Date   

North East US-Canada Aurora

Paul S. in CT
 

Just in from SWPC prediction pages, looks like the show is about to begin to the North and NNE. Neighbors just finished clearing trees last week and now have a 50 mile view including WRCH antenna complex 16 miles away.
.2 Auroras I saw were August 1972 (early 4th, 5th or 6th) and March 1989 ( before St Patricks Day...12 or 13 or 14). Aug 1972 in Maine on vacation, March 89 at home in CT..

Northern Lights indeed.

Paul S. in CT FN31nl


Re: FM Aerials

Paul Blundell
 

Thanks Dave.

I just picked up a set for $7, I will see how they go.

On Fri, Dec 11, 2020 at 12:59 PM Dave Hascall <dhinfomedia@...> wrote:
Awesome, Paul.  As Russ stated, rabbit ears will work well.  I logged dozens of stations via Es with a cheap set found at a second hand store and Tropo out to 500 miles with it.

73
Dave in Indy



--
Paul


Re: Batteries

Paul Blundell
 

I have started doing this after my last AR-1733 died, in part they think this was due to the batteries getting too flat.


On Fri, Dec 11, 2020 at 12:53 PM Richard Allen via groups.io <dx747j=me.com@groups.io> wrote:
I’ve had the exact same problem with Everyready and Rayovac.  None are immune from leaking.  I’m sure none I’ve purchased are fakes or counterfeit.  All are prone to leaks at some point, even the rechargeables.

The best advice is to remove them when not using the receiver.

Richard Allen.

,_._,_



--
Paul


Re: Batteries

Paul Blundell
 

Thanks Russ.

Up until recently one of our supermarket sold 4 X AA rechargeables for $8 a packet, at this rate they were worth using, even if they were replaced every 12 months. They have now stopped selling these so once my current batch die, I will be looking at repalcing them.

On Fri, Dec 11, 2020 at 11:50 AM Russ Edmunds <wb2bjh@...> wrote:
Avoid Duracells. Too many of them leak prematurely and do damage. This may be due to reports of quantities of fakes circulating worldwide, but I've not learned of any way to tell them apart. At one point I sent them a complaint. I got back a letter sort of apologizing but including coupons for more Duracells which weren't used.

Russ Edmunds

WB2BJH

Blue Bell, PA

Grid FN20id


From: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io> on behalf of Paul Blundell via groups.io <tanger32au=gmail.com@groups.io>
Sent: Thursday, December 10, 2020 7:46 PM
To: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io>
Subject: [UltralightDX] Batteries
 
As our "toys" use batteries, what experiences do we have with various brands / types and what is the best "value for money", recharables or alakalines?

Paul



--
Paul


Re: FM Aerials

Dave Hascall
 

Awesome, Paul.  As Russ stated, rabbit ears will work well.  I logged dozens of stations via Es with a cheap set found at a second hand store and Tropo out to 500 miles with it.

73
Dave in Indy


Re: Batteries

Richard Allen
 

I’ve had the exact same problem with Everyready and Rayovac.  None are immune from leaking.  I’m sure none I’ve purchased are fakes or counterfeit.  All are prone to leaks at some point, even the rechargeables.

The best advice is to remove them when not using the receiver.

Richard Allen.

,_._,_


Re: Batteries

Russ Edmunds
 

Avoid Duracells. Too many of them leak prematurely and do damage. This may be due to reports of quantities of fakes circulating worldwide, but I've not learned of any way to tell them apart. At one point I sent them a complaint. I got back a letter sort of apologizing but including coupons for more Duracells which weren't used.

Russ Edmunds

WB2BJH

Blue Bell, PA

Grid FN20id


From: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io> on behalf of Paul Blundell via groups.io <tanger32au@...>
Sent: Thursday, December 10, 2020 7:46 PM
To: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io>
Subject: [UltralightDX] Batteries
 
As our "toys" use batteries, what experiences do we have with various brands / types and what is the best "value for money", recharables or alakalines?

Paul


Batteries

Paul Blundell
 

As our "toys" use batteries, what experiences do we have with various brands / types and what is the best "value for money", recharables or alakalines?

