Date   

Re: Down Under Success!

lrdheat
 



"I did get one opportunity to compare the 12" x 1" ferrite booster bar to directly connecting the Ultralight radio to the Wellbrook array. I couldn't hear any audio at all on 891 with the ferrite, while I had 100% intelligibility with direct connection to the array."

 

I guess this answers my question about picking up the DU barefoot. Your array must be quite awesome. I'm amazed that these ultralights can handle a significant antenna without overloading.

 

Best of luck to Gary with 531!

 

Heatwave



Re: Down Under Success!

lrdheat
 



"The music to my ears, though, was hearing them go to ABC News at 1230, with an ID as "ABC ADELAIDE!" After that, I had a brief celebration, dancing around the campfire, shouting various Chickasaw war hoops and generally acting stupid. It felt REAL good! "

 

Nice going, and great description of your setup, and of the thrill of DU reception! Do you think voice would have been heard on any of the ultralights barefoot?

 

Thanks for sharing this with the group

 

Richard "Heatwave" Berler




Down Under Success!

John H. Bryant <bjohnorcas@...>
 

Once again, ultralighting came to the rescue! Despite deploying the Wellbrook Array, the mediocre Trans-Pacific DX conditions reported widely elsewhere would have garnered me a very mediocre and depressing morning.  Using my Winradio 313E, and starting two hours before dawn, I noted over 40 channels with various levels of hets, prior to dawn enhancement. Most were below 1116. I even had threshold audio on a dozen of the usual suspects: 702, 738, 756, 774 (JJ at about 1130), 891, 1017, 1028, 1098, 1116, 1134, 1287 (prob.JJ) 1512 and 1611.

As dawn enhancement began at 1145, I noted more threshold audio on 648, again on 738 (DU). On 774, NHK was coming in well enough that I tried all three Ultralights that I had hooked to the array. (National SRF-39, DT-200VX mod., E100) The E100 was the best, overall, and I happily listened to a few phrases of Japanese during, I think, a language lesson.  That was my first-ever TP with an ultralight receiver. Felt real good! Soon after that, the JJ faded away and pre and post dawn were both exclusively DU. They were all at threshold or just above, with 8 or ten rising to language recognition level.  Each of those was DU, about 1/3 NZ and the rest Aussie. None were at a level to be receivable on the Ultralights, even hooked to the array.

Then I stumbled upon 891, right at dawn (1215) and it was at (just) listenable levels. I tried the E100, expecting 891 to be swamped by whatever was on 890... or by splatter from that dastardly Canadian on 900. Not so, Tonto!  There sat the DU, coming in almost as well on the E100 as on the 313E. I then tried the DT-200VX and the National SRF-39 and got the DU on each, with somewhat reduced S/N. Happily, 890 is pretty much an open frequency after Mr. Sun knocks out the 890 Chicago station about an hour before our dawn... and the array was looking due SW, away from the Victoria station on 900... My ship had come in!

It took me a while to figure out what was going on, but happily, conditions stayed stable for over 15 minutes.  There were actually two stations on 891 and I was hearing each quite well. They were 5AN, ABC Adelaide and 4TAB Townsville. Each would dominate for two or three minutes with very little interference from the other. Then, almost like flipping a switch, they would reverse. 4TAB was running their usual horse racing programming, with race calls and betting payouts. I heard mention more than once of TAB. When 5AN was in, it was running the some talk/public affairs and some popular music. I heard mention of "Morning Melody," possibly the program name. The music to my ears, though, was hearing them go to ABC News at 1230, with an ID as "ABC ADELAIDE!" After that, I had a brief celebration, dancing around the campfire, shouting various Chickasaw war hoops and generally acting stupid. It felt REAL good! 

At 1230, dawn had happened 15 minutes earlier and I knew that things would likely close down within 20 more minutes or so.  It was time to try for the Hawaiians, now that dawn had diminished their continental co-channels. I heard three potential Hawaiians before things faded out at 1245. 760 (prob. KGU) had relig. talk by a female preacher (this matches their format); 1110 (maybe KAOI?) had trucker talk and 670 (maybe KPUA) was running a news program called "Wall Street Journal This Morning." It may be very difficult to determine whether any of these were Hawaiians, since they are all syndicated programs and the propagation only seems to work from about 1220 to 1245. I'm here for three more mornings, so..... maybe a local commercial or PSA at the half hour???

