Topics

Try Something New This Winter!


Gary DeBock
 

 
One of the reasons why our Ultralightdx Yahoo group has had such strong growth for ten years is because we have accepted many diverse challenges... from the basic challenge of DXing with a simple pocket radio (which all of us share) all the way up to the challenge of developing 21st Century antennas and discovering innovative DXing sites-- to make pocket radios surprisingly effective in Transoceanic DXing results.

Not all of us have the ability or desire to develop breakthrough antennas or perform loopstick transplant operations, but the entire history of the Ultralight Radio DXing community has been one of pioneering accomplishments-- from Rob Ross' reception of 300 stations in one month on his SRF-59, Richard Allen's reception of multiple Longwave TA's from Europe and Africa on his 7.5" loopstick PL-360 in Oklahoma, and Allen Willie's reception of hundreds of TA's on his SRF-M37V in Newfoundland. When our late Co-Founder John Bryant was still with us he would constantly challenge each one of the Ultralightdx leaders (including me) to try something new-- either in antenna work, DXing accomplishments or volunteer service.

John was a Professor of Architecture at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, and he had a natural teaching style familiar to all those who knew him. John was the one who introduced me to DU-DXing in 2008, teaching me all the basics of how to track down exotic South Pacific DX right in the middle of the worst possible season-- the dog days of summer. At the time it sounded like science fiction to me, and I thought that John might be "pulling my leg--" but he was absolutely right!

I don't have anywhere near the accomplishments or leadership that John had, but he and I did share a fascination with antennas-- especially monster antennas that could make Ultralight radios highly competitive in Transoceanic DXing. So, in the spirit of John Bryant, I would like to offer some links to articles that have inspired many Ultralight Radio DXers (and others) to really push the limits in antenna construction-- including one article that John and I wrote together. As I have shared with anyone willing to listen, I'm convinced that the future of our Ultralight Radio community is very bright-- and optimism and innovation will win out over pessimism and boredom every time. Sometime this winter, why not try something new to increase your DXing fun-- maybe a new antenna, a new band (FM, SW or Longwave) or Transoceanic DX reception? The future belongs to those who are excited about it-- one of the reasons why our Ultralight Radio Community has been one of the most vibrant segments of the AM-DXing community for ten years!

73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)
Ultralight Radio Group Co-Founder
 
