Turbo aerial

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A turbo aerial is a short receiver aerial containing components to give it similar performance to a much longer aerial. They are properly called 'base-loaded whip antennas'. They are popular on small electric helicopters, where it can be difficult to string out 1m or so of wire, and that aren't flown very far away, so maximum range is less of an issue.

Turbo aerials can be made quite simply from passive components.

  • 35MHz turbo aerial
Cut off the original receiver antenna wire at about 4 inches from the receiver. Solder one side of a 10 microhenry RF choke to the receiver aerial, and solder on a 7 inch wire to the other side of the choke. This second wire should be kept straight, so it might be worth using piano wire or something similar. Insulate the assembly as necessary.
  • 72MHz turbo aerial
Similar to the 35MHz version, except the choke is 1.5 microhenry, and the whip portion is 6 inches rather than 7.

Always satisfy yourself that the range of your radio system is sufficient after performing this modification by carrying out a thorough range check.

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