Date   

Try Something New This Winter!

Gary DeBock
 

Hello All,
 
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.
 
            


Re: I need soldering help for loopstick/pl-380 mod

mike z
 

GM Ryan. My pet method of tinning litz is to use a tip with a flat chisel or slashed tip. If it's an adjustable temp, go high. Get a good solder blob going on the flat surface.  Unwind some of the outer insulation, say 1/2 inch, both layers if there are two, and begin contact with the very end of the conductors. You'll see gunk coming to the surface, that's the insulation melting off the conductors. Feed some more solder into it and start laying more of the wire into the blob.  At some point, the solder will wick into the wire, the gunk will go away, it'll get shinier and you'll have more control of the process. The pretreatment of rosin flux will help, but I've only used that on some ham-fest million year old stuff. The ultimate is a solder pot, but doing a coil or two a week doesn't warrant it here.

 Try a few practice pieces, and use the universal shop safety practices.

Mike N3PM



Re: I need soldering help for loopstick/pl-380 mod

bwlietz
 

Did you try to dip the ends of the wire in rosin paste before attempting to tin it?  The solder will flow on to it even with a 15 watt solder iron.


On Friday, December 13, 2013 6:33 PM, "rmartin100@..." wrote:
 
This is the link for the litz wire I bought>
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Litz-wire-250-46-0-04-mm-for-crystal-radio-coil-Loop-antenna-100-/160804560511
...not sure if it's the "new" type.

--- In ultralightdx@..., "John Bruckner" >
> Ryan:
>
>
>
> What kind of litz wire did you use? Easily soldered new type or the old
> vintage wire? If the old vintage litz, it is very difficult to solder.
>
> If you can't get anyone close to you to respond, I would be willing to tin
> the litz wire for you using my solder pot.
>
>
>
> John
>
> WØHII
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> From: ultralightdx@... [mailto:ultralightdx@...] On
> Behalf Of rmartin100@...
> Sent: Friday, December 13, 2013 2:25 PM
> To: ultralightdx@...
> Subject: [ultralightdx] I need soldering help for loopstick/pl-380 mod
>
>
>
>
>
> First, I'd like to thank Gary for the loopstick mod plans and tubing! I
> managed to build one yesterday and am impressed with the results. However,
> my soldering looks like crap. I have a 50 watt soldering iron and still
> wasn't able to heat the wire enough to tin the ends. I ended up melting the
> solder and just cold soldering it to the board. I want to build another one
> but have someone do a better job soldering the two connections for me. For
> some reason, the ugly cold solder connections bug me. I'll probably give the
> first build to my dad.
> So my question is...is there anyone here that is trustworthy, good at
> soldering and willing to make the two solder connections for a reasonable
> fee? Of course, I'll prepay the return shipping. I'm going to wait until
> after the holidays for the second build.
> Thanks, Ryan
>




Re: I need soldering help for loopstick/pl-380 mod

Ryan Martin
 

This is the link for the litz wire I bought>
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Litz-wire-250-46-0-04-mm-for-crystal-radio-coil-Loop-antenna-100-/160804560511
...not sure if it's the "new" type.

--- In ultralightdx@yahoogroups.com, "John Bruckner" <jbruckner@...> wrote:

Ryan:



What kind of litz wire did you use? Easily soldered new type or the old
vintage wire? If the old vintage litz, it is very difficult to solder.

If you can't get anyone close to you to respond, I would be willing to tin
the litz wire for you using my solder pot.



John

WØHII







From: ultralightdx@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ultralightdx@yahoogroups.com] On
Behalf Of rmartin100@...
Sent: Friday, December 13, 2013 2:25 PM
To: ultralightdx@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [ultralightdx] I need soldering help for loopstick/pl-380 mod





First, I'd like to thank Gary for the loopstick mod plans and tubing! I
managed to build one yesterday and am impressed with the results. However,
my soldering looks like crap. I have a 50 watt soldering iron and still
wasn't able to heat the wire enough to tin the ends. I ended up melting the
solder and just cold soldering it to the board. I want to build another one
but have someone do a better job soldering the two connections for me. For
some reason, the ugly cold solder connections bug me. I'll probably give the
first build to my dad.
So my question is...is there anyone here that is trustworthy, good at
soldering and willing to make the two solder connections for a reasonable
fee? Of course, I'll prepay the return shipping. I'm going to wait until
after the holidays for the second build.
Thanks, Ryan


Re: I need soldering help for loopstick/pl-380 mod

John Bruckner
 

Ryan:

 

What kind of litz wire did you use? Easily soldered new type or the old vintage wire? If the old vintage litz, it is very difficult to solder.

If you can't get anyone close to you to respond, I would be willing to tin the litz wire for you using my solder pot.

