Date   

Re: Signal Strength Display on Ultralight Receivers

Richard_Fry
 

RE:  I still prefer a good old analog "S" meter though. Especially when calibrated properly

However an "S" meter even perfectly calibrated to meet the prevailing standard for it also does not take into account the antenna factor or gain of the antenna used by the receiver.

As with the Ultralights, an "S" meter indication is based on the conducted r-f voltage present across the antenna input terminals of the receiver, and does not display the real field intensity of the arriving r-f signal.


April Hong Kong Ultralight DXpedition-- 657-702 kHz Loggings & MP3's

Gary DeBock
 

File review continues from the wild and wacky Hong Kong trip, featuring two daytime DX waterfront sessions, a sunset skip extravaganza with multiple Chinese onlookers and a souped-up Ultralight pulling a shocker by tracking down AM-DX stations in Moldova, Djibouti and Oman right in the middle of the concrete jungle.

 Although Japan and Korea were almost totally MIA during the Hong Kong trip this group of loggings does include a very infamous Northwest regular-- 657-Pyongyang (just my luck, I guess). But it also includes some awesome 693-Bangladesh recordings, along with some stunning daytime DX MP3's from Hong Kong's equivalent of the Rockwork cliff (Cape D'Aguilar). When your cliff can shut down a local Hong Kong pest enough to track down a 5 kW daytime DX co-channel signal 300 miles away at a decent level, you know it's doing its job! 

 
657  Cheng Sheng BC   Taichung, Taiwan   20 kW   Awesome daytime DX signal in presumed Taiwanese across hundreds of salt water miles on Hong Kong's Cape D'Aguilar ocean cliff at 0841 on 4-6, with mention of Taiwan by female announcer at 13 seconds. This was typically the dominant 657 station in HK, although VoV usually prevailed around sunset  https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/0w74sghm2uyj7oyt3yecklcqke8dl3la

657  Pyongyang BS   Kangnam, N. Korea   1500 kW   The only Korean station to show up (weakly) in Hong Kong, the distinctive female vocalist and dreary orchestra managed to sneak in under Cheng Sheng BC shortly after local midnight at 1648 on 4-7. All the other North and South Korean stations were MIA throughout the week  https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/qn91ma8bflqrhfrt6jbnno2khmdxxgf3

657  VOV-1   Quan Tre, Vietnam   100 kW   Female Viet speech and martial music at good level over a presumed Cheng Sheng BC on the HK waterfront during sunset skip at 1408 on 4-7  https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/8f0muymaxfcuahe8k72dqh9mk921zji1

666  DXRP  Davao, Philippines   10 kW   This distinctive female Tagalog speech at 1409 on 4-7 (through local 675 splatter, during HK waterfront sunset DXing) was matched to that of a Poipu, Hawaii 954 UnID recording, determining that both were from the Philippine BC Service network https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/yjuvgbs7ytdqb19kzbosanct2gq1i1p9

675  Cheng Sheng BC   Peikang, Taiwan   5 kW   Breaking through under local RTHK-6 in a remarkable demonstration of Cape D'Aguilar's ocean cliff effectiveness, the 5 kW Taiwan station manages a pretty good signal in apparent Taiwanese over hundreds of salt water miles during daytime DX at 0825 on 4-6. This overachieving station was also received in Poipu, Hawaii in November   https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/w5xeg2ajhimo3uyl5feeuiogyejm30m7

675  RTHK (6)   Peng Chau, Hong Kong   10 kW   Local pest in Mandarin had a lot of its signal blocked by the Cape D'Aguilar ocean cliff at 0825 on 4-6, allowing Taiwan's Cheng Sheng to sneak through underneath  https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/w5xeg2ajhimo3uyl5feeuiogyejm30m7

684  CRI   Dongfang, China   300 kW   Cambodian (Khmer) service was dominant on the Hong Kong waterfront at S9 level during sunset skip DXing at 1413 on 4-7, with the website address given by the lady announcer from 1 to 3 seconds; minor 675 local splatter  https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/fcu6c6daqm9dlvpulus8o9i2w98kdxwi

684  UnID   Lady in an unknown language (doesn't sound Chinese) at a fairly good level under CRI in the latter part of the above recording at 1413 on 4-7 on the HK waterfront; any SE Asian language experts?  https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/fcu6c6daqm9dlvpulus8o9i2w98kdxwi

