My First SW Radio and Antenna. A Couple of Questions. (Photos)

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scloyd

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I purchased my first radio (Eton Elite Field) two weeks ago. A few days ago I ran 50' of speaker wire from a second floor window to the peak of my garage behind my house.
85479
Second floor window, past the tree to garage peak. Fifty feet long about 13'-14' above ground.

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Connection at window. Stripped away insulation and connected feed wire, ran it through the window to the radio.

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Past the tree to the garage.

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Connection to the garage peak.

Hope the pictures help.

I'm happy with the reception I'm getting. I seem to get better reception when I connect the feed wire to the telescopic antenna on the radio instead of the antenna jack on the back of the radio. Is that normal? I thought connecting directly to the radio's antenna jack would be better.

Also, I haven't grounded anything yet. Should I ground the 50' wire antenna to a ground rod? Should I run a ground wire to the ground jack on the back of the radio?

I am new to the SWLing hobby and I would appreciate any advice, tips or criticism on my set up.

Thanks.
 

KB4MSZ

Billy
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I seem to get better reception when I connect the feed wire to the telescopic antenna on the radio instead of the antenna jack on the back of the radio. Is that normal? I thought connecting directly to the radio's antenna jack would be better.
ELITE FIELD OWNER’S MANUAL
EXTERNAL ANTENNAS
ANT. SELECTOR SWITCH: EXT or INT Use this switch to enable the use of FM or SW internal or external antennas.
MW EXT. ANT. – This is a 500 ohm impedance socket, for use with long wire antennas.
FM/SW EXT. ANT.socket – Located on the back of the radio is primarily for antennas designed to be fed with 50 or 75 ohm coaxial cable, such as dipoles or comparable antennas. It can also be used for long wire antennas. Use F plugs for feeding this socket.

I copied this out of the manual for that radio, and it appears there is a switch that needs to be activated to enable the auxiliary antenna ports. One is for high impedance antennas (such as your 50' end fed would be) and the other is for lower impedance antennas such as dipole types fed with a coaxial cable. did you try the switch when you used these ports?

Should I ground the 50' wire antenna to a ground rod? Should I run a ground wire to the ground jack on the back of the radio?
Don't ground the long wire antenna itself, but grounding the radio to any ground lug it may have is a good idea. A heavy (as reasonably possible) ground wire out the window and straight down the wall to a ground rod would likely enhance the performance of the long wire.

I assume the radio came with the printed manual, but in case it did not I am including it here.
 

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ka3jjz

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Never connect anything directly to the whip. If you get any juice on the wire - even static electricity - it will blow the amp that's usually near the bottom of the whip. Bottom line, it will render your radio deaf.

Use the jacks that are provided. And if you have a decent junk box, I'd build a little box like is described in these 2 threads. This way if any juice does get on the antenna, it won't reach the radio (for the most part). It also adds a crude RF control so you can more easily control it if you find overloading is an issue



Sometimes there's already a couple of diodes at these jacks, but better to have something apart from the radio that you can easily fix if needed

And of course, disconnect and ground the antenna during a T-storm

Mike
 

scloyd

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Thanks for the responses.

I have the Ant. Selector Switch set on EXT.

Here is the connections on the back of the radio.
85500

Right now I have the 50' antenna connected to the red MW Ext. Ant. and some speaker wire connected to the black ground, running out the window and down to an unused garden hose spigot. Everything I'm using is speaker wire because that's all I have at the moment. The reception isn't so great in the middle of the day. I'll check it out tonight after dark.

Thanks again for the response and the links. I've got some reading to do.
 

WA8ZTZ

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The owners manual does not give very much guidance regarding external antennas
MW means "medium wave" which means the AM broadcast band.
So, connecting your antenna to the red MW EXT ANT will enhance AM broadcast band performance but
probably not help SW reception.
My recommendation would be something like the PAR EF-SWL antenna with RG6 coax feed from the antenna to the radio
with a PL-259 to F adapter at the antenna and a "F" connector at the radio low impedance SW EXT ANT input.
There is also the matter of proper lightning protection that needs to be addressed.
 

scloyd

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The owners manual does not give very much guidance regarding external antennas
MW means "medium wave" which means the AM broadcast band.
So, connecting your antenna to the red MW EXT ANT will enhance AM broadcast band performance but
probably not help SW reception.
My recommendation would be something like the PAR EF-SWL antenna with RG6 coax feed from the antenna to the radio
with a PL-259 to F adapter at the antenna and a "F" connector at the radio low impedance SW EXT ANT input.
There is also the matter of proper lightning protection that needs to be addressed.
Thanks for the suggestions. The Par EndFedz® EF-SWL seems to be the way to go and it's affordable.
Thanks again....much appreciated.
 

ka3jjz

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That's a very good place to start. It offers a good bit of flexibility; you can swap out the wire for a different length, and you can play around with the box connections until you find something that works for you. It's nearly impossible to recommend one connection over the other, since every environs (both physical and RF Wise) is different....when and if you want to try something else, our wiki has more than a few possibilities....Mike
 

MikeThompson

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Scott, late to the party as usual, but I'm glad you found your antenna.

So, connecting your antenna to the red MW EXT ANT will enhance AM broadcast band performance but
probably not help SW reception
I didn't know this.

I don't want to hijack your thread Scott, but do you have an external antenna port like this? It is on the Tecsun 660, it looks like it's a headphone type connection, not a coaxial one.

85597
 

scloyd

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Scott, late to the party as usual, but I'm glad you found your antenna.



I didn't know this.

I don't want to hijack your thread Scott, but do you have an external antenna port like this? It is on the Tecsun 660, it looks like it's a headphone type connection, not a coaxial one.

View attachment 85597
No, just the antenna jacks as shown in the above photo. Once I get the new antenna, I'll connect it with a coax cable.
 

scloyd

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My recommendation would be something like the PAR EF-SWL antenna with RG6 coax feed from the antenna to the radio
with a PL-259 to F adapter at the antenna and a "F" connector at the radio low impedance SW EXT ANT input.
There is also the matter of proper lightning protection that needs to be addressed.
Sorry for my ignorance....I'm a true SW newbie.

I received my new ENDFEDZ EF-SWL antenna today.
85814

The one connection on the "matchbox" looks bigger than usual. Is this a PL-259? Also, can I purchase an RG6 coax with a PL-259 connector on one end and an F connector on the other end? Or do I have to make this cable myself?

Thanks
Scott
 

mmckenna

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The one connection on the "matchbox" looks bigger than usual. Is this a PL-259? Also, can I purchase an RG6 coax with a PL-259 connector on one end and an F connector on the other end? Or do I have to make this cable myself?

Thanks
Scott
Blurry photo, but very likely an SO-239 socket. You will need a PL-259, AKA - UHF connector.
You can get UHF connectors that will fit on RG-6, or you can just get an adapter. Preference would be to avoid adapters since they tend to be problem points down the road.
There are places on line that will make custom coaxial cables for you. You can certainly order a cable with F on one end and a PL-259 on the other.
 

mmckenna

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From their website:
"Output is via a silver/Teflon® SO239 UHF connector (ready to accept a PL-259). Lead-in coax cable is not provided."
 

scloyd

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Blurry photo, but very likely an SO-239 socket. You will need a PL-259, AKA - UHF connector.
You can get UHF connectors that will fit on RG-6, or you can just get an adapter. Preference would be to avoid adapters since they tend to be problem points down the road.
There are places on line that will make custom coaxial cables for you. You can certainly order a cable with F on one end and a PL-259 on the other.
Perfect! That makes sense now. Thanks for the quick response.
 

WA8ZTZ

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The connector on the matchbox is known as a SO-239 socket. It mates with a PL-259 plug.
You can obtain a PL-259 to "F" adapter from Universal Radio their part number #3111.
Then all you will need is an appropriate length of RG6 with "F" connectors already installed on the ends, or you
can fabricate your own by buying the necessary length of coax off of a bulk spool and buying the connectors
separately. You will also need to get a crimping tool to install the "F" connectors. A basic crimping tool for
"F" connectors is inexpensive. The pre-assembled coax, bulk coax, connectors, and tool can be found at most
any decent hardware store or any of the big box stores. If you cannot find a pre-assembled coax in RG6, you
can also use RG59 pre-assembled with "F" connectors. Either will work fine for your application.
The use of an adapter at the SW frequencies covered by your radio won't be an issue as the loss (if any)
will be negligible.
 

scloyd

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Northern, Illinois
The connector on the matchbox is known as a SO-239 socket. It mates with a PL-259 plug.
You can obtain a PL-259 to "F" adapter from Universal Radio their part number #3111.
Then all you will need is an appropriate length of RG6 with "F" connectors already installed on the ends, or you
can fabricate your own by buying the necessary length of coax off of a bulk spool and buying the connectors
separately. You will also need to get a crimping tool to install the "F" connectors. A basic crimping tool for
"F" connectors is inexpensive. The pre-assembled coax, bulk coax, connectors, and tool can be found at most
any decent hardware store or any of the big box stores. If you cannot find a pre-assembled coax in RG6, you
can also use RG59 pre-assembled with "F" connectors. Either will work fine for your application.
The use of an adapter at the SW frequencies covered by your radio won't be an issue as the loss (if any)
will be negligible.
This is great information. I will definitely go with the PL-259 to "F" adapter and purchase a pre-assembled cable. Seems that is the easiest for me. Thanks everyone for your help.
So something like this on the end of a standard coaxial cable?

View attachment 85867
Mike,
This is the PL=259 to "F" adapter I ordered as recommended by member WA8ZTZ.
85868
 

mmckenna

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So something like this on the end of a standard coaxial cable?
No, that's a male N to male UHF. Unless you are using N connectors somewhere in your system, that won't do you any good. N connectors are overkill for short wave listening. RG-6 with F connectors will work just fine. An adapter is a good solution, just make sure you waterproof your outdoor connections well. Most good F connectors do a pretty good job, but UHF connectors do not have any inherent waterproofing to them. If you are ordering custom cable, or want to try making your own cable, just put the correct connectors on each end.
 

scloyd

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Northern, Illinois
Thanks in advance for your patience.
Today I installed the Par EndzFed EF-SWL antenna. I also installed an R6 coax cable from the matchbox using a RP-259 to "F" adapter to the SW EXT ANT connection on the back of my radio.
Here is a photo of the matchbox connections, before weather proofing.
85923
The instructions are a little confusing to me.

Tomorrow I plan on running a ground either to a ground rod I installed or right to the radio. It's going to be a day of experimenting.

Any suggestions or tips?

Thanks,
Scott
 

MikeThompson

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Scott we are really down the rabbit hole now, aren't we?

Obviously I can't help you out, but I am curious to see your setup when it is all said and done. Are you still going to run this up your tree? Or in your secret attic room?
 
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