AN/GRA-50 Antenna

FSN 5985-892-0758
Brooke Clarke, 2002 - 2014

Background

Made for use with the vehicle mounted AN/GRC-19 Radio set consisting of the T-195 Transmitter and R-392 Receiver. 1.5 to 20 MHz coverage at 100 Watts.  This antenna was intended for field use, not base station.  It would be deployed by throwing the weighted end of the halyard over a tree branch.  Since the halyard is 75 feet long the highest the antenna can be is about 40 feet up.  For operation at 1.8 MHz (160 meters) the antenna should be up at least 1/4 wave length ( 40 meters or about 120 feet) for good horizontal propagation.  So for frequencies below about 6 Mhz the antenna acts like a Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) antenna and sends most of it's energy straight up.  This provides good coverage out to a few hundred miles.  The manual mentioned that in a jungle environment a 15 foot vertical antenna looses a lot of it's signal to the trees and the GRA-50 will do much better.

Construction

The two dipole elements are on reels so that the length of the doublet can be adjusted to match the frequency of operation anywhere in the 1.5 to 20 MHz range of the T-195 transmitter.  But it could be used at higher frequencies.

Installing Wire on Reeling Machines

GRA-50 Antenna
          ReelA new GRA-50 comes with the antenna wire separate from the Reeling Machines.  To install the wire:
In a location where you can work with 156 feet of wire tie off the inner end of the wire and carefully remove one turn at a time as you work your way to the other end.  Attach the end to the reel in such a way that when the wire is pulled it will tend to tighten in the slot rather than come loose.  Connect one end of the wire to the reel by using a Wing Nut installed from inside to the Large hole.  The washer will fit on the wing nut side of the hole.

Selecting Wire Length

The tape measure can be used or the formula Length of each antenna wire in feet = 234 / (Freq in MHz)
This is equivalent to the overall dipole length in feet = 468 / (Freq in MHz)

The amateur bands are harmonically related so if the antenna is setup for 160 meters it should theoretically also will work on 40 and 10 meters but not 80 and 20 meters.  i.e. it works where each wire is an odd multiple of a quarter wavelength.  Because of ground proximity at the lower frequencies it's not clear how the antenna impedance behaves with frequency, something to actually measure.  Stay tuned (20 Oct 2002).
June 2006 - have a Tape Measure on the way.

Using the Wire Clamp Wing Nut on the Reeling Machine

GRA-50 Antenna Wire Clamp Under the Wire Clamp there is a washer with a rubber washer below that.  The wire is installed between the metal frame of the Reeling Machine and the rubber washer.  It is routed over the first pin and under the second pin so as to cause the wire to make two "U" turns that hold the wire.  The rubber is there to protect the wire NOT to clamp it.

Center Insulator

The Center Insulator has holes to allow hanging it but the standard GRA-50 kit does not include a Halyard for that purpose.

With the type N connector pointing down and the wing nuts visible the left wing nut is connected to the shield and the right wing nut to the center conductor, if you want to make a vertical antenna.

Parts List for GRA-50 FSN 5985-892-0758

 
Photo
Description
Nomenclature
Qty
FSN
 
Technical Manual
 
1
TM 5820-467-15
 Wanted
Bag BG-175
1
6115-498-3973
GRA-50
                    Antenna RG-58 Coax
75' RG-58 Cable Assy
2 ea N(m) UG-536/U
CG-678/U
1
5995-823-2176
GRA-50
                    Antenna IL-4/GR-4 Center Insulator
Center Insulator
with
N(m) connector & cap
IL-4/GRA-4
1
5970-405-8223
GRA-50
                    Antenna MX-2706/G Halyard
1/8" dia x 75' Halyard
with
8 oz lead weight
MX-2706/G
2
5985-893-1438
GRA-50
                    Antenna RC-432 Reeling Machine

GRA-50 Cable
                    Reeling Maching RC-432/G
Cable Reeling Machine

2 new in box Jan 2015
RC-432/G
2
5895-896-3179


3895-00-896-3179
p/n: RC-432G
CAGE: 06076
DLA700-90-C-1627
A  3/91
GRA-50
                    Antenna Wire CX-7303
160' Antenna Wire CX-7303/G
2
5985-757-2130
 On it's way Jun 2006
Measuring Tape Arkay # 859-501
1
5210-897-6077


Tape Measure

Ordered one of these from Australia in 2006, but it never arrived.  The one I ordered was the Arkay No. 859-501.

