Simple question

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seagullplayer

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Feb 1, 2013
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Location
Marengo, IN
I have listened to short wave off and on sense I was a teenager.

Right now I have a couple of radios, one is a button pusher and one is a knob turner.

Seems like I always find something interesting then it fades out on me. I know this is just the way it works, but I really think a decent outside antenna would help. (both radios have inputs for antenna and both have portable antenna on them)

I have tried making my own, but have always been disappointed in the result. I would like to buy something, but last time I asked in Radio Shack they acted like I had two heads.

Where do I look? I don't get to listen often, I get up way to early for work to be up very late listening to the radio. So I don't want to break the bank of something I might only use a few times a year.

I would consider making my own again if someone had an idiots guild to a fool proof design!

Thanks,
 

ridgescan

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Apr 1, 2008
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4,710
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San Francisco, Ca.
How much wire can you run? You can draw ideas from my experiences here. I am in an apartment and when I ran a wire antenna, I ran up to 100' at one point. My best reception came from a 75' random wire oriented n-s/e-w, it was grounded at the feed to the building's fire escape which itself was bolted to the building I-beam frame which fully quieted MW. I fed it at one end through 50 ohm coax which was grounded at the shack which knocked a couple s-units noise out at HF.
I had a 9-turn coax coil choke right at the feedpoint that quieted even more at HF.
$28 for #12 solid copper wire at Lowes, $30 for the LMR240 coax run, $78 for the PAR ef-swl.
I ran my own wire off that PAR transformer box, but I bet, for the reasonable price of it, you'd do great with just buying the PAR ef-swl and use their 44' supplied wire. The main point I wanted to convey is to ground it so that endfed wire can work against a counterpoise.
Universal's selling it for $72 now:)
Par Electronics EF-SWL End Fed Dipole SWL Antenna. Par EF-SWL.
 

Boombox

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Sep 2, 2012
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925
The "button pusher" I'm guessing is a digital portable.

Just re-read your post, you said you tried an external antenna but wasn't satisfied with the results.

Try a longer antenna. You may need one that is longer than the one you already tried.

I have a couple digital portables and I get very good reception on a 20 ft. indoor wire. But I did get better reception on a 100 ft. outdoor wire that blew down a few years ago.

So try a longer one, which you can make with any wire -- even stripping speaker cable in half can give you enough wire for an outdoor antenna.

Try 30-50 feet or so, if you have the room for it. See if that helps. Make sure you disconnect it and ground it if there is a chance of lightning or T-storm activity, or if it's dry in winter (static electricity buildups aren't good for radios RF sections).

Good luck.
 
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