I did get one opportunity to compare the 12" x 1" ferrite booster bar to directly connecting the Ultralight radio to the Wellbrook array. I couldn't hear any audio at all on 891 with the ferrite, while I had 100% intelligibility with direct connection to the array.  During the DX session here at the beach, there was no sign of overload of the Ultralights that were connected to the array.

Well, now I can complete that article on adding a MW antenna input port to portable radios :>)

Reporting live from the Local Tavern and wi-fi hotspot in Grayland, Washington,

John B.
WinRadio 313E, Ultralights
Wellbrook Array to SW and NW
Grayland, WA, USA


Re: Down Under Success!

Gary DeBock
 

Congratulations John,
 
     Your receptions of 5AN and 4TAB-891 are fantastic, and show that Ultralight DXing is the perfect cure for DXing boredom!  There are many new challenges in Ultralight DXing, even with your breakthrough loggings of the first DU's, using your trio of Ultralights hooked up to the Wellbrook array.  You should feel very proud, in hearing the first definite ID's from Australia, the last area in the world to be logged by North American ULR DXers
 
     As Guy Atkins and I join you at Grayland on Sunday night,  I'll be bringing the latest in hot-rodded Ultralights, as well as the 19.5" loopstick ICF-2010, to try my own luck.  My stock SRF-T615 also will be eager for another shot at the 531-DU station, which never ID'ed during a 10 minute stretch on April 20th :>) 
 
     The last time at Grayland, some audio from 2YA-567 was heard on the 20" loopstick SRF-39FP, but splatter from KVI-570 was just too much to pull out any ID's.  So if you are looking for some new challenges, John, you might try for this and other New Zealand stations, if propagation allows.
 
     Congratulations again, John, and I'm very happy that an experienced DXer like yourself has discovered the supreme thrill of DU chasing on the Ultralights, which is something like the ultimate challenge in this exciting new form of intercontinental AM-DX.  See you on Saturday (along with Ruth, Danny and the "Frankenlights").
 
                                                                                             73,  Gary
 
                      




Get trade secrets for amazing burgers. Watch "Cooking with Tyler Florence" on AOL Food.


Re: A few logs on the SRF-M37V lately

Gary DeBock
 

Hi Allen,

Thanks for the report of your new loggings. The amount and
variety of your TA loggings is amazing, especially considering that
they were all on stock Ultralight radios.

Here on the west coast, a grand total of nine stock Ultralight
TP's have been received, by four different DXers (myself, Dennis,
Nick and Guy). As far as TP countries received, it's been only five
(Japan, S.Korea, N.Korea, China and Thailand). We are still in the DU
season, though, so one of us might get lucky with a long distance
logging the next few months.

73, Gary DeBock

--- In ultralightdx@yahoogroups.com, "Allen Willie"
<vo1_001_swl@...> wrote:



Logs on the SRF-M37V Ultralight lately



690 khz - CINF - Montreal , Quebec 5/26 4:11 UTC w/ french
commentary by man ; fair

1008 khz - CANARY ISLANDS - R. Punto 5/26 3:51 UTC w/ commentary
in
Spanish by two men ; ID

1310 khz - CIWW Ottawa, Ontario 5/26 3:54 UTC w/ oldies 1310 ID,
Ruby tuesday by Rolling Stones ; fair

1566 khz - BENIN - Trans World Radio 5/20 4:29 UTC w/ TWR ID,
english talk by woman, inspirational song ; fair



Allen Willie
St. John's, Newfoundland
SRF-M37V barefoot





















t


A few logs on the SRF-M37V lately

Allen Willie
 

Logs on the SRF-M37V Ultralight lately



690 khz - CINF - Montreal , Quebec 5/26 4:11 UTC w/ french
commentary by man ; fair

1008 khz - CANARY ISLANDS - R. Punto 5/26 3:51 UTC w/ commentary in
Spanish by two men ; ID

1310 khz - CIWW Ottawa, Ontario 5/26 3:54 UTC w/ oldies 1310 ID,
Ruby tuesday by Rolling Stones ; fair

1566 khz - BENIN - Trans World Radio 5/20 4:29 UTC w/ TWR ID,
english talk by woman, inspirational song ; fair



Allen Willie
St. John's, Newfoundland
SRF-M37V barefoot





















t


Audio Cubes Raises Price of Sony SRF-T615 to $149.00

Gary DeBock
 

Hello Guys,
 
     The boom in orders for the top-rated SRF-T615 digital Ultralight radio has obviously been noticed in Japan.
 
