Much thought was put into how to connect the Cloverleaf antenna to the payload….attachment of the antenna is more of an after thought unfortunately. I’m thinking I probably should have somehow ensured this could have been put inside the box.
Anyhow…needed to engineer a suitable method of connecting the antenna to the payload.
I knew that I needed to be careful not to include metallic objects with the install of the antenna. I was wanted to keep the attachment light, but still secure. The cloverleaf is a fairly ‘fragile’ antenna. Any bending of the conductors will result in reduced performance. I always wanted the antenna to point down. The antenna can flop around a bit…remember the whole payload will move around a bit from winds.
Eventually it was decided to create some fibreglass structure and attach it to the payload jacket using Velcro.
Steps are below:-
- I used blue A4 card to construct a former. This was folded and trimmed to suit.
- I then used kids glue to glue the fibre-glass mesh to the blue paper.
- Then I trimmed off excess fibre-glass mesh.
- Then I applied the fibre-glass resin/hardener mix.
- The next day, I marked on the jacket where I wanted the structure to hand from. I then sewed the Velcro on to the jacket. I was able to stick the complimentary Velcro on to the fibre-glass. This seems to be sticking ok.
Below are some pictures taken during construction and afterwards.
Notice the paddle sticks above? There were sticky tapped on the back as a temporary measure to give the wall some integrity.
Yes, it doesn’t look pretty, but it should work!