2 Jun 05 18:14
As an antenna engineer with some great test equipment, if anyone wants to send me a painted and non painted antenna, a simple test takes just 10 minutes and it's easy to do, and I won't charge you anything (other than return shipping). You could also send me the paint for loss tests, that'll cost you a bit, I'd have to make a test setup special.
In general, low frequency wider bandwidth antennas can be painted with most non metallic paints and you'll never see the difference.
The worst antenna to paint is a narrow band antenna (GPS antenna is best example) using a thick paint coating. It'll shift the frequency downward and not work in your frequency band anymore.
Narrow bandwidth (typically thin antennas = narrow bandwidth) antennas, if designed properly should have a thick radome so that multiple thick paint coatings (or rain/ice) will be far enough away from the metal radiating part of the antenna to be out of the field.
On the same thought pattern, water is dielectric = 81, and very high loss, much much higher than 99.999% of all paints. That's the worst paint equivalent (other than metallic paint) that you can imagine. If it works in the rain, generally it'll work with a little extra paint on it.
Toyon Research Corporation