Experiments On Ground Antennas

Robert Felix

Our article is on preliminary explorations on the subject of sub-surface wireless, or 'underground antennas-aerials buried below ground level. Two types of aerial are discussed-an insulated coil buried underground, and an antenna directly connected to the earth-a half inch diameter copper pipe four feet long pounded into the ground and connected to the antenna input of a crystal radio receiver.

We have built and buried a subsurface coil, following the procedures in the Borderland Science Research Foundation a downloadable article in the borderland sciences website. See: http://borderlands.com/newstuff/research/ground-ant.htm Also: http://borderlands.com/newstuff/research/ground-myst.htm

All electronic fittings and parts used were purchased from the "Radio Shack" electronics corporation. Radio Shack has an Internet website where pictures and specifications for these parts can be viewed:

See US Patent 1,372,658 upon which the following underground antannae is modeled. Comments on the patent and results claimed follow our experimental description. We wound 14 turns of RG58u cable[Radio Shack#278-1314] around a 5"dia PVC pipe-used as a coil form. See Figure One.

Figure One

A lead out from the coil "C" goes above ground, to a soldered PL-259 connector. [Radio Shack#278-188, or #278-205], "D" See Figure Two.

 

Figure Two

The other, free end of the RG58u cable below ground is covered with a piece of heat shrink tubing[Radio Shack#278-1627], a one inch length of which projects over the end. The projecting portion is filled with silicone aquarium cement and the whole end section covered with this. See "E" on Figure Three.

Fig. Three

A small ziplock bag(not shown in Figure Three) is slipped over the aquarium cement covered end and is sealed up/ziplocked using aquarium cement to waterproof. This, we feel, provides adequate electrical insulation. The wire braid covering the centre cable inside the RG58u is not connected to the centre cable, or the PL-259 connector on top, and is left 'floating'. The entire coil assembly was buried @ 24 inches below ground, and the RG58u cable serving as a lead out had a piece of copper pipe slipped over it. ["C" in Figures Three, and Two] This copper pipe has a cap on it, the centre of which is drilled with a hole to pass the cable through.[ See Figure Two] About 2 inches of 1/2 inch copper pipe containing the RG58u cable projects above the ground. This serves to ground the piece of RG58u cable coming from the coil above ground; the piece coming out of the pipe cap is soldered to the PL259 connector's inside terminal. The coax braid here is trimmed back and not connected, to leave the braid in the subsurface coil electrically ungrounded and 'floating'. The outside bottom of this terminal is pulled against the pipe cap and copper pipe it is soldered to by friction to make electrical contact. We conclude that no part of this underground antenna except for perhaps a fraction of an inch that may exist between the PL259 connector and the pipe cap is unshielded/exposed to air and could serve as a 'Hertzian' antenna in the H.F. bands.(80-10meters),even if left exposed to the air.( It was completely buried about four inches underground after photos made) This distance is so small(a fraction of an inch, at most) that we feel that it cannot serve as a significant radiating surface aboveground for a 'Hertzian' antenna effect to be of consequence here. See Figure Four.

Fig. Four-(Shown in Side View To Save Space.)

This PL-259 connector["D" on Fig.5] is attached via a coupler[Radio Shack #278-1369]("E" on Fig.5) to a lead in coax cable[Radio Shack# 278-967]( "H" On Fig.5). The Copper Pipe Lead Out["C" of Fig.Four] is covered with a 1 1/2 inch of PVC tubing["F" of Fig.5] and end cap[ "G" of Fig.5] to shield it from dirt and moisture. See Figure Five, below:

Fig. Five

Figure Six shows PVC tubing fully inserted over the PL-259 cable connectors &Coupler. After the photo was taken, this PVC pipe was buried underground so only the RG58u RS#278-967 coax cable is aboveground. The one and one half inch diameter four inch long piece of PVC tubing and its pipe cap serve to insulate the cable connectors from dirt and moisture. These were covered with silicon Dow Corning Aquarium Cement.