     .With a whopping 67% price increase, Audio Cubes 2 has apparently decided to make a few extra yen on this model, which when combined with the $16 shipping charge to the USA/Canada, now will set you back $165.  If you were fortunate enough to order this model at the pre-boom $89 price, consider yourself lucky.
 
     The eBay vendor "joynetcafe" continues to offer the SRF-T615 at a much more sensible $105, plus $15 shipping, making it the obvious choice for those who still need the best in digital Ultralight performance.  The Sony SRF-T615 is the top choice for sensitivity on both the low and high ends of the AM band, although the Eton E100 will typically equal it on the high band.  The SRF-T615 apparently is unique among the digital Ultralights in having wide-band high sensitivity, as opposed to the E100 and DT-200VX models, which can typically only be peaked to favor the high or low ends of the band.
 
     The SRF-T615 is a great stock performer, and is my personal DXpedition favorite, having received 8 TP's (and 1 unID 531 DU) during the April 20 visit to Grayland, Washington.  But whether it is worth over $100 depends on your perspective, I guess.  Being made in Japan and available only from Japan, it will never be easy to purchase.
 
                                                                           73,  Gary DeBock     . 




Get trade secrets for amazing burgers. Watch "Cooking with Tyler Florence" on AOL Food.


Re: Direct Connection of Antennas to Ultralights: First Real Tests

Nick Hall-Patch
 

--- In ultralightdx@yahoogroups.com, "John H. Bryant" <bjohnorcas@...>
wrote:

Here on Orcas Island, the RF environment is ever so much different,
with my antennas being awash in RF from Vancouver and Border Blasters
serving that market from nearby Blaine, WA. Nearby Victoria also
chips in with two 10 kW stations that put in huge signals, as
well. The daytime RF environment looks like this :

[]
The graphic, if that's what it was, didn't come through on my e-mail,
or on the groups page, John. Maybe it needs to be posted on the files
page?

Nick


Direct Connection of Antennas to Ultralights: First Real Tests

John H. Bryant <bjohnorcas@...>
 

We have made our annual migration to Orcas Island, just south of Vancouver city and about 90 miles north of Seattle. I've gotten my two biggest antennas up and running.... formerly 70' x 100' EWEs at W and NW, now set up as Conti Super Loops. Yesterday and today, I spent several hours testing the performance of a covey of Ultralights. I have three Ultralights set up to receive direct connection to external antennas through coax lead-ins, just as my communications receivers interact with the same antennas. The one that has been posted is my National SRF-39 in the nice wooden cabinet. The other two are a DT-200VX and an E100.

In all three cases, I've used the technique of winding a coupling loop of 6 or so turns of insulated tie-wrap wire around the stock ferrite bar of the Ultralight radio.  This coupling coil is connected directly to the incoming coax lead-in.  When I first tried this technique, I thought that the coupling coil, while disconnected from the antenna, was inducing some weirdness or detuning the stock ferrite bar. However, I've had much more experience with this system now and I'm fairly certain that this supposed detuning is NOT happening.  I cannot tell the difference between identical radios with or without the coupling coil in place.

In general, in near RF-free central OKlahoma, the directly connected antenna/Ultralight radio combination worked EXCELLENTLY. At night with my closest MW transmitters about 60 miles away and only three of them being 50 kW, all three radios performed well, with no strangeness of any sort noted. It was kind of magic, using the Wellbrook Array with the SRF-39 and looking four different directions per frequency.

Here on Orcas Island, the RF environment is ever so much different, with my antennas being awash in RF from Vancouver and Border Blasters serving that market from nearby Blaine, WA.  Nearby Victoria also chips in with two 10 kW stations that put in huge signals, as well.  The daytime RF environment looks like this :

 

The vertical scale lines are -dBm, the horizontal in 10ths of a MHz.  This is a sweep of the entire MW band.  The -30 dBM line corresponds to about 40 dB over S-9. People have been surprised that the WinRadio 313e would work well when connected to those huge loop antennas in this RF environment. Happily, it does and I've never noted overloading or other problems, EXCEPT that the signal on 600 kHz. is so powerful that it seems to partially desensitize the receiver for about 10 kHz. either way from 600, making hearing Tokyo 594 rather difficult.

