New for 2020- Hand Held Radio + FSL DXing Combos


Gary DeBock
 

     Last April during a trip to Hong Kong I was highly motivated to chase long range AM-DX, but there was a bizarre "Catch 22" problem-- all of the buildings had nasty indoor RFI, while almost all of the outdoor areas were overcrowded, and unsuitable for setting up an elevated 5 inch "Frequent Flyer" FSL antenna. For the entire week I pushed a 7.5 inch loopstick CC Skywave to the absolute limit, taking it on daytime DX trips to Macau and HK's plunging Cape D'Aguilar, as well as shoving it outside a 12th floor security window to escape the indoor RFI. For the first 5 days "long range DX" was a laughable term-- my farthest catch was 693-Bangladesh, at about 1,500 miles. 
 
     Finally I sacrificed some sleep and shoved the souped-up Ultralight outside the security window prior to sunrise, and somehow managed to track down 1431-Radio Sawa (Djibouti), 1413-BBC (Oman), 1413-Vesti FM (Moldova) and 1548-TWR (Moldova) on the 7.5" loopstick. The performance of the souped-up Ultralight was thrilling, but the harsh lessons of the Hong Kong trip had already been taken to heart. A fully portable, hand held DXing combo was needed which could provide more gain than a 7.5" loopstick, but which could be easily carried anywhere in a backpack, and which would not attract too much unwanted attention on crowded public beaches. In addition, it would need to routinely pass through TSA inspections at airports, and need to be capable of deployment outside of windows (with a PVC support system) in order to escape interior RFI.
 
     Only one type of hand held antenna could satisfy all of these requirements--- a portable radio + tuned FSL combination attached to a compact PVC frame. Since the TSA-friendly FSL's are all relatively lightweight, combining them with a compact portable radio on a common PVC frame is well within reason for hand held capability. Such a DXing combo would be the master of convenience-- it can track down MW-DX (with decent gain) while being held in the hands, placed on a picnic table, placed on a 5' PVC base, or even elevated to a higher level. The combo's PVC frame can be supported (with attachments) to provide decent DXing gain outside of an apartment window to escape indoor RFI. And even for those who usually have no interest in live DXing, it can check transoceanic propagation and even go after exotic targets prior to broadband antenna setup.
 
     Current experimentation has resulted in four different FSL sizes for combo frames (see photos)-- a 3 inch model (10 Russian surplus 100mm bars), a 3.5 inch model (13 bars), a 4 inch model (16 bars) and the standard 5 inch "frequent Flyer" model (20 bars). The latter FSL is the same model which was used a couple of months ago in Hawaii, tracking down AM-DX from all continents except Europe during sunrise and sunset sessions. The option of having one of these high gain FSL's in a go-anywhere, hand-held combo is pretty thrilling. Future experimentation will use some of the new R40C1 ferrite to make up another series of compact FSL's for this project, as well as drafting a few of the 3 inch "Baby FSL's" with Russian surplus 125mm ferrite rods into the effort. It's looking like an exciting experimental year is coming!
 
73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)

 


Paul Blundell
 

Excellent work Gary. Are the radios attached to the frames or just sitting on them? 

My solution to keeping my kit together and making portable session's as easy as possible is this:


On Sat, 18 Jan 2020, 1:31 p.m. Gary DeBock via Groups.Io, <D1028Gary=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
     Last April during a trip to Hong Kong I was highly motivated to chase long range AM-DX, but there was a bizarre "Catch 22" problem-- all of the buildings had nasty indoor RFI, while almost all of the outdoor areas were overcrowded, and unsuitable for setting up an elevated 5 inch "Frequent Flyer" FSL antenna. For the entire week I pushed a 7.5 inch loopstick CC Skywave to the absolute limit, taking it on daytime DX trips to Macau and HK's plunging Cape D'Aguilar, as well as shoving it outside a 12th floor security window to escape the indoor RFI. For the first 5 days "long range DX" was a laughable term-- my farthest catch was 693-Bangladesh, at about 1,500 miles. 
 
