Antenna for DX440

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joeuser

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I've wanted a real antenna for my Realistic DX440 for a long time, it has an RCA plug (looks like anyway) in for an external antenna, I'm looking for cheap & effective. I heard I can home brew some RG59? Help appreciated!





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SCPD

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I've wanted a real antenna for my Realistic DX440 for a long time, it has an RCA plug (looks like anyway) in for an external antenna, I'm looking for cheap & effective. I heard I can home brew some RG59? Help appreciated!
Please do not hijack a thread. Please create a new post and in the correct forum.
 

mikewazowski

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Please do not play Moderator. In the future, please use the Report Post icon in the upper right of the offending post and a Moderator will take care of it.

Joeuser, I have moved your post to its own thread in the proper forum. In the future, please do not hijack another member's thread unless your post directly relates to his thread.
 

ka3jjz

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Joe homebrewing coax is something no one does - however antennas is a totally different matter.

A bit more information is needed before anyone can recommend anything. Are you able to put something outside (always best)? How much room do you have to play with? If you're restricted to indoors, can you get something in an attic or crawlspace, or are you an apartment dweller (we often call 'em 'cave dwellers' - don't get too upset, that's what I am...)? What range of freqs are you interested in - AM band all the way up? What do you want to hear?

Once we have some answers, folks can start recommending solutions. Mike
 

Boombox

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My first antenna I used with my 440 was made out of speaker cable, which I ripped part way and made into a small 20 ft dipole, soldering each side to an RCA plug. It made a great indoor antenna / portable external antenna. It worked really well at my location. I also took it camping, and got good results.

If you can find a BNC / RCA adapter, you can attach an antenna with a coax feedline to the 440 that way.

The last two antennas I've used with my 440 were a 100 ft wire that blew down, and the 20 ft indoor wire I have now. With the 100 ft wire I just soldered the end of the wire to the center conductor of an RCA plug, and plugged it into the radio that way (later on I used an adapter, because I had a couple other radios I used with the antenna).

My present 20 ft indoor wire is soldered to a 1/8 inch jack, and I plug it into the 440 using an adapter.

Really, there are numerous ways to get an antenna to the radio. Just get some RCA plugs at Radio Shack and experiment, or get the appropriate adapter, and you're set.
 

joeuser

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I can put up an antenna outside. I have considered running it along the roofs gutters. I can make an L & it would be about 30ft up. I also have a shelter belt of pines but access would be tricky. I have an attic, I think, we've never seen it, lol. I wouldn't want to use it & have to run a line through a wall & stuff. If its outside I could just run a ground & put it through a window. I'm in a rural area but in a towns outskirts. RF interference would be coming from me, as I have at least a dozen computer systems or more running at any given time. This is why I asked about RG59 as I read its good for shielding. I just always wanted a proper antenna for this radio & my Discone is just terrible, its worse than the whip. I would probably get more into shortwave if I had a decent wire, on the cheap. Appreciate your time & thoughts

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joeuser

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My first antenna I used with my 440 was made out of speaker cable, which I ripped part way and made into a small 20 ft dipole, soldering each side to an RCA plug. It made a great indoor antenna / portable external antenna. It worked really well at my location. I also took it camping, and got good results.

If you can find a BNC / RCA adapter, you can attach an antenna with a coax feedline to the 440 that way.

The last two antennas I've used with my 440 were a 100 ft wire that blew down, and the 20 ft indoor wire I have now. With the 100 ft wire I just soldered the end of the wire to the center conductor of an RCA plug, and plugged it into the radio that way (later on I used an adapter, because I had a couple other radios I used with the antenna).

My present 20 ft indoor wire is soldered to a 1/8 inch jack, and I plug it into the 440 using an adapter.

Really, there are numerous ways to get an antenna to the radio. Just get some RCA plugs at Radio Shack and experiment, or get the appropriate adapter, and you're set.


Is it possible, to use a standard RCA cables plugs? I ask cuz if I could get a quarter for each set of RCA cables I have, I could buy the LA Clippers...



