What Do You Guys Think?

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ridgescan

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I stopped at Home Depot today and bought another 110' of #12 solid copper wire. I am thinking about putting my old antenna system back up-the 100' "L" wire endfed with that 9:1 PAR transformer. And tuck the Wellbrook away for a while. I was looking over my shortwave DX videos and I feel like that setup did a lot better on SW than this loop. I was even pulling MW stations out of Canada on the wire that I never got since having the loop. Hard to say-maybe conditions were a lot better back then?? ...but the signals seemed more clean and numerous than now. I don't know-just want to see what a couple of you say about it.
 

n2pqq

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I use a pixle loop and swear by it.

The wire may give you a bigger signal but a lot of it is noise.
I find the loop had a quieter noise floor.
 

ridgescan

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I use a pixle loop and swear by it.

The wire may give you a bigger signal but a lot of it is noise.
I find the loop had a quieter noise floor.
Appreciate the reply. When I ran that wire it was pretty quiet-I would argue it was as quiet or better at SW than this Wellbrook. I believe it's because the loop is up 50' off the ground. I gave the wire a very good ground to work off of back then. This time I will give it an even better ground as I will put the feedpoint directly at the groundpoint with no ground line between.
I was thinking about this over dinner and I think I amd going to leave the Wellbrook up there and run this as a third antenna. There is an old unused cable TV port in the livingroom wall and I run my Icom R71a there at the easy chair. So I am going to deploy the wire system and use it on that rig and leave the loop intact for the other 4 receivers in here.
I honestly don't think the folks who allowed my present two antennas will even notice it up there. Plus they didn't care when I had it up before.
 

invergordon

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I had a Wellbrook ALA1530 and while I was impressed with its performance a friend brought round a T2FD which I compared the loop with. After that experience I found that the T2FD gave me better signals.

After a couple of weeks I manufactured a dipole and 1:1 un-un transformer for 8MHz and was receiving some wonderful signals that the Wellbrook loop couldn't.

With the transformer I have found it to perform just as well with a longwire and am in the process of developing a new un-un for use in a delta loop configuration.

I had thought of re-investing in another Wellbrook loop but with the cost having gone up and shipping to New Zealand extremely pricey I've decided I don't think it will improve my listening so I'm going to continue to play with wires and transformers.
 

Turbo68

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Hi ridgescan as you know i use to have 4 wellbrook active sold 2 with no regret the others in the garage since i first put up my first PK Loop dipole with a balun i was impressed with how much more hf aircraft i been receiving can hear gander,new york,santa maria and stations from africa could never get any of these stations when i ran my wellbrook loops considering how much time it took me to get them right height and distance from the house atm i run 4 PK loop dipoles and they are doing an excellent job.

Regards Lino.
 

ILSAPP

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Hi Turbo68,

Can you please tell me which particular PK loop antenna you found best to hear distant HF aero?
I was thinking in investing in a wellbrook loop but probably I can go cheaper and have a better option.

thank you
 

ridgescan

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He Gordon and Lino-hope all is good with you guys out there. Lino, could you elaborate a little on what a "PK Loop dipole" is? I googled and only saw the PK Loop. Well it's wet outside so it may delay my plan a little. Meantime don't get me wrong, the Wellbrook is a good antenna but I feel it's missing stuff I used to hear with the wire. It's really good at MW and 160/80 to 40 meters.
 

Turbo68

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Hi ILSAPP atm i got up one for 6.5,8.9,10,14 they all work excellent on hf aero balun is very heavy Paul at Pk Loops can make dipoles for any band you want for the price of one wellbrook loop you can have 3 dipoles you can also transmit on them if you have an ameteur radio licence as for height they are 5 to 7 metres high and i actually had one of his dipoles which was never used once i put it up i was surprised the amount of hf aircraft stations i was getting the wellbrook didnt even come close as for noise well i live in a big city got power poles in front of my house its as wuiet as the loops.

Hi ridgescan i am with you when i had the wellbrook loops up i felt i wasnt hearing enough aircraft when you consider what the price of them as for the dipole its a massive balun which Paul makes water proof plastic case with a wire on each side and an egg insulator at each end.

I got 2 metz hf antennas they are for boats coverage is from 2-30 they outperformed the wellbrook loops sitting in the middle of the backyard at 2 metres high and to be honest when i sold one of my loops to a friend of mine last year told him straight out dont expect mirales when you put it up.


Regards Lino.
 
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ridgescan

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Hi ridgescan i am with you when i had the wellbrook loops up i felt i wasnt hearing enough aircraft when you consider what the price of them as for the dipole its a massive balun which Paul makes water proof plastic case with a wire on each side and an egg insulator at each end.

I got 2 metz hf antennas they are for boats coverage is from 2-30 they outperformed the wellbrook loops sitting in the middle of the backyard at 2 metres high and to be honest when i sold one of my loops to a friend of mine last year told him straight out dont expect mirales when you put it up.


