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HF/MW/LW General Discussion General discussion on monitoring the HF (High Frequency), MW (Medium Wave), and LW (Long Wave) spectrum (0.5 - 30 MHz)

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Old 08-04-2010, 3:36 PM
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Default longwave recevers and transmitters

are there any receivers just for long wave?

and what are some good ones for amateur use?

500khz to 1khz is what im looking for.

and what is the lowest a radio you can buy goes?

does anyone have links for a kit or instructions to build one?

thanks,
Brian
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Old 08-04-2010, 5:40 PM
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All of these questions, and a whole lot more, are better answered by our friends at the Longwave Club of America. If you are serious about this low part of the spectrum, that's where you want to be...

Longwave Home Page

73 Mike
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Old 08-06-2010, 7:46 PM
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hi Mike
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:47 PM
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There are many general coverage receivers that go down below 500khz. My old R71a goes to 100khz without mod, down to zero if modified. I believe the R75 does too, as well as probably many of the software defined radios.
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Old 08-11-2010, 1:19 PM
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I must be in a 'longwave hole' here because having quite often scanned the spectrum on both my r71 and r75, I have yet to get other than a couple beacons. What are folks after down there?
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Old 08-11-2010, 1:52 PM
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There's plenty below 500kHZ... NDB and DGPS beacons, NAVTEX, experimental stations. Depending where you are you might catch some European broadcast stations. Check out others experience with different receivers though, many "general coverage" receivers will go low, but are relatively deaf below 500. As for antennas, if it's not amplified get as much wire out as practical, and away from noise if possible. Down on LF there's noise EVERYWHERE.
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ab2ms View Post
There's plenty below 500kHZ... NDB and DGPS beacons, NAVTEX, experimental stations. Depending where you are you might catch some European broadcast stations. Check out others experience with different receivers though, many "general coverage" receivers will go low, but are relatively deaf below 500. As for antennas, if it's not amplified get as much wire out as practical, and away from noise if possible. Down on LF there's noise EVERYWHERE.
Thanks-yeah I think all I get is my nearby power lines that is interesting stuff though-Id love to be able to hear comm there...kind of eerie.
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:04 PM
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I use an ITT Mackay Marine receiver that goes down to 15 KHz. I also have a BC-314 that covers from 150-1500 KHz, but that's a rare one. Antenna-wise, a loop is almost mandatory, and I've had pretty good luck with active antennas.

Check eBay, sometimes commercial-grade LF receivers come up for "affordable" prices. Of course, people's definitions of "affordable" can vary!
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Old 08-25-2010, 9:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ab2ms View Post
There's plenty below 500kHZ... NDB and DGPS beacons, NAVTEX, experimental stations. Depending where you are you might catch some European broadcast stations. Check out others experience with different receivers though, many "general coverage" receivers will go low, but are relatively deaf below 500. As for antennas, if it's not amplified get as much wire out as practical, and away from noise if possible. Down on LF there's noise EVERYWHERE.
Hi Guys:

Longwave is fun, but to be honest, it's a lot harder than Shortwave. Noise is the killer here...there's way too much on the Longwave bands, and the seasons make a difference too (the longer nights in winter make longwave easier than the short summer nights we have now). European broadcast stations are possible on longwave here in Ontario, Canada, but you have to work at it...you'll need a very long wire antenna (mine is 150 feet, but I've heard of some that lay several thousand feet lol!) and a very sensitive receiver (I use a ham radio transceiver, which tunes all the way down to 50 khz).

Longwave broadcasts from Europe, Africa and Asia run from 153 khz to 279 khz, spaced by 9 khz intervals. They are extremely high powered to overcome atmospheric noise; some transmitters run 2 million watts or so! That being said, normally if I'm interested in trying longwave in the evening, I'll check out the fairly easy 162 khz from France...if it's audible, the band is open (as it is right now, actually...I can hear a thin French sound above the noise).