Paul


Re: FM Aerials

kevin asato <kc6pob@...>
 

And Paul,
with or despite all the recommendations you have received:
1) have fun!
2) let us know what you did so as i am sure you will.

i still have my 300Ohm twin lead diple that came with my stereo. it requires support but is very usable as well.

73,
kevin
kc6pob



Re: FM Aerials

Paul Blundell
 

Thanks Mike. At this point I will be mostly using my AR-1733. If I get more serious about it, I might look at an upgrade.


On Fri, Dec 11, 2020 at 9:05 AM vbifyz <3ym3ym@...> wrote:
The radio is also very important for FM DXing. In many situations, weak signals of interest are next to very strong local signals.The receiver has to handle such conditions without generating intermodulation interference, i.e. needs a high dynamic range.
I didn't play with too many FM radios, but can say that my PL-880 is very good in this respect, compared to my Ka-1102, and even compared to RTL-SDR dongles.

73, Mike AF7KR



--
Paul


Re: FM Aerials

Paul Blundell
 

Thanks Art, I think I have a spare set of these somewhere. I will start simple and see how I go.

Paul

On Fri, Dec 11, 2020 at 3:05 AM K7DWI Art <k7dwicn82@...> wrote:

Good morning all from the great Northwest (Oregon).
I have been FM/TVing for decades.  But, I spend my time as a Ham.
All I can say say is, "Keep It Simple!".
For portable FM DXing, a simple set of TV Rabbit Ears measured to your frequency works great and better than anything.
You can pick up Es and Tropo and null out locals.
Attached...
A simple demo: 
https://youtu.be/69Hz1wwREFg
SASE Measurements of Rabbit Ears by Frequency
Dipole Length FMBC Attached 

73 Art K7DWI



--
Paul


Re: FM Aerials

Paul Blundell
 

Thanks Jorge.

I think I need to get hold of a tripod and some other aerials and see how they go, my goal is to be able to log some lower power stations from further away.

Paul

On Fri, Dec 11, 2020 at 2:04 AM Jorge Garzón via groups.io <iberiaDX=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Paul,
What's your main proposal? A local bandscan? As many stations the best? Get unusual ones? Most of the times, at least in VHF, the goal is the main clue on how to choose the aerial. A local bandscan can get the best results just using your car radio (as antenna+receiver system is probably the most efficient system to monitor the band). Most of the times I use a 5 el yagi to get the best when the Tropo or Es season start. A yagi antenna also serves me to avoid some azimuths in which I am not interested in or are where my usual stations are.

A 5 elements mounted yagi does not fit in a car so I take it on the roof or to put it in I fold one of the halves of each element, as I can loose screws and wing nuts. The dipole can be also separated easily. A 5 element yagi allows you to manage the size quickly and depending of its design, gives you a very good gain in one half of the band while decreases at the other half. Mine, with 158 cm boom is great from 87,5 to 96, good from 96 to 100 MHz and even shows an inverse gain from 104 to 108 MHz. This wouldn't happen with a longer boom, say 200 cm), but would be much more tedious to manage as now I have a very good aerial system (antenna, telescopic pole, pole base and quick guy ropes attachments). I can be operative in just 10 minutes.

I have a 5 el yagi similar to the one showed in the Czech link that gave you, and also hava another 5 el yagi (Antiference) both with very good results. VHF Band II yagis are becoming rarer and are disappearing quickly from stores. DIY projects are easy to face and usually give very good results.

Elevation is not as critical for Band II as it is for 2m VHF 144 / 432 MHz when conditions are good. For hams mountains are real walls but for FM'ers they can be very good allied!

73!




--
Paul


Re: FM Aerials

Paul Blundell
 

Thanks for that information, I will check them out.

Paul

On Fri, Dec 11, 2020 at 1:40 AM Russ Edmunds <wb2bjh@...> wrote:
I think it depends on what radio you'll be using. Since you're asking the question, I'll presume that the radio you'll use has an external antenna connection.

Height and avoidance of obvious horizon blockage due to hills or structures are a good start.