693  Bangladesh Betar   Dhaka, Bangladesh   1000 kW   Dominant with exotic music and awesome S9 signals during sunset skip DXing on the HK waterfront at 1334 on 4-7  https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/aejavy4iam2hvmmgoc7ge6b82imx7dop

The usual female announcer is featured from 12 to 24 seconds in this recording (over an UnID female speaker) at 1336 on 4-7  https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/qs2bieiuguma2xzu2rvec0kaplvlvxd1

The exotic station's 1400 TOH on 4-7 (at 1:55 into the recording) doesn't feature the 6 pips heard in an April 2018 Cook Island recording, so they apparently have been phased out. An UnID Chinese co-channel seems to be hanging around at the TOH  https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/va3i98g46uk1yz68qzkrqb0k5duyg8v4

At 1415 on the same evening the usual male and female announcers have put the music aside and are discussing some topic (still at an S9 level)  https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/pp0an544l7mfj6veor767fh1ik8wwsik

693  Han Sheng BC Synchros   Taiwan   Strong daytime DX signal with energetic Chinese opera on HK's Cape D'Aguilar at 0827 on 4-6  https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/xzt63rshqcr648lzx9xj94ff6woqkaz2

693  UnID-Philippines   Weak Macau daytime DX co-channel under Han Sheng BC at 0635 on 4-4; the Chinese stations are out of daytime DX range  https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/xf5xusnz0k80mbch9w834ktsini9cezm

702  DXAS   Valenzuela, Philippines   50 kW   FEBC broadcast in Tagalog at S9 level over Zhuhai at 2210 on 4-6 during sunrise session; this station has frequent accented English speech  https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/5g56fu5fbytyasbky3etb8hss8j62db7

702  VOV-2   Danang, Vietnam   50 kW   Male Viet speech at good level // 729 on the Hong Kong waterfront at 1420 on 4-7 with multiple mentions of Vietnam; the 729 parallel is included during the last 7 seconds  https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/lfigny1ryhjmmpdhgtvleoqbnqy3k3n3

702  Zhuhai   Zhuhai, China   (power unknown)   S9+ signal in Mandarin from this Mainland semi-local during Macau daytime DXing at 0636 on 4-4; this signal would fizzle after sunset, allowing DXAS and VoV to dominate  https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/uebzspe8by9w3ze3067ybfp6gup58pgx

(TO BE CONTINUED) 


Re: New Design 3 Inch Baby FSL Antenna Demo Video

Gary DeBock
 

<<<   I found this on ebay:
https://www.ebay.com/i/182880754190?chn=ps&var=690181186870
1200/46 Litz.  It is NOT cheaper, but he allows you to buy in 10 foot increments. For instance 30 feet for ~$48. This could bring your cost down a bit, if you are not going to build more than one FSL
Gary do you think that this wire would be equivalent to the 1162/46 wire that you called out above?
Phil   >>>

Hi Phil,

Unfortunately I've never tried that 1200/46 Litz wire, so I can't give you a decent answer. All I can say is that the 1162/46 Litz wire sold by "Mkmak222" is extremely effective in FSL designs, and the seller is also a long-term friend, who is completely honest and reliable.

In the early days of FSL experimentation Steve R. gave me a warning about purchasing Litz wire from unknown sources, and I've never regretted following his advice. Of course everybody is free to do as they choose, but when the Litz wire costs about $1 a foot it's not much fun to take a chance.

73, Gary


Re: New Design 3 Inch Baby FSL Antenna Demo Video

Gary DeBock
 

<<<   Hello, Gary -
Nice looking FSL, and well-demonstrated.
How would you expect the performance of the setup in the video to compare with the performance of a Sangean PR-D15?
Rich   >>>

Hello Rich,

Since I don't have a Sangean PR-D15 it's tough to answer your question, but I do have multiple Sony ICF-S5W models, which are regarded as some of the most sensitive AM-DXing portables ever manufactured.

The CC Skywave + 3" Baby FSL combo will clearly outperform the ICF-S5W stand-alone portable on all frequencies from 530-1700 kHz, although you do need to peak the Baby FSL's tuning cap whenever you chance the frequency, so that does add one additional step in the DXing process. As for the reception of the 1070-CFAX daytime DX signal in the Baby FSL demonstration video, the Sony portable can receive it at about an S7 level, whereas the stock CC Skywave only manages about S2, and the Skywave-FSL combo manages S9++.

