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Using and Mounting Cheap Antenna in Apartment

prcguy

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
7,826
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
14.338 USB at 15 min past the hour coming up.

I have so many electronics in here it's ridiculous. Wonder if any of it's from 200+ WiFi access points within usable range.

There's a contact map I was checking out at dxmaps showing an absolute ton of cross-country contacts on 20m, and a number of what appears to be nearly 1,000 mi contacts on 10m.

Anyway, where should I listen at?
 

KC9CVF

Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
38
Jesus that should have woke the dead. Whatever's causing my interference must just be eating it alive. I heard what sounded like a voice buried in the rubble but I couldn't make heads or tails of it. I might have to track down and reduce some of this noise in here.

I definitely do appreciate you trying, and your patience in the matter, though.
 

KC9CVF

Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
38
Yeah, I was trying to see if I could hear a known transmitting signal. I also isolated the radio, it's now on a battery instead of a switching supply, and the noise is down considerably.
 

KC9CVF

Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
38
Found a web-based SDR service and tried seeing if I could hear myself on there, and also see what I should hear (ideally if things are prop'ing correctly). Found a tuner only a couple hours away. Tuned to 28.420, CQ'd, waited. Nothing. SWR 1.5:1 or better on a wire dipole I made with the help of another forum member... output power of 50-80W depending how loud I was speaking into the mic. Still nothing, not even a glimmer on the waterfall. Tried a few more receivers in neighboring states (nothing in mine); still nothing.

This building must be constructed of witchcraft and metal. I can't hear anything, and nobody can hear me.

I could hear 20m traffic off that CB whip when I took it mobile out by the lake last week, so know it works... but... what even?
 

W5lz

Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
269
So take it from scratch sort of. The most common problem for not hearing your self is either no signal is being produced, or that signal isn't where you think it is (frequency/band). If there's any output from your radio at all,and if you are listening on it's frequency, then you should hear something, noise if nothing else. If you aren't hearing anything then it's a safe bet there's nothing there to be heard. One of the things you have to consider especially on the higher HF bands is propagation. Is the receiver where it can hear the signal? With another receiver next to the transmitter it's a very safe bet to think it will hear it. If not, then there's no signal to be heard. Is there an increase in noise when you transmit? Lot's of possibilities. At the very basic level, is the receiver tuned to the right frequency, and mode? Is the feed line connected properly? Is there an antenna on the end of that feed line? Check the really basic stuff. Yeah, I know, but check it anyway...
 

KC9CVF

Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
38
I can see it on my own SDR in 10m. Very strong (clips off the top of the analyzer). So I can at least tell it can transmit, and strongly. Antenna tunes appropriately on the built in antenna tuner, and behaves as you'd expect, like when I was trimming the wire dipole I made, it was slow to tune or not at all until trimmed into the range I was trying to work, then it was quick to tune once it was in the right range. That eliminates feedline as well, since behavior changed during the modifications. If any of the dipole wires were anywhere near my audio equipment, they'd go into protect, which implies something radiating enough to trip a protection circuit.

It just really feels like the radio works okay, but my building is some absurd Faraday cage style construction. My HT (UHF/VHF) only works if it's within reasonable distance of a window, so that might also be a hint.

Can't even hear WWV except on 5MHz, and that's just barely.

(all of this applies when it's in my apartment, when I had it mobile I heard a few people working 20m from various parts of the country)
 
Last edited:

W5lz

Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
269
Well, you may be right about that Faraday cage. Or at least a lot of shielding by the building's construction.
 

KC9CVF

Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
38
Yeah it's an old brick-and-concrete setup from the 50's or 60's. Used to be a hotel back then. Converted into studio apartments and one one-bedroom penthouse apartment.
 

KC9CVF

Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
38
lol I already have that apartment. Only way to have room for as many toys as I have. Still, this blasted construction though.
 
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