Fig. Six

Figure Seven shows the RS#276-967 Coax cable secured to the brick foundation and walls with RS#64-3028 Cable Clamps/concrete screws and RS#278-1660 Coax Clips:

Fig.Seven

This is then pressed down into the ground and completely buried, to leave only the lead in coax cable #278-967 coming out of the ground and going up the wall into the building through a hole. The other terminal of the #278-967 is connected to the output of a MFJ962-C Versatuner. The Versatuner is connected via. shielded RG58u coax to the transmitter. output of a Radio Shack HTX100 ten meter transceiver[Radio Shack #278-968 PL-259 COAX]. The entire RG58u coax cable from this transmitter output to the underground coil lead in with a PL-259 connector at the end[see Fig.7] is electrically grounded through the transceiver power supply to the AC mains and should NOT act as a Hertzian aboveground antenna. The MFJ Versatuner is also electrically grounded via. its ground terminal. This is so we can claim the tuning coils inside of its steel case are not acting on their own behalf as 'Hertzian' aboveground antennas! The only radiating/receiving surface should be the underground buried electrically insulated coil/Rogers antenna. The length of wire wound to make this coil around the PVC form should give a half wavelength end fed antenna at ten meters, or a quarter wave end fed antenna at 20 meter amateur bands. The only difference between what we have done and a conventional end fed amateur loop/coil antenna is that the 'end fed' coil described in Fig. One is buried 24 inches or so underground, as per the Rogers subsurface wireless system.[also see: US Patent 1,372,658] Turning on the HTX100 ten meter transceiver, we were able to hear amateur QSL's with greatest clarity. Subjectively speaking, the background noise appeared to be less than a conventional Hertzian dipole. First contact: Morse code at S9 clarity from Georgetown, TEXAS on 28.22MHZ! We have been able to able to tune SSB transmitted output into the underground coil antenna with the MFJ Versatuner, but the tuning curve is very sharp-move the antenna adjustment just a little, and the standing wave ratio spirals upward! The transmitter' digital variable oscillator can be tuned so that its output is several kHz in frequency on either side of the centre frequency, and the SWR remains the same. An SWR of 1.3 was obtained, which is fairly good, and a recorded output of 25 watts.(which is the specs of the transceiver.) A normal 'Hertzian' half wave dipole antenna should not tune as "sharply" with the Versatuner-you should be able to move the tuning/antenna dials quite a bit before the SWR radically changes for the worse. This could be a noticeable difference between Hertzian and Rogers subsurface coil type antennas-we have to do more experiments in the Spring. We have tried numerous times to call out, but no one seems to hear us, although we can hear him or her at S8- just about full fidelity and clarity with almost no noise. Please refer to the footnote from Electrical Experimenter, June,1919,pp136. Is the shape of the coil-flat spiral wound vs. the cylindrical PVC pipe section wound by the author a critical factor here in transmitting underground radio signals? Or is it the fact-how Rogers connected his coil in the patent 1,315,862. See Fig. 7A:

One is the Antenna, 2 is the Earth ground, 3 is the inductive coupling coil , and 4 is a ground plate buried in the earth. Number 5 is the transmitter circuit.

Notice here, there is no 'free' or unconnected lead in the coil. See Figure 3, E. Here, this coil end is connected to the antenna coax input ground terminal, which is connected to secondary inductor in 3. . Could the 'floating' or "end connected" antenna we have described and built as given above be the reason why it is not possible to transmit on ten meters and only to receive?

Or, both terminals of buried spiral wound coil 1 are connected to ground plates 4, with inductive coupling 3 to receiver/transmitter circuit 5. The writer asks this as a question-we have not yet had the time to experiment with this. Please look at the note from Vassilatos in the download from BSRF website. He said that the digitally tuned receiver will NOT work. The HTX100 ten meter transceiver. used here is digitally tuned, and it does work in the receiving mode. We did NOT notice the 'kindling effect'-the gradual build up of signals received from being hidden in background noise to full speaker volume that Theroux and Vassilatos observed with LC tuned circuit battery powered transistorized receivers/crystal sets. The received signal behaved normally in this respect-faint signals stayed faint, and loud ones stayed loud... Vassilatos also says the following of propagation:

"...During sun-transitional hours, ground received SW signals do not appear to be "geodesically" selected. In other words, one does not receive a complete "global sweep" of signals, from nation to nation. The "sweep" may display continuity across a large region of ground, a cluster of neighboring nations being heard in sequence, but each region is not received with continuity. One discovers that whole regions of the earth suddenly emerge from the SW background and literally predominate the reception field.

