Critique Wanted - My SWL Antenna Setup

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blantonl

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Folks,

I'd like some feedback on how I could improve my HF SWL Antenna setup. I've setup a ton of long wire antennas in my past, but this one has given me far and above the best performance that I've ever gotten from a long wire antenna. For the most part, noise is low, reception is great. However, I want to make it even better.

Some complaints and concerns that I have about this setup include:

1. Mid-Afternoon noise levels, especially around 15MHz are pretty high. Around S5+ - lots of spatter, grinding, etc.

2. Neighborhood noise can come and go - but I'd like to reduce it as much as possible. My plasma and garbage disposal especially can really blast noise into the 15MHz band.

So, here is the setup, and I welcome opportunities for improvement.

First, the antenna is primarily used for UTE SWL listening, and the primary receivers that use it include an AOR AR5000 and an Icom 8500.

The antenna is a triangle loop based off the Par Electronics End-Fedz SWL antenna kit. I added approx 60 Ft of additional wire on the end of the supplied black wire and fed it back to the end-fed Balun. In the picture you can see I attached the end of the wire antenna to the right most terminal (I hope that is the right way to do it). The Balun then has 100FT of RG-6 75 Ohm cable buried back to the house, which connects to a grounding block at the point of entry into the house. The lead in from the grounding block is another 50ft of RG-6 75 Ohm cable that connects to a multi-coupler for distribution to the radios.

The outside grounding block is NOT grounded to a true earth ground, rather it has about 1 foot of aluminum wire that has been "pushed" into the ground. The ground block is one of those F to F connector ground blocks that comes with a Sat TV installation kit. I actually own a full length copper ground rod, however I live on land that is literally solid rock about 10 inches under the soil and there is no way for me to drive it into the ground.

Here are the pictures of the setup. I welcome constructive feedback and opportunities for me to make this antenna even better. The first picture is a diagram of the setup, the run, and the fence house positioning etc.
 

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KE5MC

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Comments made without setting something like that up myself. I have been looking into Par antenna and MLB devices to set something up like yours.

One configuration that was identified as ideal was the long feed line from the antenna to the house. In this case they didn't say if it was buried or not, but the feed-line was grounded at both ends.

Other comments on the Par antenna is that it has different ways to ground it that can impact noise level.

Noise created inside the home should not be getting into your receiver with the antenna that far away from the house. Reason being that the antenna is outside the noise envelope of the house.

Don't know that it helps...

Good Luck

mike
 

Shortwavewave

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Nice setup, I love Loops!

If you are able Try getting some monopoles about 15-20ft high to raise the antenna, my theory is 'every foot counts'!
 

ke5ldo

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Suggestion:
1. ground round : dig down as far as you can, place the ground rod HORIZONTALLY. before you cover it, add copper sulfate along th length, bury it and leave room for the copper wire to the radio. I used this in south Texas successfully because I was on rock. Be sure and keep it watered.

2. Get a .o1 mfd 2500 volt disc capacitor. Solder an extra leg of 12 gauge solid copper wire (about 6").
Ask your power company to in tall this on the mains coming into the house. Connect it between the enrty from the main to the step down connected. Ground the third wire to the ground. You m]need them or a master electrician to do this since you are dealing with HIGH voltage.

This should eliminate a lot of you neighborhood and transient noise.

3. Get a proper ground connection and that will help. Lose the F connectors and go with UHF or N type for the ground. Adapters are available for these.

This should help.
 

N1BHH

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You can make ground conductivity work for you. If you have some scrap pieces of bare copper wire, take an edger and cut a slot in the ground, feeding the wire into the top layer of soil as you go along. I have buried coax in the same manner. Works great, no more pieces of coax in the yard after mowing the lawn.

As far as the shape of your antenna, it really don't matter as long as you get some wire in the air. I have a friend who lived on a 100 by 50 piece of land and had a full size 80 meter dipole (130 feet long) erected, hanging the center by a tree next to the house, 40 feet tall. There were trees close to the far corners of the lot that were as tall, and the excess wire just hung straight down with light fishing weights. The tips were only 15 feet off the ground, but a very effective antenna.

I like making wire antennas, they play very well, no matter what you do, as long as you got a good ground, they will pick up loads of signals. Keep up the good construction, besides you save money for the gas tank, instead of spending a couple hundred bucks on pre-assembled antennas that don't work when you put them up. I love it when people put their own antennas up, shows initiative and none of the "Oh I can't do that" attitude.
 

blantonl

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Ok, thanks for all the feedback folks.

I've got some follow-up questions.

I have about 30 feet of copper wire, and a standard long ground rod. Based on the comments I've seen here, what would my best approach be?

1. Drive the ground rod in horizontally at the antenna location and ground the loop there?

2. Bury the 30 feet of copper wire at the attenna location and ground the loop with that?

3. Ground the coax at the point of entry at the house with either?
 
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