1)  Supercharging the Sony ICF-2010 (May 2008)
Using the loopstick transplant principles developed through extensive Ultralight radio experimentation, this article details how to replace the ICF-2010's stock 6.5" loopstick with a 19.5" composite transplant, thereby dramatically boosting MW band sensitivity (while providing a significant boost to Longwave reception as well).
2)  E100 Slider Loopstick (September 2008)
Co-authored with John Bryant, this article explains how to replace the E100 stock loopstick with a far more effective 7.5" Slider loopstick. Many of these highly sensitive models are still in DXing service today
3)  PVC Loops-- The Low Cost Ticket to High DX Gain (August 2009)
Tired of expensive commercial antennas or pricey ferrite sleeve loops? This article will teach you how to build a dirt-cheap PVC air core loop with side sizes from 18 inches up to 9 feet... all of them (MW models) costing well under $100. The 9' monster size loop was used here to receive 7 Medium Wave TA's in 2009-2010.
4)  PL-360 Plug-in 7.5" Loopsticks  (June 2010)
Do you have a PL-360 model (with its plug-in antenna jack for AM and LW loopsticks)? This article will teach you how to replace the deaf midget loopstick with extremely effective 7.5" Medium Wave and Longwave plug-in replacements-- with no modification required to the radio at all. 25 of the MW and 5 of the LW plug-in loopsticks were made here and sent out to PL-360 owners-- many of which are still in use.
5)  7.5" Longwave Loopsticks  (June 2011)
Detailed technical article describing the challenge and success in developing 7.5" Longwave-optimized loopsticks for the Tecsun DSP Ultralights. Includes basic instructions for building your own 7.5" Longwave loopstick PL-380 model
6)  7" FSL Antenna-- Detailed "Heathkit-like" Construction Article (October 2011)
Build your own 7" Ferrite Sleeve Loop antenna at a cost of under $200. This detailed article has multiple Photoshop-enhanced instructional photos to guide you in creating a highly effective 7" FSL antenna
7)  5" FSL Antenna-- Detailed "Heathkit-like" Construction Article (March 2012)
Build your own 5" Ferrite Sleeve Loop antenna at a cost of under $150. This detailed article has multiple Photoshop-enhanced instructional photos to guide you in creating a highly effective 5" FSL antenna
8)  Supercharging the PL-380-- Detailed "Heathkit-like" Construction Article (October 2013)
Replace the midget stock loopstick in your Tecsun PL-380 with a far more effective 7.5" Medium Wave or Longwave loopstick transplant-- and enjoy a new level of DXing success. Multiple Photoshop-enhanced assembly photos to guide you in the process of creating your own highly sensitive DXing portable-- for under $100 in assembly parts.
9)  3 inch FSL Tecsun PL-380-- Detailed "Heathkit-like" Construction article (January 2016)
Replace the midget stock loopstick in your Tecsun PL-380 with a compact, lightweight 3" FSL antenna-- externally mounted and optimized for high-level Medium Wave DXing excitement . Multiple Photoshop-enhanced assembly photos guide you in the assembly process.
10)  3.5 inch (89mm) "Frequent Flyer" FSL Antenna-- Detailed "Heathkit-like" Construction article (July 2017)
Specifically designed to routinely pass through airport security checkpoints and provide high-gain inductive coupling boosts for MW-DXing portables, the "Frequent Flyer" FSL's have already been used in Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and Hawaii for some exceptional DXing fun. Several of the MP3's recorded in Kona, Hawaii have assisted DXers in North America and Japan to make sure of receptions such as 621-Tuvalu and 1440-Kiribati. The detailed article uses multiple Photoshop-enhanced assembly photos to guide you in the construction process- all for about $150 in commonly available parts.
11)  Supercharging the XHDATA D-808 AM-LW-FM-SW-AIR SSB Portable (September 2018)
Although the XHDATA D-808 is not an Ultralight Radio, it is a very sensitive AM-DXing portable that can be transformed into a dream AM or Longwave DX-chasing travel radio. It can also be used as an SSB "spotting receiver" on ocean beaches, to track the carrier strength of exotic DX stations for Ultralight Radio reception. "Supercharge" your D-808 with this detailed, illustrated article-- containing 20 pages of clear instructions to guide you in the process!  http://www.mediafire.com/file/t2989hg61vbkb5h/Supercharging_the_XHDATA_D_-808-FinalMWLW.doc/file

 
                                                                                                      


Paul Blundell
 

Thanks Gary for that excellent post.

You have given me and the group a lot to think about and consider. While we are in the middle of our summer, I am making the most of getting out and about to undertake portable sessions. Once winter comes on this side of the world, I will be focusing more on these challenges.

On Sat, Jan 12, 2019 at 7:30 PM Gary DeBock via Groups.Io <D1028Gary=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
 
One of the reasons why our Ultralightdx Yahoo group has had such strong growth for ten years is because we have accepted many diverse challenges... from the basic challenge of DXing with a simple pocket radio (which all of us share) all the way up to the challenge of developing 21st Century antennas and discovering innovative DXing sites-- to make pocket radios surprisingly effective in Transoceanic DXing results.

Not all of us have the ability or desire to develop breakthrough antennas or perform loopstick transplant operations, but the entire history of the Ultralight Radio DXing community has been one of pioneering accomplishments-- from Rob Ross' reception of 300 stations in one month on his SRF-59, Richard Allen's reception of multiple Longwave TA's from Europe and Africa on his 7.5" loopstick PL-360 in Oklahoma, and Allen Willie's reception of hundreds of TA's on his SRF-M37V in Newfoundland. When our late Co-Founder John Bryant was still with us he would constantly challenge each one of the Ultralightdx leaders (including me) to try something new-- either in antenna work, DXing accomplishments or volunteer service.

John was a Professor of Architecture at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, and he had a natural teaching style familiar to all those who knew him. John was the one who introduced me to DU-DXing in 2008, teaching me all the basics of how to track down exotic South Pacific DX right in the middle of the worst possible season-- the dog days of summer. At the time it sounded like science fiction to me, and I thought that John might be "pulling my leg--" but he was absolutely right!

