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Receive Antennas (below 30MHz) For all topics related to receive antennas used on HF, MW, LW, etc. For transmit antennas use the Amateur Radio Antennas forum.

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Old 03-01-2010, 7:50 PM
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Default Radiomaster PA-30 antenna

Does anyone have any info on the Radiomaster PA-30 (also sold as NASA PA-30) wire antenna used for Shortwave Listening?

This antenna is manufactured in Holland by RF systems but that about all the info I can find. It would be nice to find some user reviews but the I can find none on the web.

Please help!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-01-2010, 9:01 PM
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I fooled around with one of these at a Winterfest a year or two ago. They're a decent travel antenna - the transformer on the end will help with local noises - but don't expect too much out of it. It's way too physically short to be very effective below 10 mhz (yes, it will work, but not all that well...). You can only bend the laws of physics so far - there are a few you can't break no matter what you do, hi

Antennas like this coming out of Europe are developed with the much higher RF signal levels on HF found there in mind. I suspect that on the West Coast, this antenna would be hard pressed to be very effective, since the signal levels are far less than that found even on the East Coast

If you are shopping for an antenna, be more specific about your needs. What receiver are you using, portable or desktop, what are you looking for in terms of performance or portability - all of these questions are important to getting the right answer.

73 Mike
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ka3jjz View Post
If you are shopping for an antenna, be more specific about your needs. What receiver are you using, portable or desktop, what are you looking for in terms of performance or portability - all of these questions are important to getting the right answer.

73 Mike
Thank you. I am forced to use any antenna I buy indoors which I know is not the the best. I plan on building my own as part of the SWL hobby now that I'm retired.

What I wanted is a decent antenna that will work really well from the central illinois near Peoria IL. That antenna would be my "base line" reference antenna to compare my DIY antennas to for success or fail on them. The pa-30 seemed like the best choice since they don't require an antenna tuner and are 100% passive which I need for my radios.

All of my radios are portables with a Grundig 800 being my flagship radio.

Any help base on what I've posted will be most welcome.
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Old 03-02-2010, 8:04 PM
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If you have an attic or crawlspace, you could hardly do better than the PAR EF-SWL. I know one or two folks that have this mounted in such a configuration; obviously it's nowhere near as good as getting something outside, but it would still be a pretty effective test antenna, even though it would be somewhat unscientific.

Take a look at this wiki article, which has TONS of links on various kinds of HF antennas...

HF Antennas - The RadioReference Wiki

Another antenna that, if I could get into my attic anymore (unfortunately not) would be to make a Skyloop created by making multiple turns around the perimeter, and feeding that into a 9:1 transformer. Feeding this as a loop should help keep some of the noise down, and the transformer will help keep the impedance down to a reasonable level. The Shortwave SWL Antenna Yahoo group (also linked in the wiki article above) has many photos, files and diagrams with possible solutions.

73 Mike
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Old 05-21-2011, 3:32 PM
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I have a Sangean 909 and have the PA-30 longwire hooked up to the external antenna jack. Sucks! Lots of noise. I am looking for another outside antenna to use instead. The power lines in front of my house are parallel to my house and my PA-30 was run under the eve of the house parallel to the power lines. Did this cause much of the noise? Try running it at a different angle? Or try another outside wire antenna? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-21-2011, 3:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
Does anyone have any info on the Radiomaster PA-30 (also sold as NASA PA-30) wire antenna used for Shortwave Listening?

This antenna is manufactured in Holland by RF systems but that about all the info I can find. It would be nice to find some user reviews but the I can find none on the web.

Please help!!!!!!!!!

Try fairradiosales.com: The Leading Fair Radio Sales Site on the Net
They have a variety of mil-surplus antenna items.


73,
n9zas
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Old 05-21-2011, 4:38 PM
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I played with one a over a couple of past Winterfests. As you might expect the usefulness of this antenna will start to drop noticeably below 6 mhz or so (probably higher than that for West Coast listeners). It's just too short to begin with. And yes, you aren't doing yourself any favors by running it parallel to power lines. Try running it at right angles - if you are too close it probably won't work very well either, but it's worth a shot.

For most low and mid end portables, a small amplified loop (or if the radio can handle it, a good length of wire - maybe no more than 30 foot or so - connected through a 9:1 transformer, assuming it can handle a low impedance load) are far better choices than this piece of junk. It surprises me that Universal is even carrying it. Fred oughta know better

best regards..Mike
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Old 05-21-2011, 6:34 PM
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Quote:
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I have a Sangean 909 and have the PA-30 longwire hooked up to the external antenna jack. Sucks! Lots of noise. I am looking for another outside antenna to use instead. The power lines in front of my house are parallel to my house and my PA-30 was run under the eve of the house parallel to the power lines. Did this cause much of the noise? Try running it at a different angle? Or try another outside wire antenna? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
My house faces due south with power lines about 30 feet away from the front of my house. I ran my PA-30 diagonal across the compass points to give me a good 360 deg antenna. I also have a transformer about 40 feet from there the antenna runs.

I don't have issues with noise at all so I will suggest that re-orient your PA-30 to run diagonal to the compass points as I did. I also isolated the antenna on porcelain isolators to insure low noise.

What I think is missing is a ground wire. In an old SWL book I found a tip on how to ground portable radios that is stunning in it's simplicity but works like a charm. Stretch a copper wire (any kind) from your 909 out and about 18-20 ft away from the 909 and throw it on the floor along the base board of the room. Your noise should disappear! Make sure you have a good contact on the radio and enjoy!
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Last edited by Nightshade; 05-21-2011 at 6:37 PM..
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Old 05-22-2011, 6:58 AM
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Thanks for the advice. I take it that ground wire from the 909 would be wrapped around the antler and then out 18-20 ft on the floor?
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Old 05-22-2011, 7:50 AM
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Be careful here - you want to check your owner's manual and see if the antenna jack can be grounded on one side. If so, you can attach your ground wire here. Otherwise there's a distinct possibility of a shock hazard.

A good RF ground is very difficult to get in most areas of the country. There have been many discussions on this topic, and I'd do some research first. Just ramming a ground rod into the earth doesn't necessarily mean you have a good ground at RF.

best regards..Mike
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ka3jjz View Post
Be careful here - you want to check your owner's manual and see if the antenna jack can be grounded on one side. If so, you can attach your ground wire here. Otherwise there's a distinct possibility of a shock hazard.

A good RF ground is very difficult to get in most areas of the country. There have been many discussions on this topic, and I'd do some research first. Just ramming a ground rod into the earth doesn't necessarily mean you have a good ground at RF.

best regards..Mike
No one is talking about an earth ground. What I recommended was an "air" ground using a simple wire laid on the floor around the base board for portable radios ONLY.
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