Tecsun Pl-600 Antenna problem?

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MichaelxB

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Hi, well for awhile now I have been using a 45ft insulated copper wire antenna that clips to my telescopic antenna. I run it up one of those old cable antennas which is grounded and goes up about 60 feet. But tonight I took the 23ft spool antenna that came with my radio(plugs into jack on side), I climbed high as I could and clipped it to the old cable antenna. While I was outside comparing the antennas, I noticed the 23 foot spool was picking up better than the "long wire" 45ft antenna. Why could this be?? Is it because the spool is clipped to the old cable antenna which is grounded, alowing better signal? If anyone has advice I'd appreciate it.

*Update
It doesn't pick up all stations better than other, just certain ones.
 
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ka3jjz

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There's an off-chance here that you unintentionally created a mini-windom, mini-G5RV or similar. Both of these antennas have some directivity to them - won't hurt anything, but as you yourself already noted, it will favor some stations rather than others.

Take careful notes over a week's time to see if it was just propagation, rather than your antenna, that was causing this. Over the last couple of days, we've been hit with the side effects from a X2 solar flare - this can cause stations in some directions to be heard better.

You should NEVER clip an antenna to the whip (even if the manufacturer tells you to...). The reason is very simple. There's often a small amplifier near or at the base of the whip, and 1 static zap will blow it. Result: radio that's deaf as a post. The jack at the side of the radio is a much better bet, especially with this little box feeding it...

http://forums.radioreference.com/receive-antennas-below-30mhz/295299-great-first-timer-project.html

The box is much more likely to take the hit then the radio - and would cost you a whole lot less to fix. With hamfest season here, finding the parts should be no biggie...Mike
 

Boombox

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I have no idea why the 23 foot antenna would work better than the 45 foot wire, unless the longer antenna picked up more noise.

Or it could have been some sort of propagation difference, one antenna being more vertical than the other, etc. (sometimes a vertical antenna will pick up certain signals differently from a horizontal antenna).

I'll second what KA3JJZ says. Don't clip an external antenna to your radio's whip -- unless it's an indoor antenna. Static electricity can fairly easily blow an RF amp transistor.

Your radio probably has diode protection on the *external* input jack only (according to an SWLing.com article on the Tecsun PL-600), but your whip antenna doesn't. So if you clip an outside wire to it, you're risking damage to the RF amp transistor.

You can get static electricity from nearby electrical storms (or dry air in winter).

Even though your external antenna jack possibly has protection diodes, I'd still be ultra careful when plugging an outdoor wire to the external jack -- or build the protection box KA3JJZ suggests. Even protection diodes can blow if the static charge is great enough.

The PL-600 has surface mount components inside, and replacing a surface mount component (like a burnt diode or a blown RF transistor) can be a very trying experience. I learned that lesson the hard way trying to rewire the stereo headphone jack on my Sangean PR-D5.
 

ka3jjz

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Yeah, I'd rather dig out blown diodes out of a cheap box project than resolder SMDs any day...Mike
 
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