Anyway, in this environment, I did not expect the Ultralights to be trouble free, when connected to the monster loops.  I was correct.  Both the Sangean DT200VX and the E100 overloaded massively.  On every channel where there should be one strong or moderately strong station, there were two or three false stations and 1600, Blaine was on many of the channels at the tops of the dials.  Basically, I ended up with a semi-tuneable tower of Babel. The National SRF-39, hooked to the same antennas behaved much more sedately. In fact, I couldn't find any false stations or stations overlaying other stations where they shouldn't be and the stronger stations were not distorted.  What was unusual was hearing what I think are 10 kHz. heterodynes in quite a few places on the dial.  I assume that the signals were so wide that they were QRMing each other???  It sure won't keep me from using the SRF-39 and the big loops for some TPs later in the season from here.... when the Asians start booming in (I hope!)

Interestingly, I also tested all three radios (substituting a stock SRF-39 for my National set-up) with a tuneable Booster Bar antenna, based on a .75 x 12" very large ferrite rod.  I sort of expected some overloading problems with the big Booster Bar, too, but none were apparent. So, to the extent that I DX with Ultralights from here, it will be the National SRF-39 with the big loops and the DT-200VX and E100 will sit on the booster bar.  I have some faint hope that the Wellbrook Array will work with all of the Ultralights in this RF environment. The gain of that antenna is less than the big loops, but the S/N and F/B ratios are better. I'll be putting it back up here after my first trip to Grayland.

 In any case, directly connecting monster antennas to the Ultralights was done, largely, to be used at the coast at Grayland. In that much more forgiving environment, I really hope to see the directly connected Ultralights shine.

After that first trip to Grayland in a week or two, I'll be putting together an article with details and photos of the direct connection method.  By the way, I'm happy enough with this approach that I'm going to be putting an antenna input port on my Kaito 1103 for use in traveling DXpeditions.  That is a pretty wonderful receiver, the size of a paperback book, that has an antenna port, BUT ONLY FOR SW!  BCB is limited to a ferrite bar. Soooo..

Hope everyone is having a fine early summer!

John B.
Orcas Island, WA, USA
Rcvrs: WiNRADiO 313e, Eton e1, Ultralights
Antennas: Two 70' x 100' Conti Loops, West and Northwest


Receiving DU's on Ultralight Radios

Gary DeBock
 

Hello All,
 
     For the Northwest Gang accustomed to relatively easy Asian TP receptions on Ultralight radios, the reception of stations in Australia (and other South Pacific areas) is proving to be more challenging.  Signal levels are rarely very strong, and most of the active DXers do not live in ideal ocean beach locations.
 
     In the latest attempt,  a one-night stay in Grayland, Washington (on the ocean coast) provided some weak opportunities, but no solid ID's.  Various weak DU carriers were observed around 1130 UTC, but at the "moment of truth" (around local sunrise after 1215), only one of the carriers came up to audio level on the modified ICF-2010 (19.5" loopstick)--  on 567 kHz.  Since the modified SRF-39FP (20" loopstick) has approximately the same sensitivity as the modified ICF-2010, 567 was tuned in on the "super prison radio," and 567 did indeed have a monstrous  3 kHz heterodyne (with very strong KVI-570).  Recordings were started on both radios around 1215 UTC, with occasional bits of 567 audio breaking through the KVI splatter on the modified SRF-39FP.  Unfortunately, KVI could not be nulled, and the modified Ultralight could not produce any definite ID's through the splatter.  The modified ICF-2010, with superior selectivity, did much better in the recording, and produced reasonably clear DU English and music for about 15 minutes...a probable logging of 2YA-567 in New Zealand.
 
     John Bryant is rumored to be planning a visit to Grayland in early June, and will undoubtedly try his own luck with the DU's.  On exceptional days (like the April 20 DXpedition with the 531 station), the signal levels do come up to a strength sufficient for stock Ultralight reception.  Let's hope somebody makes the lucky logging soon!
 
                                                                          73,  Gary DeBock
 
                                                                                  
 
     




Wondering what's for Dinner Tonight? Get new twists on family favorites at AOL Food.


Ultralight Radio Awards Committee Formed-- Exceptional Awards Offered!

Gary DeBock
 

Hello All,
 
     If you were to receive Djibouti-1431 on a stock pocket radio on the East Coast (5,906 miles), would you feel deserving of an award?  How about receiving VOA Thailand-1575 on a stock pocket radio from the west coast (7,283 miles)?  Do these receptions sound like science fiction?  No--  they are today's reality!
 
