This is a reasonably compact, linearly polarised and well behaved antenna, with a gain , when well made, of around 1dBD    ( 1dB more than a dipole). It is smaller than the Big wheel and the Skew Planar wheel, and I have used it very successfully on 868MHz on our SurVoyeur UAV.

It is derived from a 1/2wave ring, located some distance above a large conducting ground plane. The ring is at a point on its circumference shorted to the ground plane by means of a conducting copper strap. The coaxial cable feed line has the center conductor attached to the ring a short distance away from the shorting strap, and its braid shield connected to a corresponding point on the ground plane. directly below the center conductor connection. The Antenna radiates from the gap between the ring and the ground plane - a Slot radiator antenna. Since the ground plane is inconvenient, we can 'roll' it up into a cylinder, the same diameter as the ring, located coaxially directly below the ring. The antenna performance remains intact. However, the long cylinder is just as inconvenient, so we shorten it till its length is the same as the thickness of the wire forming the ring, and the end result is the picture above. Two concentric rings, spaced apart by plastic insulators, with a 4mm wide copper shorting strap, and the feed coax in place. When the dimensions are proportioned correctly, the antenna gives 1dB gain over a dipole, and when laid horizontally, has a vertical radiation pattern identical to the dipole, with a slight null in the direction of the shorting strap.It is linearly polarized.

For 433MHz, the antenna dimensions shown will give an SWR of 1.1:1 at 433MHz, and 1.25:1 at 429MHz and 437MHz


Seen from the side :

The rings are 100mm diameter, 2mm clean copper wire, no plastic insulation.

The plastic insulators can be Servo push rod tubes, or any plastic tube or solid rod, about 6 to 10mm diameter, and about 20 to 25mm long, with 2mm holes drilled in the sides, 15.5mm apart, to take the wire rings. 

To make the rings, take the copper wire, place one end tip in a vice, and with a pair of pliers clamping the other end of a 1meter long piece, pull hard and gently to stretch-straighten the wire. Find a former ( coffee tin, etc) exactly 100mm diameter, and wrap the wire around the former overlapping the wires. With sharp sidecutters cut through both overlapping wires, to make a butt joint in the ring.

Remove the wire from the former, slip over the plastic spacers ( at least 4 prefer 6) and then, using  a 10mm x 5mm piece of thin copper foil, wrap it around the but joint and solder the wire ends together this way. 

Make two such rings, feeding the second ring gently through the second set of holes in each spacer before butt jointing the ends.

Then position the two butt joints over each other and connect a shorting strap of copper foil, 18mm x 4mm wide, from the top ring to the bottom ring. solder the bottom connection, and then the top, ensuring the strap is straight and taut.

Now connect the inner conductor of the 50ohm coax to the upper ring, 9.5mm away from the center of the shorting strap position. then connect the braid of the coax to the lower ring, at the same place.

The shorting strap end of the antenna is low impedance and low voltage. the direct opposite end of the ring is a very high impedance, high voltage point, sensitive to the proximity of auy other objects, servos, wires, etc, as are the end tips of a dipole, for example. Objects close to that region will affect the tuning...Do not place any support plastic pillars  past the two pillars farthest from the coax feedpoint, as depicted in the last image at the bottom of this blog.

                                             Here you can see the shorting strap location.


No spacers past the two on the right of this image...


It is convenient to use tubes for the spacers, as you can fill them with hot melt glue to fix the spacers and rings in place, forming a rigid structure.

The antenna works equally well right side up, or upside down....

Tuning the antenna :

This is a sensitive process, and you will need and RF source at the right frequency, and a decent SWR meter.

Connect the rf source to the SWR meter, and the meter to the antenna via the intended cables.

There re two adjustment to be made - feedpoint impedance, and frequency of resonance.

Feedpoint impedance is adjusted by moving the coax connections to the ring ( the inner conductor and the braid) either closer to or further away from the shorting strap. Why does this work? Well, the shorting strap is a short, so impedance at the strap is 0 ohms.  The opposite side of the rings circumference is a high impedance point, many thousands of ohms, from an RF standpoint. So, somewhere in-between 0 and 'thousands', will lie 50ohms - that is the point you seek, and it is very close to the short.

Frequency adjustment is done by squeezing the end of the two rings opposite to the shorting strap together to lower frequency, or apart to raise it. In other words, the spacing of 15.5mm is reduced or increased appropriately.  If you find you need to increase this spacing by more than 2mm or so at that quadrangle, then the rings are to long in circumference. Cut 2mm out at that point, and join with the wrapped foil trick again, SOLDERING WELL...and tune again.

