Original 137MHz QFH / QHA constucted by G6KIZ


Quadrifilar Helix Antenna for the 137MHz APT weather satellite band

Design and Construction
Built to the dimensions given in these tall thin QHA pages using 40mm plumbing waste pipe and 8mm microbore tubing.

The tall thin design makes bending the tubes very easy and the hardest part was actually locating some 8mm elbows without paying a fortune in post – most online DIY sites are not geared to small orders and offer courier delivery that costs more than the elbows. I eventually spotted some on eBay.

As can be seen from the picture I mounted the QHA above a turnstile. This may have been a big mistake mechanically as obviously the tube is weakened by the join – something obvious afterwards but which I completely missed in the (lack of) planning stage. It sways around rather alarmingly in the slightest breeze and I really can’t expect it to survive a storm but miracles do happen and maybe it will – time will tell. At least it is pretty lightweight construction and unlikely to do much damage to anything other than itself if and when it comes down.

Electrically the SWR was virtually 1:1 measured close to the ground. In position it is slightly higher which may be caused by the actual height, cable length which is a bit less after mounting, or possibly it got a whack during installation. Whatever the cause it still seems to perform very well. Watching the R2ZX during a pass mostly the QHA is used by the diversity up to around 30 degrees elevation above which the turnstile gets most use. This is exactly what I expected.

Producing the QFH /QHA was worthwhile as the pictures certainly appear to be better. If it does all come tumbling down I’ll have to decide whether to rebuild it or stick with just the turnstile which was cheaper and easier to build and produced results only slightly down on the QHA.


  2 Responses to “Original 137MHz QFH / QHA constucted by G6KIZ”

  1. I am interested in receiving weather forcast as well as the pictures to ASIA and interested to receive the weather pictures on my pc through VHF/UHF Antennas, I am Pankaj Jani Amateur Radio from Mumbai, India, my Call Sign is VU3PMJ. Please send me if possible to receive to my PC. Thanks

  2. Hi Pankaj,

    the NOAA satellites are low polar orbiters so you should be able to receive them anywhere in the world.

    The radio receiver needs about 20-30KHz passband if I remember correctly so standard NFM radios will not be very good. Your cheapest option is going to be an RTL-SDR dongle which were not around when I bought my receiver.

    Here is a starter article on how to procede – http://www.rtl-sdr.com/rtl-sdr-tutorial-receiving-noaa-weather-satellite-images/

    Good Luck

    Mark G6KIZ

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