# Half-wave dipole antenna radiation pattern

• zak8000
In summary, a half wave dipole is a practical antenna for horizontal use but it can't be fed at the center. Three half waves would be too long.
zak8000

## Homework Statement

i just have a few questions about the radiation pattern of a half wave dipole antenna.

firstly i know the for the half wave dipole we can dervie and expression for the electric field in the zenith angle and the magnetic field in the azimutal angle by using the far field approximation. so if i was asked to draw the radiaton pattern in the horizontal and vertical plane would the following images suffice i have provided a link: http://www.astrosurf.com/luxorion/Radio/dipole-radiation-pattern-low.gif

also if i was to compare a one wave dipole to a half wave dipoles radiation pattern would i expect a similair shape but double the magnitude?

finally if i had a choice to design between a half wave dipole and a 3/2 wave dipole antenna, which would result in a better antenna?. Is a half wave dipole a more practical antenna than the 3/2 wave dipole or vice versa or they are both practical

## The Attempt at a Solution

I used the free program Eznec Demo to produce the following radiation patterns for horizontal antennas. Anyone interested in antennas should probably get this program.

These are azimuth diagrams, so they are like looking down from above.
In each case, the antenna is on the vertical line down the center of the circle.
[PLAIN]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4222062/dipole%201%20and%202%20half%20waves.PNG
[PLAIN]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4222062/dipole%203%20half%20waves.PNG

Notice that the pattern becomes more complex as the antenna gets longer in terms of wavelength and also the gain increases slightly.

The 2 half wave antenna has to be fed at the point 25% of the total length from one end. The center point is high impedance and so the antenna can't easily be driven there..
The other antennas are fed in the center.

These are free space diagrams and proximity to ground has a profound effect on the pattern of these antennas.

Last edited by a moderator:
thanks for the clear demonstration. so i was wondering if i had a choice between a half wave dipole and a 3 half wave dipole to design. then i should design a 3 half wave dipole antenna because it will have a higher gain ?

A 1 dB gain would not be worth putting up an antenna that was 3 times as long, if that was the only reason you were doing it.
You could get that much increase in signal by raising the antenna a few feet higher.

The advantage, if you had room for the bigger antenna, would be that the extra gain applied in more directions. A half wave dipole has a fairly broad radiation pattern but it is mostly at right angles to the dipole.
Three half waves have radiation as shown in the diagram above. Some lobes are at 45 degrees to the dipole and this may give better coverage in those directions.

Such antennas are mostly the sort of thing you can achieve if you own a 100 acre farm, or work for someone who does, though.
A half wave dipole on 3.5 MHz (a popular Radio Amateur band) is 132 ft long. Even this barely fits into a large suburban block. Three half waves would be 396 ft long which is out of the question for most of us.
At higher frequencies, where such an antenna might be reasonable, the Yagi antenna is a better choice. It gives good gain and it can be rotated.

Firstly, the radiation pattern of a half-wave dipole antenna is highly dependent on its geometry and the wavelength of the signal it is designed to transmit or receive. The far-field approximation is commonly used to calculate the electric and magnetic field components at different angles from the antenna, as you have mentioned. However, it is important to keep in mind that the actual radiation pattern may deviate from the theoretical one due to factors such as nearby objects, ground reflections, and environmental conditions.

The images provided in the link seem to be accurate representations of the radiation pattern in the horizontal and vertical planes. However, it is always recommended to verify the accuracy of such images with actual measurements or simulations.

Comparing the radiation patterns of a one-wave dipole and a half-wave dipole, we can expect to see a similar shape but with different magnitudes. This is because the length of the antenna affects the direction and intensity of the radiation pattern. A longer antenna, such as a 3/2 wave dipole, will have a narrower beamwidth and higher gain compared to a half-wave dipole.

As for which antenna would result in a better design, it depends on the specific application and requirements. A half-wave dipole is a practical and commonly used antenna, but a 3/2 wave dipole may offer better performance in certain scenarios. It is important to consider factors such as frequency, bandwidth, directivity, and size constraints when choosing between the two.

In summary, the radiation pattern of a half-wave dipole antenna can be accurately approximated using the far-field approximation, but it is always recommended to verify with measurements or simulations. The radiation pattern of a one-wave dipole will have a similar shape but with different magnitudes compared to a half-wave dipole. The choice between a half-wave dipole and a 3/2 wave dipole depends on the specific application and requirements.

## 1. What is a half-wave dipole antenna?

A half-wave dipole antenna is a type of antenna commonly used in radio communication. It consists of two conductive rods, each one-quarter of the wavelength of the radio frequency being transmitted or received. The two rods are separated by an insulating material and are connected to a transmission line at the center.

## 2. How does a half-wave dipole antenna work?

A half-wave dipole antenna works by converting electrical energy into electromagnetic radiation. When an alternating current is applied to the antenna, it creates an electric field between the two rods. This electric field then creates a magnetic field, resulting in the emission of electromagnetic waves.

## 3. What is a radiation pattern of a half-wave dipole antenna?

A radiation pattern of a half-wave dipole antenna is a graphical representation of the direction and strength of the electromagnetic waves it emits. It shows the distribution of power radiated by the antenna in different directions.

## 4. What is the significance of the radiation pattern in a half-wave dipole antenna?

The radiation pattern of a half-wave dipole antenna is important because it determines the direction and distance of the radio waves it can transmit or receive. It also helps in minimizing interference from other sources and optimizing the antenna's performance.

## 5. How can the radiation pattern of a half-wave dipole antenna be improved?

The radiation pattern of a half-wave dipole antenna can be improved by adjusting the length and placement of the two rods, as well as the type and position of the insulating material. Additionally, using a reflector or director elements can also help in shaping the radiation pattern for better performance.

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