Shortwave Antenna for ICOM IC-R8600

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millo007

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I recently purchased an ICOM IC-R8600 radio. I would like to have information concerning which is the most suitable antenna for use in this radio to be able to receive and hear well the transmissions of shortwave stations from other countries. I have already the following antenna: ICOM AH-8000 discone antenna. I need to know if I need a dipole antenna for shortwave listening to accomplish my goal. If so, which antenna would you recommend for this radio? Thank you!
 

ridgescan

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How high and how long can ya go is the thing. As your first suggestion, I recommend the PAR EF-SWL shortwave antenna. It gives you the 9:1 transformer and I think 44' wire. But you can go to Home Depot and pick up a 100' run of #12 solid, bare copper wire (best for antenna wire IMHO) and use that in lieu of that 44-footer (you'll get more distant stuff).
Feed this system with some good shielded coax like Times LMR240 (what I use) or LMR400 and ground that 9:1 trans near the feedpoint for best signal-to-noise ratio.
 

WA8ZTZ

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Your discone covers from 100 mcs up through UHF. For general purpose SWLing on the HF bands my choice would be an end fed wide band or multi band wire antenna. Take a look at one of the Alpha Delta SWL slopers or the PAR EF-SWL. Otherwise, you can come up with your own homebrew design.
 

EricCottrell

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Hello,

I have used a discone on HF. It works for strong HF stations, and using the preamp helps.

My main LW/HF antenna is a Wellbrook ALA1530 loop. It has the benefit of cutting down the man-made RF noise in my urban environment.

73 Eric
 

mrkelso

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Hello,

I have used a discone on HF. It works for strong HF stations, and using the preamp helps.

My main LW/HF antenna is a Wellbrook ALA1530 loop. It has the benefit of cutting down the man-made RF noise in my urban environment.

73 Eric
Where can one purchase this antenna?
 

bob550

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I'd recommend you use stranded copper wire, as opposed to solid, for your antenna. It's more flexible and less prone to breakage. Unless you're considering a down-lead of over 100 feet, signal loss at HF frequencies is usually not much of a consideration. As such, use whatever shielded 50 Ohm cable suits your budget.
 

bagmouse7

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Your choices may depend on you listening location, but I would start with a wire antenna (longer the better) hug up in a tree and connected to a 9:1 balun and then fed into the house with some shielded coax (exactly like ridgescan's suggestion above).
It's a great place to start and is a good match with 8600 (a fantastic HF receiver!).
Good luck!
 

ka3jjz

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If you are in the US and interested in using a loop, the W6LVP loop - which has been discussed quite a bit on many Facebook pages - is a whole lot cheaper than the Wellbrook, and some say it's better. The web page, plus an eHam page of reviews, is linked from our Loops wiki here...

Loops - The RadioReference Wiki

For wire antennas, a PAR EF-SWL is very hard to beat as a starter, but there are, of course, numerous other designs, especially for someone who likes to build their own. The ARRL Antenna handbook is a great place to start for reference material. The PAR is available from Universal Radio, among many other suppliers. Here's a link...

https://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/sw_ant/2205.html

Mike
 

Fast1eddie

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Hello, all excellent suggestions. You simply have to evaluate your receiving site and determine which option is best. Now divorced, I reside in a wood framed two story 4 unit building just outside of Pittsburgh. I've installed a Par End Fed (Universal Radio) in my attic and in WWII resistance style, made a small hole in the ceiling (landlord loves that, but he's cool with it, always pay my rent 30-60 days ahead and do minor maintenance work for him) dropping the feed line into my setup. From there, it feeds a active Stridesberg Multicoupler (don't know why I had to go with additional preamplification) outputting to my R8600, R9000, and Galaxy R 530.

Works very well, only issue is radom interference which kills all incoming signals and cycles on and off. Happens year round, I deal with it. Maybe marriage was not so bad after all, had lots of property for very large antennas with no noise issues.

Now looking for a Sugar Mamma to take me away from all this.

Good luck with your installation, check back in and let us know how it worked for you.

Happy DX!
 

oceans777

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On our 8600's I'm running a few PAR End Fedz and EF-SWL antennas as slopers and a Wellbrook ALA1530LNP loop with excellent results on all. The loop is great for nulling out local noise in a large suburban neighborhood, mounted 6 feet above ground on a wooden pole 18 feet from my house, I get nearly the same reception as I do on the PAR antennas. Either antenna feeds an active Stridesberg Multicoupler which is outstanding for getting signal to multiple receivers but not needed for single antenna to single receiver.

PAR's are mounted about 25' up with the matching network box about 6 feet above ground at slope end and grounded coax shield using a DX Engineering kit that took about 30 minutes to install.
In this configuration they are more directional so oriented E-W picks up E-W significantly more than N-S.
You can make a great loop too using coax from the examples on RR - I've made a few with very good results and I'm near the back of the class in that ability. To get going easily, quickly with minimal $ I'd go with a Par (now made/distributed by LNR Precision I think) for a single 8600 antenna that will give you plenty to monitor.

I've tried various active antennas with the Wellbrook being one of very few in my environment that deliver as promised.
 
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