Date   

Re: "Shelter at Home" -- A Tinkering Nerd's Dream!

Todd
 

Hi Gary,

I never knew how many MW FSL antennas you have stored at home. The development process seems to have gone through multiple iterations. There are enough FSLs to sell online as a business.

I am still using a 40 inch side length table-top 4-leg style PVC tunable air core box loop with 9 turns. What would be the equivalent size FSL antenna that would offer comparable MW DX gain?

One possible drawback with the current COVID-19 stay at home guidelines, is increased local QRM. More people staying at home translates to more electrical devices operating. So far there hasn't been a notable increase in MW noise. If anything, electrical storm static last night rendered 558 KHz 6WA Wagin almost unlistenable.

The Australian government today announced a new maximum two person gathering rule. This effectively puts a lid on club DX gatherings. I've been using Zoom software for my local Cong bi-weekly meetings. This software could also be used for DXer meetings. Any large DX club or local DX group could set up a meeting by using an assigned Zoom software log-in number. The audio and video quality is surprisingly good.

Regards,

Todd
Sydney, Australia


Re: "Shelter at Home" -- A Tinkering Nerd's Dream!

Ron Layton
 

I'm really interested in any "exotic" antenna that will work with my PL-600. Any ideas? Whats a ballpark price for the construction of one of the small FSL and are the materials readily available? 73's


Re: "Shelter at Home" -- A Tinkering Nerd's Dream!

Paul Blundell
 

I can not agree more. I love trying the different areas of the radio hobby and seeing what I can hear. You are an asset to the hobby and always bring new ideas.


On Sun, Mar 29, 2020 at 7:58 PM Gary DeBock via Groups.Io <D1028Gary=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
On Sun, Mar 29, 2020 at 01:21 AM, Paul Blundell wrote:
Based on that photos, do you think you have a problem? :)
Thanks Paul,

I've always figured that the best way to keep excited about the radio hobby (and DXing in general) is to constantly push the limits in weird antenna construction, repeatedly attempting to construct something that others think is impossible. 99% of the time "the others" end up being correct, but about 1% of the projects end up being raging DXing successes, proving to be technical breakthroughs that provide a lot of fun and excitement for others. A couple of recent examples are the 7.5" loopstick transplant projects in portable radios, and the lightweight "Frequent Flyer" FSL antennas, designed for astonishing performance during overseas air travel. A similar mindset in exploring ocean coast sites led to the discovery of enhanced transoceanic propagation at plunging ocean cliff sites, demonstrated by exceptional reception of New Zealand MW signals every summer at the Rockwork Cliff in Oregon, and similar exploration at Japan's Cape Taitosaki.


Anybody that really wants to have exceptional fun in this hobby needs to get out of his comfort zone, and try something really new and challenging. DXing with the same antennas at the same place(s) for decades will make anyone feel bored. Constantly pushing the limits in weird new antennas, DXing sites and receiver modification is wild, wacky and thrilling-- but never boring!

Gary


     



--
Paul


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: "Shelter at Home" -- A Tinkering Nerd's Dream!

Gary DeBock
 

On Sun, Mar 29, 2020 at 01:21 AM, Paul Blundell wrote:
Based on that photos, do you think you have a problem? :)
Thanks Paul,

I've always figured that the best way to keep excited about the radio hobby (and DXing in general) is to constantly push the limits in weird antenna construction, repeatedly attempting to construct something that others think is impossible. 99% of the time "the others" end up being correct, but about 1% of the projects end up being raging DXing successes, proving to be technical breakthroughs that provide a lot of fun and excitement for others. A couple of recent examples are the 7.5" loopstick transplant projects in portable radios, and the lightweight "Frequent Flyer" FSL antennas, designed for astonishing performance during overseas air travel. A similar mindset in exploring ocean coast sites led to the discovery of enhanced transoceanic propagation at plunging ocean cliff sites, demonstrated by exceptional reception of New Zealand MW signals every summer at the Rockwork Cliff in Oregon, and similar exploration at Japan's Cape Taitosaki.


Anybody that really wants to have exceptional fun in this hobby needs to get out of his comfort zone, and try something really new and challenging. DXing with the same antennas at the same place(s) for decades will make anyone feel bored. Constantly pushing the limits in weird new antennas, DXing sites and receiver modification is wild, wacky and thrilling-- but never boring!

