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Spray On Antenna

02/21/2012 9:02 AM

Anyone know if this is legit? It seems too good to be true, but nano-tech is a whole new horizon.

RF under water?

HDTV for submariners in the future?

http://news.discovery.com/tech/spray-on-wi-fi-120214.html#mkcpgn=emnws1

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Guru
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#1

Re: Spray on Antenna

02/21/2012 9:55 AM

Two things in the link have my skepticism meter hitting max.

One is that the embedded video is provided by Gizmodo, the tech mag for the gullible.

The other is that he claims in the video that their spray-on antenna allowed them to contact an aircraft '14 miles' overhead. Fourteen miles is over 70,000 feet, which is well above the ceiling for any commercial jet and most military jets too; 70,000 feet is the altitude for special recon aircraft like the U-2 and SR-71. So without some other explanation, that claim is absurd.

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#2

Re: Spray on Antenna

02/21/2012 10:02 AM

I believe that this is misleading at best. I think one of the best explanations was one of the first replies now on the Discovery page. A stencil pattern and this conductive (transparent?) spray could make a usable antenna on a non-conductive surface. Connecting to the antenna might become tricky.

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#5
In reply to #2

Re: Spray on Antenna

02/21/2012 11:18 AM

I forgot to clarify a few points. The implied random spraying onto any surface making an antenna is clearly a false implication. Since many RF transmissions are also spatially oriented, there must also be a consideration of the orientation of the surface and the transmitting antenna.

I do not expect a sprayed antenna to ever exceed a metallic antenna of the same topology. For a few frequencies a sprayed antenna may rival a metallic antenna of the same topology.

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#3

Re: Spray On Antenna

02/21/2012 10:56 AM

I don't know about under water, but it looks like it is legit.

I think Discovery goofed when they said the plane was 14 miles overhead..................14 miles away is probably more accurate.

http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-02-spray-on-antenna-great-reception-google.html

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#4

Re: Spray On Antenna

02/21/2012 11:06 AM

Underwater radio communication is nearly unusable due to the absorption of signals not much higher than 1kHz. Bandwidth limitations for these ELF RF transmissions limits communications to simple dit-dah type messages.

In other words...it's bunk.

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#7
In reply to #4

Re: Spray On Antenna

02/21/2012 11:57 AM

Correct. Underwater transmission is very low frequency only. In cases where two vessels are close (within 1/2 mile) underwater voice transmission is possible. Otherwise, subs have to float an antenna.

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#6

Re: Spray On Antenna

02/21/2012 11:55 AM

OK, I did not view the correct video earlier. I now have a better idea about what they are proposing. Please ignore my earlier comments.

What this talking head is proposing is this "magic spray" is improving the antenna wire to free space impedance match. At first blush, this sounds very bogus to me. It's been several decades since I've done any antenna design work from the Physics perspective so I'll reserve my final opinion for now. What I will say that supports my opinion that this is bogus is this. A field strength measurement will quickly prove or disprove this claim. A field strength measurement is a quick, easy, cheap procedure. The only evidence provided is anecdotal evidence and not a certified, external laboratory's measurement. The lack of a field strength test screams "BOGUS"!

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#8

Re: Spray On Antenna

02/21/2012 12:18 PM

Quit paying attention to Gizmodo, it's nothing but a bunch of lies, they only rival Discovery regarding deceitful information; what can I say about their doccumentary enterviews ?: " Yeah, I recall that as if it was yesterday, I was sitting on my back yard..." Oh come on !, if they have to ask a layman, they know even less.

They should be severely discredited by the scientific community and forced to advertise their publications as " For entertainment porpuses only" and target the dreamer, pothead, candid and other lower forms of life.

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Guru

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Spray On Antenna

02/21/2012 12:51 PM

I agree, but I would tell these kids they can learn to fly if it would get them interested in Science...There is no proper discipline anymore, that only leaves deception...

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Guru

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Spray On Antenna

02/21/2012 1:20 PM

You mean like fractals attract youngsters into math? you're quite right, but you are commited to teach them solid basics, so they do understand, avoiding unclear, or made-up, quasi-magic words only to impress them.

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#17
In reply to #8

Re: Spray On Antenna

02/22/2012 12:11 AM

"... the dreamer, pothead, candid and other lower forms of life"

I fit into the dreamer category but what's a "candid" (I don't want to be missing out on something good)

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#11

Re: Spray On Antenna

02/21/2012 2:17 PM

"Can you imagine" a "device being able to transmit from the depths of the oceans to outer space, effortlessly transmitting between themselves?"

