Re: Guy Atkin's Independent Testing of PL-380 7.5" Loopstick

Tony Germanotta

Here's another web site with info on that radio I just found for the guy who owns it. You can see the coils a little better in this one. 

And if you speak German, you probably can learn how to use it. 

Sometimes the sun can do some amazing things. I remember tuning the dials once and being astounded to hear WGN Chicago here in Chesapeake in the afternoon. Never happened before or since. It defies all the rules of propagation. But somehow that D layer just didn't get scrambled right where it needed to be smooth enough to bounce the signal back to me, I guess. Sort of Tropoducting on AM maybe. I didn't have a tape recorder handy. Hell, I wasn't even DXing at the time. I was playing with my new radio at the time, an ITT Mackay Marine. So it was just something I noted in a log somewhere and went on. That ITT Mackay Marine had great selectivity -- almost equal to these little Tecsuns. I guess some of the higher end Ham stuff uses the SiLabs chips for signal processing. The thing is those Chinese manufacturers are doing it on very low cost gear. My shack is quite happy with an Icom 735 and all its analog dials that move the passband. But I'd love to see they could accomplish. I don't think anybody is using it yet for SSB or synchronous detection.

On Feb 11, 2010, at 3:49 PM, jim_kr1s wrote:


--- In, Tony Germanotta ...> wrote:
> Yea, mine was built for speed not beauty, but I used it for years to listen to the Phillies games in daylight here some 300 miles south of the transmitter. That's a much tougher task than just DXing,

Yes, daytime DXing is an art all its own. You can learn a lot about solar effects on propagation, too. When the sun is having a hissy fit, bye-bye long-distance daytime reception.

> I have a nice work of art loop here that I bought at a silent auction years back at the old SWL Winterfest. It's an altazimuth model complete with preamp and works like a charm as the MW antenna for my Drake R8A. Coupled to a longwire and an MFJ phasing unit and I can do a lot with it. But it sure doesn't qualify for Ultra Light status.

One of these days, some smart Chinese manufacturer is going to stick the SiLabs chip in a for-real communications receiver. The only problem will be making a low-freq BFO for SSB/CW/ECSS, but I'm sure they'll figure it out. Of course, the beauty of ULR DXing is the small size coupled with large performance. I feel guilty hooking up a big antenna to a shirt-pocket radio. :)

> Yesterday at a meeting of our local antique radio club, one member brought in a single tube radio made in Germany that has a single tube that does the work of three. It was designed for the local market there to cheat on broadcast taxes that were based on how many tubes your radio had. Anyway, the thing used small, plug in air core loops wound in a combination of spiral and box format. They were only a couple inches large but amazingly beautiful. They looked like something out of string theory.

Oh! Oh! What I'd give to see that! The Germans machined some coils for military gear that were astounding. I've only seen scanned photos and descriptions, unfortunately. The crystal-set folks make some nice coils. You can find photos on Dave Schmarder's site, Crystal sets need low-loss and high-Q inductors, well beyond what we active-device users require.


Jim, KR1S 

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