Newbie but not so new need some HF advice

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sannerwise

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Hi all I just acquired a Sangean ATS 803a off Ebay I used to have one back in the late 80s early 90s and I have had various HF receivers in the past mostly portables and that realistic dx 160 picked up I'm thrift store for a few bucks. Back then I lived in So Cal and listened to all kinds of traffic civilian and mil mostly Skyking DNA and EAMS, So anyhow I have some experience monitoring HF SSB. Here fly . I'm I'm the mountains of Santa Fe NM 7700 ft in a valley of sorts and my reception is poor up till last night I couldn't get anything on SSB I heard my first utility station it was I think NY aviation weather and then heard USCG Chesapeake weather, now it's day and I just heard my first. I'm on 11175 kind of faint calling Andrews no EAM as of yet. I'm just running a a six foot double wire insulated with alligator clip on whip of radio I read online anything longer than 100 ft is a waste and will overload a portable like this one. I get WWCR crystal clear and US time is strong what utility stations should I be able to pickup and how can I eliminate interference from wifi etc, do I need a low pass filter, would a Loop antenna in probe my reception?
Thanks
 

ridgescan

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Just increase your wire to about 20-25' and see what happens..6' aint much at HF. 23' is a quarter-wave resonant at 10 megs, 6' is a quarter-wave at about 40 megs. Do some experimentation with your environment-noone knows it better than you. A vertical can work pretty well with those portables too like an old CB whip on the roof. With the wire though, try 25', run it east-west, then swing it north south to see if anything improves-have some fun with it. If you're in a rural setting with less flamethrowers or noisemakers around you, increase the wire as much as space allows. I have 100' wire on the roof here in western Frisco and I can hook my old Realistic Patrolman-9 to that thing with pretty good results-with the exception of more images.
 

SCPD

QRT
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I get WWCR crystal clear and US time is strong what utility stations should I be able to pickup and how can I eliminate interference from wifi etc, do I need a low pass filter, would a Loop antenna in probe my reception?
The reason you pick up that station is because it's putting out 100,000 watts of power. Most SSB communications are 100-200w -- perhaps 400w. As Ridge suggested, you should try a 50ft length of wire.

Sorry to say, but there's really no way to remove the interference. You're limited by the radio itself and the quality of the antenna. A simple wire attached to the antenna will increase its gain but also the gain of any local noise sources.

The best solution is to run from battery power and get outside -- ideally, away from any structures, power lines, etc.
 

sannerwise

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That all pretty much makes sense I kind of figured that was the case with WWCR. I understand but running on batteries vs wallwarts is more expensive considering this radio uses 6 Ds suppose i could always try nicads. I'm thinking about going with either Grundig G5 or 6 uses less batteries. What good is the wallwart if you it be low noise? Outside makes most sense but who wants to be outside at night in freezing cold? I just wanted to share back in the old days I monitored what I think was a Reach on HF GCS was around gulf war I think, he was asking for a meteo rep I think through or to "Crystal Pallace" that code name was used in the movie War Games for Cheyenne Mountain but who knows it could have been for anything. Anyone know?
Thanks
 
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ka3jjz

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You do want to get the antenna out away from the house as far as possible - unfortunately wall warts are inherently noisy, because they're generally nothing more than cheap transformers with virtually no shielding around them, so using batteries is indeed a better bet.

There is a certain amount of shielding you can do - wrapping any loose wiring to the wall wart in a ferrite core is one option - but seeing that you're dealing with a portable (which itself doesn't have a lot of shielding to begin with), it may help some, but how much is very much a product of your environment.

As to the antenna - folks on the East Coast have to be more careful, as many broadcasters - they're getting fewer and fewer - beam directly this way. Not so in NM - so a longer antenna may actually be usable, as long as you don't get so long that you start hearing your local MW station on HF, which is a pretty decent sign of overloading. There are limits, of course, to just how long to make an antenna before it has results that you might not expect, even using a better desktop radio.

Loops are always a decent choice - there are several out there, and there are plans for making your own. We have an article in our wiki (all links are blue) that has links to several of these...

Loops - The RadioReference Wiki

We have a separate receive antennas forum - feel free to ask questions about potential antennas for your radio there.

HTH...Mike
 
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SCPD

QRT
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I'm thinking about going with either Grundig G5 or 6 uses less batteries.
If you decide you're serious about SWL then you should invest in a proper shortwave receiver and not a portable. You can buy a decent receiver on EBay for a few hundred dollars or hunt around local pawn shops, etc. With a desktop receiver your antenna options are greatly expanded. You also have better potential to reduce RFI (noise) from your listening.

Search the forums for previous threads on recommendations. There are a lot to choose from and in various budget ranges.

A new receiver that may be perfect for you is this one:

CommRadio

I'm considering buying one for myself as well.
 
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