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

Tony Germanotta

I live about 20 miles from the Atlantic on a rise by a little freshwater pond. There is a marked difference in trans-Atlantics when you are on the shore. Even on local groundwave transmissions.  Chuck Ripple is another 10 miles farther from the Ocean and I can sometimes hear things that don't reach him on MW.  That's the magic of DXpeditions.  And it doesn't hurt that you wind up on a pretty beach, even if it is usually in the offseason.

I first got into DXing trying to hear the Phillies. I discovered I could go to Virginia Beach on Sunday afternoons and hear the game easily on any transistor radio. Mostly, I was getting the transmissions from affiliates in Atlantic City or Wildwood, N.J., and they just followed the salt water path right to Virginia Beach.  But go that extra 20 miles inland and all of the signal was gone.  

I was working for a newspaper at the time, and it intrigued me. I figured thousands of local sailors stationed in Norfolk would love to listen to their home teams, (this was before the internet.)  so I went hunting for info. I found the NRC and the IRCA in a reference book called the Dictionary of Associations and contacted some folks there to ask why this was happening. I also had gotten a Select-A-Tenna, so I tracked down the engineer who built that and interviewed him, and ordered a bunch of reprints on loop antennas and built my own. I bought a GE Superradio on their advice and eventually bought my Sony 2010 at a ham fest in Orlando. One of the radios my wife had bought me early on at the recommendation of the local Radio Shack, a Patrolman model, was a terrible MW radio, but it had a shortwave band and I tuned in the first night to catch the DX Partyline show from Quito Ecuador.  I was hooked. Here were some folks having a blast talking about listening to distant radio stations and they were broadcasting from a place that seemed so exotic in its own right.

I took that Patrolman back and ordered a Sony 4920 and it became by constant travel buddy on countless reporting trips. I need to try that one on some UL listening. It certainly should qualify, being small with no bells and whistles, just dual conversion and an analog dial with 7 shortwave bands. 

I do notice here that after a lot of rain, the Europeans seem to come in a little stronger at my home. I wonder if it is just improving the ground conductance up here on my little hill. There are no real hills here along the coastal plain. I may be at the highest point in all of Chesapeake and it's about 20 feet above the lake level. 

On Feb 12, 2010, at 12:55 PM, Guy Atkins wrote:


Gary and I have also discovered that within the city limits of Puyallup there can be major differences in TP MW reception. Gary lives a few miles closer to salt water Puget Sound than I do, and he is also in the fertile valley area where presumably the grounding is better. I live farther to the east on a high, somewhat rocky ridge. At times Gary has heard signals I've found inaudible, and on rare occasions the situation is reversed.     73, Guy

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

Posted by: ""   dxergary

Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:22 pm (PST)


Puyallup is about 90 miles from the ocean, but only about 5 miles from salt
water (Puget Sound). The TP propagation here is nowhere near as favorable
as on a Pacific Ocean beach, but probably much better than 90 miles inland
without any salt water nearby.

73, Gary

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