73, Gary

 


Re: Signal Strength Display on Ultralight Receivers

Phil Pasteur
 

Very good and interesting information Richard. Though I have never considered the readouts on my ultralights to achieve metrology grade accuracy. Rather simply a relative indication of signal strength.
It is good to know, however, that there is relationship to "real" field strength. Even though this will certainly vary unit to unit. I would think that throwing one of the baby FSL antennas or any external antenna would change the delta considerably.
I still prefer a good old analog "S" meter though. Especially when calibrated properly.


Re: New Design 3 Inch Baby FSL Antenna Demo Video

Phil Pasteur
 
Edited

@Gord Seifert

I found this on ebay:
https://www.ebay.com/i/182880754190?chn=ps&var=690181186870
1200/46 Litz.  It is NOT cheaper, but he allows you to buy in 10 foot increments. For instance 30 feet for ~$48. This could bring your cost down a bit, if you are not going to build more than one FSL
Gary do you think that this wire would be equivalent to the 1162/46 wire that you called out above?

Phil


Re: New Design 3 Inch Baby FSL Antenna Demo Video

Richard_Fry
 

Hello, Gary -

Nice looking FSL, and well-demonstrated.

How would you expect the performance of the setup in the video to compare with the performance of a Sangean PR-D15?

Rich


Re: New Design 3 Inch Baby FSL Antenna Demo Video

Chris Rogers
 


Hi Gary,
Amazing antenna and very impressive demonstration.
Best regards
Chris

------ Original Message ------
On Thursday, 20 Jun, 2019 At 4:54 PM, Gary DeBock via Groups.Io<D1028Gary@...> wrote:

The new 3 inch (76mm) Baby FSL antenna is the smallest, most compact and lightweight "airport friendly" FSL ever constructed here, but it packs a pretty mean inductive coupling punch due to a newly upgraded "384P" variable capacitor (as well as the most sensitive 1162/46 Litz wire coil).

This afternoon in summer-like daytime DXing conditions a YouTube demonstration video receiving 1070-CFAX in Victoria, BC (10 kW at 99 miles) was recorded, where an S2-S3 fringe signal on a CC Skywave SSB model was boosted up to a S9++ overload level by the Baby FSL, bringing in news of a sudden power failure by BC Hydro on the west shore of Victoria (possibly not related to the FSL's huge signal power boost)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZtYli09mTg

This new-design Baby FSL antenna will feature prominently in an "innovative ferrite antenna" lecture at the IRCA Convention in September, which will also feature "Supercharged" Ultralights and monster, "airport unfriendly" FSL's. See you there! 

73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)


Re: New Design 3 Inch Baby FSL Antenna Demo Video

Gary DeBock
 

<<<      Hi Gary,  I have been following this 'Baby FSL' thread for a while and have seen that you have found a 384p variable that works very well for you. I have also noticed that there seem to be a couple of different, but very similar, 384p, 8:1 drive, variables. One is about three times the price of the other at $63US (near $100 Canadian). That makes me wonder what it is about that one that makes it perform better for you. Is it simply the 8:1 drive, or is it something else? I can't see how that beautiful machined looking frame would change it's performance much. Have you tried the $20 version at Mikes Electronics? I will likely build one myself, but at about $100 US ($130 CDN) for 100 feet of litz wire (enough for three Baby FSLs, but it seems to be the only way to buy it), another $100 CDN for the ferrite rods (3 x 10 rods plus shipping and CDN conversion), another $100 for the capacitor is stretching it on a retirement income. Heck, the PL-310et was peanuts in comparison! Looks like a great little antenna though.
Regards,
  Gord   >>>

Hi Gord,

First of all, there is no physical or electrical difference between the "384P" variable caps sold by Oren Elliott and Mike's Electronic Parts-- I have used both in the FSL's here, and they both provide excellent performance. Oren Elliott is the OEM of the variable caps and charges significantly more for single orders, but all of these components were originally made by him. If you only need one or two of them, you should definitely order from Mike's Electronic Parts. 

The 1162/46 Litz wire is not cheap, but if you want the best gain performance it is worth the money. The entire philosophy behind the "Frequent Flyer" FSL antennas was that if you are going to spend some serious money to travel to exotic places around the world, you might as well have the best possible compact FSL antenna to make your overseas DXing as thrilling as possible. The components, frames and designs of these compact FSL's have all been constantly refined over 3 years, and they were never intended to be average DXing antennas. They are intended to be tiny little shockers, pushing the envelope in travel DXing WAY past the status quo.