Did you run a ground?



Length isn't as important as height, but is there a " best " length? What about in the L shape to catch on each direction? Thanks for helping also!
 

Boombox

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You can use the plug off of an RCA cable, just solder the end of the antenna to center wire coming off the plug. You could use RG59 as the feedline if you wanted to reduce interference, just solder the center wire of the RG59 to the center wire off the RCA plug.

The L under the eaves sounds like a good idea. For a while I had an antenna that was about 40-50 ft running under the eave line on the underside of the edge of the roof. I got good results.

An L would be o.k.. Shortwave antennas don't get really very directional unless you have a longer antenna, maybe longer than 100 feet they'll get directional (a shorter dipole cut for a specific band would be directional, though, but for most single wire Shortwave antennas you just run as much wire as you can). Even so, having an L could help, especially on the higher SW frequencies.

For general SW listening, I don't think there is a "best" length. But usually, longer is better.

I don't use a ground. And when I did, I didn't hear any difference. But there are others who swear by using them.

A more important thing is to ground the antenna if there is T-storm activity or during winter when the air is dry and static-y. Static electricity, and T-storms aren't good for radios. So find a way to ground it when unused, if you can.

Hope this helps.
 

ka3jjz

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Re grounding - if that radio has a jack or one of those push in jacks for a ground, by all means, a good ground may help. I should warn you, though that making a good ground is a fair amount of work - it is NOT just an 8 foot rod driven into the ground. If you're unfamiliar with NEC codes and properly grounding your home, be safe and get a good electrician.

We've had numerous discussions on good grounding in the various forums - a well structured search will do the job.

Don't ground a portable that doesn't have some sort of dedicated ground jack (unless the owner's manual says you can). In at least some cases, this can introduce a shock hazard.

By all means, though if a TStorm is in the area, do disconnect the antenna (and if possible ground it) and put some distance between it and the radio. Mike
 

mmckenna

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Standard RCA connector, and your existing RCA video/audio cords will work just fine. I made a cord for mine that had an RCA plug on one end, and a set of alligator clips on the other. That lets me clip on to whatever I want.

I also made a length of RG-58 coaxial cable with an RCA on one end (to plug into the radio) and a BNC on the other, which plugs into a home made 4:1,9:1,16:1 balun.
 

outburst402

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I looked at my old DX-440 this weekend and tried plugging an RCA A/V cable in the back just to see if it worked. It didn't seem to fit very well. Am I missing something?
 

joeuser

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Thank you all for these ideas & suggestions. While I have speaker wire, I have more RG59 & I just don't see much use for it anymore. So I will use it, plus I have grounding blocks for it.



Right now my current antennas (Discone & a 800MHz specialized) are ground to the city's water in to our house. I may do something similar rather than driving a stake down



Longer is better & L may or may not be advantageous, so could a U shape be used? I'd have 2 sides running N/S & the bottom E/W. This would give me all the length I could possibly make use of. Any issues here?





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joeuser

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I looked at my old DX-440 this weekend and tried plugging an RCA A/V cable in the back just to see if it worked. It didn't seem to fit very well. Am I missing something?


The AV RCA cables are different from the RCA antenna connection, as Realistic calls it. I have one that converts from a female SO239. The male end of this RCA antenna plug is longer than you'd find on a typical AV RCA cable.
 

joeuser

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You bet, if you'd like I can snap a pic of what the proper RCA type connector looks like from my adapter & post it





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mmckenna

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Are you sure you are not confusing the RCA with the old "Motorola" style connector? The RCA's I've used work fine.
 

joeuser

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Its possible, all I have to go on is what the DX440 manual describes.

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mmckenna

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They certainly work, both of them, at least they do on mine. The diameters of the center pin and outer shield are the same between the RCA and Motorola connectors. The longer Motorola connectors to seem to stay in place a bit better. Used to be many scanners and car AM/FM broadcast radios used the Motorola type connectors. They aren't so common anymore. I've hung on to all those connectors I run across. I've got a few of those Motorola to SO-239's in one of my boxes.
 
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