I’d completely forgotten that I ordered a PCB aerial from eBay a few weeks ago until it turned up from China this morning. It looks simple enough and upon examination, I can see that it’s effectively a vertical half wave dipole with a female SMA nailed on the bottom.
As I tend to do with aerials, I put it on the cheap and cheerful aerial analyser I have rather than the full VNA. It’s easier to just screw the aerial on and see what it shows.
It’s not good with an SWR of around 6:1
However a quick visual inspection of the aerial showed something odd. The bottom half of the dipole didn’t appear to be soldered at all and I could see daylight between the two pins and the PCB itself. I bleeped it and I as right, they weren’t actually connected at all (excuse the scratch marks, they’re from my DVM probe).
I fired up the soldering iron and two minutes later, it looked a lot better.
Back on the analyser and bingo!
I’ve not connected it to a receiver yet but will do that over the next couple of days to see how it performs but be aware of this - If you’ve bought one of these, please double check the connections to make sure that they’ve been made properly. I’m sure that a full half wave dipole will work somewhat better than what was effectively a quarter wave vertical with no groundplane!
The point of this thread is to draw your attention to the fact that the connections may not all be soldered and if that’s the case, you’ll need to do that yourself because if you don’t, the aerial will not work as expected.