     With a strong desire to provide due recognition for outstanding DX accomplishments at this most challenging (and exciting) operating level, the Ultralight Awards Committee has been formed with one primary purpose:  to encourage and reward those DXers who are willing to prove that their operating skill and knowledge are sufficient to overcome the challenge of using very basic equipment.  A trio of recognized Ultralight radio DXers  (Rob Ross, John Bryant and myself, Gary DeBock) will be organizing and administering an Ultralight DXing awards system, with a goal of providing YOU with recognition for your challenging receptions with Ultralight radios.
 
     Some very exceptional DXers will soon be receiving special Founder's Awards for outstanding DX accomplishments during the past season.  These individuals don't need to submit any application-- their accomplishments are well known to any Ultralight radio DXer.
 
     For the detailed follow-up program, we would like YOUR input concerning which awards you would like to see!  Obviously, total stations, states, provinces, countries and continents received on Ultralight radios are logical choices for Ultralight awards, as well as total number of transoceanic receptions from each coast.  Would you like to have an award for the first transoceanic reception from a specific state, or province?  How about an award for the farthest reception from a specific state, or province? In your Ultralight DXing, what would YOU consider a great accomplishment?  We would like to know!
 
     Rob, John and I wish to motivate every possible AM-DXer to enjoy the supreme thrill of receiving exceptional DX on pocket radios, and we collectively pledge to create an awards system that will honor and recognize individuals who accept this special DXing challenge.  With your input and suggestions, we can ensure that exceptional DX is exceptionally rewarded!  Please feel free to submit any comments or suggestions to me (d1028gary@...)  or John (bjohnorcas@...).  General comments here on the IRCA list reflector or the Ultralightdx Yahoo Group site will also be very welcome.   Thanks!
 
                                                                                                 73,  Gary DeBock              




Wondering what's for Dinner Tonight? Get new twists on family favorites at AOL Food.


Re: Received E100

lrdheat
 

I have noticed that the E100's display is off by 1 KHz...to correctly tune 640 KHz, one would have to tune in on 641 KHz. This is true on sw frequencies as well. Perhaps this explains the disapperance of the het that you heard on 640. On sw, the filter is pretty sharp. QRM that appears from stations 5 KHz away often are much reduced when taking the incorrect frequency being displayed into account (9410 KHz should be tuned as 9411KHz, for example).


--- On Wed, 5/14/08, Gary Kinsman wrote:
From: Gary Kinsman
Subject: [ultralightdx] Received E100
To: ultralightdx@...
Date: Wednesday, May 14, 2008, 11:18 PM

Hello all,

I received my E100 from Durham Radio today. It sure is small; it
looks like a shrunken E10 (yes, I have one of those too.)

Overall, I like the radio, but it does have some quirks. For one,
the tuning knob is very sensitive and "jumpy" -- it doesn't always
move in 1 kHz steps (sometimes 0, sometimes 2, sometimes -1). The
E10 does this too.

Also, when tuning from a low MW frequency to a high MW frequency,
there is a "chirpy" sound from the speaker (e.g., if the radio is
tuned to 550 kHz, then it is tuned by the keypad to 1700 kHz, or if
the radio is tuned to 520 kHz and the Down button is pressed to get
to 1710 kHz). Is this sound normal?

I really like the keypad and the 1 kHz tuning step. These are very
hard to find in such a small radio. KFI 640 has a nasty het on the
E100, but tuning to 641 gets rid of it. (Oddly, the DT-220V has no
het on 640.)

The E100 seems to be a little more sensitive than the DT-220V, but
only if the whip antenna is rotated away from the ferrite bar, as
Gary DeBock previously mentioned.

Oddly, the Quantum Q-Stick doesn't work well with the E100; it does
work well with the E10 and the 7600GR.

Regards,
Gary



Re: Transplants: Are We Missing Something Here?

John H. Bryant <bjohnorcas@...>
 

Gary,

I understand what you are saying - that with a small plastic radio and noise hitting the circuitry, shielding the loop stick is unlikely to improve rejection of noise from the local environment - and I think that you are likely correct. However, when I used that Ramsey unit that worked so well in Santiago, it was running my Eton E1, which is a plastic case crammed with circuitry, of course.....  That being the case... this is one test that I've just gotta try.

I think that I'll go "whole hog" as usual and use RG-174 mini-coax for the run between the circuit board and the bar... connecting the shield of the coax to the ground plane of the board and to  an aluminum foil shield on the bar.  The other reason that I gotta try this one is that the material costs are near zero and its an easy + very reversible test.  As you say, probably won't work, but I just gotta try.