I CAN'T IMAGINE THAT, EVER.

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Guru

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Spray On Antenna

02/21/2012 2:46 PM

No problem, let them develop the Imagine-On spray (from the makers of hair-on spray).

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#13

Re: Spray On Antenna

02/21/2012 5:36 PM

Big deal. Painted-on electrically-resistive heating elements for defrosting car windows have been standard for many years now. Not much of a stretch to think that you could spray a similar conductive paint out of a can, make a connection with "contact blocks", et-voila', spray-on antenna! The real problem might be impedance matching for transmitting any appreciable amount of power efficiently. However, you might be amazed how effective low power can be for digital data transmissions versus voice communications. The bandwidth required for analog voice is extremely large, although digital voice transmissions do reduce that substantially. You can still do a lot with simple "dit-dahs", the original digital communications!

One specialty of the Amateur Radio hobby is known as QRP, from the old radio-telegraphers code for "reduced power". Hams running QRP can operate short-wave (High Frequency) Single-Sideband voice or CW (Continuous Wave) Morse Code over long distances. We also use PC-generated data transmissions over SSB/CW radios where the signal is so weak the human ear cannot pick it up through the noise, yet the PC easily decodes the text message. Hams usually use FM voice for short-distance and satellite work, often for local emergency communications.

Look at the kit here:

http://www.chamtechops.com/Kit/Kit.html

It says call for pricing, but their operator would not tell me any pricing, since I am not part of the military or government! She suggested that I e-mail them with my intended use and their sales guy "might" get back to me! I asked if being a federally-licensed amateur radio operator counted, but she said she did not think so!

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Spray On Antenna

02/21/2012 6:03 PM

You're thinking like I did originally. But a spray on conductor to make an antenna is not what this is about. Their taking an existing antenna and spraying it with this pixie dust and claiming improved transmission.

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#15

Re: Spray On Antenna

02/21/2012 11:31 PM

I don't know if painting a super conductive paint onto a tree.

What happens to the tree in the first thunder storm?

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Spray On Antenna

02/21/2012 11:39 PM

Nothing, the paint is not cold enough to super conduct in a thunder storm.

<curtsy>

<exit stage left>

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#18

Re: Spray On Antenna

02/22/2012 4:00 AM

Gain in a can...

I dunno. Sounds to good and some technical errors in the "presentation" (to an imaginary audience most likely)

Mr Sutera, 1Mw is not a milliwatt as you stated.

Did you mean an increase of 20dbm or 20 db. Not the same things mate.

Antenna function is hugely dependent on its length, orientation, proximity to other things...you know, the laws of physics and things like that.

14 miles line of sight radio transmission is not that big a deal. Could have achieved that with a mangled coaxial cable and a wet technician.

He wants to come up with a better theoretical model for this wonder spray's attributes before I buy into it.

If it really does work then that's fantastic and I'd like to know how it does it so I can confidently specify this stuff for my designs.

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#19

Re: Spray On Antenna

02/22/2012 6:19 AM

And if you order now, we'll double your order!

Sounds bogus to me.

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#20

Re: Spray On Antenna

02/22/2012 12:58 PM

Aside from some conformal applications and turning tree bark(?) into high gain antennas, this looks like another over-hyped government funded project looking for additional funding channels. The undersea distance claims seem fishy at best. Sometimes I'd rather not know where my tax dollars are going.

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#21

Re: Spray On Antenna

02/22/2012 3:04 PM

The image is altered...not even a real can of fake.

If a sub were at periscope depth, whey would they want to communicate under water? Why wouldn't they remain deep submerged to avoid wake detection? I'll tell you...because its all crap!

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#22

Re: Spray On Antenna

02/23/2012 9:28 AM

I can just see it now:

I am on the pier at the coast, and I have coated my line with the magic pixie powder, and I am sending secret underwater messages to a sub on the other side of the world.A foreign agent approaches, and I fold up my "Ron Popeil Pocket Fisherman", put it in my pocket, and casually walk away.I press a button, and my concealed ZPEF shoes levitate me several inches off of the ground, and I speed away at slightly sub-sonic speed.(Still got a few bugs to work out before I try a sub-space FTL jump).

I meet up at a local bar with Rod Serling,(Twilight Zone) and we discuss my next mission.

I really don't know if I want the assignment or not.He wants me to impersonate something that I know cannot possibly exist in this universe:

A politician with his hands in his own pockets.

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