Gary


     


Re: "Shelter at Home" -- A Tinkering Nerd's Dream!

keith beesley
 

Thanks, Gary, good advice. Look forward to hearing about your latest antenna creations. 

Keith Beesley
(Skyway/Seattle, WA)

On Sunday, March 29, 2020, 01:16:00 AM PDT, Gary DeBock via Groups.Io <d1028gary@...> wrote:


While the Governor of the state of Washington has decreed that all "non-essential" businesses must shut down (marijuana sellers excluded, of course) and all state parks and most ocean beaches are off limits, the "Shelter at Home" situation is actually an experimental bonanza for someone who has always had dreams of many fanatical new antennas-- but never enough time to complete them. Our Maui vacation went up in smoke when Hawaii decreed that all tourists must stay away for 2 weeks, but despite Costco Travel's reluctance to issue a full refund (a common practice in the collapsing travel industry, I understand), weird new FSL antennas that never had a chance of existence are coming out of the woodwork, augmented by funding from the now-aborted Maui vacation (see photo). In addition, the crash course in SDR-DXing that was planned for this month in preparation for Maui has now been replaced by a deliberate, thorough investigation and testing program, so that future sunsets in Hawaii should be fully exploited with spectrum capture of African, South American and Caribbean signals.

My advice to all DXers with a sudden surplus of time is to use the time productively, exercising both your body and mind to keep both in top shape, eager for the opportunities that are sure to come in the future. Nobody has control over the current pandemic, but we certainly have control over our psychological reaction to it. It's kind of similar to what many American DXers faced as teenagers, with the Vietnam War raging, and the draft breathing down our necks. Worrying about a situation beyond our control accomplishes nothing. Use the time productively, and prepare for the future by continually exercising both your mind and body in creative ways, complete with a mindset of determination and optimism. Even though the current situation might seem dire, things will surely turn around, and the future will belong to those who are excited about it!


Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)


Re: "Shelter at Home" -- A Tinkering Nerd's Dream!

Paul Blundell
 

So very true Gary and something I am trying to get across to those around me, this too will pass and we need to be ready for what is on the other side. 

Based on that photos, do you think you have a problem? :)

Paul


On Sun, Mar 29, 2020 at 7:15 PM Gary DeBock via Groups.Io <D1028Gary=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
While the Governor of the state of Washington has decreed that all "non-essential" businesses must shut down (marijuana sellers excluded, of course) and all state parks and most ocean beaches are off limits, the "Shelter at Home" situation is actually an experimental bonanza for someone who has always had dreams of many fanatical new antennas-- but never enough time to complete them. Our Maui vacation went up in smoke when Hawaii decreed that all tourists must stay away for 2 weeks, but despite Costco Travel's reluctance to issue a full refund (a common practice in the collapsing travel industry, I understand), weird new FSL antennas that never had a chance of existence are coming out of the woodwork, augmented by funding from the now-aborted Maui vacation (see photo). In addition, the crash course in SDR-DXing that was planned for this month in preparation for Maui has now been replaced by a deliberate, thorough investigation and testing program, so that future sunsets in Hawaii should be fully exploited with spectrum capture of African, South American and Caribbean signals.

My advice to all DXers with a sudden surplus of time is to use the time productively, exercising both your body and mind to keep both in top shape, eager for the opportunities that are sure to come in the future. Nobody has control over the current pandemic, but we certainly have control over our psychological reaction to it. It's kind of similar to what many American DXers faced as teenagers, with the Vietnam War raging, and the draft breathing down our necks. Worrying about a situation beyond our control accomplishes nothing. Use the time productively, and prepare for the future by continually exercising both your mind and body in creative ways, complete with a mindset of determination and optimism. Even though the current situation might seem dire, things will surely turn around, and the future will belong to those who are excited about it!


Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)



--
Paul


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


"Shelter at Home" -- A Tinkering Nerd's Dream!

