Technical Articles

What is Front to Back Ratio and Why Does it Matter?

Tim Duffy, K3LR, DX Engineering CEO, used the installation of a six meter, ten-element, 48-foot beam Yagi at the K3LR superstation as an opportunity to explain and demonstrate how to test front to back ratio—an important parameter in judging a directional antenna’s ability to minimize noise, reduce unwanted signals, and optimize performance.

Expressed in decibels (dB), front to back ratio compares power gain, or transmitted or received signal strength, at the front and back of a directional antenna (usually comparing the peak gain in a specific direction with the gain when the antenna is rotated 180 degrees). In short, for a directional antenna, you’ll want to maximize power in the forward direction.

Watch the video here:

DX Engineering carries a number of directional Yagi antennas with excellent front to back ratios (listed as F/B in the product descriptions). These include the DX Engineering tri-band (20/15/10M) ten-element Skyhawk Yagi and dual-band (17/12M) seven-element Skylark Yagi; more than 65 German-engineered, computer-optimized OptiBeam HF and six meter antennas; Hy-Gain antennas; EAntenna HF and UHF/VHF antennas, offered exclusively in North America by DX Engineering; and others. Also choose from rotatable dipoles from Bushcomm, Comet, Cushcraft, Diamond, and MFJ.

Need assistance finding the best directional antenna for your needs and space limitations? The Elmers at DX Engineering are only an email or phone call away.

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