 

John

WØHII

 

 

 

From: ultralightdx@... [mailto:ultralightdx@...] On Behalf Of rmartin100@...
Sent: Friday, December 13, 2013 2:25 PM
To: ultralightdx@...
Subject: [ultralightdx] I need soldering help for loopstick/pl-380 mod

 

 

First, I'd like to thank Gary for the loopstick mod plans and tubing! I managed to build one yesterday and am impressed with the results. However, my soldering looks like crap. I have a 50 watt soldering iron and still wasn't able to heat the wire enough to tin the ends. I ended up melting the solder and just cold soldering it to the board. I want to build another one but have someone do a better job soldering the two connections for me. For some reason, the ugly cold solder connections bug me. I'll probably give the first build to my dad.
So my question is...is there anyone here that is trustworthy, good at soldering and willing to make the two solder connections for a reasonable fee? Of course, I'll prepay the return shipping. I'm going to wait until after the holidays for the second build.
Thanks, Ryan


I need soldering help for loopstick/pl-380 mod

Ryan Martin
 

First, I'd like to thank Gary for the loopstick mod plans and tubing! I managed to build one yesterday and am impressed with the results. However, my soldering looks like crap. I have a 50 watt soldering iron and still wasn't able to heat the wire enough to tin the ends. I ended up melting the solder and just cold soldering it to the board. I want to build another one but have someone do a better job soldering the two connections for me. For some reason, the ugly cold solder connections bug me. I'll probably give the first build to my dad.
So my question is...is there anyone here that is trustworthy, good at soldering and willing to make the two solder connections for a reasonable fee? Of course, I'll prepay the return shipping. I'm going to wait until after the holidays for the second build.
Thanks, Ryan


Re: Private emails

Gary Kinsman
 

Thanks, Jay.

I just use the web interface, not the daily digests. In the old web interface I could click on a group member's name to send email, but in the new interface that doesn't seem to work. If anyone knows how to do it using just the web interface, please let me know.

-Gary


Puyallup, WA Ultralight TP's for 12-13

Gary DeBock
 

Hello All,
 
There was another halfhearted sunrise enhancement this morning on the high band, similar to the effect two days ago. The same four high band Asians (1503-JOUK, 1566-HLAZ, 1575-VOA and 1593-CNR1) once again took turns producing anemic audio from 1530-1600, with 1566-HLAZ the best of the lackluster bunch with fair to good religious music for a few brief seconds around 1548. As usual none of these high band diehards could manage more than a few seconds of decent audio at a time, and also as usual this month, the low band Asians were missing in action during sunrise enhancement.
 
During predawn darkness around 1500 some moderate carriers were on 594, 603 and 972, but these weak signals never stuck around for the sunlight. A pretty forgettable morning overall, but at least the high band is showing some mediocre signs of life.
 
73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)
7.5" loopstick Tecsun PL-380 Ultralight +
12" Medium Wave FSL antenna
 
    


Re: Private emails

Jay <jaypolicow@...>
 

I receive the digests I just clicked on your name at tha top of your message and Outlook opened with your email address in it.

Jay

--- In ultralightdx@yahoogroups.com, <gkinsman@...> wrote:

Does anybody know how to send private emails between group members under the new Yahoo user interface?


Private emails

Gary Kinsman
 

Does anybody know how to send private emails between group members under the new Yahoo user interface?


Re: "Alive" Older PL-380's-- Thanks to Bruce Bacon and Payman Arabshahi

Richard Jones
 

I would be up for the challenge, and will pay any necessary expenses. I will characterize the current noisy setup in some repeatable way, do the transplant, then redo the characterization for comparison. I'll probably do the test in an available rf shield room to be sure I'm hearing only the radio.


Newfoundland Ultralight Radio Logs Dec 12

Allen Willie
 

Hello To All

It's been a bit of a dryspell for new catches here during the past few weeks. Two new entries for the Ultralight logbook early this morning prior to sunrise.

 

1320 - KOZY - Grand Rapids, Minnesota 9:40 UTC 12/12/13 w/ "The Fun Never Stops, 13-20 KOZY " ID various oldies songs by Johnny Rivers & Carly Simon

Ultralight Station # 1217

 

1130 - KTCN - Minneapolis, Minnesota 10:05 UTC 12/12/13 w/ "Twin Cities Newstalk " ID's, weather, news items ( heard under WBBR New York )

Ultralight Station # 1218

 

Receiver: SRF-M37W barefoot

 

Good DX

Allen Willie VOPC1AA

Carbonear, Newfoundland 47'44.15N 53'13.46W


Re: Desktop antenna !!!!

Michael <michael.setaazul@...>
 

WARNING - Using inferior rubber bands will result in
inacceptable reception parameters and permanent
exclusion from uldx groups...

Michael
UK
.
.
.

:-)

----- Original Message ----- From: kc8iqz@earthlink.net

Looks like the rubber band you get holding together stalks of broccoli. Great idea.


Re: Desktop antenna !!!!

Mike Westfall
 

If I recall correctly, that's exactly what it is.

--
Mike Westfall
Los Alamos, NM
US AM Database, updated daily: http://mesamike.org/radio/cdbs/amdb.mvc
My Logbooks: http://dxlogbook.gentoo.net/?account=mikew
Reception report and QSL manager for KRSN 1490


On Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 12:32 PM, <kc8iqz@...> wrote:
 

This looks like the rubber bands you get when purchasing broccoli.  Great idea....