Gary DeBock
 

While the Governor of the state of Washington has decreed that all "non-essential" businesses must shut down (marijuana sellers excluded, of course) and all state parks and most ocean beaches are off limits, the "Shelter at Home" situation is actually an experimental bonanza for someone who has always had dreams of many fanatical new antennas-- but never enough time to complete them. Our Maui vacation went up in smoke when Hawaii decreed that all tourists must stay away for 2 weeks, but despite Costco Travel's reluctance to issue a full refund (a common practice in the collapsing travel industry, I understand), weird new FSL antennas that never had a chance of existence are coming out of the woodwork, augmented by funding from the now-aborted Maui vacation (see photo). In addition, the crash course in SDR-DXing that was planned for this month in preparation for Maui has now been replaced by a deliberate, thorough investigation and testing program, so that future sunsets in Hawaii should be fully exploited with spectrum capture of African, South American and Caribbean signals.

My advice to all DXers with a sudden surplus of time is to use the time productively, exercising both your body and mind to keep both in top shape, eager for the opportunities that are sure to come in the future. Nobody has control over the current pandemic, but we certainly have control over our psychological reaction to it. It's kind of similar to what many American DXers faced as teenagers, with the Vietnam War raging, and the draft breathing down our necks. Worrying about a situation beyond our control accomplishes nothing. Use the time productively, and prepare for the future by continually exercising both your mind and body in creative ways, complete with a mindset of determination and optimism. Even though the current situation might seem dire, things will surely turn around, and the future will belong to those who are excited about it!


Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)


Re: COVID-19 Radio Challenges

Paul Blundell
 

Not a bad idea, or stations that are not talking about COVID-19 at all....


On Sun, Mar 29, 2020 at 6:29 PM Larry Smith via Groups.Io <larfla2=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

Number of individual  stations heard with breathless Wuhan Virus reports/ news items in a UTC 24  hour period?



--
Paul


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: COVID-19 Radio Challenges

Larry Smith
 
Edited

Number of individual  stations heard with breathless Wuhan Virus reports/ news items in a UTC 24  hour period?


Re: COVID-19 Radio Challenges

Paul Blundell
 

That sounds like a great spot and good idea, hopefully once the world is back to some sort of normal you can get back to it.

Paul

On Sun, 29 Mar 2020, 3:39 p.m. Todd via Groups.Io, <toddemslie=yahoo.com.au@groups.io> wrote:
In recent months, every Monday afternoon I have had the opportunity to travel to Narrabeen, Sydney for a 8 km lake walk, and subsequent evening dinner at the host's home. The host home location is only 10 minutes walk from the beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean, hence I have considered taking along a 65 cm diameter PK loop + portable radio for monitoring at the beach during Monday evenings. This has to be done with discretion and planning because the social party are not DXers. This is an opportunity to monitor for TP MW DX from North America, Mexico, Hawaii, New Zealand, and Fiji.

With the recent Australia government regulations attempting to minimise the exponential growth of COVID-19, car pooling is now restricted to two people. Also, the Narrabeen home gathering is up to 10 people in a relatively small house area. So with these recent group number per area restrictions in mind, I have temporarily delayed a portable radio DX trip to Narrabeen beach.

Regards,

Todd

http://home.iprimus.com.au/toddemslie/dx.html


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: FM Radio Testing x 4

Paul Blundell
 

Thanks Todd. That is some interesting reading and I will also check out your website more. 


On Sun, 29 Mar 2020, 3:22 p.m. Todd via Groups.Io, <toddemslie=yahoo.com.au@groups.io> wrote:
Portable FM radio + inbuilt whip weak signal DX performance is down some 30 to 40 dB relative to a commercially available 8-element rooftop Yagi + sensitive high-end tuner (e.g. Sony XDR tuner). In practice my testing demonstrated that a faint FM signal received on the most sensitive portable radio, translates to a simultaneous noise-free signal on my 8-element rooftop Yagi + XDR-S3HD tuner. This is why I don't use portable radios for FM DXing. However, a portable radio will sometimes produce impressive results in outstanding areas where signal field strengths are massive. But even in these relatively infrequent instances, the portable radio is the weak link in the signal chain. One example is when tropospheric ducting modulates signals to unusually high levels to the extent that New Zealand FM at average 2200 km is received on low gain portable radios.

A portable radio with external antenna input (e.g. PL-390), coupled via coax cable to a collapsible 3-element FM Yagi + portable mast, will produce stronger distant signals.