     Finally I sacrificed some sleep and shoved the souped-up Ultralight outside the security window prior to sunrise, and somehow managed to track down 1431-Radio Sawa (Djibouti), 1413-BBC (Oman), 1413-Vesti FM (Moldova) and 1548-TWR (Moldova) on the 7.5" loopstick. The performance of the souped-up Ultralight was thrilling, but the harsh lessons of the Hong Kong trip had already been taken to heart. A fully portable, hand held DXing combo was needed which could provide more gain than a 7.5" loopstick, but which could be easily carried anywhere in a backpack, and which would not attract too much unwanted attention on crowded public beaches. In addition, it would need to routinely pass through TSA inspections at airports, and need to be capable of deployment outside of windows (with a PVC support system) in order to escape interior RFI.
 
     Only one type of hand held antenna could satisfy all of these requirements--- a portable radio + tuned FSL combination attached to a compact PVC frame. Since the TSA-friendly FSL's are all relatively lightweight, combining them with a compact portable radio on a common PVC frame is well within reason for hand held capability. Such a DXing combo would be the master of convenience-- it can track down MW-DX (with decent gain) while being held in the hands, placed on a picnic table, placed on a 5' PVC base, or even elevated to a higher level. The combo's PVC frame can be supported (with attachments) to provide decent DXing gain outside of an apartment window to escape indoor RFI. And even for those who usually have no interest in live DXing, it can check transoceanic propagation and even go after exotic targets prior to broadband antenna setup.
 
     Current experimentation has resulted in four different FSL sizes for combo frames (see photos)-- a 3 inch model (10 Russian surplus 100mm bars), a 3.5 inch model (13 bars), a 4 inch model (16 bars) and the standard 5 inch "frequent Flyer" model (20 bars). The latter FSL is the same model which was used a couple of months ago in Hawaii, tracking down AM-DX from all continents except Europe during sunrise and sunset sessions. The option of having one of these high gain FSL's in a go-anywhere, hand-held combo is pretty thrilling. Future experimentation will use some of the new R40C1 ferrite to make up another series of compact FSL's for this project, as well as drafting a few of the 3 inch "Baby FSL's" with Russian surplus 125mm ferrite rods into the effort. It's looking like an exciting experimental year is coming!
 
73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)

 


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Gary DeBock
 

Hi Paul,
 
<<<   Excellent work Gary. Are the radios attached to the frames or just sitting on them?    >>>
 
The radios will have a Velcro mounting system to the frames, which means they can either be attached securely for transport inside a backpack or plastic tote, or removed for optimal peaking of the tuned gain boost. For chasing DX on the higher MW frequencies the radios can simply be left in the securely mounted position, and the FSL tuned for maximum gain. On the middle and lower MW band frequencies the radio's distance from the FSL should be adjusted for the peak gain boost, and the multiple Velcro straps on the PVC frame will allow mounting of the radio at this optimal-gain position. 
 
For unattended DX signal recording, once the radio and FSL are tuned to the same frequency and the radio is secured at the optimal-gain position, the entire assembly can be deployed outside a window (to escape RFI) with a plug-in PVC mounting base attachment. For travel overseas to a location like Hong Kong, this capability should dramatically increase the long range transoceanic DXing potential around sunrise or sunset.
 
73, Gary     


radiojayallen
 

Another impressive project!

Jay


Alfredo Gallerati
 

Dear friends of this Group;
I am really happy to be registered as a new member of "UltralightDX Group".
I am a radio amateur with Call IK7JGI.
For several decades, I have been engaged in radio listening in particular.
I have also collaborated with some European BC stations such as: "Voice of The Mediterranean, Malta", Radio Switzerland etc ...
I’m  the editor of the "Radio ... listening" column for many years for the magazine "Radio Rivista", the official monthly Italian Radio Amateurs Association (ARI). I believe in the Ultralight Receivers and FSL Antenna project. I would like to experiment with the construction and testing of an FSL antenna for testing in Medium Wave band.
It would be very interesting to be able to disclose the project and the realization of some FSL antennas to the members of our Association.
Is there any friend who wants to give an interview? I can send some questions via Email. Then I will await your answers. For the moment I thank you all and send my warm greetings !!
 
