“A Ham Radio ChatGPT Experiment”

ChatGPT logoChatGPT, which stands for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer, is a large language model-based chatbot developed by OpenAI and launched on November 30, 2022, which enables users to refine and steer a conversation towards a desired length, format, style, level of detail, and language. Successive prompts and replies, known as prompt engineering, are considered at each conversation stage as a context. (from Wikipedia).

Rob Weir, AC1PK, recently asked ChatGPT to explain phased arrays.  The answer he got was downright eery:


Explain phased arrays of vertical antennas in a way that a child could understand.


Alright! Imagine you have a group of magic wands, all standing upright next to each other. Each of these wands can produce waves, kind of like when you drop a pebble in water and you see those ripples moving outwards.

Now, if all these magic wands produce their waves at the same time, the waves combine and move together in one big wave, going straight out.

But what if we want our big wave to go in a different direction? Let’s say, to the right or the left instead of straight ahead?

This is where the “phased” part comes in. By making some wands start their waves a little bit earlier or later than others, we can make our big wave go in the direction we want. It’s like a team of rowers in a boat. If they all row together, the boat goes straight. But if they change the timing of their strokes, they can steer the boat in different directions.

So, a phased array of vertical antennas is like a group of magic wands that can send waves in specific directions by changing when each wand starts its wave. Cool, right?


[Dang! The scary thing here is that if I search Google I don’t see a page out there that uses this magic wand analogy. I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords!]