The medium wave band propagates widely, with some comparisons to the shortwave band. Conversely, the 88-108 MHz FM band is much shorter distance range, and shorter time duration requiring more sophisticated receiving gear. 

Regards,

Todd

http://home.iprimus.com.au/toddemslie/dx.html


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: COVID-19 Radio Challenges

Todd
 

In recent months, every Monday afternoon I have had the opportunity to travel to Narrabeen, Sydney for a 8 km lake walk, and subsequent evening dinner at the host's home. The host home location is only 10 minutes walk from the beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean, hence I have considered taking along a 65 cm diameter PK loop + portable radio for monitoring at the beach during Monday evenings. This has to be done with discretion and planning because the social party are not DXers. This is an opportunity to monitor for TP MW DX from North America, Mexico, Hawaii, New Zealand, and Fiji.

With the recent Australia government regulations attempting to minimise the exponential growth of COVID-19, car pooling is now restricted to two people. Also, the Narrabeen home gathering is up to 10 people in a relatively small house area. So with these recent group number per area restrictions in mind, I have temporarily delayed a portable radio DX trip to Narrabeen beach.

Regards,

Todd

http://home.iprimus.com.au/toddemslie/dx.html


Re: FM Radio Testing x 4

Todd
 

Portable FM radio + inbuilt whip weak signal DX performance is down some 30 to 40 dB relative to a commercially available 8-element rooftop Yagi + sensitive high-end tuner (e.g. Sony XDR tuner). In practice my testing demonstrated that a faint FM signal received on the most sensitive portable radio, translates to a simultaneous noise-free signal on my 8-element rooftop Yagi + XDR-S3HD tuner. This is why I don't use portable radios for FM DXing. However, a portable radio will sometimes produce impressive results in outstanding areas where signal field strengths are massive. But even in these relatively infrequent instances, the portable radio is the weak link in the signal chain. One example is when tropospheric ducting modulates signals to unusually high levels to the extent that New Zealand FM at average 2200 km is received on low gain portable radios.

A portable radio with external antenna input (e.g. PL-390), coupled via coax cable to a collapsible 3-element FM Yagi + portable mast, will produce stronger distant signals.

The medium wave band propagates widely, with some comparisons to the shortwave band. Conversely, the 88-108 MHz FM band is much shorter distance range, and shorter time duration requiring more sophisticated receiving gear. 

Regards,

Todd

http://home.iprimus.com.au/toddemslie/dx.html


COVID-19 Radio Challenges

Paul Blundell
 

With the current situation around COVID-19 and the restrictions on travel, I think it would be great to have some radio challenges which fit around these rules.

Does anybody have any ideas on some challenges we could run?

Paul

--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: Portable FM Telescopic Aerial Testing - 28/03/2020

Paul Blundell
 

At maximum it is 112cm. I normally have it at 72cm which is a 1/4 wave for 100MHz.

On Sun, 29 Mar 2020, 1:49 a.m. radiojayallen, <radiojayallen@...> wrote:

Paul,

How long is your rod antenna?

Jay


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: Portable FM Telescopic Aerial Testing - 28/03/2020

radiojayallen
 

Paul,

How long is your rod antenna?

Jay


Portable FM Telescopic Aerial Testing - 28/03/2020

Paul Blundell
 

With my new focus on the FM broadcast band, I decided to find a way to have a portable FM aerial which would improve the signals I am able to receive on my various ultralight radios.

Following the redesign of my radio case (https://ultralightradiodxing.blogspot.com/2020/03/portable-ultralight-radio-dxing-case.html) I added a mounting point to the top of my case for future use to mount an aerial Over the past few days I have been working on a way to use this. I tracked down an old telescopic aerial from my junk box and mounted this to a piece of wood, this then has a metal mount on the bottom which allows it to connect to the bolt on the top of my radio case.

Tonight I got some time to undertake some testing of this setup, the radio used was my Digitech AR1690.