Alfredo Gallerati, IK7JGI
(ARI – Italian Amateur Radio Association)
 
=========================================================================================================
 

Sent: Saturday, January 18, 2020 3:31 AM
Subject: [UltralightDX] New for 2020- Hand Held Radio + FSL DXing Combos
 
     Last April during a trip to Hong Kong I was highly motivated to chase long range AM-DX, but there was a bizarre "Catch 22" problem-- all of the buildings had nasty indoor RFI, while almost all of the outdoor areas were overcrowded, and unsuitable for setting up an elevated 5 inch "Frequent Flyer" FSL antenna. For the entire week I pushed a 7.5 inch loopstick CC Skywave to the absolute limit, taking it on daytime DX trips to Macau and HK's plunging Cape D'Aguilar, as well as shoving it outside a 12th floor security window to escape the indoor RFI. For the first 5 days "long range DX" was a laughable term-- my farthest catch was 693-Bangladesh, at about 1,500 miles.
 
     Finally I sacrificed some sleep and shoved the souped-up Ultralight outside the security window prior to sunrise, and somehow managed to track down 1431-Radio Sawa (Djibouti), 1413-BBC (Oman), 1413-Vesti FM (Moldova) and 1548-TWR (Moldova) on the 7.5" loopstick. The performance of the souped-up Ultralight was thrilling, but the harsh lessons of the Hong Kong trip had already been taken to heart. A fully portable, hand held DXing combo was needed which could provide more gain than a 7.5" loopstick, but which could be easily carried anywhere in a backpack, and which would not attract too much unwanted attention on crowded public beaches. In addition, it would need to routinely pass through TSA inspections at airports, and need to be capable of deployment outside of windows (with a PVC support system) in order to escape interior RFI.
 
     Only one type of hand held antenna could satisfy all of these requirements--- a portable radio + tuned FSL combination attached to a compact PVC frame. Since the TSA-friendly FSL's are all relatively lightweight, combining them with a compact portable radio on a common PVC frame is well within reason for hand held capability. Such a DXing combo would be the master of convenience-- it can track down MW-DX (with decent gain) while being held in the hands, placed on a picnic table, placed on a 5' PVC base, or even elevated to a higher level. The combo's PVC frame can be supported (with attachments) to provide decent DXing gain outside of an apartment window to escape indoor RFI. And even for those who usually have no interest in live DXing, it can check transoceanic propagation and even go after exotic targets prior to broadband antenna setup.
 
     Current experimentation has resulted in four different FSL sizes for combo frames (see photos)-- a 3 inch model (10 Russian surplus 100mm bars), a 3.5 inch model (13 bars), a 4 inch model (16 bars) and the standard 5 inch "frequent Flyer" model (20 bars). The latter FSL is the same model which was used a couple of months ago in Hawaii, tracking down AM-DX from all continents except Europe during sunrise and sunset sessions. The option of having one of these high gain FSL's in a go-anywhere, hand-held combo is pretty thrilling. Future experimentation will use some of the new R40C1 ferrite to make up another series of compact FSL's for this project, as well as drafting a few of the 3 inch "Baby FSL's" with Russian surplus 125mm ferrite rods into the effort. It's looking like an exciting experimental year is coming!
 
73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)

 


Paul Blundell
 

Welcome to our group.

I run an active blog and am one of the moderators of this group. Gary is the real driver behind this group and the FSL aerials but I am happy to answer any questions I can.