I don't have anywhere near the accomplishments or leadership that John had, but he and I did share a fascination with antennas-- especially monster antennas that could make Ultralight radios highly competitive in Transoceanic DXing. So, in the spirit of John Bryant, I would like to offer some links to articles that have inspired many Ultralight Radio DXers (and others) to really push the limits in antenna construction-- including one article that John and I wrote together. As I have shared with anyone willing to listen, I'm convinced that the future of our Ultralight Radio community is very bright-- and optimism and innovation will win out over pessimism and boredom every time. Sometime this winter, why not try something new to increase your DXing fun-- maybe a new antenna, a new band (FM, SW or Longwave) or Transoceanic DX reception? The future belongs to those who are excited about it-- one of the reasons why our Ultralight Radio Community has been one of the most vibrant segments of the AM-DXing community for ten years!

73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)
Ultralight Radio Group Co-Founder
 
1)  Supercharging the Sony ICF-2010 (May 2008)
Using the loopstick transplant principles developed through extensive Ultralight radio experimentation, this article details how to replace the ICF-2010's stock 6.5" loopstick with a 19.5" composite transplant, thereby dramatically boosting MW band sensitivity (while providing a significant boost to Longwave reception as well).
2)  E100 Slider Loopstick (September 2008)
Co-authored with John Bryant, this article explains how to replace the E100 stock loopstick with a far more effective 7.5" Slider loopstick. Many of these highly sensitive models are still in DXing service today
3)  PVC Loops-- The Low Cost Ticket to High DX Gain (August 2009)
Tired of expensive commercial antennas or pricey ferrite sleeve loops? This article will teach you how to build a dirt-cheap PVC air core loop with side sizes from 18 inches up to 9 feet... all of them (MW models) costing well under $100. The 9' monster size loop was used here to receive 7 Medium Wave TA's in 2009-2010.
4)  PL-360 Plug-in 7.5" Loopsticks  (June 2010)
Do you have a PL-360 model (with its plug-in antenna jack for AM and LW loopsticks)? This article will teach you how to replace the deaf midget loopstick with extremely effective 7.5" Medium Wave and Longwave plug-in replacements-- with no modification required to the radio at all. 25 of the MW and 5 of the LW plug-in loopsticks were made here and sent out to PL-360 owners-- many of which are still in use.
5)  7.5" Longwave Loopsticks  (June 2011)
Detailed technical article describing the challenge and success in developing 7.5" Longwave-optimized loopsticks for the Tecsun DSP Ultralights. Includes basic instructions for building your own 7.5" Longwave loopstick PL-380 model
6)  7" FSL Antenna-- Detailed "Heathkit-like" Construction Article (October 2011)
Build your own 7" Ferrite Sleeve Loop antenna at a cost of under $200. This detailed article has multiple Photoshop-enhanced instructional photos to guide you in creating a highly effective 7" FSL antenna
7)  5" FSL Antenna-- Detailed "Heathkit-like" Construction Article (March 2012)
Build your own 5" Ferrite Sleeve Loop antenna at a cost of under $150. This detailed article has multiple Photoshop-enhanced instructional photos to guide you in creating a highly effective 5" FSL antenna
8)  Supercharging the PL-380-- Detailed "Heathkit-like" Construction Article (October 2013)
Replace the midget stock loopstick in your Tecsun PL-380 with a far more effective 7.5" Medium Wave or Longwave loopstick transplant-- and enjoy a new level of DXing success. Multiple Photoshop-enhanced assembly photos to guide you in the process of creating your own highly sensitive DXing portable-- for under $100 in assembly parts.
9)  3 inch FSL Tecsun PL-380-- Detailed "Heathkit-like" Construction article (January 2016)
Replace the midget stock loopstick in your Tecsun PL-380 with a compact, lightweight 3" FSL antenna-- externally mounted and optimized for high-level Medium Wave DXing excitement . Multiple Photoshop-enhanced assembly photos guide you in the assembly process.
10)  3.5 inch (89mm) "Frequent Flyer" FSL Antenna-- Detailed "Heathkit-like" Construction article (July 2017)
Specifically designed to routinely pass through airport security checkpoints and provide high-gain inductive coupling boosts for MW-DXing portables, the "Frequent Flyer" FSL's have already been used in Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and Hawaii for some exceptional DXing fun. Several of the MP3's recorded in Kona, Hawaii have assisted DXers in North America and Japan to make sure of receptions such as 621-Tuvalu and 1440-Kiribati. The detailed article uses multiple Photoshop-enhanced assembly photos to guide you in the construction process- all for about $150 in commonly available parts.
11)  Supercharging the XHDATA D-808 AM-LW-FM-SW-AIR SSB Portable (September 2018)
Although the XHDATA D-808 is not an Ultralight Radio, it is a very sensitive AM-DXing portable that can be transformed into a dream AM or Longwave DX-chasing travel radio. It can also be used as an SSB "spotting receiver" on ocean beaches, to track the carrier strength of exotic DX stations for Ultralight Radio reception. "Supercharge" your D-808 with this detailed, illustrated article-- containing 20 pages of clear instructions to guide you in the process!  http://www.mediafire.com/file/t2989hg61vbkb5h/Supercharging_the_XHDATA_D_-808-FinalMWLW.doc/file