Regards Lino.
You saying this is a big deal Lino. I cannot recall how many Wellbrooks you've owned but it was many.
Well, I deployed the 100' endfed sideways L with 9:1 transformer. It's working great. I now have 2 HF antennas so now I get to have fun in my bubble and do loop-to-wire direct comparos:)
to give you guys an idea of why I put it back up, for the first time since I had the old wire up, I now can hear CFRX Toronto on 6070kHz! A flea 1000 watter.
 

ka3jjz

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Having more than 1 antenna available is very useful, particularly when they are of completely different types. If propagation is making it hard to hear a signal on one antenna, the other might bring it in more clearly. A random wire and a loop, for example, would make an enviable combination

Mike
 

ridgescan

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Having more than 1 antenna available is very useful, particularly when they are of completely different types. If propagation is making it hard to hear a signal on one antenna, the other might bring it in more clearly. A random wire and a loop, for example, would make an enviable combination

Mike
Right on Mike! Potential fun to be had. Torrential rain tonight. River of water 6' wide flowing past the foot of my driveway. The feedline to the wire passes alongside then under a bundle of TV cable coaxes-one or more leaking TV RFI into some signals. 80 o 160 meters polluted in various spots. MW is fantastic (like KPNW Eugene 1120kHz at +20-30!) but that TV RFI infiltrating a few signals down there too. Tomorrow I will move the Timewave ANC-4 to the wire antenna system for this problem.
This 3rd antenna freed up one of my Alpha Delta-2 coax switches so that will be moved to the wire antenna system, and I will run a patch from it to the R71A PLUS the Delmonico out in the kitchen and rock some SW/MW DX with awesome Korting tube audio!
 

Boombox

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In my view MW isn't as good as it was in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Even though we're in a sunspot lull, MW just isn't kicking in as much as it used to -- even though I'm using the same exact equipment. Any real DX catches I've had over the past DX season were flukes (1700 from New York -- that was only because of the S Asian music). IN 2012 or 2013 I heard Rebelde 1180 blasting in (clearly behind two other stations) on just a TRF portable, on its internal loop -- this was more than once. Haven't heard a peep from it this year. So I think some of what you're hearing / not hearing is conditions.
 

ridgescan

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In my view MW isn't as good as it was in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Even though we're in a sunspot lull, MW just isn't kicking in as much as it used to -- even though I'm using the same exact equipment. Any real DX catches I've had over the past DX season were flukes (1700 from New York -- that was only because of the S Asian music). IN 2012 or 2013 I heard Rebelde 1180 blasting in (clearly behind two other stations) on just a TRF portable, on its internal loop -- this was more than once. Haven't heard a peep from it this year. So I think some of what you're hearing / not hearing is conditions.
I forgot where you are-northwest? I haven't really given serious DX a try by actually sitting on a frequency where there's no solid signal and waiting for something to bloom out, so I never heard anything past Wyoming! New York would be a miracle more than a fluke for me.
Another problem with the wire now is KSFO on 560 is imaging on 1680. LW is saturated with MW junk every 10kHz. I had this with the old wire antenna too. I don't get what it could be and what I could do for it.
 

ka3jjz

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This is very possibly a case of receiver overload. Your KSFO looks like a 3d order harmonic issue - 560 X 3 = 1680. With LW being saturated as it is (and since you have several HF receivers, you should specify which one), and your 3d order harmonic, I would think it would be time for some filters, or almost certainly turning the RF gain down.

Learning to ride the RF gain without increasing your noise level is a tough nut to crack, as the receiver AGC can get in the way, and noise levels vary with the frequency (the higher HF bands tend to be a bit quieter...). Too, conditions might change from day to day - but this is part of pushing the envelope on your receiver performance.

There are a few folks out there selling filters that stop MW overload on LW; if you are really into that side of the hobby, you should look that direction. For example, the BCST-LPF from Par...

SWL Filters | PAR Electronics | Filters for the commercial 2 way market, MATV, FM broadcast, laboratory, marine industry, amateur radio, scanner and short wave listening enthusiasts

Remember, too, if you are looking Trans Pacific, that Canada and us (does Mexico? I think it does...) use 10khz spacing between stations. The standard worldwide is actually 9 khz. So if you start noticing a 1khz het on a station you're listening to, it's time to start splitting hairs - and there are a number of ways to do that, highly dependent on the radio and antenna you are using...

Mike
 

ridgescan

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This is with the R71A Mike. With Collins filters mod. I may switch out the R75 with it and see if the same happens with this wire antenna.
 

ka3jjz

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I just took a quick peek over at the KSFO website to see if they have a X-band outlet, and they don't mention it there (they would if they did, I'm sure)...Mike
 

ridgescan

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I looked up their transmitter site and it's about 5 miles east of me on the bayfront. BTW I get the MW 10kHz junk in LW on the R75 and loop but only half as bad. It goes away if I hit the attenuator on that rig. But on that R71A with the wire it's too strong for even ATT. Between KSFO and KFOG FM on Sutro Tower 2 miles away it's no wonder I have Tinnitus.
 

ka3jjz

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Time to turn that loop away from the signal - it will be trial and error for now, but you should get at least some attenuation - maybe not enough, but it's worth a shot

It might also be worth looking into putting an outboard RF gain control on your radios. It wouldn't need much - a nice heavy duty RF pot - say 10 or 20 kilohm linear taper - in a small box with connectors on the end might very well be in order here. Adding some additional control over your gain is a small price to pay for additional performance. Mike
 

WA8ZTZ

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Hi Ridge,

The "image" on 1680 is not a true image. An image is displaced from the main frequency by twice the IF. It is actually a harmonic. The question becomes whether it is external or generated internal to the RX, External meaning generated by the AM station or perhaps re-radiated locally. My guess would be more likely re-radiated by overhead power lines, a loose gutter or siding or the like. The other issue is that it could be generated internally in your RX. That is not to say that the R71 is somehow lacking. Quite the contrary... a friend of mine has one and let me try it out on LW. The R71 is an awesome LW RX. That said, however, all superhets can have issues in a strong RF environment. Anyway, let me ponder this for a while and please elaborate on what you mean exactly about the MW junk on LW.
 
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