Current Flow In Dipole Antenna


Electric current in a conductor consists of the flow of small particles called electrons. Figure 10(a) represents a dipole with electrons in it. When the transmitter is turned off, the electrons distribute themselves evenly throughout the dipole, as shown. All electrons repel each other and try to get as far from each other as possible; that is how they achieve the uniform distribution show in Figure 10(a). When the transmitter is turned on, the electrons flow back and forth from end to end as shown in Figures 10(b) and 10(c). First the electrons flow to the left and crowded at one end as shown in Figure 10(b). Second, since the electrons repel each other, the push off to the right and get crowded together at the other end, as in Figure 10(c).

The difference between voltage (volts) and current (amperes) in a dipole is also illustrated by Figs. 10(b) and 10(c). You can see that the maximum flow of current is going to be in the middle of the dipole. An observer at the center of the dipole would see the electrons rush past, first one way and then the other. The center is the maximum current point. Very little current flows near the end of the dipole; in fact, at the extreme ends there is no current at all for there is no place for it to go. However, at the ends of the dipole, there is a great change of voltage; when the electrons are densely packed, this represents a negative voltages, and when there is a scarcity of electrons, it represents a positive voltage. Thus you can see that the voltage at each end swings alternately positive and and negative. An end of the dipole is a maximum voltage point.

A Field Guide to Simple HF Dipoles

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