A dipole is a bit difficult to work with but it can be done. If I have to choose between a dipole and rabbit ears, I'll go with the latter. For your purpose, a small collapsible FM yagi seems best - perhaps 4 or 6 elements. Then you can mount that to a short mast and anchor it with a portable tripod or even a concrete block. For portable work manual rotation is fine. I don't know what's available there, but to give you an idea, attached is some info on one I've used with some success - it's lightweight, but not to the point of being fragile.



From: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io> on behalf of Dave Hascall via groups.io <dhinfomedia=gmail.com@groups.io>
Sent: Thursday, December 10, 2020 9:24 AM
To: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] FM Aerials
 
Hi Paul.

Are you DXing for Es, tropo, or just doing a bandscan? If it's the last two, elevation is key. I know a lot of 6 meter hams will climb fire towers, hills, parking garages, and so on to get an advantage in terms of elevation.  Sporadic E doesn't need so much elevation.  Good luck.

73,
Dave in Indy (Noblesville)



--
Paul


Re: FM Aerials

Paul Blundell
 

Mostly just scanning the band. I have plans to get out and about at some high locations but in the meantime I am trying to improve my aerials as much as possible.

Paul

On Fri, Dec 11, 2020 at 1:24 AM Dave Hascall <dhinfomedia@...> wrote:
Hi Paul.

Are you DXing for Es, tropo, or just doing a bandscan? If it's the last two, elevation is key. I know a lot of 6 meter hams will climb fire towers, hills, parking garages, and so on to get an advantage in terms of elevation.  Sporadic E doesn't need so much elevation.  Good luck.

73,
Dave in Indy (Noblesville)



--
Paul


Re: FM Aerials

vbifyz
 

The radio is also very important for FM DXing. In many situations, weak signals of interest are next to very strong local signals.The receiver has to handle such conditions without generating intermodulation interference, i.e. needs a high dynamic range.
I didn't play with too many FM radios, but can say that my PL-880 is very good in this respect, compared to my Ka-1102, and even compared to RTL-SDR dongles.

73, Mike AF7KR


Re: Building a FSL antenna

Jorge Garzón
 

Well, finally I would like to build a 3'5" FSL antenna and I would like some easy advice. 

1. How many ferriterods do I need for 10mm thick rods? 
2. I have seen 10 cm long, 12 or 14 cm long. Any advice of this? 
3. I have discovered some suppliers. Preferences? 
a) https://www.rapidonline.com/Electrical-Power/100 mm-Ferrariite-Rod-Aerial-88-3098
b) https://www.ebay.com/itm/6-pcs-Ferrite-Rod-NiZn-8-x-125mm-for-Amateur-and-Crystal-Radio-Coils-AM-SW-USSR/202472305698?_trkparms=aid=555021&algo=PL.SIMRVI&ao=1&asc=225086&meid=e016db1db03d403397c81ab528bbeeff&pid=100752&rk=2&rkt=8&mehot=ag&sd=124092146554&itm=202472305698&pmt=1&noa=0&pg=2047675&algv=SimplRVIAMLv5WebWithPLRVIOnTopCombiner&_trksid=p2047675.c100752.m1982&redirect=mobile
c) Any other supplier? 

Thank you in advance! 

Jorge Garzón Gutiérrez "IberiaDX" 
(EB7EFA · EA1036 SWL · BDXC Member 1409) 
QTH: IN83ag / 43º15' N · 03º56' W
Urb. San Roque 95, casa 5 (Villasevil)
39698 Santiurde de Toranzo (ESPAÑA - SPAIN)
..................................................................................
Blog: IberiaDX  · Twitter: @IberiaDX


En sábado, 14 de noviembre de 2020 16:56:28 CET, Jorge Garzón via groups.io <iberiadx@...> escribió:


Maybe there is a post (or several) regarding this but I have some questions that I would like to share with you:

1. The core of the FSL, has to be foamed or can be just a non conductive cylinder-shaped object? What about PVC?
2. I am interested in NDB and MW band, so my interest would be from 150 to 1750 (more or less). Which kind of variable capacitor do I need? I know it depend on the diameter of the aerial. Maybe a 3" baby loop or even a 5" are suitable for me as a first project. My portables are DEGEN DE1103 and Tecsun PL-330. 
3. Is it possible avoid the variable capacitor adding a pre-amp to get a broadband FSL?

I am thinking to purchase ferrites in the same place where Graham (Maynard) got the ones he used. Any other suggestion?

