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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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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-31-2017, 6:18 PM
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Default Vertical shortwave antenna

Any good outdoor vertical shortwave antennas I could use.
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Old 10-31-2017, 7:30 PM
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Check out the Hustler 5BTV

It gets good reviews for txing as well as receiving.
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Old 10-31-2017, 8:13 PM
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ApexRadio 303WA-2... works great.
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Old 10-31-2017, 10:30 PM
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I have an old Hy-Gain 18AVT/WB hanging on hooks disassembled on the back fence - when I was interested in ham radio and lived on a great site it worked really well - lots of 1/4 wave radials for the CW portion of 80m and worked all round the world on the grey line.

So when I moved a couple of times and tried to use it for SWL-ing - not so good. Narrow tuned bandwidth, still needs radials for best perfomance, not as much 'gain' as a wire plus unun and the wire has much broader bandwidth - BC band up to 18MHz and a bit skinny above that but not much activity around here anyway.

If you are set on a vertical, just go to your plumber's merchant and buy a selection of aluminium tubing that telescope inside one another - double thickness for the lower sections and generous overlap - hose clamps are better than using self-tapping screws - make it as high as you like but you might like some guy ropes higher up - parachute cord is good - insulate the bottom section with some PVC tubing clamped onto a fence post - you'll need a few radials - I used the fence - and an unun at the bottom to some coax to your radio - don't bother with a tuner.
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Old 10-31-2017, 10:44 PM
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Default +1 For Apex

Quote:
Originally Posted by WA8ZTZ View Post
ApexRadio 303WA-2... works great.
Awesome product, for a space saving compromise 6 foot antenna it receives AM Broadcast Band DX clear as a bell.

https://www.universal-radio.com/cata..._ant/1026.html
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Old 10-31-2017, 11:37 PM
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The short passive types like ApexRadio and the HF section of the AOR SA7000 are ok on a very sensitive receiver, otherwise they miss a lot of weaker stations compared to a larger antenna. A very good short active antenna is noticeably better but they really get expensive.

I find a 9:1 balun and as much wire you can get in the air works much better than both the short passive and active types. You can also connect the 9:1 to some telescoping aluminum tubing as mentioned (you need a good 30ft or more) or use one of the 33ft fiberglass telescoping masts to hold up some wire vertically.

I also agree the ham band antennas like the Hustler and Hy-Gain mentioned are not very good when used outside the ham bands.
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Originally Posted by SpinThatDial View Post
Awesome product, for a space saving compromise 6 foot antenna it receives AM Broadcast Band DX clear as a bell.

https://www.universal-radio.com/cata..._ant/1026.html
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Old 11-01-2017, 2:14 AM
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I've been using my old 27 MHz CB half wave antenna (Australian "station master" brand) for years with better results down to 5 MHz than any random wire i have used in a rural environment and about 1 metre above the ground.
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:27 AM
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Verticals are generally more sensitive to noise issues; I'd hesitate putting one up in an urban area or in an area where there are lots of homes close together (not unusual where I come from...). In these cases, a loop (i.e. Pixel, Wellbrook, W6LVP) is a much better choice

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Old 11-01-2017, 12:08 PM
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The Apex vertical outperformed various wire antennas (approx. 50' long) in side by side comparisons here on LW. It was about equal to the wire antennas on AM BCB and not quite as good as the wire antennas on HF. Yes, that does sound counter-intuitive but them are the facts.

On AM BCB the Apex was better than my active antenna with a wire but not as good as the active antenna with a loop. The CCrane twin-coil antenna beats them all.

Although not specifically designed for it, the Hustler 5BTV does a pretty good job as a HF SWL antenna.

These are my observations based on multiple side by side comparison tests, your mileage may vary.
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Old 11-21-2017, 10:09 PM
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The Apex 6' vertical is a special case. Designed primarily for attachment to over-sensitive little sw portables that overload, what you have is a small 6' whip with feedline you mount outdoors away from indoor noise sources. More or less it is a way to get your telescopic whip outside for the most part.

You are instructed to use only the feedline that came with it, and not your own. That feedline is consructed along with the antennas broadband internal network (50 ohm resistor?) to not have any common-mode connection (which is good). It is not resonant on any specific band. It's built pretty well, and all the mounting hardware comes with it.

Put an antenna analyzer or rx-only tuner on it and you'll soon find out.

Still, in the end it is only 6 feet of wire basically. HOWEVER, that is more than enough for portables. AND, limited common-mode interaction from the shack run. AND, with all that, you may be more easily able to position it away from noise sources.

But, depending on your listening targets and location, 6 feet of wire may not be enough.

It isn't that it doesn't work - just know what you are dealing with.
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Old 11-22-2017, 6:52 AM
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Am a dyed-in-the-wool vertical-holic, always used verticals for ham or shortwave. Main reason is no need to climb ladders, good if you're on a small piece of property, usually only need one person to erect, they're omnidirectional, none of mine have ever come down in a storm (unlike wire antennas I have used) and they are great ham DXing antennas.

Only thing with verticals is that radials are needed with most models if used for transmitting.

Have owned Hustler, HyGain, Cushcraft verticals over the the past four decades and never regretted it. Currently use a 43 foot S9 vertical for ham and SW, nothing not to like about it. Unfortunately S9 is out of business, a real shame because they are great antennas.

Good luck in your search for an antenna. Check what Universal Radio has to offer, they are an old established company that sells ham and shortwave equipment and accessories.

Last edited by spongella; 11-22-2017 at 8:45 AM..
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Old 11-22-2017, 7:51 AM
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The Apex and similar passive antennas like the AOR SA7000 have a wide band transformer to match 50 ohm coax to the very high impedance of the short whip. These antennas are effectively an "E field" probe on the lower SW, MW and VLF bands. I've been able to make a transformer for about $2 that works similar to my SA7000.

I've had the same experience as hertzian in that very sensitive radios do ok on these types of antennas but in general longer antennas will work better and horizontal is usually quieter.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hertzian View Post
The Apex 6' vertical is a special case. Designed primarily for attachment to over-sensitive little sw portables that overload, what you have is a small 6' whip with feedline you mount outdoors away from indoor noise sources. More or less it is a way to get your telescopic whip outside for the most part.

You are instructed to use only the feedline that came with it, and not your own. That feedline is consructed along with the antennas broadband internal network (50 ohm resistor?) to not have any common-mode connection (which is good). It is not resonant on any specific band. It's built pretty well, and all the mounting hardware comes with it.

Put an antenna analyzer or rx-only tuner on it and you'll soon find out.

Still, in the end it is only 6 feet of wire basically. HOWEVER, that is more than enough for portables. AND, limited common-mode interaction from the shack run. AND, with all that, you may be more easily able to position it away from noise sources.

But, depending on your listening targets and location, 6 feet of wire may not be enough.

It isn't that it doesn't work - just know what you are dealing with.
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Old 02-13-2018, 4:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDRPlayer View Post
I've been using my old 27 MHz CB half wave antenna (Australian "station master" brand) for years with better results down to 5 MHz than any random wire i have used in a rural environment and about 1 metre above the ground.
Same. Only I use an Imax 2000 antenna.
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Old 02-13-2018, 5:58 PM
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Glad to hear i'm not the only one then. Surprised at how well it works, can you confirm equal or better results than a random wire?
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Old 02-13-2018, 6:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDRPlayer View Post
Glad to hear i'm not the only one then. Surprised at how well it works, can you confirm equal or better results than a random wire?
Yeah people think I'm nuts using a cb antenna but for me it works better and with less noise than my PAR end fed swl antenna. Like you said, it works very well.
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