As for the superiority of the "384P" variable cap over the "365P" model, all I can tell you is that in direct A/B testing the "384P" smokes the competition in S/N ratio, tuning sharpness and overall DXing results. Physical examination of the two variable cap types doesn't reveal anything, and even if Oren Elliott has some secrets in his manufacturing process, I doubt that he would share them with me.

73, Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)

 


 


PortoDB

Paul Blundell
 

One thing I am always on the look out for is a better way to store my loggings. I have tried a number of different methods including paper logs, an eBook reader with a Qwerty keyboard and a custom database I wrote. 

Over the past few weeks I have been testing a Android program called PortoDB and have found it works really well. Below are some links.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.portofarina.portodb&hl=en_AU

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-create-a-database-on-your-android-device-with-portodb/



--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: New Design 3 Inch Baby FSL Antenna Demo Video

Gord Seifert
 


     Judging by the photos shown in the listings, they don't look quite the same. The one from Mike's looks like it is worth the $20. The one from Elliot Products looks like it would have cost quite a bit more to produce given the machined and polished look. Although, I have never actually seen one from Elliot Products so I don't know if they are really that nice looking or if they used a very realistic illustration instead of an actual photo.



   Regards,
   Gord Seifert

   Chilliwack, BC


Re: New Design 3 Inch Baby FSL Antenna Demo Video

Gord Seifert
 


   Hi Gary,  I have been following this 'Baby FSL' thread for a while and have seen that you have found a 384p variable that works very well for you. I have also noticed that there seem to be a couple of different, but very similar, 384p, 8:1 drive, variables. One is about three times the price of the other at $63US (near $100 Canadian). That makes me wonder what it is about that one that makes it perform better for you. Is it simply the 8:1 drive, or is it something else? I can't see how that beautiful machined looking frame would change it's performance much. Have you tried the $20 version at Mikes Electronics? I will likely build one myself, but at about $100 US ($130 CDN) for 100 feet of litz wire (enough for three Baby FSLs, but it seems to be the only way to buy it), another $100 CDN for the ferrite rods (3 x 10 rods plus shipping and CDN conversion), another $100 for the capacitor is stretching it on a retirement income. Heck, the PL-310et was peanuts in comparison! Looks like a great little antenna though.

  Regards,
  Gord

  Chilliwack, BC

  


Signal Strength Display on Ultralight Receivers

Richard_Fry
 

Many Ultralight receivers include a display of signal strength and S/N for the received signal.  This information is useful, although it doesn't accurately show the field intensity of the signal arriving at the receive antenna.

The display of signal strength on the receiver is labeled as "dBµ," which is easily mistaken to mean dBµV/m.  The correct S.I. unit for values of field intensity is V/m, or its sub-units such as mV/m and µV/m.

The dBµ display on the receiver is showing the value of a conducted r-f voltage based on the output signal of the receive antenna, rather than the value of the received field intensity that produced it.  The "antenna factor" of the receive antenna needs to be known for each frequency, in order to accurately determine the field intensity of the signal arriving at that antenna.

The link below leads to an example of the differences between the signal strength display on one of the Tecsun PL-310 ultralight receivers and the field intensities arriving at its receive antenna, for the conditions shown there.

https://i.postimg.cc/4y4kVCxR/Tecsun-PL-310-Signal-Readings-1.gif


Re: New Design 3 Inch Baby FSL Antenna Demo Video

Gary DeBock
 

<<<   Thanks to a suggestion by Steve R., I recently picked up a couple of these to swap out the original part on my 7" FSL.
https://www.mikeselectronicparts.com/product/384pf-air-variable-capacitor-with-81-planetary-reduction-drive/
They "look" almost identical to the part Gary calls out above, but are considerably less costly. Mounting hole are the same and specification, including the reduction drive seem the same.
Anyone care to take a look at let me know if my assessment is sound?    >>>

Phil,

Those are the exact same "384P" variable caps as sold by Orem Elliott Products, who is the OEM manufacturer (as far as I know).

BTW I got this source from Steve R. originally. He is as much an expert on portable antenna experimentation as anybody on the planet, and probably knows more than yours truly about tracking down hard to find components.