Here in Ontario I can receive longwave from
162 France, 171 Morocco, 183 Germany, 189 Iceland, 198 England, 216 Monte Carlo, 234 Luxembourg, and 252 Ireland. But again, conditions have to be good...a long winter night, low noise, that sort of thing. Have fun everybody and I hope you get lucky!

VA3SAJ
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Old 08-25-2010, 9:27 PM
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Thank you for the good info. I go in the band to see what's there but have only gotten a couple beacons. I only have a 50 ft. random wire attached to one of my D130Js. I can get some 160meters but that's as low as I can go.
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ridgescan View Post
Thank you for the good info. I go in the band to see what's there but have only gotten a couple beacons. I only have a 50 ft. random wire attached to one of my D130Js. I can get some 160meters but that's as low as I can go.
Hi Frank:

Well your Icoms are really nice little rigs, perfectly adequate for the task, and easily sensitive enough, as the reviews at eham say, ICOM IC-R75 Product Reviews A longer wire would really help, I think. But honestly, I think the main objection here is just distance....longwave is exhausted by the time it gets from Europe to America, and its really faint even for good receivers/antennas by the time you get to Ontario or the central Americas. I think by the time you get to the west coast, where you live, you'd need almost superhuman equipment/skills to get much out of the noise. Try increasing the wire length, if you can, and as I said, winter is better, longer nights and much, much less noise (fewer storms, lightning, etc). My opening to France on longwave is now dying out as local sunrise over there is coming...good luck!

VA3SAJ
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:05 PM
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Well unfortunately for me I'm at my limit for length now as I am not blessed with property. However I am content with what I do have and am thankful for it I am looking forward to some possibility of a catch in the winter given what you say about those longer nights. Meantime we've still got a pile of discovery out on the other bands.
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Old 09-03-2010, 9:25 AM
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I agree on the R-75, it works very well with a good antenna. Don't forget also the Palomar Engineers LW converter, it works great with a ham xcvr. If you are near AM broadcasters, you might need a pre-selector like several from MFJ.
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Old 09-05-2010, 6:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by va3saj View Post
Longwave is fun, but to be honest, it's a lot harder than Shortwave. That being said, normally if I'm interested in trying longwave in the evening, I'll check out the fairly easy 162 khz from France...if it's audible, the band is open (as it is right now, actually...I can hear a thin French sound above the noise).

Here in Ontario I can receive longwave from
162 France, 171 Morocco, 183 Germany, 189 Iceland, 198 England, 216 Monte Carlo, 234 Luxembourg, and 252 Ireland.
I get 162 France and 183 Germany here in Richmond, Virginia. At night of course. But you hit the nail on the head: Longwave listening is very challenging, compared to shortwave. (That's the fun of it, for me). For me the key is simply antenna design. I think people make the mistake of using random wires, dipoles and other contraptions which work on shortwave - and can't understand why they don't get anything < 500 kilohertz.

One needs an antenna with inductance - I mean inductance of at least 1000 microhenries. You don't need a preamp. I don't use one.

I use large ferrite loopsticks, that I wind by hand using speaker wire. That's usually my antenna, and its right on my table - not thrown up a tree somewhere. Alternately, I can also use a large wire loop wrapped around my window, and simply have a 2000 uH inductor (RF choke) in-line before the (+) wire enters the antenna terminal.

On longwave you need inductance to hear the signals.


Larry
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:55 PM
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actually ive found that at that low of a frequency a pre amp actually makes the signal worse.
it might just be my ic-7000 that im using it will go down to 30khz i probally need to change the bandwidth for a better signal.

when listening that low what do you guys have for bandwith? or what is the smallest you recommend?

hmm would a ground loop work using 2 8' grounding rods?
i know u can get a good amount of inductance from a ground loop but just how to do it is the question.
without interference from everything that is grounded or interfering with your other antennas.
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Last edited by N4ADE; 09-23-2010 at 1:01 PM..
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