 
                                                                                                      



--
Paul


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Paul Blundell
 

I would like to encourage us as a group to look at running some form of "challenge" or contest in 2020 to really get our group moving and encourage more operations.

Does anybody have any ideas?

Paul
--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Peter Laws
 

On Tue, Jan 21, 2020 at 8:43 PM Paul Blundell <tanger32au@...> wrote:

I would like to encourage us as a group to look at running some form of "challenge" or contest in 2020 to really get our group moving and encourage more operations.

Does anybody have any ideas?

IRCA has a stations heard contest. This year (I think it's different
every year? Not sure) the stations' calls need to have certain
letters in them to "count". A little easier for IRCA since most
members are in North America, so targets are somewhat limited. One of
the rules is that you have to hear the callsign spoken. :-) Fun,
but I don't know if it translate to a group with world-wide -- well,
at least in the Anglosphere, anyway -- membership.

--
Peter Laws | N5UWY | plaws plaws net | Travel by Train!


Paul Blundell
 

That sounds like a good idea but I don't know how that would work here. I was thinking something that anybody could be a part of.

Paul

On Wed, Jan 22, 2020 at 2:01 PM Peter Laws <plaws0@...> wrote:
On Tue, Jan 21, 2020 at 8:43 PM Paul Blundell <tanger32au@...> wrote:
>
> I would like to encourage us as a group to look at running some form of "challenge" or contest in 2020 to really get our group moving and encourage more operations.
>
> Does anybody have any ideas?


IRCA has a stations heard contest.  This year (I think it's different
every year?  Not sure) the stations' calls need to have certain
letters in them to "count".  A little easier for IRCA since most
members are in North America, so targets are somewhat limited.  One of
the rules is that you have to hear the callsign spoken.  :-)   Fun,
but I don't know if it translate to a group with world-wide -- well,
at least in the Anglosphere, anyway -- membership.

--
Peter Laws | N5UWY | plaws plaws net | Travel by Train!





--
Paul


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Todd
 

I judge my DX receiving systems by distance, but not quantity of logs received.

For a contest over a given n period:

Longest distance winter groundwave MW reception.

Longest distance residual noon daytime skywave reception.

Longest distance regular evening skywave reception.

Longest distance rare evening skywave reception.

Brisbane MW has been received around noon into NE Tasmania at ~ 1400 km. The main contributor was the high conductive saltwater path.

Todd
Sydney, AU




Paul Blundell
 

Thanks Todd.

I have been getting some great signals from Qld the past few nights at the top end of the band.

On Wed, 22 Jan 2020, 8:10 p.m. Todd via Groups.Io, <toddemslie=yahoo.com.au@groups.io> wrote:
I judge my DX receiving systems by distance, but not quantity of logs received.

For a contest over a given n period:

Longest distance winter groundwave MW reception.

Longest distance residual noon daytime skywave reception.

Longest distance regular evening skywave reception.

Longest distance rare evening skywave reception.

Brisbane MW has been received around noon into NE Tasmania at ~ 1400 km. The main contributor was the high conductive saltwater path.

Todd
Sydney, AU




--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX