The basic components of a Southern Avionics® Non-directional beacon (NDB) are the Transmitter, Antenna Tuning Unit (ATU) or Antenna Coupler, and Antenna. The antenna consists of the radiator, insulators, and grounding system.
Customers may overlook the importance of correct antenna matching when using existing antennas with their new NDB & ATU. NDB antennas that have been in service many years often have deterioration or hidden damage in the radiator element, insulators, or the grounding system.
Because of the high voltages normally present, weakness in these areas can cause the antenna to short out. This will (correctly) cause the NDB transmitter to shutdown, or the antenna may simply have insufficient capacitance to allow optimal operation.
Match NDB Components for Optimal Performance
Although the Southern Avionics’ NDB and ATU are very robust and extremely reliable components of the ground station, using a poor quality antenna will significantly impede performance or cause the NDB to fail completely.
For this reason, SAC designs and supplies our own antenna systems specifically engineered to maximize the performance of our transmitters. These designs are the result of our more than 48 years of RF design and manufacturing experience.
A properly installed and configured Southern Avionics® NDB normally provides decades of uninterrupted service.
To have your existing antenna approved, simply provide detailed information regarding the antenna configuration and conditions of the site to us. We will make our review, and provide comments on problems that might be encountered if necessary. Wherever possible, we will make recommendations so you can bring it up to optimal performance. After approval, the equipment will receive full warranty coverage. There is no cost for this antenna configuration and site analysis service.
Please note: As the use of antennas that were not supplied (or approved) by SAC may introduce a major unknown element into the system over which SAC has no control, and which may cause failure or damage of the other installed components, the use of antennas that are deteriorated, of incorrect capacitance, or are otherwise improperly matched, will necessarily void our warranty.