Thank you very much in advance!

--
Jorge Garzón (EB7EFA · EA1036 SWL) 
QTH: IN83ag / 43º15' N · 03º56' W
Urb. San Roque 95, casa 5 (Villasevil)
39698 Santiurde de Toranzo (ESPAÑA - SPAIN)
..................................................................................
Blog: IberiaDX  · Twitter: @IberiaDX


Re: FM Aerials

K7DWI Art
 

Good morning all from the great Northwest (Oregon).
I have been FM/TVing for decades.  But, I spend my time as a Ham.
All I can say say is, "Keep It Simple!".
For portable FM DXing, a simple set of TV Rabbit Ears measured to your frequency works great and better than anything.
You can pick up Es and Tropo and null out locals.
Attached...
A simple demo: 
https://youtu.be/69Hz1wwREFg
SASE Measurements of Rabbit Ears by Frequency
Dipole Length FMBC Attached 

73 Art K7DWI


Re: FM Aerials

Jorge Garzón
 

Hi Paul,
What's your main proposal? A local bandscan? As many stations the best? Get unusual ones? Most of the times, at least in VHF, the goal is the main clue on how to choose the aerial. A local bandscan can get the best results just using your car radio (as antenna+receiver system is probably the most efficient system to monitor the band). Most of the times I use a 5 el yagi to get the best when the Tropo or Es season start. A yagi antenna also serves me to avoid some azimuths in which I am not interested in or are where my usual stations are.

A 5 elements mounted yagi does not fit in a car so I take it on the roof or to put it in I fold one of the halves of each element, as I can loose screws and wing nuts. The dipole can be also separated easily. A 5 element yagi allows you to manage the size quickly and depending of its design, gives you a very good gain in one half of the band while decreases at the other half. Mine, with 158 cm boom is great from 87,5 to 96, good from 96 to 100 MHz and even shows an inverse gain from 104 to 108 MHz. This wouldn't happen with a longer boom, say 200 cm), but would be much more tedious to manage as now I have a very good aerial system (antenna, telescopic pole, pole base and quick guy ropes attachments). I can be operative in just 10 minutes.

I have a 5 el yagi similar to the one showed in the Czech link that gave you, and also hava another 5 el yagi (Antiference) both with very good results. VHF Band II yagis are becoming rarer and are disappearing quickly from stores. DIY projects are easy to face and usually give very good results.

Elevation is not as critical for Band II as it is for 2m VHF 144 / 432 MHz when conditions are good. For hams mountains are real walls but for FM'ers they can be very good allied!

73!



Re: FM Aerials

Russ Edmunds
 

I think it depends on what radio you'll be using. Since you're asking the question, I'll presume that the radio you'll use has an external antenna connection.

Height and avoidance of obvious horizon blockage due to hills or structures are a good start.

A dipole is a bit difficult to work with but it can be done. If I have to choose between a dipole and rabbit ears, I'll go with the latter. For your purpose, a small collapsible FM yagi seems best - perhaps 4 or 6 elements. Then you can mount that to a short mast and anchor it with a portable tripod or even a concrete block. For portable work manual rotation is fine. I don't know what's available there, but to give you an idea, attached is some info on one I've used with some success - it's lightweight, but not to the point of being fragile.



From: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io> on behalf of Dave Hascall via groups.io <dhinfomedia@...>
Sent: Thursday, December 10, 2020 9:24 AM
To: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] FM Aerials
 
Hi Paul.

Are you DXing for Es, tropo, or just doing a bandscan? If it's the last two, elevation is key. I know a lot of 6 meter hams will climb fire towers, hills, parking garages, and so on to get an advantage in terms of elevation.  Sporadic E doesn't need so much elevation.  Good luck.

73,
Dave in Indy (Noblesville)


Re: FM Aerials

Dave Hascall
 

Hi Paul.

Are you DXing for Es, tropo, or just doing a bandscan? If it's the last two, elevation is key. I know a lot of 6 meter hams will climb fire towers, hills, parking garages, and so on to get an advantage in terms of elevation.  Sporadic E doesn't need so much elevation.  Good luck.

73,
Dave in Indy (Noblesville)

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