A short history of TV aerials


The first experiments that involved coupling electricity and magnetism that showed a provable relationship occurred in the 1830s. Michael Faraday was the British scientist behind them. He was the first to create a time-varying magnetic field by moving a magnet around wire coils that had been attached to a galvanometer. From Maxwell’s equations, Faraday deduced that he had created a time-varying electric field. This coil was acting as a loop antenna to receive the electromagnetic radiation, which was detected by the galvanometer. Up until this point in our history, the concept of the electromagnetic wave had not even been discovered.

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Heinrich Hertz was the next scientist to dabble in the technology in the late 1800s. He created a wireless communication system in which he caused an electrical spark to take place in the gap of a dipole antenna. Using a loop antenna as a receiver, he was able to pick up a similar disturbance. This took place in 1886. By 1895, a young Guglielmo Marconi was using this knowledge to transmit signals by up to half a mile in his father’s estate in Bologna, Italy.

By using a monopole antenna raised high off the ground, Marconi realised that he was able to transmit signals of up to 2 miles and over hills. The reduced frequency of the waves produced by the monopole antenna meant that they could travel over longer distances than the dipole antennas used by Hertz.

Once the British became interested in Marconi’s discovery, things moved swiftly. By 1897, Marconi was able to transmit Morse code over a 6-kilometre distance over the Salisbury Plain. Four years later in 1901, Marconi sent information across the Atlantic Ocean. The transmitting antenna was a series of several vertical wires that were attached to the ground. Across the Atlantic Ocean, the receiving antenna was a wire 200 metres across, held up by a kite. The antennas back then were completely different from today’s models. Modern antennas such as those fitted by experts that specialise in TV aerial installation Swansea such as https://www.onevisionltd.co.uk/tv-aerial-installation-swansea/, for example, are unrecognisable from their historical originals.

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Below is a list of the dates of some major antenna discoveries:

-Yagi-Uda Antenna: 1920s
-Horn Antenna: 1939
-Arrays Antenna: 1940s
-Parabolic Reflectors: late 1940s
-Patch Antennas: 1970s
-PIFA: 1980s

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