When you achieve lowest SWR by squeezing, then adjust the coax spacing to the short, try closer or further, for lowest SWR. Work back and forth between these two adjustments, till no more improvement occurs, and you should strive for an SWR better than  1.4:1. 1.2:1 is easily achieved.

This antenna works very well. I have achieved nearly 30km with 300milliwatts on 868MHz, with one of these on the aircraft at 100meters AGL, and a sleeve dipole on the ground at 2meters AGL.

Here are some pics of the 868MHz implementation , the rings made from FR4 PCB material.


This is the datalink and video tx module used on our SurVoyeur aircraft. The ring of copper is the 1/2wave ring radiator ( the other ring lies below it)

The Skew planar wheel is for 2.4GHz Video TX.

To the left of these antenna are the datalink modem and the video TX module.

                                       Here are views of the shorting strap and coax connection

                                                                    to the rings



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  • Hi Vladimir, 

    Using larger diameter wire/tube will require changes  in the other dimensions as well Vladimir.  Let me try to illustrate.

    This antenna is a '1/2 wave' circumference ring, but if you do the computation, you find that a 1/2 wave at 433 MHz is 346mm for a 1/2 wave which is 110mm diameter, not 100mm as I have indicated. However, there are other factors at play - the ring is also an inductor, and is resonant at a specific frequency. A single 100mm ring would be resonant at 477MHz, much higher than 433MHz.  However, its proximity to the second ring, as part of the resonant antenna, creates capacitance between the two rings - this added capacitance lowers the resonant frequency. Therefore, the distance apart and the surface area of each ring is quite critical to obtain a suitable value of capacitance.

    So, increasing the diameter of the 'wire' in the ring increases its surface area, and thereby the capacitance between the two rings, lowering the frequencies even more. This would require that the ring circumference be reduced, lowering the inductance, thereby bring the circuit back into resonance, or the distance between the two rings be increased, to reduced the capacitance .However, very important, as this is also an antenna, not just a resonant circuit, as the circumference is reduced more and more below 1/2 wavelength, so the radiation efficiency of the antenna less and less efficient. An reduction of less than 10 to 15% in circumference will not reduce the efficiency much, but modelling the same antenna with 4mm wire shows the diameter need to reduce to 76mm, a circumference of 238mm, versus 314mm for 2mm wire - a 25% reduction - the antenna would be very inefficient.

    So in this case, the model indicates that you should reduce the diameter to 90mm, and increase  the spacing to 16.8mm, but , this is just a simulation, and so you would have to measure the SWR and adjust the spacing and the coax match point accordingly. 

    The 100mm diameter/2mm wire antenna described in this blog is built and tested, so will work as described - changing any of the elements will require some experimentation....

    And no, you do not need to copper foil wrap the butt joint - the problem is that a butt joint made by only soldering the end of the wire/tube is not very strong and the joint needs to be electrically sound. and flexing will fracture the solder. And you cannot afford a big blob of solder there - it will affect the inter-ring capacitance as well.


  • Gustav, 

    do you have a small lathe?

    A 70cm handie/mobile and UHF SWR meter?

    Will send the antenna info this evening - been busy training more clients this weekend - they just left.


  • Thanks Joe,

    I'll send my long range UAV to come and fetch it, you might just have to re-fuel it there.......

    Ok, ok, only joking :-)

  • Moderator

    Dear Joe

    Few qestion.

    1. Possible to replace cooper wire for brass tube, 3-4 OD?

    2. "using  a 10mm x 5mm piece of thin copper foil, wrap it around the but joint and solder the wire ends together this way" - a must? When I cut wire ( or tube ) precisely?




  • hi Gustav -Still grinning away down there I see!  When you going to come visit??? I will give you an antenna - come fetch..

    I will post more detail for you later today Gustav - I will do it in this post- don't want to Blog this stuff anymore..



  • Hi Joe,

    Can you please post some more detail on your 868Mhz antenna?


  • do you sell it?

  • MR60

    Thank you again for educating us on antenna tech. This is great!

  • Thanks Joe

    Its handy that it is vertically polarised :) I still don't understand why a slot antenna is vertically polarised I will have to consult my RF books once I get a chance, but thanks for trying. (as I said antennas aren't really my thing)

    Sorry my brain clearly wasn't in gear last night, 915MHz is not allowed so most ppl opt for 433MHz or 2.4GHz but I haven't come across 868MHz so I don't know about that one (although I understand that some of the XBee modules are not allowed in the UK)

    I have been looking for general purpose FTDT/FEDT or MLFMM codes (not just for antennas) but with no luck finding a easy/cheap solution although for just antennas I will have to have a look at those two.

    Thanks Will

  • Moderator


    You are GREAT ! :))))

    Exellent job, very helpfull. Many, many thanks :)))

This reply was deleted.