HF Aero Antenna?

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ka3jjz

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If you are into Aero communications, you may not know that there is a host of HF Aero stations of various kinds that you can hear - and all you need is a good SSB capable radio, a decent antenna and knowing where to look. This list of freqs is updated from time to time (I think this is Larry Van Horn's blog...) and a good place to start.

The Btown Monitoring Post: Intl Aero HF Routed/Off Route Frequency List - Update 22 June 2016

However note that the tab for HFDL frequencies is way out of date. Table 48 is very old; the most recent table is 49, and a good list of these frequencies can be found here

http://www.udxf.nl/Digital-aero.pdf

However the information on description, decoding software and other utilities is worthwhile to read if you've never heard of or seen it before

Mike
 

ILSAPP

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Great info, thanks!

What antennas are people using for HF aero comms? Wire, loop?
Feedback/reports will be much appreciated.

Thank you
 

ka3jjz

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hmph...necro posting...

That's a question that belongs in our Receive Antennas forum, where I'll move it tonight - but to answer your question - there's no such thing as a good antenna 'for HF aero'. The service really doesn't play into the kind of antenna you use. There are many different factors for choosing an antenna, including but certainly not limited to, whether you can put something outside or not, how much space you have to work with, the radio you plan to use it with, and your budget.

Are you using a SDR, a portable, a ham transceiver (many of the new models have a general coverage rx built in), what?

Mike
 

majoco

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ILSAPP

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I live most of the time in a flat (3rd floor with no balcony) and wonder if the loop will be the best choice.
Here I have only a Sangean ATS-909X which is not so bad for SSB. It doesn't overload easily.

In my rural house I have the space for bigger antennas and have a ham transceiver. I erected an 40m inverted vee antenna which is pretty good for listening HF aero comms.
 

ka3jjz

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Yes a loop will beat out a piece of wire thrown on the floor any day. Just keep in mind that an indoor loop will never ever out-hear something outside, but it will work. There are several possibilities in the loops wiki, the link I gave earlier. If you fancy a little construction, I built the Carpet Loop from some junk I had in my box, and it worked pretty well for what it was. The fact you are up 3 stories is an advantage, particularly if you can get to the attic.

Mike
 

ILSAPP

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Is there any advantage of going to an active loop vs passive loop in my case?
Any commercial unit that is worth the price or it is always better to DIY achieving the same kind of performance? I've read a lot of excellent reviews of ALA1530 as well as W6LVP loop and Bonito MegaLoop FX...
 

ka3jjz

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There's a couple of things here. Often the passive designs require a lot of retuning when you move too far in frequency (it's very dependent on the design, as I understand it). The actives aren't quite so critical.

However, not knowing where you are, if you are near an urban area with lots of MW and FM stations, I'd probably go with a passive loop due to the higher selectivity. If not, an active would work out just fine. And you don't really need to go big - take a look at the PK Loop review in the wiki. The article is nowhere near complete but there's lots there that you should consider

Mike
 

rocky28965

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Is there any advantage of going to an active loop vs passive loop in my case?
Any commercial unit that is worth the price or it is always better to DIY achieving the same kind of performance? I've read a lot of excellent reviews of ALA1530 as well as W6LVP loop and Bonito MegaLoop FX...
I'm curious what you finished up getting & how well it worked for you.
I would like to set something up for receiving HF aircraft & like you I can't use a long wire.
 

ILSAPP

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Hi rocky,

I'm considering building an active loop as the commercial good ones are expensive.
For now I'm sticking with my DIY 1m passive loop which works much better than a longwire in my place...


I'm curious what you finished up getting & how well it worked for you.
I would like to set something up for receiving HF aircraft & like you I can't use a long wire.
 

ka3jjz

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Yes a loop might be a better choice for you...check out the loops wiki, the link for which I gave in an earlier message in this thread....Mike
 

ka3jjz

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It depends entirely on what your interests are, so don't think that this discussion about loops applies to SW only. MW is certainly on the table if that's part of your interests.

However, just from my own research, it seems that the W6LVP loop has been garnering a fair amount of interest on the various Facebook groups. Some have even modified them to work off a different 12v supply and making other modifications. I don't hear about that kind of experimentation too much on the Wellbrooks or Pixels - and let's not forget that the W6LVP loop is nearly 1/2 the price of either. And the loop is highly rated on eHam as well. Of course, you would need to consider the cost of shipping to NZ and customs fees, too. Bummer on both.

But if you have the skills and the parts to do it, building one from scratch is also a way to go - and it's a great way to learn about how loops work.

Just remember, get whatever you have out and away from the homes as much as you can, and you should be good to go. Most don't even mount them all that high off the ground. Sure they're something of a compromise, but they work real well. Mike
 
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