HF ?

bearcatrp

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Who hear in minnesota scans HF? Just looking for information on best antenna setup. Am currently using a long wire, about 60 feet long going north/south about 40 feet high. Been using my Icom R30 lately since selling my yaesu 891. Just ordered a IC 705 so looking forward to better listening.
 

wogggieee

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I use a wire loop around the perimeter of my attic. The biggest issue i have is the noise floor.
 

ka3jjz

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There really is no one 'best antenna setup'. What works for you works, plain and simple. Now if you want to lower your noise floor or favor a particular direction or frequencies (frequency), there are designs for that. Getting the antenna away from the home is really paramount in taking steps to lower your noise floor, but there are other options such as loops (like the W6LVP, MFJ, Wellbrook, etc.). Such loops are good choices for indoors- but keep in mind putting a HF antenna indoors is a big compromise in terms of performance

There are clubs that specialize in a particular service or region; for example NASWA is a SWBC only club, for pirates it would be the HF Underground (which hosts other services too) and the UDXF covers utilities. These are the places I would look for like-minded listeners.

Mike
 

bearcatrp

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Have a super antenna am contemplating putting on a pole but the wire seems to be doing fine so far. HF Underground is a nice forum to get frequencies to listen to.
 

bearcatrp

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wogggieee, you can't put that wire outside? I slid my wire through the hole for my dish satellite cable so didn't need to drill another hole in the side of the house. I changed out the Par end fed wire with a spool of coated wire I got from home depot and ran a long wire into the trees.
 

wogggieee

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wogggieee, you can't put that wire outside? I slid my wire through the hole for my dish satellite cable so didn't need to drill another hole in the side of the house. I changed out the Par end fed wire with a spool of coated wire I got from home depot and ran a long wire into the trees.
Nope, HOA rules. I've been working lately to track down sources of noise in my house and choke stuff off with some decent success.
 

jaspence

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If you have plastic gutters, you can lay the wire inside and nobody will know. I have also seen articles where aluminum gutter was used as the antenna and with a tuner even for transmitting.
 

ka3jjz

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As I alluded to earlier, loops like the W6LVP will out perform that wire in the attic in terms of suppressing noise. It's true that the signals won't be quite as strong, but consider that you will get a better signal quality rather than quantity...Mike

[edit] Just a couple of random thoughts - no way to hide a small loop outside - say in a garden or (and this isn't a real good mounting position) close to the building in a blind spot?

Your wire loop - How are you feeding it? Through a balun or unun and then coax to the radio? You might have noise coming down the coax (common mode).
 
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WB9YBM

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Just looking for information on best antenna setup.
The term "best" is a bit subjective depending on your expectations, budget, available space, municipality restrictions, etc. Since antennas are the most important aspect of any radio set-up, "the best your budget will allow" would be my first answer. I know that sounds a bit generic, but not knowing your situation regarding the other aspects I mentioned, it's hard to get any more specific. A beam antenna has the best gain, but is directional. A squared-off loop--like a long length of wire running along all four sides of your property would provide the most surface area to capture signals with without getting directional, but might not be as practical as other choices...
 

bearcatrp

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Nope, HOA rules. I've been working lately to track down sources of noise in my house and choke stuff off with some decent success.
That sucks. The coated wire I use comes in different colors. Find one that matches your trim. Bet no one would notice.
 

wogggieee

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That sucks. The coated wire I use comes in different colors. Find one that matches your trim. Bet no one would notice.
The exterior of the building is the HOA's responsibility. If they were to re-do the roof, siding, or do other maintenance it'd have to be removed. It's something I don't really want to worry about. I've identified the sources of noise within my house and have taken steps to reduce that by two S units at this point. It performs well enough for now. I operate portable quite a bit as well.
 

bearcatrp

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Mother in law lives in something like that so do understand. What are you using to listen with? Am currently using a survey tripod with a PVC pole for my discone. Up just above the roof peek. But have to open a window to access the cable to hook up. Suppose they wouldn't allow you to use a temporary setup like my setup. What was your source?
 

wogggieee

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Mother in law lives in something like that so do understand. What are you using to listen with? Am currently using a survey tripod with a PVC pole for my discone. Up just above the roof peek. But have to open a window to access the cable to hook up. Suppose they wouldn't allow you to use a temporary setup like my setup. What was your source?
IC7300 and sdrplay rsp duo

I've done temporary setups in the side yard but the decrease in the noise floor is marginal so it's not really worth the effort.
 

ka3jjz

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You haven't told us very much about your wire loop. How about some details - like how is it fed? Are you using a common mode choke on the coax to keep common mode noise down? (I also had a wire loop in an attic where I used to live- wished I had tried this...). How big is it?

Indoor antennas are always a compromise - no getting around this. However there are a couple of possibilities - but before we go there, how about something outside that's nearly impossible for the condo nazis to see. It does take some work (and might be tough if your soil is already frozen), but here it is...and there's even a Facebook page for this antenna



Now for the attic stuff; an active loop like the W6LVP could work just fine, if there's enough clearance for it. Put that on a light duty TV rotator (so you can take advantage of nulling on frequencies lower than 2 Mhz or so). Even with this, a common mode choke might be a good investment. These aren't magic devices, and to be frank, from what I've been reading, they don't work for every one. But it is worth looking into.
If the price is prohibitive, consider the W6LVP Experimenter's kit which runs around USD160


If you have a nice large attic, this might even be possible. Again, takes some work to make....


And of course there's the Vibroplex PAR EF-SWL - you can bend the antenna around, just don't bend it right back upon itself. Under certain conditions, you could actually lose, rather than gain, signal because the opposing currents might cancel each other. If 45 foot isn't enough you can substitute your own.

You have 2 excellent radios there. Good rule of thumb - a good radio connected to a poor antenna will perform poorly. Don't shortchange yourself with a crummy antenna - you can do better.

Mike
 
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