ON ANOTHER ISSUE:
Gary, great catch on the influence of the whip antenna on the bar of the E100.  The easiest fix in the world, of course, is to unscrew that little Phillips screw at the antenna base (back side of the radio) and just lift that puppy outta there. It leaves `a hole in the case and destroys FM and SW, but if the radio is dedicated to MW DXing, it seems a winner all around.  Of course, to get back to factory specs, all you do is put the whip back in place and tighten the screw. I know that you are aware of all of this, Gary, but folks who haven't opened the back of the E100 may not be .

Is there something that I'm missing that is a problem with removing the whip... other than the loss of FM and SW??? Removing the whip gives me a perfect-sized hole to run those two pieces of mini-coax thru, of course.

John B.
 






At 03:38 AM 5/15/2008 -0400, you wrote:

John,
 
     Ultralight radios, by nature, are plastic-enclosed electronic devices subjehis is one that Ict to RF noise issues.  Shielding the leads to external ferrite bars wouldn't accomplish much, since the RF hash would still strike the external loopstick (or booster bar), as well as the internal circuitry (plastic usually doesn't shield anything).
    DXpeditioners desiring great Ultralight reception either need to have an RF-hash free room (like the famous Room 15) or get out of an RF-hash area, and walk toward the beach.
    During the last fruitless DXpedition to Westport with Guy Atkins (May 4), our room in Westport was full of RF hash, TV heterodynes, etc.  We ended up driving to the beach at Grayland (4 AM), only to find a steady stream of clam diggers proceeding to the beach in their RF-hash producing beater cars, hi.
 
                                                                                         73,  Gary
 
    




Wondering what's for Dinner Tonight? Get new twists on family favorites at AOL Food.


Re: E100 Alignment Quirks

Dennis Gibson <wb6tnb@...>
 

Fortunately my E10 does not suffer from this problem.

--- In ultralightdx@yahoogroups.com, "Gary DeBock" <D1028Gary@...> wrote:

First of all, Eton's design for this radio has a significant
gaffe, which leads to reduced AM-band sensitivity. The SW antenna
folds down in a position very close and parallel to the AM loopstick,
reducing the AM sensitivity greatly whenever the SW antenna is not in
a vertical position. For serious AM DXing, make sure the SW antenna
is vertical, and you will notice a significant gain in sensitivity.


E100 received

Gary Kinsman
 

Hello all,

I received my E100 from Durham Radio today. It sure is small; it
looks like a shrunken E10 (yes, I have one of those too.)

Overall, I like the radio, but it does have some quirks. For one,
the tuning knob is very sensitive and "jumpy" -- it doesn't always
move in 1 kHz steps (sometimes 0, sometimes 2, sometimes -1). The
E10 does this too.

Also, when tuning from a low MW frequency to a high MW frequency,
there is a "chirpy" sound from the speaker (e.g., if the radio is
tuned to 550 kHz, then it is tuned by the keypad to 1700 kHz, or if
the radio is tuned to 520 kHz and the Down button is pressed to get
to 1710 kHz). Is this sound normal?

I really like the keypad and the 1 kHz tuning step. These are very
hard to find in such a small radio. KFI 640 has a nasty het on the
E100, but tuning to 641 gets rid of it. (Oddly, the DT200VX has no
het on 640.)

The E100 seems to be a little more sensitive than the DT200VX, but
only if the whip antenna is rotated away from the ferrite bar, as
Gary DeBock previously mentioned.

Oddly, the Quantum Q-Stick doesn't work well with the E100; it does
work well with the E10 and the 7600GR.

Regards,
Gary


Re: Transplants: Are We Missing Something Here?

Gary DeBock
 

John,
 
     Ultralight radios, by nature, are plastic-enclosed electronic devices subject to RF noise issues.  Shielding the leads to external ferrite bars wouldn't accomplish much, since the RF hash would still strike the external loopstick (or booster bar), as well as the internal circuitry (plastic usually doesn't shield anything).
    DXpeditioners desiring great Ultralight reception either need to have an RF-hash free room (like the famous Room 15) or get out of an RF-hash area, and walk toward the beach.
    During the last fruitless DXpedition to Westport with Guy Atkins (May 4), our room in Westport was full of RF hash, TV heterodynes, etc.  We ended up driving to the beach at Grayland (4 AM), only to find a steady stream of clam diggers proceeding to the beach in their RF-hash producing beater cars, hi.
 