FREQUENCY - STATION
Internal
External
87.6MHz - TOTE SPORT RADIO
POOR
EXCELLENT
95.3MHz - TAMAR FM
POOR
GOOD
96.9MHz - MEANDER VALLEY FM
NILL
GOOD
98.9MHz - 7AD
NILL
GOOD
101.1MHz - CHILLI FM (CBD)
WEAK
EXCELLENT
102.1MHz - ABC (DEVONPORT)
NILL
WEAK
107.7MHz - SEA FM
NILL
WEAK
 
Comparing the internal aerial (built in) to the portable FM telescopic shows a 2 to 3 level signal increase. Four stations that could not be received at all on the Digitech AR1690 with it's built in aerial, came in when using the portable FM telescopic at varying signals levels. 7AD on 98.9MHz was the real standout and was almost to the level of being able to decode the RDS data. In the photos below you can see the improvement in the signal levels between the built in aerial and the portable FM telescopic.
 





-- 
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


FM Radio Testing x 4

Paul Blundell
 

 

Recently I have been undertaking some testing of four Ultralight radios on the FM broadcast band, this focused on five FM frequencies. Below is a table which shows the results on each frequency for each radio. These were all undertaken with their standard aerials.


The Flea Market FMRAD2 is the radio which I use the least and is my "poorest" radio on the largewave band, here on the FM broadcast band it worked better than I was expecting and surprised me. I am glad I didn't write this radio off totally without testing it on the FM broadcast band.


Both the Teac PR130 and Digitech AR1733 worked as well I expected, neither was a standout in any way but both were around the performance I was expecting.


My new Digitech AR1690 was easily the standout, it preformed well on all frequencies and on all frequencies except one, it pulled in the best signals. The fact this is a FM / DAB+ only radio means it is tuned for these bands and does not have the compromises that also including the largewave band bring.



FREQUENCY - STATION
DIGITECH AR1690
TEAC PR130
FLEA MARKET FMRAD2
DIGITECH AR1733
87.6MHz - TOTE SPORT RADIO
EXCELLENT
POOR
GOOD
GOOD
95.3MHz - TAMAR FM
NILL
NILL
NILL
FAINT
96.9MHz - MEANDER VALLEY FM
FAINT
NILL
NILL
NILL
98.9MHz - 7AD
FAINT
NILL
NILL
NILL
107.7MHz - SEAFM
WEAK
NILL
WEAK
NILL
 

 
--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: Portable Ultralight Radio DXing Case - March 2020

Paul Blundell
 

Thanks Michael.

I am a big fan of these cases and like to find different ways to use them.

We are up to 42 cases here in Tasmania so just doing what I can to stay at home and only head out for work as needed. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

On Thu, Mar 26, 2020 at 10:57 PM Michael.2E0IHW via Groups.Io <blumu=btinternet.com@groups.io> wrote:
Thanks for the nudge, Paul.

Last week I was about to throw out a similar plastic case.
Glad I didn't (although the XYL wished I had...).

Nighttime bedside listening has brought in some TA.
Not bad with walls and domestic QRM in the way!

Almost local, I can still get the latest from
France and Spain on MW and LW.

We now have one suspected infection in the village,
so up drawbridge and up DXing!

Michael UK

On 26/03/2020 10:10, Paul Blundell wrote:

> ...Here I found this new case for $50, I decided to
> replace my previous case as I found it was not working as well as I
> would have liked.
...
> While this case was designed for ultralight DXing the same ideas could
> be used for amateur radio, radio scanning or any other storage need.
> Photos:
> https://ultralightradiodxing.blogspot.com/2020/03/portable-ultralight-radio-dxing-case.html
> --
> Paul - Moderator
> UltralightDX





--
Paul


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: Portable Ultralight Radio DXing Case - March 2020

Michael.2E0IHW
 

Thanks for the nudge, Paul.

Last week I was about to throw out a similar plastic case.
Glad I didn't (although the XYL wished I had...).

Nighttime bedside listening has brought in some TA.
Not bad with walls and domestic QRM in the way!

Almost local, I can still get the latest from
France and Spain on MW and LW.

We now have one suspected infection in the village,
so up drawbridge and up DXing!

Michael UK

On 26/03/2020 10:10, Paul Blundell wrote:

...Here I found this new case for $50, I decided to replace my previous case as I found it was not working as well as I would have liked.
...
While this case was designed for ultralight DXing the same ideas could be used for amateur radio, radio scanning or any other storage need.
Photos: https://ultralightradiodxing.blogspot.com/2020/03/portable-ultralight-radio-dxing-case.html
--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX

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