In December 2014 I did get one with the same NSN 5210-897-6077 made by F. & H. Mfg. Corp., Germany.
It's larger than I expected at 7-3/8" diameter with a body thickness of about a inch, much thicker the center over the strap and crank.

The front of the tape is marked in feet and tenths of a foot.  The back is marked in frequencies from 20.0 Mc to 1.5 Mc.
NOTE:  the front is feet and tents of a foot, not feet and inches.  I may have misread the tape for some entries in the table below.

NSN 5210-897-6077
Tape Radio Frequency
1 Each
Tape,
                  Radio Frequency NSN: 5210-897-6077
F. & H. Mfg. Corp. 156 Ft
Label has fallen off box.
Tape,
                  Radio Frequency NSN: 5210-897-6077
20.0 Mc = 11.7', 19.0 Mc = 12.3'
Tape,
                  Radio Frequency NSN: 5210-897-6077
Made in Germany
Tape,
                  Radio Frequency NSN: 5210-897-6077


The tape is marked in the length of a 1/4 wavelength at the frequency shown based on the formula:
1/4 Wavelength (ft) = 234' /(Freq Mc)
At 1.5 Mc a 1/4 wavelength is 156 feet and that's the maximum length of the tape.
Note  you need to measure two wires, each 1/4 wavelength long, to make a dipole with the GRA-50 set.
Different columns for different frequency step sizes
1 MHz

0.5 MHz
0.2 MHz

0.1 MHz

0.05 MHz

0.02 MHz


Freq
Mc
Dist
Ft
20.0
11.7
19.0
12.3
18.0
13.0
17.0
13.8
16.0
14.7
15.0
15.7
14.0
16.8
13.0
18.0
12.0
19.6
11.0
21.3

Freq
Mc
Dist
Ft
11.0
21.3
10.5
22.3
10.0
23.5
9.5
24.7
9.0
26.0
8.5
27.6
8.0
29.3
7.5
31.3
7.0
33.5
Freq
Mc
Dist
Ft
7.0
33.5
6.8
34.5
6.6
35.5
6.4
36.6
6.2
37.8
6.0
39.0
5.8
40.4
5.6
41.8
5.4
43.4
5.2
45.0
5.0
46.0
4.8
48.8
4.6
50.9
4.4
53.2
4.2
55.8
4.0
58.6

Freq
Mc
Dist
Ft
4.0
58.6
3.9
60.0
3.8
61.6
3.7
63.3
3.6
65.0
3.5
66.9
3.4
68.9
3.3
70.0
3.2
73.2
3.1
75.5
3.0
78.0

Freq
Mc
Dist
Ft
3.00
78.0
2.95
79.4
2.90
80.7
2.85
82.1
2.80
83.6
2.75
85.1
2.70
86.7
2.65
88.4
2.60
90.0
2.55
91.8
2.50
93.7
2.45
95.6
2.40
97.6
2.35
99.6
2.30
101.8
2.25
104.0
2.20
106.4
2.15
108.9
2.10
111.5
2.05
114.2
2.0
117.0

Freq
Mc
Dist
Ft
2.0
117.0
1.98
118.2
1.96
119.4
1.94
120.7
1.92
121.9
1.90
123.2
1.88
124.5
1.86
125.9
1.84
127.2
1.82
128.6
1.80
130.0
1.78
131.5
1.76
132.96
1.74
134.58
1.72
136.05
1.70
137.64
1.68
139.34
1.66
140.96
1.64
142.78
1.62
144.54
1.60
146.35
1.58
148.10
1.56
150.00
1.54
151.94
1.52
153.94
1.50
156.00



Manuals


TM 11-5820-467-15 Operator, Organizational, Field, and Depot Maintenance Manual Antenna Group AN/GRA-50
TM 11-5820-467-24P

Patents

3400402 Wire Antenna Extensible Along Calibrated Support Means, (Collins) - GRA-50?

Links

N2CHK - GRA-50 page
Casa in NZ mil antenna parts as eBay seller alandnz


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