Paul


On Thu, 30 Jan 2020, 9:10 p.m. Alfredo Gallerati, <a.gallerati@...> wrote:
Dear friends of this Group;
I am really happy to be registered as a new member of "UltralightDX Group".
I am a radio amateur with Call IK7JGI.
For several decades, I have been engaged in radio listening in particular.
I have also collaborated with some European BC stations such as: "Voice of The Mediterranean, Malta", Radio Switzerland etc ...
I’m  the editor of the "Radio ... listening" column for many years for the magazine "Radio Rivista", the official monthly Italian Radio Amateurs Association (ARI). I believe in the Ultralight Receivers and FSL Antenna project. I would like to experiment with the construction and testing of an FSL antenna for testing in Medium Wave band.
It would be very interesting to be able to disclose the project and the realization of some FSL antennas to the members of our Association.
Is there any friend who wants to give an interview? I can send some questions via Email. Then I will await your answers. For the moment I thank you all and send my warm greetings !!
 
Alfredo Gallerati, IK7JGI
(ARI – Italian Amateur Radio Association)
 
=========================================================================================================
 
Sent: Saturday, January 18, 2020 3:31 AM
Subject: [UltralightDX] New for 2020- Hand Held Radio + FSL DXing Combos
 
     Last April during a trip to Hong Kong I was highly motivated to chase long range AM-DX, but there was a bizarre "Catch 22" problem-- all of the buildings had nasty indoor RFI, while almost all of the outdoor areas were overcrowded, and unsuitable for setting up an elevated 5 inch "Frequent Flyer" FSL antenna. For the entire week I pushed a 7.5 inch loopstick CC Skywave to the absolute limit, taking it on daytime DX trips to Macau and HK's plunging Cape D'Aguilar, as well as shoving it outside a 12th floor security window to escape the indoor RFI. For the first 5 days "long range DX" was a laughable term-- my farthest catch was 693-Bangladesh, at about 1,500 miles.
 
     Finally I sacrificed some sleep and shoved the souped-up Ultralight outside the security window prior to sunrise, and somehow managed to track down 1431-Radio Sawa (Djibouti), 1413-BBC (Oman), 1413-Vesti FM (Moldova) and 1548-TWR (Moldova) on the 7.5" loopstick. The performance of the souped-up Ultralight was thrilling, but the harsh lessons of the Hong Kong trip had already been taken to heart. A fully portable, hand held DXing combo was needed which could provide more gain than a 7.5" loopstick, but which could be easily carried anywhere in a backpack, and which would not attract too much unwanted attention on crowded public beaches. In addition, it would need to routinely pass through TSA inspections at airports, and need to be capable of deployment outside of windows (with a PVC support system) in order to escape interior RFI.
 
     Only one type of hand held antenna could satisfy all of these requirements--- a portable radio + tuned FSL combination attached to a compact PVC frame. Since the TSA-friendly FSL's are all relatively lightweight, combining them with a compact portable radio on a common PVC frame is well within reason for hand held capability. Such a DXing combo would be the master of convenience-- it can track down MW-DX (with decent gain) while being held in the hands, placed on a picnic table, placed on a 5' PVC base, or even elevated to a higher level. The combo's PVC frame can be supported (with attachments) to provide decent DXing gain outside of an apartment window to escape indoor RFI. And even for those who usually have no interest in live DXing, it can check transoceanic propagation and even go after exotic targets prior to broadband antenna setup.
 
     Current experimentation has resulted in four different FSL sizes for combo frames (see photos)-- a 3 inch model (10 Russian surplus 100mm bars), a 3.5 inch model (13 bars), a 4 inch model (16 bars) and the standard 5 inch "frequent Flyer" model (20 bars). The latter FSL is the same model which was used a couple of months ago in Hawaii, tracking down AM-DX from all continents except Europe during sunrise and sunset sessions. The option of having one of these high gain FSL's in a go-anywhere, hand-held combo is pretty thrilling. Future experimentation will use some of the new R40C1 ferrite to make up another series of compact FSL's for this project, as well as drafting a few of the 3 inch "Baby FSL's" with Russian surplus 125mm ferrite rods into the effort. It's looking like an exciting experimental year is coming!
 
73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)

 


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX