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The Gray-Hoverman Antenna For UHF Television ReceptionMarch 11, 2008
Updated March 22, 2008 (corrected SBGH performance plots)
This project is dedicated to Doyt R. Hoverman (b.1913), the man who created and did the early work on the Hoverman antenna at a time when antenna modeling programs did not exist. His work would have been entirely created and improved by field testing, trial and error, and with a great amount of calculation without the benefit of electronic devices. Without his efforts, our work would not have been. Doyt Hoverman passed away in December, 1989 at Van Wert, Ohio, USA.
First, A Bit About The Original Hoverman AntennaDoyt R. Hoverman's original design for a television antenna was granted US patents #2918672 on 22 Dec 1959 and #3148371 on 8 Sept 1964, which expired in 1979 and 1984 respectively. To view them, click on this link and then simply enter the patent number mentioned above to retrieve each.
In his patent applications, Hoverman describes two designs with 4 rod reflectors, full wavelength and co-linear half-wavelength reflectors, with the second design using the following specifications:
The original Hoverman antenna design did not have a reflector and used a driven array of 56" segments with eight zig-zag 7" sub-elements. The original patent # 2918672 claimed UHF and VHF reception. The modeling results did not find any positive net gain for VHF Low channels 2-6 nor for VHF High channels 7-13.
There is very little information available anywhere on the Hoverman antenna. The only reference to any commercially manufactured Hoverman antennas seems to be in the article (PDF) The Hoverman, VUD Sept 1982, which mentioned a 4 bay Hoverman made by AntennaCraft named the model G-1483 and which was also made for Radio Shack as the model 15-1627, seen in this photo courtesy of tvlurker:
Some of these commercially manufactured Hoverman variants used 7 pairs of collinear rod reflectors. Judging from the AntennaCraft and Radio Shack websites and many Internet searches those Hoverman models do not seem to be currently in manufacture, although it seems that old stock of the AntennaCraft Super-G 1483 is or was available from SummitSource.com.
Recent Research On The HovermanCanadian antenna buff Autofils, speculating in an online discussion of Build It Yourself Antennas on the Digital Home web site in early 2008 on the possibility of experimenting with the old Hoverman Antenna design, sought out old sparks, another Canadian antenna enthusiast, who used 4NEC2 computer antenna modelling software to model the original Hoverman design. His research showed that the Hoverman had poor SWR but certainly exhibited strong gain either as a bi-directional antenna or, if one were to put a reflector screen on it, as a unidirectional antenna.
With assistance, advice, and encouragement from fellow antenna enthusiasts, an ad hoc research and development team came together. Using NEC II, 4NEC2, and EZNEC computerized antenna modelling software, the original Hoverman design was reconfigured in many ways over the weeks to discover whether improvements upon it could be achieved. The R&D team included Canadians GerryB, myself as moderator (stampeder), kro, 99gecko and DjiPi, joined at the same time by Americans DogT, oneolddude as well as Keo, amongst others. Thanks to Ken Nist (kq6qv) for his antenna modeling and graphing tools and assistance.
Introducing the New Gray-Hoverman AntennaWith ongoing correspondence, design improvement, and real world testing, Autofils' resulting design has achieved an extraordinary leap in UHF Television Antenna reception performance that rivals and beats most or all of today's commercially available UHF Television antennas.
"Boy, this antenna is hot. I finally got it pointed right. After I did a search for channels, I got 23 digital channels, and this is from about 30-40 miles, over mountains. I now get all 4 digital network channels from DC, 48, 36, 39, 34 (ABC, NBC, FOX, and whatever the other one is, PBS, MHZ, and a 6 channel digi mostly religious station. I was not really interested in the analog channels, but they were the only ones I could measure with the analyzer. This antenna is a vast, and I mean REALLY VAST improvement over anything I have used." -- DogT
Today we are delighted to announce the public availability of the Gray-Hoverman UHF Television Antenna designs, schematics, and diagrams, Copyright ©2008 and licensed under the GPLv3.
The Gray-Hoverman antenna designs, schematics, and diagrams on this site are Copyright ©2008 and are free: you can redistribute them and/or modify them under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at our option) any later version.There are two Gray-Hoverman configurations:
These designs, schematics, and diagrams are distributed in the hope that they will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
For your complete copy of the GNU General Public License to go along with the designs, schematics, and diagrams, see www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.txt.
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