DIY external antenna for gateway

Well it should help to make the readings more reliable and repeatable as it references the coax shield at the base. Good reading.

I am in Malaysia Lumpur and I can find stuff on lazada or in the market called Pudu plaza. That area has many electronics shops and a few shops for RF and antennas :slight_smile:

does this work for 915 mhz?

lightning protection?

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no more activities on home made antenna at the moment

@jangeirnaert please read my post from 16 august 2016 above.
The design has some nasty side effects.

@ursm home made enough but not for the LoraWan area. :slight_smile: Although I have created some antennes specialy for the CH2I LoraMini module (see : Full Arduino Mini LoraWAN below 1uA Sleep Mode )

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ok, seen
I’ll use at the moment the helical antenna with good results. see
long distance tests will follow, when the program runs with downlink and ack too.

The BIG ANTENNA topic part 1 :sunglasses:

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thanks @lex_ph2lb will do.

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If full wavelength is 346mm then 3/4 is 260mm?
So it should look like: N-connector-173mm-loop-260mm-loop-250mm?

Or perhaps I have missed something fundamental here?


You’re so absolute right. How blind can a man be.

Changed the mid and top piece of the antenna with the new values and tested it with 3 lengths of cable.

Below the results.

Screenshot from 2017-10-01 18-04-05Screenshot from 2017-10-01 18-04-20Screenshot from 2017-10-01 18-03-09
Screenshot from 2017-10-01 18-06-47

conclusion : check, check, dubbel check before you publish something :wink:


None… zilch… ZAP!


I made a version of this antenna, but with slightly different dimensions found here:

I also added ground plane, as I read somewhere that that is a good idea. I used 1,6mm diameter single copper wire and 32mm PE drain pipe. I cut grooves in in the drain pipe to get the circular N chassis connector with the ground plane wires sticking out. Then cut a small piece, approx 20mm with a groove, to use as insert to hold the antenna in place, but also to strenghten. I plan to use a joint to extend the pole with the antennae cable going inside. It will be 2 meter cable in to the gateway at my loft.

Tuned the antenna by inside the PE pipe to get good VSWR at 868Mhz:

And this is the return loss (I think) using NA mode:

This all looks good to me, but I am not an expert on antennas.
When I widen the bandwidth using NA mode, I see this:

This may be harmonic, I dont know, or I have made the antenna all wrong?

It was fun making this antenna, so I decided to make the ground plane antenna:

I did this the same way as the collinear using circular chassis N and cut grooves into the PE pipe:

Tuned it in the drain pipe and got this:


Next step is to try both antennas and see how they perform using a node.
Maybe I will try the J pole as well, but from what I have read, the Ground plane or Collinear seems to be good.


Make sure your ‘drain pipes’ are RF transparent as though you have worked hard on the electrical matching & tuning many pipes you can buy in diy/plumbing supply shops can be poor RF performers due to materials used, metallic contaminants or use of recycled plastics :wink: …just a heads up!

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@jeff-uk Thank you for the advice. I first made one using 32mm piping for electric wiring. I thought that would be good as it had only approx 0,5mm WT, compared to the drain pipe which is approx 1mm. Unfortunately when I cut a 10cm piece and put in the microwave it got hot, then the microwave oven died on me! The oven was over 25 year old so I guess it has done it’s job:) The drain pipe is soft, clear white PE, I belive, but I have not been able to test it as I no longer have a uW oven. On the Collinear the pipe made a big jump in resonance frequency, which makes me think it is not that good. I actually planned to use a glass fiber rod and glue to antenna to it and leave it open, perhaps spray it with plastic spray, but decided against it.


I did try this collinear antenna design as mentioned in this post. Can you confirm your design is for a 5/8 - 5/8 - 1/2 wavelength collinear antenna. I would like to know what your performance tests show. You mentioned you changed the dimensions, what lengths did you use and what is the diameter of the loop?
I found out that regular water pipes are bad for RF. However a waste pipe which is much lighter works very well. Those are quite transparent to RF.

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I used this drawing::

Loop dimension is slightly less than the above drawing, as it would not slide in to the 32mm PE pipe with 28mm OD on the loops. Dont think performance change much. The openings of the loops had to be increased when tuning it inside the pipe. I just received the pigtail sma to N yesterday (ebay) and will mount it on the roof this week or weekend. Unfortunately I dont have a portable node for ttn mapping and measurement, however it is on order. In the mean time I’m hoping to see nodes that are approx 20km away, problem is that there is no line of sight, so it is not that likely I will see them. I plan to test with both the GPA and collinear and post results, but it will take some time before I have them.

Thank you for the input on material for pipe, I’ve used drain pipe, so fingers crossed it will perform ok. I also thought about using a ~24mm glass fiber pipe, perhaps cut of the base of an old fishing rod, then place the antenna around it and glue it to the pipe.

I did build a co-linear from on-line plans, I wont say which one, and whilst the antenna tuned up just great on an antenna VNA, it was a dreadful ‘real world’ performer, worse that a 1/4 wave with radials reference.

There are some thoughts on simple real world antenna testing here;

Easy to do if you have a couple of Arduinos with LoRa modules handy, one used for the test transmitter another as a RSSI field strength meter.

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