Need an antenna? Spray it on!

The Wall Street Journal blog Digits recently ran a story on a Utah company, Chamtech Operations, that claims to have developed a spray-on antenna. The post says:

A start-up called Chamtech Enteprises (sic) has an answer to the problems of poor cellphone reception and other shortcomings of traditional antennas…The company has developed a spray-on antenna that it says is more lightweight, energy-efficient and effective than the old-school version…The Sandy, Utah-based start-up’s nanotechnology, unveiled last week at Google’s inaugural Solve For X gathering, can be painted onto a tree, a wall, the ground or even the back of a soldier, enabling a more portable, lightweight way to get reception for a variety of uses.

It goes on to say:

Traditional antennas—the kind that receive radio and TV signals—work OK, but they’re beset by problems, Spencer [Chamtech chief technology officer...Dan] said. They suck up energy, drain battery life and get too hot. They don’t send or receive signals as far or as clearly as users would like. They don’t work well under water.

Personally, I find these claims to be hilarious. Or, am I missing something?


  1. I left my conventional antenna on my radio the other day, and it sucked the life right out of my battery! Next time I’ll know better and use my spray-on antenna – besides, with my VX-6 being waterproof, I need an antenna that works under water too!

  2. Rich, KE4GNK says:

    I’m smelling the distinct scent of a technology that may be undistinguishable from a scam–or a heck of a great way to separate folks from their money.

    Conventional antennas get hot and suck batteries? Works underwater? Sounds wonderful, bigger than life, and just amazing…

    Too good to be true, huh?

  3. Well let’s look at the practicality of creation and application. Spray is inherently unquantifiable by its very nature. The distance of the nozzle from the surface and the speed of the application all will affect the characteristics of the antenna. That means a tuner is going to be needed which will degrade signal and suck up the power he claims to preserve.

    The idea of spraying this on the back of human beings is just stupid. Aside from the coupling that might take place, the human is going to eat all that juicy RF up and just suck up more of that power the ‘antenna’ would have saved.

    Sounds more like an instant heat sink or dummy load to me!

  4. Of course you can always get the mudflap antenna too

  5. Dennis, KO6YO says:

    Just one of the many things I saw that is absurd….
    On the “Solve for X” video you can see the 50 Mhz antenna that gets dropped into the water. The antenna element is not in an enclosure. No doubt the moment the antenna is in the water the SWR goes to hell, and his feed line (above the water) is now radiating. Some guy with a receiver a mile away can pick-up Anthony’s signal, but it isn’t from all those nano capacitors that he sprayed onto the antenna. It’s all a SCAM ! What surprises me is that this video is still up on Google’s web site. Some folks have caught on, but others are buying it lock, stock, and spray can …

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