                                                                                         73,  Gary
 
    




Wondering what's for Dinner Tonight? Get new twists on family favorites at AOL Food.


Re: Received E100

Gary DeBock
 

Hi Gary,
 
     Your comments on the Durham Radio E100 are pretty typical.  I've had four Durham E100's for alignment, and these all act about the same.  Out of the box, high-band sensitivity is usually very good, but low band is usually anemic.  Low-band alignment (on the loopstick) usually improves the performance, but on two of four radios, I've had to cut plastic mounting brackets to peak the loopstick coil on a 600 kHz signal.
     The chirpy sound is normal--  a digital tuning anomaly shared by the C.Crane SWP and other small digital designs.
     As you noted, the SW antenna on an E100 really needs to be in the vertical position, or AM-band sensitivity will be reduced considerably.  This is true of all E100's.
     The stock ferrite bar on an E100 is really a mediocre flat design, very skimpy on ferrite.  Presumably, this is the reason why a Q-stick doesn't couple up with it very well.  A 7" loopstick transplant (extremely easy to do, by the way) improves performance considerably.  Have fun with your new radio!
 
                                                                                              73,  Gary DeBock
 
 
    




Wondering what's for Dinner Tonight? Get new twists on family favorites at AOL Food.


Updated First and Records List is on dxer.ca

John H. Bryant <bjohnorcas@...>
 


I've just uploaded an updated Firsts and Records list to the Ultralight Files area of DXer.ca. Records as of mid-May 2008. Only one change in the past month: Allen Willie of Newfoundland was the first to hear Jordan as a TA on an Ultralight: Radio Jordan on 1494 kHz. *** Congratulations, Allen!!!*****

Ultralighters in the Pacific Northwest of the US and Canada are getting geared up for their DownUnder season, so more Firsts and Records may be established on that front in the next couple of months. Stand By!

I was impressed that 145 DXers had downloaded the April 18 update of the Firsts and Records! Obviously, there are a lot more folks interested in Ultralighting than there are members on this group. Glad to hear it.  I guess the other option would be that one DXer had the mad desire to wall paper his shack with multiple copies of our Firsts and Records List :>)

Linda and I are headed out for the Northwest at dawn on Friday, after I spend most of tomorrow down in Oklahoma City. We'll be on the road about a week, spending some time in the interior of Wyoming and hitting Yellowstone National Park.  The week or so before Memorial Day, they plow the roads and open the lodge for crew training and accept the few guests that arrive.  The animals are mostly down in the low country, since the high country is still snow-packed.  There are only a few guests in the park and its sort of magical. Buffalo, grizzlies and elk don't QSL regularly, but they sure are fun to watch!

Even the Old Faithful Lodge has Wi-Fi, so I'll be checking into my other addiction from time to time.

John B.
Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA
Rcvrs: WiNRADiO 313e, Eton e1, NRD-535(kiwa-mods) + Flocka Ultralights
Antennas: 700' NE/SW mini-Bev, Wellbrook Phased Array (pre-production version)


Transplants: Are We Missing Something Here?

John H. Bryant <bjohnorcas@...>
 

When I went to Easter Island last year, I took with me a Ramsey active antenna based on a 5/8" x 6" ferrite rod. The Ramsey PR bragged about its Faraday shielding and the fact that the antenna operated in the magnetic realm, isolated from most urban, man-made noise. I bought the thing to use during my time in Santiago, Chile, knowing full well the reputation of older Latin American cities as being RF noise swamps. Santiago was a wonderful city (I want to go back) but the radio dial was just as advertised.... constant S-9 noise from the power grid and other stuff. The Ramsey antenna was a real revelation.... it worked like a bandit and I was able to DX, almost noise-free.

On the way home, I had to tear the antenna apart to rid myself of the PVC housing (another story). The shielding was simply a rectangle of aluminum foil laid on the coil and bar, with a 1/8" gap running longitudinally down the bar. An electrical connection to the ground plane of the little amp/control box and thence to the radio was made by a paper clip inserted under the foil, with the ground wire soldered to the paper clip. There was probably a piece of paper as insulation between the foil and the bar.

That was my first experience with a shielded loop antenna and there was a lot to love about it in an urban environment. Are we missing a bet by not shielding our external bars, even if they are a Booster Bar??????

