Need suggestions for a portable SWL antenna

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kf4lne

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I am travelling a lot with my current contract and spend a lot of time away from home in various motels and hotels. I have been using my SWL receiver in the room with really suck results even with a wire antenna. Does anyone have any suggestions for a portable SWL antenna that can be packed in the car, taken on a plane or whatever else and be easily deployed. I am intrested in 5-15MHz ranges.
 

ka3jjz

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Of course, crappy propagation isn't helping, but neither is all the shielding in those hotels and motels - makes for a crummy makeshift shack, for sure. If you're willing to spend a few bucks, how about some of those small amp loops? We have numerous reviews linked on the Loops article in the Antennas wiki. Putting them in the window (barring putting the wire outside, of course) is probably about the best you'll be able to do. 73s Mike
 

pinetree

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Radio Shack had a wind up one 278-1374A that works ok for me but you might have to look hard for one it was discontinued a while back. Try e-bay or some RS stores might have one.

I found one on e-bay # 130030623176
 
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k9rzz

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How about one of those cheap, fiberglass telescoping masts somehow attatched to your parked car ... then you'd have something reliable to string your wires to ? Even if it's a really thin wire for a more secret installation.

I still think wire antennas are your best bet for that freq. range without any kind of major investment in a mobile whip for the car.

For the lower frequencies, even a wire strung on the ground will work (BOG = Beverage On Ground).

John K9RZZ
 

mkh

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I have the Par EF-SWL due to be delivered today. I'm hoping it's as good as I've read it is.

My house is all metal contruction for the frame and my reception inside really sucks. I'm going to hand this outside.
 

kb2vxa

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Never mind all the fancy dancy when you can stuff a roll of "bell wire" in your pocket. Tossed over a ceiling lamp or a tree branch it makes a perfectly good portable short wave receiving antenna. I've been doing it for 40 years and not one tree has ever complained but once in a while a lamp may give me a bit of static.
 

kf4lne

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Now out of these replies how many of you have used these antennas in my situation and what was your experience with them? All too often airport security screeners tend to be stupid and think anything that seems strange is a bomb or a way to take the plane down. I don't like the fact that a bunch of idiots with a box of finger condoms can search through my things and I don't want to take anything on a plane that will stick out as unusual.
 

mass-man

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portable SWL antennas

Dan: I have travelled with either a SW rcvr. or small ham rig for more than 20 years...tried all kinds of antennas!!! I have found it greatly depends on the room you are assigned at the hotel/motel. Of course a balcony, and you are GOLDEN. If not, how about asking for one with windows that open. Albeit, that is only four inches these days...hang something out and off you go...do the windows have screens, as many small motels do. Take a small knife, scrape away at the screen and attach the wire with a small clip.

Take thumbtacks and essentially run a wire across the ceiling and then down to your radio...I depends on how much work you wanna do. I used to wait until dark, then run a small wire out of the air conditioner space, up to the ceiling of the walkway and out to a tree...or any convenient point. But then had to take it all down before I crashed for the nite.

Skip the fancy stuff...take a small roll of wire, attach a clip to one end, unroll it and then try to get it as high, outside, and/or in the clear as you can. As for the MORONS at the TSA...put the wire in your suitcase, if you check it. If not, then with the radio. I think they will buy it is an external antenna. When you travel with headphones, coily mic cables, wireless mics, 9v batteries and all the accessories, as I do, you get a lot of practice in SPLAINING!!!!

I have USED all the above examples...many times with an antenna tuner for QRP operations...
 

k9rzz

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Heck, if the holes in the screen are big enough, just feed some wire through the screen !

John K9RZZ
 
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