Date   

TECH: Big Litz 1162/46 and 1200/46 tested on HP Q meter

Steve Ratzlaff
 

Here are the results of testing 1162/46 Litz (pink color, from eBay seller Ming) and 1200/46 Litz (blue color, from eBay seller in Canada, same as blue 1200/46 Litz from Chinese eBay seller) on my HP 4342A Q meter. Each was wound as a solenoid on a low loss styrene plumbing coupler. As many turns as would fit on each coupler was wound--the 1200/46 being slightly fatter, one or two turns fewer were wound for that coil. 163.5 uH for the 1162/46; 152.5 uH for the 1200/46. The Q meter's variable cap goes to 475 pF, so about 590 kHz was the lowest frequency tested that would resonate the coil.

In summary, the 1162/46 Litz has higher Q up to about 1300 kHz--quite a bit higher, especially at the low end. Above that both coils are closer in Q.

Note this is purely an "unloaded Q" test, for the coil all by itself. For use in a Ferrite Sleeve Loop there of course are other factors--the Q of the ferrite material and surrounding material, the Q of the tuning capacitor, and probably other factors. I can't positively say a higher Q coil leads to a better-performing (more sensitive and/or sharper tuning) FSL, but theory says that is so. Gary DeBock's A/B comparison tests on real signals with real FSLs indicates this is so, as well.

73,

Steve Ratzlaff AA7U

1162/46 Litz coil, unloaded Q test

590 kHz 1652 Q

700 kHz 1676 Q

800 kHz 1650 Q

900 kHz 1598 Q

1000 kHz 1524 Q

1100 kHz 1435 Q

1200 kHz 1322 Q

1300 kHz 1152 Q

1400 kHz 797 Q

1500 kHz 827 Q

1600 kHz 873 Q

1700 kHz 813 Q

-------------------------------------------------------

1200/46 Litz, unloaded Q test

590 kHz 1190 Q

700 kHz 1266 Q

800 kHz 1293 Q

900 kHz 1296 Q

1000 kHz 1274 Q

1100 kHz 1228 Q

1200 kHz 1122 Q

1300 kHz 1052 Q

1400 kHz 924 Q

1500 kHz 847 Q

1600 kHz 808 Q

1700 kHz 756 Q


Re: New Design 3 Inch Baby FSL Antenna Demo Video

Michael.2E0IHW
 

Very useful hint, Mikek. Thanks!
Michael UK


On 27/06/2019 15:54, lamontcranston17 wrote:
  I just wanted to mention my method of soldering large count litz wire.
 I set a spoon on my electric stove, then melt a large drop of solder
in the center of the spoon,
"guessing" just under 3/8" across. I dip about 3/8" to 1/2" of the litz
into rosin flux and then
I put that into the melted solder on the spoon. Basically a mini solder
pot. I have had great success,
with thoroughly saturated litz. Once you have a good tinning job on the
litz, it's fairly easy to solder.
 A couple of notes; I usually set the other end of the spoon on
something to make the level. There is a
lot of heat coming from the burner so it is a little trick to get in and
out before your fingers get to hot.
My spoon, I thing it's stainless steel. I also have put some flux in
with the solder on the spoon,
and you may need to experiment with the burner temperature setting.
 I have used this for at least ten litz wires and I'm happy with it.
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Re: New Design 3 Inch Baby FSL Antenna Demo Video

lamontcranston17
 

I just wanted to mention my method of soldering large count litz wire.
 I set a spoon on my electric stove, then melt a large drop of solder
in the center of the spoon,
"guessing" just under 3/8" across. I dip about 3/8" to 1/2" of the litz
into rosin flux and then
I put that into the melted solder on the spoon. Basically a mini solder
pot. I have had great success,
with thoroughly saturated litz. Once you have a good tinning job on the
litz, it's fairly easy to solder.
 A couple of notes; I usually set the other end of the spoon on
something to make the level. There is a
lot of heat coming from the burner so it is a little trick to get in and
out before your fingers get to hot.
My spoon, I thing it's stainless steel. I also have put some flux in
with the solder on the spoon,
and you may need to experiment with the burner temperature setting.
 I have used this for at least ten litz wires and I'm happy with it.

                                              Mikek


Re: Two More Radiwow R-108 Models Received

Max Italy
 

New version has solved some problems on the MW?
see here

https://imgur.com/a/c5dzHGx


Salt Water Daytime DX from the Philippines-- 5 kW at 683 miles

Gary DeBock
 

Mark Connelly's doctrine of getting right up to the salt water edge was proven again during file review of daytime DXing in Macau-- a strange gambling enclave located 50 miles west of Hong Kong.

On 720 kHz a weak Tagalog station was received on the Macau waterfront all by itself in bright daylight around 2 PM local time, although Macau is over 500 miles away from any part of the Philippines. To make the story even stranger, the receiver was a CC Skywave Ultralight-- although it did have a 7.5 inch loopstick going for it.