John B.













John B.
Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA
Rcvrs: WiNRADiO 313e, Eton e1, NRD-535(kiwa-mods)
Antennas: 700' NE/SW mini-Bev, Wellbrook Phased Array (pre-production version)


Re: Eton E100 Performs Well with 7" Loopstick Transplant

Gary DeBock
 

Hi John,

Dirty rat, indeed! :>)

Right after I posted my E100 7" transplant progress report, I
noticed photos of your E100 12" transplant project. This was after I
had increased the loopstick length of my own E100 transplant to
13.25"... purely by coincidence, of course.

The 13.25" loopstick E100 is kind of a mixed bag, with increased
sensitivity over the 7" model, but also with increased urban RF
issues (slop and spurs). The Vancouver RF pounding Orcas Island will
probably not be very well-mannered in your 12" model, I would surmise.

A full daytime "shootout" was conducted between the analog 14"
SRF-39FP and the digital 13.25" E100. The hot-rodded Prison Radio
easily sentenced the Expanded Eton to second place, in sensitivity.
The E100 was more competitive with the SRF-39FP on the high end,
however. Selectivity was a tradeoff, with the E100 showing better
selectivity on the low end, and the SRF-39FP on the high end. The
E100 has more spurious mixing products, and a nuclear-powered KSUH-
1450 image on 540 (absent on the Prison Radio).

For those hobbyists considering an E100 loopstick transplant,
the 7" model provides a lot of "bang for the buck." It will increase
sensitivity greatly, while maintaining good selectivity and spurious
rejection. 14" and 21" models should be reserved for hard-core
DXpedition fanatics, who seek out isolated ocean beaches in the
ultimate quest for Ultralight excitement, IMHO. The E100 has some
very good points (with 200 memories and digital tuning convenience),
and its extreme convenience for loopstick transplants makes it an
obvious first choice for anyone dreaming of super Ultralight
sensitivity.

73, Gary

--- In ultralightdx@yahoogroups.com, "John H. Bryant"
<bjohnorcas@...> wrote:

Gary, you dirty rat!

I had hoped to beat you to one of the transplants... as you say,
the
easiest, the E100. Unfortunately, packing for our migration to the
Northwest has stalled progress on my 12" transplant, using my last
Big Bar.. I did get the base and mounting board done, though and
have posted two pictures to our Photo Section. Its the second
album
in line right now.
http://ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/ultralightdx/photos

I hope to make this thing somewhat modular, so I can plug in the
E100
or pop it out and, using the same board, bar and coil, plug in a
tuning cap and use it as an external booster bar for other
radios...
may take some external electronic trickery or may not work at all.

In any case, I'll be able to compare a stock E100 riding on my
existing 12" external booster bar with this set up where the 12"
bar
is integral to the unit.

Frankly, I expect this thing to be swamped in the RF cesspool of
Victoria/Vancouver, but I'm very hopeful for success at Grayland.

Congratulations on the E100 transplant and continuing to break new
ground for us, Gary!

John B.




At 03:47 AM 5/12/2008 +0000, you wrote:

Hello Guys,

It what was probably the easiest AM-DX loopstick transplant ever
performed, a 7" loopstick from a Channel Master Super Fringe (model
6515) was soldered into an E100, resulting in greatly improved
sensitivity (and apparently maintaining great selectivity).

For a variety of reasons, this transplant is extremely easy to
accomplish, even for those who feel intimidated by a soldering
iron.
There are only two connections to the stock loopstick, both easily
accessible on the back circuit board. The stock loopstick is
removed
very easily with an exacto knife, or even a flat screwdriver.

If you are lucky enough to get a Channel Master Super Fringe
model 6515 off of eBay (one went for $8 this morning), you don't
even
need an LCR meter to do the transplant. The stock coil has an
inductance of .297mh, almost the same as the Channel Master long
coil, on the 7" ferrite bar. Simply solder in the Channel Master
long coil on the 7" loopstick, and peak it on a 600 kHz signal, as
described in John Bryant's E100 alignment file.

The 7" loopstick E100 "smokes" a stock unit in DXing, and
provides stiff competition for the 6.25" Sangean DT-200VX model. It
will shortly receive a couple more 7" blank bars, to face the
ultimate RF overload test. If its superior selectivity holds up, it
may well be the great combination of Ultralight sensitivity and
selectivity that we DXpeditioners have been looking for.

73, Gary DeBock