Hi Todd (and Michael),
<<< I never knew how many MW FSL antennas you have stored at home. The development process seems to have gone through multiple iterations. There are enough FSLs to sell online as a business. >>>
Well, you are probably correct, Todd, but since it's a labor of love I've certainly given away far more FSL's than I've ever sold. Financially there doesn't seem to be a need to do so, although my wife (in her zeal to free up more space) would be the first to agree with you!
<<< I am still using a 40 inch side length table-top 4-leg style PVC tunable air core box loop with 9 turns. What would be the equivalent size FSL antenna that would offer comparable MW DX gain? >>>
The 5" FSL antenna full construction project (posted at the link in the previous message) was extensively tested against a 4 foot (48") air core box loop here, and demonstrated equivalent gain, with a slightly better S/N ratio. However, the 5" FSL has much sharper tuning than an air core loop, and takes some DXing practice in order to get the best performance out of it. The new, razor-sharp "384P" variable caps transform the 5" FSL into a tiny little DXing firecracker, but without serious practice most DXers will probably be left longing for a broader-tuning air core loop. The latest 5" FSL antennas will provide exception gain once you carefully tune in the DX, but without practice you will find it tough to even locate the gain peak.
<<< One possible drawback with the current COVID-19 stay at home guidelines, is increased local QRM. More people staying at home translates to more electrical devices operating. So far there hasn't been a notable increase in MW noise. If anything, electrical storm static last night rendered 558 KHz 6WA Wagin almost unlistenable. >>>
Definitely true, even here, Todd. With so many families "sheltering at home" there has been an explosion of RFI of all types, as families try anything and everything to entertain themselves... indefinitely. To make matters worse, the Governor has placed all ocean beach state parks off limits-- pretty much locking you into the RFI at your home location.
558-6WA is one of our annual targets at the plunging Rockwork Cliff each August, so I certainly hope the virus will wrap up before then!
<<< The Australian government today announced a new maximum two person gathering rule. This effectively puts a lid on club DX gatherings. I've been using Zoom software for my local Cong bi-weekly meetings. This software could also be used for DXer meetings. Any large DX club or local DX group could set up a meeting by using an assigned Zoom software log-in number. The audio and video quality is surprisingly good. >>>
Well, Oz DXer Chris Rogers and I were very fortunate to have our Hawaii DXpedition in November-- before the entire world went into a pandemic meltdown! Come to think of it, my wife was trying to talk me into a luxury cruise about now-- but somehow she never mentions that idea any more.