Member

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    All you need is to fill a ball with the correct material, or if it´s possible, make a sphere with that material...nothing more is needed.

    But i recommend to try a smaller version (ex 15/20cm) just to understand the antenna, before starting in bigger versions. I never confirmed bigger full spheres versions than 25cm to work like predicted, it can be a bad surprise.

    I believe that a 25cm version can receive up to 50dBW satellite.

    About the materials, there are only confirmed two materials to work (with same performance)
    -Sugar
    -Granulated Polystyrene

    Both have pretty much the same weight. About other materials, i cannot say for sure if it works or not...because no one try it so far. Another portuguese user tried Powdered Charcoal (he smashed the charcoal), but didint work. But it´s so simple to test a granulated/powdered material..all you need is to fill a ball:)
     
  20. Low Profile

    Low Profile Regular Member

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    The loss will be too high in those materials IMO.
     

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