Attaching CloverLeaf Antenna to the Payload

Discussion

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.

Requirements

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.

The Solution

Eventually it was decided to create some fibreglass structure and attach it to the payload jacket using Velcro.

Construction

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.

About to apply resin/hardener to fibreglass mesh - part of antenna holder.

Notice the paddle sticks above? There were sticky tapped on the back as a temporary measure to give the wall some integrity.

Fibreglass with antenna attached to payload. See RG-223/U cable going to payload. Note Velcro.

Fibreglass structure holding the antenna. Red arrows point to cable-ties holding antenna

Yes, it doesn’t look pretty, but it should work!

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