The weakfish signal was recorded and forgotten until this morning, when a dubious attempt was made to dig out any identifying clues which might determine which one of the three 720 kHz Filipino stations showed up at such long range. After listening to the weakfish recording about 10 times I was amazed to determine an energetic "Radio Bombo" ID by the Tagalog-speaking lady at 23 seconds into the recording, which matched the network ID description of 720-DZSO, a 5 kW station in San Fernando, Luzon, Philippines-- at 683 salt water miles (1,099 km) in bright daylight. How can you get luckier than that?  https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/vdjoibaihbf65bgzobh948y871jxwg5r

Daytime DXing at the salt water edge during the Hong Kong trip proved to be essential in sorting out the maze of unfamiliar signals, providing not only some awesome Taiwan recordings but several 500+ mile Philippine stations making the trip in bright daylight. Receiving so much international DX in bright daylight was a bizarre feeling, with even 549-VOV2 showing up as a crowning touch at HK's Cape D'Aguilar (according to Alan Davies).

Gary DeBock (DXing in Hong Kong from April 2-8)


Re: Signal Strength Display on Ultralight Receivers

Phil Pasteur
 

Absolutely no arguments from me on this last bit. But really, I use the meter on the radio to point an antenna, or compare received signal strengths for logging. So an indication of r-f voltage across the antenna terminals is ok. In fact this information is the endgame for me for those purposes. Still it is interesting to understand that the readings we are seeing on any of these meters is simply an interpretation of the field intensity.


Re: New Design 3 Inch Baby FSL Antenna Demo Video

Gary DeBock
 

On Tue, Jun 25, 2019 at 06:50 AM, Gord Seifert wrote:
  Gary, you are pretty much THE authority on these antennas, maybe you should offer the seller of the 1200 strand wire the opportunity to submit a sample roll for your evaluation. If it actually works better than what you have been using, your endorsement would certainly mean more business for that seller. Also, if the seller of the wire you have been using is a friend, you might suggest that he consider selling shorter lengths. He might actually sell more and would likely sell it at a bit more per foot in shorter lengths as well.
Thanks Gord,

I can certainly understand why an experimenter would be reluctant to order more Litz wire than necessary to build a single FSL, especially when it costs about $1 a foot. Since I have a very long term business relationship and friendship with Ming Mak (MkMak222 on eBay), though, I'm not really interested in assisting somebody else to compete with him.

A way to make the 100 foot 1162/46 Litz wire purchase requirement a little easier would be to sell the excess Litz wire to other experimenters, after the purchase. Be careful when you do this, though, because a single FSL loop requires about 33 feet of the 1162/46 Litz wire, and if you waste Litz wire in your construction you will find yourself without enough Litz wire to make two additional loops.

Experimenters should keep in mind that 1162/46 Litz wire is premium, highest-sensitivity material, and should be reserved for uncompromising, top-of-the-line FSL antenna projects. In combination with the "384P" variable cap it will give you amazing performance, but you will pay the price for this advantage. You will also need a 50 watt (or larger) soldering iron to properly install such large diameter Litz wire-- something that most hobbyists don't have. There are a lot of cheaper alternatives out there for someone who wants to stay within a budget..

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

 


Re: New Design 3 Inch Baby FSL Antenna Demo Video

Gord Seifert
 


   Thanks for the suggestion Phil! I suspect though that I will go with the wire Gary has been using since he has used it on a number of projects and had very good results. The 1200 strand wire is an unknown and does cost 1.5 times as much per foot. With the 100 foot roll I could build a Mini and have enough left to build a much bigger one if I really get into it. Or I could sell it to someone else who also doesn't need a full 100 foot length..

    Gary, you are pretty much THE authority on these antennas, maybe you should offer the seller of the 1200 strand wire the opportunity to submit a sample roll for your evaluation. If it actually works better than what you have been using, your endorsement would certainly mean more business for that seller. Also, if the seller of the wire you have been using is a friend, you might suggest that he consider selling shorter lengths. He might actually sell more and would likely sell it at a bit more per foot in shorter lengths as well.

   Regards,
   Gord 

   Chilliwack, BC


Re: New Design 3 Inch Baby FSL Antenna Demo Video

Richard_Fry
 

On Mon, Jun 24, 2019 at 04:11 PM, Gary DeBock wrote:
<<<   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, ...
Understandable (thanks).

For a reference point, my "stock" Sangean PR-D15 is able to receive a 530 kHz TIS station located about 35 miles from me.  Earth conductivity along the groundwave path is ~ 15 mS/m, and the calculated field intensity of the arriving signal is ~ 50 µV/m.

As expected, the receiver audio is very noisy for those conditions, but it is understandable about 90% of the time, No-one would tolerate listening to it for very long, though.


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

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