Selectivity of signals through the ground occurs as if whole regions of the world have been "switched" on and off - independent of station schedules. Directly and most strongly related to lunar phase, one observes the sudden emergence of whole regional group signals which take pre-eminence over all others. One can tell the portion of a lunar month by these strange regional "fluorescences", an amazingly repetitive pattern. In Staten Island, ground radiosignals follow a mysterious pattern of arrivals. Modulated by the moon, signals from Canada (New), Northern Europe (First Quarter), South America (Full), the Mediterranean (Last Quarter) will predominate across the available broadcast bands..."

The phenomenon observed here is typical - it can also be seen using a conventional Hertzian wire aboveground antenna and is familiar to amateur and other SW listeners. There are two types of experimenter, temperamentally speaking - the theorist and the practical "hands on" type. In academia: the Theoretical Physicist Vs. the Electrical Engineering Professor. The theorist will many times make the mistake of not checking his/her hypothesis against what is 'obviously' known and experienced by 'those skilled in the Art' - experienced in the practical day to day use and understanding of the phenomena. It appears that Vassilitos made this mistake, and implied that this all too common radio propagation phenomena described above is somehow caused by/directly connected with the vital electromagnetic energy/ 'Radionic' phenomena he describes as being in conjunction with ground radio antenna reception. There may be a greater enhancement of this commonly observed effect in daytime using a ground antenna Vs. a Hertzian aboveground antenna as a control-but the experimenter has not had the time to do this experiment and offers this hypothesis by way of suggestion. Quod et demonstratum. Occam's Razor - the established explanation of the origin of this phenomenon is probably the best, unless future experimentation reveals a serious anomaly in the conventional wisdom...

We tried this buried coil antenna with a National NCX200 vacuum tube transceiver. - receiver section, which is coil and capacitor tunable and not digital. We have listened to a selection of amateur stations engaged in QSL's on the 80 & 40 meter HF bands, and given the frequency they were operating on. We used the tables for Readability and Signal Strength to evaluate the reception of these stations. See table below:

Frequency, MHZ

Readability, Underground Coil-Direct Connection

Signal Strength, Underground Coil, Direct Connection

Readability, Random Wire, Direct Connection

Signal Strength, Random Wire Direct Connection

Readibility,Ground Coil, Tuned

Signal Strength, Ground Coil Tuned

Readibility, Tuned Wire

Abovegnd

Signal Strength, Tuned Wire

Abovegnd

3.865

4

7

4

6

3

7

7

4

3.845

5

8

3

5

       

3.835

4

6

3

5

   

3

3

3.935

5

7

4

4

5

8

4

6

3.795

5

8

5

8

5

8

   

3.735

4

4

3

4

3

3

3

5

3.945

4

7

3

5

3

5

9

5

3.7

0

0

4

6

1

2

5

3

3.856

5

9

5

9

4

5

   

7.135

2

3

0

0

4

6

3

3

7.205

9

5

8

4

       

7.345

7

5

5

3

5

3

3

7

7.37

4

3

4

3

4

5

3

3

 

In conclusion, we there was a clearly noticeable drop in QRM -or background noise- when the underground coil antenna we made as described above was directly attached to the NCX200 receiver section, as opposed to the directly connected 50 foot long random wire Hertzian antenna. Tuning the underground coil with the MFJ962C Versatuner resulted in a somewhat louder reception with the underground coil antenna at times, but QRM was more magnified. We tested the Versatuner ungrounded, and the noise was the same as the random wire, as is to be expected. (the tuner is acting as a part of the Hertzian antenna type system) Grounding the Versatuner eliminated much of this QRM, but there was still a noise component not present with direct connection in this case when the subsurface coil antenna was tuned.

We do not think we will have trouble with ground currents, since this buried coil made as described above is completely electrically insulated from the ground it is buried in . We will observe for this effect. In our last experimental measurements-on 80 and 40 meters, we have seen that the subsurface antenna is properly electrically insulated from ground. We were able to use our National NCX200 transceiver attached to it and running through its power supply from the 110 volt AC mains. Will see if we can get a transistor short-wave battery powered receiver with external antenna terminals for further work on the HF bands. Jones, US Patent # 1,372,658 experimented with an identical system to the one we described above. See Figure 7-B[renamed to fit in with this text],taken from the patent:

Jones says of his device:

Jones noticed the same effects-lack of strays-that we found in our experiment with the buried coil described above. The only difference is that his receiving circuit uses two of these coils coupled separately to the final stage, and we use only one. Otherwise, both his antenna and the one we constructed are conceptually identical.

