Radio Direction Finder

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

The HANDI-Finder ® is a HANdheld DIrection Finder which can be used to localize both AM and FM carrier-based sources using a single connection to the antenna input of an FM receiver tuned to the frequency of interest in the range of 45 to 450 MHz. It has been designed for bare-bone functionality as well as low power consumption, simplicity, and ec

Radio Direction Finder
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onomy! Because it is both an easy-to-build kit for the beginner and a convenient basis for further experimentation by those with more experience, it makes a great club project! Overall, it is a quick, inexpensive way to implement the concept of direction finding, and provides something relatively compact to keep readily available for locating sources of interference. Except for adding a handle, fabrication is minimal. Two open-loop antennas are made from coat hanger wire bent into halves of a "bow-tie" shape and mounted directly to the circuit board, as illustrated in the "layout" drawing. The coax downlead is connected to an FM receiver and detects the carrier regardless of whether the transmission mode is AM or FM. The unit is switched on (UP) and rotated for a null in the audio tone that it adds to the audio coming out the receiver. The signal direction is perpendicular to the plane of the antennas. There is 180-degree ambiguity, but this is not a problem in actual use because multiple "bearings" must be taken anyway in order to establish a "fix" on the location. Once close in, the operator works toward the general sense of the direction, and again the ambiguity is not a problem. The 3-position switch is moved DOWN to stop the tone but still keeps the antenna activated for monitoring and standby purposes, -or it is moved to the CENTER position to shut off the unit. Refer to the extensive discussion in the manual which...

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