One of the reasons why our Ultralightdx Yahoo group has had booming growth for over six years is because we have accepted many diverse challenges... from the basic challenge of DXing with a simple pocket radio (which all of us share) all the way up to the challenge of developing 21st Century antennas (and discovering innovative DXing sites) to make pocket radios surprisingly effective in Transoceanic DXing results.
Not all of us have the ability or desire to develop breakthrough antennas (or perform loopstick transplant operations), but the entire history of the Ultralight Radio DXing community has been one of amazing accomplishments-- from Rob Ross' reception of 300 stations in one month on his SRF-59, Richard Allen's reception of multiple Longwave TA's from Europe and Africa on his 7.5" loopstick PL-360 in Oklahoma, and Allen Willie's reception of hundreds of TA's on his SRF-M37V in Newfoundland. When our late Co-Founder John Bryant was still with us he would constantly challenge each one of the Ultralightdx leaders (including me) to try something new-- either in antenna work, DXing accomplishments or volunteer service.
John was an ex-Professor of Architecture at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, and he had a natural teaching style familiar to all those who knew him. John was the one who introduced me to DU-DXing in 2008, teaching me all the basics of how to track down exotic South Pacific DX right in the middle of the worst possible season-- the dog days of summer. At the time it sounded like science fiction to me, and I thought that John might be "pulling my leg--" but he was absolutely right!
I don't have anywhere near the accomplishments or leadership that John had, but he and I did share a fascination with antennas-- especially monster antennas that could make Ultralight radios highly competitive in Transoceanic DXing. So, in the spirit of John Bryant, I would like to offer some links to articles that have inspired many Ultralight Radio DXers to really push the limits in antenna construction-- including one article that John and I wrote together. As I have shared with anyone willing to listen, I'm convinced that the future of our Ultralight Radio community is very bright-- and optimism and innovation will win out over pessimism and boredom every time. Sometime this winter, why not try something new to increase your Ultralight Radio DXing fun-- maybe a new antenna, a new band (FM, SW or Longwave) or Transoceanic DX reception? The future belongs to those who are excited about it-- one of the reasons why our Ultralight Radio Community has been one of the most vibrant segments of the AM-DXing community for many years!
73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)
Ultralight Radio Group Co-Founder
1) E100 Slider Loopstick (September 2008)
Co-authored with John Bryant, this article explains how to replace the E100 stock loopstick with a far more effective 7.5" Slider loopstick. Many of these highly sensitive models are still in DXing service today
2) PVC Loops-- The Low Cost Ticket to High DX Gain (August 2009)
Tired of expensive commercial antennas or pricey ferrite sleeve loops? This article will teach you how to build a dirt-cheap PVC air core loop with side sizes from 18 inches up to 9 feet... all of them (MW models) costing well under $100. The 9' monster size loop was used here to receive 7 Medium Wave TA's in 2009-2010.
3) PL-360 Plug-in 7.5" Loopsticks (June 2010)
Do you have a PL-360 model (with its plug-in antenna jack for AM and LW loopsticks)? This article will teach you how to replace the deaf midget loopstick with extremely effective 7.5" Medium Wave and Longwave plug-in replacements-- with no modification required to the radio at all. 25 of the MW and 5 of the LW plug-in loopsticks were made here and sent out to PL-360 owners-- many of which are still in use.
4) 7.5" Longwave Loopsticks (June 2011)
Detailed technical article describing the challenge and success in developing 7.5" Longwave-optimized loopsticks for the Tecsun DSP Ultralights. Includes basic instructions for building your own 7.5" Longwave loopstick PL-380 model
5) 7" FSL Antenna-- Detailed "Heathkit-like" Construction Article (October 2011)
Build your own 7" Ferrite Sleeve Loop antenna at a cost of under $200. This detailed article has multiple Photoshop-enhanced instructional photos to guide you in creating a highly effective 7" FSL antenna
6) 5" FSL Antenna-- Detailed "Heathkit-like" Construction Article (March 2012)
Build your own 5" Ferrite Sleeve Loop antenna at a cost of under $100. This detailed article has multiple Photoshop-enhanced instructional photos to guide you in creating a highly effective 5" FSL antenna
7) Supercharging the PL-380-- Detailed "Heathkit-like" Construction Article (October 2013)
Replace the midget stock loopstick in your Tecsun PL-380 with a far more effective 7.5" Medium Wave or Longwave loopstick transplant-- and enjoy a new level of DXing success. Multiple Photoshop-enhanced assembly photos to guide you in the process of creating your own highly sensitive DXing portable-- for under $100 in assembly parts.