Gary KC8IQZ



Re: Desktop antenna !!!!

kc8iqz@...
 

This looks like the rubber bands you get when purchasing broccoli.  Great idea....


Gary KC8IQZ


Re: Desktop antenna !!!!

kc8iqz@...
 

Looks like the rubber band you get holding together stalks of broccoli.  Great idea.


Puyallup, WA Ultralight TP's for 12-11

Gary DeBock
 

Hello All,
 
 
Four anemic high band Asians took turns producing fair audio in and out in the frozen back yard here just prior to 1600, with the low band staying in a deep freeze. 1503-JOUK, 1566-HLAZ, 1575-VOA and 1593-CNR1 all hung around for about a half hour from 1530-1600, in and out with rapid fading, with none of them showing any real staying power.
 
 
All of these frequencies have some degree of domestic splatter here, and the high band Asians didn't fare too well against it this morning. At least they do show some signs of coming out of the recent deep freeze, like the back yard here (26 degrees, with fog, at 1600UT).
 
 
73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)
7.5" loopstick Tecsun PL-380 Ultralight +
12" Medium Wave FSL antenna
 
 
 
  


TIS/HAR List Update

Phil Bytheway <phil_tekno@...>
 

Folks,
 
Today I'm starting on the update to the 2011 TIS/HAR list. It will take me a while to go through the FCC stuff.
 
You can help by noting any TIS/HAR stations you are hearing and reporting it to this eGroup. That way I can indicate in the updated list that the station has been heard.
 
I should have the updated list done in a month or so.
 
Please help me make this the best list ever.
 
Thanks,
 
Phil Bytheway
IRCA Goodie Factory
Seattle WA
Drake R-7 / KIWA Loop


Re: Desktop antenna !!!!

robert ross
 


On 2013-12-10, at 10:01 AM, Mike Westfall wrote:

 

This is how I keep my radio attached to my RS 15-1853 Loop:

http://mesamike.org/radio/SRF-M37V/m37v-loop.jpg

--
Mike Westfall
Los Alamos, NM


Mike..... what a great way to prove the Old Theory of "Keep it Simple!!!"  .....And a cheap fix to a common ULR Dxing problem. Thanks for the advice. I'm looking for a Rubber Band right now!!

73..ROB VA3SW

Robert S. Ross
London, Ontario CANADA


Re: Desktop antenna !!!!

Mike Westfall
 

This is how I keep my radio attached to my RS 15-1853 Loop:

http://mesamike.org/radio/SRF-M37V/m37v-loop.jpg

--
Mike Westfall
Los Alamos, NM
US AM Database, updated daily: http://mesamike.org/radio/cdbs/amdb.mvc
My Logbooks: http://dxlogbook.gentoo.net/?account=mikew
Reception report and QSL manager for KRSN 1490


On Fri, Nov 8, 2013 at 12:45 PM, kevin asato <kc6pob@...> wrote:
 

The jack can be used to connect to the radio and can also be used to passively couple a wire antenna to the radio. The manual for the Terk does mention it.
73,
kevin
kc6pob


From: Stan Horzepa <stanzepa@...>
To: ultralightdx@...
Sent: Thursday, November 7, 2013 6:19 PM

Subject: Re: [ultralightdx] Desktop antenna !!!!

 
Hi Steve,

The Terk does have an output jack and includes a cable to connect the jack to radios with external antenna connectors.

I have not used the Radio Shack Loop, so I cannot compare it to the Terk.

You're welcome!

73,

Stan, WA1LOU

On 11/7/13, 8:33 PM, Stephen Ponder wrote:
Stan,

I've been reading your comments on the Terk Loop. I have the Radio Shack AM Loop (Model 15-583, if I recall). I don't know how long I've had it, but I've used it with several portable radios with pretty good results.

Does the Terk AM Loop have an output jack on it for connecting it to a radio?

The RS Loop has a 1/8" jack on the rear of its base so that it can be connected by means of a mono patch cord (insulated ones work best) to any radio with an antenna input jack.

This is mainly how I use the RS Loop. I can place the Loop on a platter/lazy susan so it can be rotated for nulls, leaving the radio stationary, which makes it easier to tune.

Have you ever used the RS AM Loop before? I was wondering how the Terk compared to it.

One feature I like about the Terk Loop is that the tuning apparatus forms a "makeshift" ledge at the bottom of the loop against which small portable radios can rest. The RS Loop is smooth all around the inside of the loop, meaning that the radios will slide off with the slightest rotation of the loop.

Thanks for your review of the Terk Loop and for your columns in QST!

73,

Steve Ponder, N5WBI
Houston, TX
----------------------

On Nov 7, 2013, at 6:56 PM, Stan Horzepa <stanzepa@...> wrote:

 
Hi Brian,

I think you will be very happy with the Terk Advantage antenna whatever the price! Tonight I snagged a new one: KBGG on 1700 kHz in Iowa, 1100 miles away using the Terk.

73,

Stan, WA1LOU




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