We have put in the copper pipe ground antenna described, using a sharpened three-foot length of 1/2 inch diameter copper pipe pounded into the ground. See Figure 8:

Fig. Eight

Soldered using tin/silver base solder with no lead a pipe cap["K"] on top of copper pipe["I"] to avoid deforming the top of pipe by using a hammer. All other connections were soldered using this mixture. Soldered three turns of skinned back insulated #14 house electrical wire["J"] to the copper pipe about an inch under the pipe cap, and covered this connection with plastic spray-to prevent electrolysis and corrosion when buried underground.[i.e.:dissimilar metals-silver/tin/copper] See Figure 9 :

Fig. Nine

These soldered turns and the entire pipe were pounded down to ground level, with the insulated #14 copper lead in wire going about eight feet away through a hole in my outside wall to my desk. [See Fig.7] We have also connected a buried 3/16 inch diameter solid brass welding rod 3 feet long pounded into the ground about a yard from the copper pipe and soldered/connected in parallel with the #14 lead in wire [see "J",Fig.9,Fig.8.]leading inside. We were able to pick up local AM stations using a Radio Shack 28-177 Crystal Radio Kit with the antenna terminal going directly to the buried copper pipe mentioned above via. the #14 lead in wire, and the 'ground' terminal left floating. The station transmissions were absolutely clear(S9), and there was no noise! As a second test for the integrity of our ground connection, we connected the crystal radio to the (green wire) ground connection of a 110VAC cord two feet long going to the plug on the wall. We heard the same radio stations, but a little less volume. Could this be because of the sixty feet or so of area this ground wire has to travel before it ends in the ground rod at the fuse/circuit breaker box in the basement? We shall try a transistor battery powered SW radio for 160-10 meter bands connected via. the antenna terminal to this, and see the results obtained. We were able to connect the HTX100 transceiver to the copper pipe ground antenna described above by using an ungrounded, 'floating' 12VDC power supply-a motorcycle battery. This protects the HTX100 from the destructive effect of ground currents between the AC mains and the copper pipe 'ground' antenna. We plugged the #14 wire from the copper pipe ground antenna into the coax input/output PL259 connector at the back of the set, using an appropriate female connector. Only the inner or 'hot(i.e. antenna input)' receiver terminal was used, and the outer jacket of this connector(i.e. cable 'ground' terminal to chassis) was left floating-it is only used to mechanically secure the 'ground' antenna wire to the input of the transceiver. We were able to hear amateur QSL's on the ten meter band with no difficulty!

With the coil antenna, am astounded-amazed. By everything we been taught and others have told us-we should get nothing but circuit noise on the radio receiver. Yet, we were receiving code and voice amateur QSL's from the Southwest and Midwest, and even heard someone from South America on ten meters! We have again rechecked the continuity of the #278-967 lead in cable-just to be sure. [ The outer braid and inner conductor measured infinite resistance when disconnected from MFJ Versatuner-so there is no electrical short here.] As a test, the HTX100 transceiver is tuned to an amateur that is in an extended conversation. The cable going from the transceiver to the outside is unscrewed from its coupler[Radio Shack#278-1369] to the underground antenna. The amateur conversations sunk back into the noise-as is to be expected with a 'normal' Hertzian aboveground antenna! This is because we had isolated the 278-967 lead in coax, to see if it could possibly act as a 'Hertzian' aboveground wire antenna. It did not. The transceiver has now, in effect, no antenna-the RG58u coax antenna lead from the underground antenna to the HTX100 transceiver is being grounded to the HTX100 chassis by the woven copper braid outer sheathe. The Hertzian Theory taught in school sees the ground/earth as a 'lumped resistance'. Obviously, it is not if the buried coil antenna is acting to receive amateur calls and the lead in between transceiver and antenna is properly insulated/grounded from acting as a Hertzian Antenna-as is good practice! We have legions of mavens/Experts with state of the art University laboratories, and nobody has bothered to do this simple experiment? If this all works out, is not this part of Hertzian theory-a ground as lumped resistance-just plain wrong? What do you think? Remember Nikolai Tesla saying in Electrical Experimenter almost 100 years ago that these "….are not 'Hertzian' waves pure or even converted…"!(Electrical Experimenter, March,1919,Vol.VI,Whole Number 71, No.11 Editorial:'Underground Wireless' Hugo Gernsback,Editor. front page) If they are not 'Hertzian Waves', then what are they? From a small knowledge of 'official electromagnetics' taken to pass the Amateur exams, only "Hertzian" waves are supposed to exist when speaking of radio communications...