73, Gary



Re: New Design 3 Inch Baby FSL Antenna Demo Video

Phil Pasteur
 
Edited

Thanks to a suggestion by Steve R., I recently picked up a couple of these to swap out the original part on my 7" FSL.
https://www.mikeselectronicparts.com/product/384pf-air-variable-capacitor-with-81-planetary-reduction-drive/
They "look" almost identical to the part Gary calls out above, but are considerably less costly. Mounting hole are the same and specification, including the reduction drive seem the same.
Anyone care to take a look at let me know if my assessment is sound? 


Re: Radio Bargains

Rémy Friess
 

Hi Dan,


A squelch feature on that sort of gear...  Wishful thinking. ;)


As it picks up only local stuff I'd rather think that it lacks an AGC.


Regards,


Rémy.


De : Dan Merta <dnmerta0@...>
À : main@UltralightDX.groups.io
Sujet : Re: [UltralightDX] Radio Bargains
Date : 21/06/2019 13:34:55 Europe/Paris

I like that Phillips clock radio. I have one of those Dick Smith ones, it has a strange quirk in that it seems to mute out the white noise between stations, almost like it has a squelch feature on it. Mines only good for local station listening. 
Dan.  


Re: New Design 3 Inch Baby FSL Antenna Demo Video

Gary DeBock
 

Hi Mikek,

<<<   Have you ever measured Q of any of your FSLs?
I thought Q was important from when I first heard of the FSL,
although, when a guru responded in an email,
"Q has next to no relation to how the FSL will actually perform."I questioned him on that, he got mad, and stopped responding to my email.

In answer to your question, I don't measure Q on my FSL antennas because I have found that direct A/B weak signal testing is the most effective way to optimize components in FSL antenna designs. For example, since 1162/46 Litz wire significantly outperforms 660/46 Litz wire, and the "384P" variable caps significantly outperform "365P" variable caps, it's a pretty simple matter to determine which of these components to incorporate into a new FSL antenna design.

Despite this, I disagree with the guru who said that "Q has no relation to how the FSL will actually perform." Most of the initial FSL construction ideas were borrowed from the Crystal Radio Group enthusiasts, especially Steve R., who was one of the three original FSL antenna developers. Q measurements are extremely important in the crystal radio group, optimizing antenna components, dielectric materials, coil shapes, etc. A lot of this experimentation is applicable to FSL antenna designs, but we also face the additional challenge of designing rugged, weather-resistant antennas that can survive in rough environments like ocean cliffs, as well as survive rough handling during transoceanic air travel. As such, rugged components, frames and Litz wire are chosen strictly based on their ability to provide the maximum inductive coupling gain in the smallest possible size and weight. Viewers of the new 3 inch Baby FSL demo video can see the end result of this process :-)

73, Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)


Re: 3 Inch FSL Tecsun PL-380 Model

Gary DeBock
 

OK Jerry,

I'll look it over and do what I can.

Gary DeBock
P.O. Box 1313
Puyallup, WA 98371


Re: 3 Inch FSL Tecsun PL-380 Model

Jerry Rappel <ww0e@...>
 

I appreciate it Gary, the ferrite bars are all in good condition, no cracks.
Shall I send everything just the way it is?
I'll wrap it well.

Send your address next email.

Jerry Rappel  WW0E
1415 W. 34TH ST.
Davenport, IA 52806 


From: "Gary DeBock via Groups.Io" <D1028Gary=aol.c
om@groups.io>
To: "main" <main@UltralightDX.groups.io>
Sent: Friday, June 21, 2019 1:21:27 AM
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] 3 Inch FSL Tecsun PL-380 Model

OK Jerry,

Feel free to send the model here if you wish-- if it's an easy fix I won't ask for any repair $$, and send it back to you. If the 100mm ferrite bars are cracked there isn't much I can do, though, since they are no longer available (and in great demand).

73, Gary


Re: New Design 3 Inch Baby FSL Antenna Demo Video

lamontcranston17
 

Hi Gary,
 Have you ever measured Q of any of your FSLs?
I thought Q was important from when I first heard of the FSL,
although, when a guru responded in an email,
"Q has next to no relation to how the FSL will actually perform."
I questioned him on that, he got mad, and stopped responding to my email.

 The fact that you use 1162 count litz and this new capacitor that
can be tuned more sharply is just more evidence that Q is important.
  But is there something I don't understand where Litz could be important,
but Q is not? Doesn't make sense to me.
 Have you ever measured the Q at top, bottom and middle of the band?
  Just curious what the Q range on your FSLs is.
                           Thanks, Mikek

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