3D printed 12cm band helical antenna insulators

helix antenna insulators

These are 3D printed insulators for a homemade 12cm band (2400 MHz) 22 turn helical antenna for use with the QO-100 geostationary satallite (this antenna is right hand circular polarised). The main antenna element is a enamalled copper helical wire coil pulled out along the length of the boom. It is held at various points (every 1 1/2 wavelengths of wire) along the length of the coil using 15 small 3D printed plastic insulators alternately along the boom (see photos at the bottom of this page).

Each insulator is simply a 18 mm cyclinder. It has a horizontal hole near to the top (15 mm from the base) to take the 2mm diameter copper antenna wire. There is also a vertical (coaxial) hole that acts is a pilot hole for a self tap screw that secures the insulator to the 13mm square cross section metal boom.

I printed the insulators in batches of 4 but a 3D printer could easily print out all 15 insulators at once if desired.

Testing the insulators
I put the 3D printed insulators in a Microwave oven for about 30 seconds to see if they absorbed power (I also include a half filled mug of water as a load to protect the oven).
As they didnt get hot I assume they dont absorb much power at the microwave frequencies of the oven - which is of course what we want for a good insulator at the higher freq of 2400 MHz.

helix antenna helix antenna insulators

".stl" file
".scad" file
".g" file
back to
3D page


Dr Jonathan Hare University of Sussex, Brighton.
e-mail: j.p.hare@sussex.ac.uk

home | diary | whats on | CSC summary | latest news