We would like to try to use the Hawkes counterwound toroidal antenna buried underground to see what results would be obtained. (This is a special version of the Smith Coil Antenna) There is a critique of the Hawkes system at the Antenna-X magazine website:

http://www.antennex.com/preview/Folder03/Nov5/ctha.htm

One of the authors' colleagues said of the Hawkes HF antenna directly lying on the ground:

"…Hello Robert, I have just had an astounding experience and simply had to tell someone about it. I suppose I should wait until I have finished the evaluation, but I have to tell someone that understands, right now!

I had thought that I was about finished with testing and was ready to add in some notes and call it a job. Then it dawned on me that there was mention of operating on the ground! So this afternoon, I took the CTHA down from its test position and put it flat on the ground. With the MFJ Tuner and the Analyzer I was able to get an SWR of 1.5 to 1 at 35 Ohms. The Kachina Autotune brought it down to one to one at fifty ohms. Signals were 5 S Units below the dipole. I had to leave it until about eight thirty this evening.

With the CTHA selected on the Kachina, I stuck my tongue in my cheek and called CQ once and then again...VE3xxx in Ottawa came back. He was an S7 (on the CTHA). He gave me an S5!!! I switched to the dipole, he was 599. He gave me an S9 on the dipole. George said, "I can copy you on the other (CTHA) antenna but stay on the one you are on now." (dipole) George also stated that the band was very quiet at his QTH.

After we signed, I disconnected the CTHA and carefully put the coax back in the grass. I came inside and took a look. There was nothing. No noise, no signals, absolutely nothing. When I reconnected, signals came back. If the transmission line was contributing, it had to have the CTHA connected…"

The amateur/professional engineer who did this article, W4Kxx, made several procedural experimental mistakes. He claimed the Hawkes had an infinite SWR at 160 meters, but did not follow inventor Hawkes' instructions to connect two Hawkes toroids in parallel via a coax T-connector to operate there. See enclosed jpeg-Fig.10:

Fig. Ten = Hawkes Antenna

160-10 Meter,2 in parallel

Then, SWR is below 3:1 and safe. If you search through the Antenna-X site here, you will also find details on constructing a Hawkes antenna for yourself, assuming you give his patent a good read... The Hawkes Patents 5442369 and 5654723 can be obtained from the IBM server listed in the footnotes. You are permitted under US patent law to do so, if you are doing for 'pure' research purposes-just to find out things-and are not expecting to make any profit out of what you do. (The experimenter purchased both his antennas for $170/each from inventor Hawkes) The interesting thing is that the Hawkes antenna works when lying on top of the ground-just like the old Rogers system. The author says this of the CHTA: This wondered the critic in the above referenced article on the Internet Antenna-X website. See above quote from a fellow experimenter. Inventor Hawkes is aware of the old Rogers experiments with underground or buried aerials, but has not had the time yet to try them. There is some loss in signal strength recorded from the Hawkes antenna placed in the air aboveground as a 'normal' Hertzian amateur antenna would be in this article. But, would this perhaps be more than compensated for by the almost total lack of QRM or atmospheric background noise reported on the Rogers Subsurface system, if the Hawkes was buried underground? Obviously the Hawkes CHTA has one thing very much going for it-its diminutive size as compared to a 160-meter dipole! For this reason, could it make 160 meters more popular for many because it makes it more usable-an operator does not have to have a 'landed estate' to set up the Hawkes antennas pictured above in Figure Ten! Inventor Hawkes also claims it works from within partially grounded buildings-such as steel frame multi-story Manhattan style apartment houses-something of which no conventional Hertzian antenna will do! Could the Hawkes permit an amateur radio operator in the centre of a Manhattan NYC steel frame skyscraper apartment building to get on the amateur bands from his/her apartment, because of the unique ability of the Hawkes to penetrate almost completely 'grounded' enclosures? (see Hawkes website) This remains to be seen. Would transmission and reception of voice or Morse code be possible between two buried Hawkes Antennas on the HF(160 to 10 meter) Amateur Radio bands? As these experiments were done in a wooden frame condo in Rochester, NY; we cannot dig a large hole[4 feet in diameter and 4 feet deep] to experiment with the HF Hawkes antenna in the Rogers subsurface mode and must interest a fellow amateur radio operator who may have an unfinished dirt floor basement... Winter is hard upon us, and the ground froze only two days after the installation of the Rogers Subsurface Coil Antenna and Ground Rod/Pipe Antenna described. Our weather so far(as of the writing of the first draft of this article) has been like our economy-unnaturally good. A similar patent, "Underground Loop Antenna",1,373,612 by Earl C. Hanson is shown as toroid shaped, and is buried underground. It is not counter-wound,(a.k.a. Smith Coil) as the Hawkes Antenna is. See drawing, 'Figure10A' from the Hanson Patent:

Inventor Hanson says of the diagramme:

As to the 'heavy insulated binding material' mentioned in the Hanson patent, refer to Fig. 10-the Hawkes Antenna is wrapped with heavy black vinyl electrical tape and the 'conduit' is soft plastic tubing. Will a suitably 'buried' Hawkes Antenna be as effective as the Hanson Antenna?

Inventor Hawkes makes a VHF/UHF version of his antenna for use from 50 to 800 megahertz. It can be used for VHF/UHF TV reception, and for transmission /reception on the six and two meter, 220, & 440 megahertz Amateur radio bands. It is @14 inches in diameter and is enclosed in a rigid plastic disk, with external mounted F-plug type jack. See Figure Eleven:

Fig. Eleven

The author buried this antenna two feet deep in the ground. The Hawkes VHF/UHF antenna was covered by a plastic bag, to insulate it from dirt and moisture.

See Figure Twelve:

Fig. Twelve

A three foot length of[Radio Shack#15-1541] cable was connected to the Hawkes VHF/UHF antenna F-plug jack and threaded up through the neck of the plastic garbage bag, which was tied around the F connector video cable with plastic ties; to make a watertight moisture proof covering for the buried VHF/UHF Hawkes.

See Figure Thirteen:

Fig. Thirteen

The remaining cable( see 'H", Figure 15) was buried so that only the "F" connector cable terminal is projecting aboveground. Some #15-1541 cable is showing in the photo [Fig.15] for purposes of clarity in the illustration. After the picture was taken, it was buried until only the #278-251 was above-ground. A Radio Shack #278-251 F-plug to BNC adapter jack is connected in series with this "F" connector terminal projecting aboveground.

See Figure Fourteen:

Figure Fourteen

 

See Figure Fifteen:

Figure Fifteen

This jack is connected to the BNC output of an ICOM IC-2AT handheld 2 meter Amateur Radio Transceiver. Due to expense of more film, a picture was not taken of the IC2AT on the ground on top of a plastic sheet. See picture insert "J" in Fig.15. If it were in the picture, it would be next to F-connector & adapter at end of cable "H". in Figure 15-as shown in insert "J". Next, we turned it on. Amateur conversations(QSL's) were heard on the local 146..88mhz repeater with no problems, even though the Hawkes VHF/UHF antenna was buried two feet below ground! Signal strength was S8, and readability was S5. Of course, as a control, the IC-2AT in reception mode was tried with the cable connecting the buried Hawkes VHF/UHF antenna to the IC2AT alone before burying the antenna.[Radio Shack#15-1541](cable "H" in Figures 4 and Figure 5). We set it up floating free in the air to see if it would act as a Hertzian antenna. It did not ,only circuit noise in the IC-2AT handheld transceiver was heard, in this case. We also tried the IC-2AT with its manufacturers' recommended "whip" 2 meter aerial as a control. We noticed no difference between the signal quality of the 2 meter whip aerial and the subsurface/buried Hawkes antenna from the 146.88 repeater. This repeater is on the roof of the Monroe County Office Building (Rochester,NY) on 111 Westfall Road about 2 1/2 miles from the operator, who lives on the top of Corn Hill residential district. It is, of course earth grounded and operated from the City AC mains, being a permanent fixed repeater station owned by the local Amateur radio society-RARA. The author tried the same procedure last night with an operator in the outlying town of Hilton, NY.[@24 miles line of sight] (He had a 'beam' antenna). This signal was S5 to S7 in quality, depending which way we held the IC-2AT with whip aerial in the hand. Reception via. the buried Hawkes antenna under identical conditions as described above was S3 to S5-somewhat more degraded than the Hertzian aerial. [We noticed loud 'popping' noises similar to that mentioned in the Theroux/Vassilatos article on ground radio.] The person in Hilton, NY had a home based system grounded to earth through the power supply. We would like to try this with someone in a high powered(40 Watts or so) mobile automobile whip aerial based system. Also, perhaps-a second handheld 2 meter transceiver held several feet in the air over the buried VHF/UHF Hawkes Antenna. Rogers noted that he could not receive airplanes with his subsurface antenna, unless they were flying directly overhead of the underground antenna. (Electrical Experimenter, March,1919 vol.VI, #11, pp834) We propose the following simple experiment:

Would the same observation hold for the subsurface Hawkes antenna on 2 meters-the mobile 2 meter automobile based Hertzian antenna(non-grounded)system must be 'line of sight' (ie: on my street, or down the block of-can see the 2m whip aerial on the car with your eyes) of the buried/subsurface Hawkes antenna as a passerby could transmit from a car with an external whip antenna? We also observed that on two meters we were able to receive other amateur's transmissions, but were unable to transmit to them.(they were unable to hear our transmissions on the buried Hawkes VHF/UHF antenna on 2 meter amateur band, as opposed to the 'whip' antenna on the handheld IC-2AT. This coincides with our observations with the buried half wave ten meter coil antenna described above-we could hear them but they could not hear us!) This is just the first look at this.

We tried the HawkesVHF/UHF Antenna buried underground as described above, connected to the VHF and UHF coaxial terminals of an Sharp Unytron Model #13RV629 TV set. For the UHF connection, see FIG16 and Fig.17 for the VHF connection..

Fig. Sixteen-For UHF

Fig. Seventeen-For VHF

We used the RST system used by Amateur Radio Operators to evaluate the intelligibility of the signals received by the Hawkes Antenna. The gauge of signal strength used:

        1.  
        2. Extremely Weak Signal, Hardly Perceptible
        3.  
        4. Very Weak Signal
        5.  
        6. Weak Signal
        7.  
        8. Satisfying Signal
        9.  
        10. Sufficient Signal
        11.  
        12. Good Signal
        13.  
        14. Very Good Signal
        15.  
        16. Strong Signal
        17.  
        18. Extremely Strong Signal

The guage of readability used:

        1.  
        2. Not readable
        3.  
        4. Little, only from time to time readable. Only some letters/words, fragments of an image can be constituted.
        5.  
        6. With difficulty readability. With considerable difficulties readability.
        7.  
        8. Without difficulties in readability
        9.  
        10. Perfectly readable.

 

The following table was composed for tests with the TV at VHF/UHF ranges:

 

Channel

Readibility, UHF Antenna

Signal Strength, UHF Antenna

Readability, Rabbit Ears

Signal Strength, Rabbit Ears

Readability, Cable Only

Signal Strength, Cable Only

Signal Strength, Hawkes Andenna Aboveground

Readability, Hawkes Antenna Above Ground

Readability, Hawkes Antenna Under-Ground

Signal Strength, Hawkes Antenna Under -Ground

         

VHF

UHF

VHF

UHF

VHF

UHF

VHF

UHF

VHF

UHF

VHF

UHF

8

   

4

6

4

 

5

 

7,7

 

4,4

 

2

 

3

 

10

   

5

8

4

 

5

 

7,7

 

4,4

 

5

 

9

 

13

   

4

7

5

 

8

         

5

 

9

 

16

         

2

   

3

             

21

4

7

     

4

 

6

         

