Low cost inside or outside receive antenna?

Rt169Radio

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#1
Does anyone know of a low cost inside or outside receive antenna that can pickup everything shortwave? Like a all around antenna?
 

ka3jjz

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#3
This is far and away much too broad a question to properly answer. What radio(s) are you looking to use? What is your situation - can you put something outside (always preferable) and away from your home? Do you have condo Nazis like so many of us do? How much room do you have available?

There are a great many broadbanded designs out there; it's important to pick the one most suitable for your situation...Mike
 

Rt169Radio

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#4
This is far and away much too broad a question to properly answer. What radio(s) are you looking to use? What is your situation - can you put something outside (always preferable) and away from your home? Do you have condo Nazis like so many of us do? How much room do you have available?

There are a great many broadbanded designs out there; it's important to pick the one most suitable for your situation...Mike
I have a Drake R8B Shortwave radio, and I can either do inside or outside antennas. Whatever is the lowest cost.
 

ka3jjz

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#5
You have a terrific radio there - it's most important to get whatever you end up with as far away from the home as possible. The home is a huge noise transmitter - there are so many potential sources that whole books have been written on the subject of noise abatement.

The PAR end feds are really one of the best antennas to get you started, and they're available from many sources including Universal Radio, viz.

https://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/sw_ant/2205.html

How's your antenna building skills? Can you solder? In this hobby those skills are valuable, and you can often build one simpler than buying one, if you have a good junk box. Our wiki has lots of links on the subject...

HF Antennas - The RadioReference Wiki

And don't forget about loops - great for noisy locations

Loops - The RadioReference Wiki

Don't skimp on the antenna. A real good radio won't perform to its best with a crummy antenna. Invest in some time, money (in some cases, to be sure) and effort.

Mike
 
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#6
A Drake R8B??? Please do yourself a huge favor and set up an antenna OUTSIDE, run it as far away from noise sources as possible. As Mike stated, the PAR EF-SWL is an excellent choice as it matches the impedance from the wire to the coax cable which runs into the house. In need be you can replace the 45' of wire with a shorter length depending on space available (you may have a small yard, need to stay clear of noise sources etc). Add an Alpha Delta Transitrap attached to a ground rod if possible for lower noise. Not a big investment, and the R8B deserves a good low noise antenna to show its capability.
 
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#7
I get that "cheap" is the order of the day in your thread, but I have to agree with Mike KA3JJZ...don't skimp when it comes to the antenna. You indeed have a fantastic receiver there and it would be a shame to sell it short by not giving it the chance to its full potential. Majoco is a guy in here who you can count on knowing what he states. So maybe that Degan loop is a good choice-he wouldn't steer you wrong. But that PAR endfed is the way I would go because you can add a longer wire to it and it'll only get better. So if you have the room for that one and you can afford about $75 dollars, get her done champ:)
 
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#8
Another vote here for the PAR end fed SW. You can make an antenna close to the performance of a PAR end fed with a 9:1 transformer and 45ft of wire. If you can wait a couple of weeks for shipping from China, here is about the cheapest you can get away with: https://www.ebay.com/itm/100K-50MHz...h=item3d7467a543:g:DAMAAOSwJ8Rbl4sm:rk:4:pf:0

Or there are lots of plans online on how to make one for a little less $.
 

ka3jjz

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#9
Everyone says you can duplicate the PAR, but unless you have a schematic and information on the core type, windings, tap points, etc. you really can't. Remember the box on the PAR has lugs where you can change the grounding configuration, something that if you are just using a 9:1 balun using plans off the net, you're not going to be able to copy.

Sure you can approximate it, but build the same thing as the PAR? Nope

But using a 9:1 and 45 foot (or in this case, more, since the OP is using a Drake R8B) of wire an inexpensive way to go? Certainly, and it will work well. In addition there are other designs that use a 9:1, such as the Ewe.

Mike
 

ka3jjz

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#11
Please, let's watch posting such large pix - it's too big...but you're right that's certainly an option. You would need a (I think) SMA male to a PL259 to be able to plug it into the R8B ANT ! port.

Mike
 
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#12
Another vote for the PAR EF-SWL if the OP wants an "all around" shortwave antenna.
btw... it works on LW and MW as well.
 
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#14
Thanks for all the info! I might try building my own long wire for the heck of it.
Good! Half the fun in this thing is actually experimenting with the antenna system to find what works in your particular environment. This includes RFI challenges too. Me, I live in RFI hell. Literally. But I made my two HF antennas work in my favor....by experimenting:)
Let us know whenever you get around to this thing.
 

vagrant

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#15
Thanks for all the info! I might try building my own long wire for the heck of it.
Yes, you should try building your own. Read, compare and then build.

I believe about a decade or so ago, I purchased a WinRadio 9:1 balun. I probably have 15 meters of wire on it as the antenna. It uses a BNC connector for the radio side. I used to run it under the eave and now use it for temporary setups in whatever configuration needed to receive what I'm looking for. It has worked well as a sloper, vertical and in a horizontal configuration. Looks like they're $40 now and the model is WR-LWA-0130 which means WinRadio Long Wire Antenna 0.1 - 30 MHz (fancy! ha!)

If I had not purchased that, I would own the PAR end fed by now. I own handfuls of PAR stuff, mostly filters.

That leads me to the next thing I needed with the improved antenna, a broadcast band filter. I have several AM station antennas nearby with the closest just 1.5 miles away. While I own a PAR AM broadcast band filter that handles provides 40dB of attenuation below 1.8 MHz, I recently tried out an RTL-SDR AM filter that attenuates signals at least 40dB below 2.8 MHz, also good. The PAR was around $70 and the RTL-SDR is around $17 on Amazon. The PAR allows for monitoring the 160m amateur band, where as the other does not. Your Drake may handle the filtering already.

Much will depend on what you are trying to listen to, which will guide you on your length of wire as well as the appropriate filter you may need to put inline from the antenna.
 
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#16
Re: the NoElec 9:1 balun vs the PAR since I have used both ...

The PAR / LNR Electronics version is obviously much more rugged, built and housed like a tank. Not only that, but as KA3JJZ mentions, the specifications are better. The PAR covers well down into the broadcast band, much better than the NoElec as my own testing revealed on my setup for BCB listening.

The ability to use the jumper on the PAR to change from an isolated winding to a shared ground is convenient to use depending on your configuration.

With the NoElec, to isolate the windings, you have to scratch out the solitary board trace on the back. And now provide a box for it, your own wiring to be able to switch between isolated and ground, etc. And the specs aren't as good as the PAR.

In other words, with the PAR / LNR Precision, you'll buy it once and have it for a lifetime.
 
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