That is sound reasoning and good information.
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I think Jim mentioned he needs his loop near a window, some distance from where he sits, while I do not need any feedline. I just wondered if he could have a more efficient antenna with the higher impedance twin lead.
It sounds to me that the front end of the chip radios is so sensitive a full size antenna [too big to be practical at AM BCB & LW] would overload it. The 360 model has a plug in ferrite rod antenna on a 1/8th inch telephone plug. ANON offers a package deal with the small tuned Tecsun loop. So I should just try a short wire antenna instead, [if I buy a PL-360], as well as my 2 and 4 foot untuned loops and see what happens. Thanks.
I can read up on the theory, but I wouldn't be confident I wouldn't miss some detail which would ruin my 'experiment'. I am trying to follow the theory though. According to theory my untuned 4 foot loop isn't supposed to work very well since I did not space the windings far enough apart, however, don't tell the radios which like it VERY much. Both the inductance and capacitance of 25 closely wound turns may not allow a cap to tune it, but it is both quiet as far as noise, and yet allows some of my radios to hear far more stations. It does overload others without an RF gain control. - FARMERIK
--- In ultralightdx@..., "sdwillingham" <sdwillingham@...> wrote:
Jim has lucidly explained several good reasons for using a low inductance loop and transformer (tuning range and flexible wire). The same reasons govern the historical use of low-inductance loops with HiFi receivers. Generally, high-impedance signal inputs like the Si4734 uses are great when the receiver is near the antenna. But lower impedance signals are needed when the antenna is remote from the receiver.
I agree with Jim's reasoning and would like to add two more reasons to use a transformer.
1) The transformer provides some galvanic isolation to sensitive components in the radio. The Si4734 AM input is very robust to ESD discharges _for_a_tiny_chip_, but if you bring that input to wires outside the case, more robust ESD protection circuits are highly recommended. If you look inside your radio, you'll see that the FM whip has protection diodes on the PCB to prevent you from zapping the IC inputs.
2) The transformer provides a balanced-to-unbalanced (balun) signal conversion. Without this, the loop sorta looks like two antennas at once: an ideal loop plus a big hunk of wire hanging on a tuned, high-impedance node. This has a tendency to pick up noise and ruin the loop's nulling capabilities. Even the PL-380's internal loopstick is affected a little by this issue.
I once connected a high-Q inductor to the AM input of the Si4734 without the loopstick. I was mainly experimenting with the chip's tuning function, but I noticed that with just the tuned inductor, the radio could pick up several stations. So I connected the high-impedance side of the tank to the FM whip antenna. The resulting signals were huge -- reading over 90 dBuV (PL-300WT)! A loop is not the only way to pick up AM signals. Whips can be excellent too, but don't provide good nulling (with a single whip), and need a good ground and balun to avoid picking up man-made noise.
--- In ultralightdx@..., "jim_kr1s" <jkearman@> wrote:
--- In ultralightdx@..., "farmerik" <farmerik@> wrote:
larger loop to match the input on the PL-360? It would have to go
Would using 300 ohm or 450 ohm ladder line allow a more turns or a
through the 1/8th inch plug, but most of the lead could be higher, is it
I have no experience with the PL-360, but my intuition is that the
antenna is 240 uH or thereabouts. That means it appears right across the
varactor. Two wires side-by-side have capacitance. I forget the
capacitance-per-foot of 300-ohm twinlead but you could look it up. But
-- that capacitance will appear in parallel with the tuned circuit, and
will increase the minimum tuning capacitance. That will likely prevent
the antenna from tuning to the top of the band.
Now, if you used a plug-in transformer and matching winding, yeah I
guess you could use twinlead with a higher inductance antenna. But why?
When you can use lightweight, flexible, cheap, and readily available
speaker wire, why use that heavy, clumsy stuff? Twinlead was invented
for use on VHF television. It's a waste on MW. I have 300 feet of it,
but I never considered using it for this purpose.
There is no reason to use a higher-inductance antenna. The idea for
this project was sparked by the SiLabs datasheet. It mentions using a 5
: 1 turns ratio transformer to accommodate those little AM loop antennas
supplied with AM/FM tuners. It turned out that my antenna had a slightly
different inductance, so I needed a different turns ratio (3.8 : 1), but
the principle is the same.
I find hanging my loops from the ceiling, over head, is much easierthan making 'legs' and finding a spot WITHOUT a radio or speaker in my
Look at the Hoop Loop <http://kr1s.kearman.com/html/hooploop.html> .
The hoop is solidly attached to the base with screws. You could hang it
any way you like, without the base, as long as you used non-conductive
material like monofilament or mason's string. You'll find stranded
speaker wire much friendlier than stiff twinlead if you're rotating a
hanging antenna, BTW.