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Note: Notations such as that for Channel 8, Signal Strength For The Hawkes Aboveground Antenna, give two figures. The first given is for the Hawkes VHF/UHF antenna placed directly on the ground in the identical place where it was buried.(This hole was filled in and the Hawkes Antenna was placed in this spot) The second figure is for the Hawkes VHF/UHF antenna placed @ 12 inches aboveground using an upturned plastic newspaper recycling bin. There appears to be no significant difference between the measurements of the Hawkes VHF/UHF antenna placed directly on the ground, and14 inches above it…Since the TV set was aboveground, characteristics of the VHF/UHF signals could account for the relatively small difference between signal strength with the TV set connected to the cable only, and connected to the Hawkes. What would be the result if we tried the Hawkes VHF/UHF antenna and the TV set in an underground chamber, with the TV set being battery powered? This way, circuitry in the set itself is shielded by the underground room, as well as the Hawkes antenna.…

 This is only a preliminary observation-we are explorers cutting away the undergrowth of an old trail that was discovered a human lifetime ago-the Rogers Underground Wireless System and others like it. As to the IC-2AT two meter handheld-the two meter IC2AT transceiver- the objection might be raised that, since it is lying aboveground, signals might be received through the plastic case or the small amount(less than one inch) of shielded coaxial cable connecting to the underground antenna that is exposed to the air. To remedy this, we would re-bury the Hawkes VHF/UHF Antenna 3 feet or so below ground. We would have the output coax from the Hawkes going to the IC-2AT, as described above; but we would bury the IC-2AT about one foot below ground in a metal cookie or tobacco canister to protect it from dirt and moisture in the ground. We would drill a hole in the bottom of this canister to accept the coax cable and F plug from the Hawkes, which is buried two feet below it. Now, both the Hawkes Antenna and the IC2AT in its metal canister are buried below ground. We would drill a second hole in the top of the metal canister containing the IC-2AT before we bury it. We would plug a Monaural Earphone with 1/8 inch plug [Radio Shack #33-175] into the earphone jack on the top of the IC-2AT and lead the earphone out of the hole in the top of the box. We would then bury the IC-2AT in its metal canister, with the earphone leading to the surface through its buried wire. The IC-2AT would be in receive mode, tuned to the 146.88mhz frequency previously used. Since the IC2AT transceiver itself is a foot below ground, could we claim that it in itself is not receiving aboveground' Hertzian' waves? Only audio signals from the 'Earphone' output is going through the buried Earphone cable to the surface. This does not play any part in the reception of RF signals. If we still heard the 146.88mhz repeater with both IC2AT transceiver and Hawkes VHF/UHF antenna buried, what would this tell us?

The TV set used has a plastic case, and we have observed that it does receive one or two television stations-even if not connected to any antenna at all. The same can also be said of experiments with underground antennas in the HF amateur bands, with receivers and connecting 'shielded' coaxial cables lying above ground. The only way to overcome this is to enclose both the antenna and the transceiver in an underground room. It might be hypothesized in this case that different results could be obtained by an underground room where the antennas are in direct contact with the earth, or buried in the adjacent walls of this underground room. Or, the loop antenna could be set up as shown in Fig.18 below-this is an experimental variable to be considered. Would an aboveground accoustically and electromagnetically shielded chamber-like that found in University physics and engineering departments-fail because of the earth making up the walls of this underground room being saturated with 'Vril' or Vital Electromagnetic Energy, as Vassilatos and others have observed? This was done by Thomas Appleby and J Noll in Patent 1,365,579 "Radio Apparatus", issued in 1921. See 'Figure Eighteen'[my label],taken from this Patent:

 

Figure 18

The inventors were well aware of the problem we describe. In page 3, line 80 they say:

Two meter electromagnetic radiation more resembles light waves in its characteristics than lower frequencies in the HF bands. If these experiments are repeated in an underground shielded chamber as described above, and similar results are obtained, what would this tell us? The early experimenters could not work with VHF/UHF because their equipment was too primitive-the frontiers of radio at that time were the lower portions of today's HF amateur bands.

What does shielding HF and VHF/UHF aerial in the earth reveal to us in the way of anomalous qualities of electromagnetic waves? Burying an antenna below the ground level-does this give us questions as to the accepted electromagnetic theories? These are preliminary explorations, not conclusions of fact, 'Socratic' questions. Is there anything of these observations here in our future that may prove to be useful for practical applications?

We would like to work further on this with other experimenters, and would appreciate cross correspondence and collaboration with this ground radio experimentation. We can be reached at:

References Cited:


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