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Need Help. I have my Icom R8600 Wich antenna

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Easley SC
#1
Hi Folks
I'm a newbie at this.
I'm back to shortwave, after a 20+ years.
I've had my Ic-R8600 with an SP-39AD for a little over a month now
And made a wrong choice in getting the AH-8000
That is now sitting in the back of 55" TV.
My problem, is this area that I live in do not permit antenna.
I have for the last 3 weeks looking to get an indoor antenna.
I got so many bookmark, it's just unreal.
So Wow, so many choices. Bonito Whip ,Wellbrook1530, NTI GA3500, AOR LA400,and on and on.
Thinking of putting the AH8000 in the addict.
But I need something that will receive from 10khz to say about 200 to 300 Mhz.
Right now I have a spool of 100' wrapped around the room, hooked to antenna2 it's noisy as heck.
I don't know who to turn to.
Please can someone guide me in the right direction?
Thank You
 
Joined
May 10, 2016
Messages
170
#2
I use the AOR LA-400 and it's connected to my Icom IC-R8600. I get good results on VHF -- obviously I'm only receiving local signals, maybe a few miles away. I'm located pretty much on the doorstep of the main town area, so I get all the signals from local shops, security, taxis etc. I've got about 100 active frequencies on the Airband stored in memory -- the majority of those come in really strong, some are audible but with hiss/static in the background -- that's probably because the aircraft is over 100 miles away [as the crow flies]. With the AOR LA-400 as you have probably seen, there are 5 selectable bands to choose from. Have to say I get great reception when I use the lower frequency preselector when listening to HF (below 30MHz). I live in the UK and receive many HF radio stations transmitting from various locations in the United States. Can only speak here about the LA-400 and will say for me it's giving me great results -- pretty impressive considering it's an indoor antenna situated on my window sill. It does need to be turned alot depending what frequency you're listening to. It stays pretty much in the same position if I'm listening to local transmissions such as taxis, security, aircraft etc. I tend to have to turn it maybe half a rotation when listening to HF to get the best/strongest signal -- the built in pre-amp enhances the signal most of the time without dragging in too much hiss/static noises.
 
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Joined
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9,901
Location
Point Nemo.
#3
Please can someone guide me in the right direction?
Thank You
You are going to have a difficult time getting any real performance without the ability to put up proper antennas.

For 30MHz and up, you need something like a discone antenna. Putting a discone indoors is going to be problematic, though. Local noise sources may be many. A lot of consumer electronics are very noisy and can cause issues with your reception. Getting antennas out and away from the noise works.
You might be able to mount one in your attic. That will get it away from some of the noise, but not all. You also might have issues if you have a metal roof, lots of heating ducts, metal plumbing or electrical wiring up there. Also, foil backed vapor barrier insulation can cause issues. Only way to know is to try.

For 30MHz and lower, again, ideally an outdoor antenna, but since that's not possible, you'll need to experiment. Some people string a piece of wire up across their attic and get decent results. You may be able to fit a half wave end fed antenna up there, which might work well enough.

Of course the coax to connect all these antennas is important, too. RG-6 will work well for receiving use. Run two of those from your radio up to the attic, one to the discone, one to the end fed wire antenna.

The problem with 100 feet of wire wrapped around your room is that it's going to pick up a lot of local noise. You could try using shorter lengths of wire, but I think you'll be better off putting the antenna in the attic.
 
Joined
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Messages
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#4
*** forgot to mention it's a pain having to physically unplug the main ANT1 and then connect the ANT2 to the LA-400. I can't remember off the top of my head which cable is which -- I think on the back of the IC-R8600 the ANT1 connector is for 0-30MHz and ANT2 is for 0-3GHz (something like that). I've got two cables using UltraFlex 7 for ANT1 and ANT2 but the LA-400 only has one BNC connector so when I want to use the dedicated HF antenna from the IC-R8600 I have to physically connect that and then for general tuning around I've got to connect ANT2. Might have to buy another LA-400 but this IC-R8600 has left a dent in my wallet.
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
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Jul 22, 2002
Messages
21,567
Location
Bowie, Md.
#5
Good God, you really don't need the LA400 - it's far better to have separate antennas for different frequency ranges. My last condo was on the 4th floor and had a huge attic - so I put several antennas up there (a 2 meter beam, a dual band vertical, several different types of HF antennas, including the famed Carpet Loop) and had all the cables come down a small hole in the outlet. Worked rather well for what I needed.

The issue with antennas that are so broad banded is that their actual performance may not be the same across their claimed entire spectrum. Forget it - not going to happen. Antenna physics simply doesn't work that way. There will be some parts of the spectrum where it will not quite work as well. Simple fact. Having a different antenna for a particular range is advantageous - you can switch that other one in if the LA400 isn't working up to snuff.

For strictly HF (and MW) use, a loop is hard to beat indoors, and you don't need to spend an arm and a leg to get performance - meaning you don't need to get a Wellbrook or Pixel. The W6LVP loops are extremely well regarded, popular and roughly 1/2 the price of either of them. Or if you're handy with some basic tools and soldering, the Carpet Loop (which I used when I had my TenTec RX320D) works quite well (certainly better than 100 foot of wire wrapped around a room). Or you could put up a PAR EF-SWL, if you have the room - it's only about 45 foot long.It can be bent around (but never bend such an antenna back upon itself in a U shape).

We have an assortment of possibilities in our wiki - including links to everything I just mentioned. Here are the links to the 2 pages;

HF Antennas - The RadioReference Wiki

Loops - The RadioReference Wiki

Time to put on the thinking cap...Mike
 
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