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  • Brent Briley

Ferrite vs. Air Core Antennas


Whether antennas are called peak, null, omni, or 3D, there are only two ways to read an electromagnetic field, vertically and horizontally. Ideally, to resolve the interference of parasitic capacitance and inductance (stray electric signal), these antennas should have adequate spacing between them. Vertical antennas (Null) have the ability to exam field strength in relation to the polarity of an electromagnetic field which allows for field guidance, but within limits when an electromagnetic field is distorted. Horizontal antennas (Peak) are the core of the locator as they capture the most voltage directly over a utility and within the alignment of the field. Horizontal antennas are much more accurate in when locating in distorted electromagnetic conditions and are also used to provide depth and current measurements.

There are two different types of antennas (aka inductors), ferrite core and air core. Generally, air core antennas are tuned for higher frequency locating while ferrite core antennas are tuned for lower frequency and higher frequency locating. The ferrite core is the more superior antenna when locating as it has up to a thousand times the absorption of an electromagnetic field. For this reason, it is often much smaller and allows for invaluably more accurate and stable antenna mounting as well as the ability to shield the antenna.

With exceptional spacing, strong soldered mounting, and finely tuned ferrite core antennas, Radiodetection locators are able to process a more stable and finely filtered locate signal, especially at the low frequencies that many locators struggle with.


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