E100 Notes + Stuff


Gary DeBock
 

John,
 
     Your "Amidon E100" and "Amidon SRF-39FP" daytime DX shootout was also tried here, with similar results.  The "sliding coil" trick improves the sensitivity of the hot-rodded E100 from modest to magnificent, and it also gives it an extra edge in selectivity, when the loopstick coil is peaked on each desired frequency.
 
     The hot-rodded SRF-39FP is a very sensitive performer, but without some help in selectivity (a challenge because of the 50 kHz IF), it has trouble splitting off the 9 kHz signals at Grayland.  Presumably, a "sliding coil" trick could also help the SRF-39FP, at least on the lower frequencies.  But I doubt it would improve selectivity to the point where it would be competitive with the hot-rodded E100, since its aligned loopstick frequency (600 kHz) is almost the same as the 620-KPOJ frequency, where it failed your selectivity test.
 
     Guy's premium 455 kHz IF filters may be almost the last thing the modified E100 really needs, to shine at Grayland.  That, plus a shotgun-barrel sized composite loopstick should do the trick  :>)
 
                                                                                                    73,  Gary   




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John H. Bryant <bjohnorcas@...>
 

Gary, Guy and I continue to work on hotrodding out individual E100s in various ways. In conjunction with that effort, I had an informal shootout this afternoon amongst all of my Ultralights  that don't rely on exterior wire antennas. I also threw the Eton E10, the big brother of the E100 into the mix.  I started out with a totally Barefoot E100 as base receiver. It had been aligned but that is all. It was fairly sensitive on MW, top and bottom and did not overload in the RF cesspool on far suburban Vancouver, BC, where I live.

I was using a homebrew audio switching device that allows me to compare the audio from two receivers, one in each ear, or have the audio from one of the two receivers in both phones. I first compared the stock E100 to an aligned barefoot SRF-39FP. The SRF-39 was a bit more sensitive at both the top and bottom of the band. '39 also seemed to be slightly more selective, though that was harder to discern. Of course, the E100 was ever so much easier to operate, etc. I then compared the SRF-39 to a DT-200VX with an upgraded filter.  The SRF-39 held its own in sensitivity, but GUy's new filter in the DT-200VX gave it the nod.

From there, I went to the newer (to me) radios and also used my 1" x 12" Booster Bar with the T615 stock and my DT-200vx.  The three newer radios were the barefoot E10, an SRF-39FP with an Amidon .5" x 7.3" ferrite bar and new coils out of 40/44 Litz wire,  and an E100 with a similar Amidon bar and new coil, but this time, with the coil able to slide on the bar to "align" the radio on each station for optimum performance.... a new strategy that Gary sort of discovered and I adopted even before he got his built :>)

The notes:

E10: The E10 is far too large to be an Ultralight, but I was hoping it might be competitive enough with the E1 that I could consider taking it overseas instead of the E1 in future travels...  It is about 4 times the size of the E100 but only 1/8th the size of the monster E1. Frankly, on MW, the E10 is a piece of trash as a DX radio.... at least in this RF-heavy environment. Its selectivity was pretty awful, actually very noticeably worse than the E100!!! And it was fairly insensitive, too boot. I was very disappointed. This was a unit which has not been hand aligned and maybe that will improve sensitivity, at least some.  It should be amenable to inserting the wonderful narrow filter from the E1 and that may (should?) improve the selectivity quite a bit.  I'm glad that I bought the radio (at close-out prices), so that I have one example of each of the Eton Elite original series (E1, E10, E100) but mine sure was awful in today's test.

SRF-39FP: This unit was fabricated by Gary and is a very hot performer with its new Amidon ferrite bar and new larger diameter coils. It was the second most successful set of the afternoon. There was no noticeable overloading, but tuning required safecracker hands and it also placed second in selectivity to the E100.  One of the more telling tests was hearing KPOJ-620 in Portland, which puts in a fairly weak daytime signal here that is nearly swamped by the CKBD-600 Flamethrower here in Vancouver and KCIS, Edmonds, WA a 5KW station about 50 miles of mostly seawater to my south. With the most careful of tuning I could hear KPOJ audio in one spot with the hotrodded SRF-39FP..  The level was enough for language recognition, but following the program was impossible.

E100:   The E100 with a 7.3" Amidon bar and the coil arranged so that it could slide was noticeably more selective and sensitive than the SRF-39FP. The differences were significant and somewhat unexpected (see the barefoot comparison above.) The sliding arrangement increases the sensitivity throughout the band, so I expected that the peaked-up E100 might be the same or better than the '39 at the upper 2/3 of the band. However, I did not expect  the E100 to be better than the '39 down low around 600 kHz. Afterall, the '39 was low band aligned at 600kHz and should be peaked up there.  Instead, the E100 was head and shoulders above the '39 in the KPOJ-620 test. The KPOJ program on the 100 was easy to follow... a little scratchy and with a few vestiges of splatter, but ever so much better than on the '39.  Even though I don't think that the slider coil had anything to do with that reception, over all, it sure made the little E100 into a DX Animal!

My tests were not nearly as formal as Gary's Official Shoot-outs and the findings may well vary somewhat (tho' my money is literally on the E100... I just bought another this evening, making a total of FIVE E100s here.) I'm really glad that Gary is going to do a Summer Shoot-Out.  Enough things have changed since the last one (especially the E100, IMHO) that his services are badly needed before the Fall.

Oh, I forgot to mention the tests with my 12" Booster Bar.  I put a Barefoot E100 on the booster bar and it was no where near as sensitive as the Amidon-equipped one discussed above.  Also, the T615 was not a success in this RF-rich environment when used with the Booster Bar. It overloaded some and just generally misbehaved.  I'm unsure whether my Booster Bar is just a poor one or whether none of them can compete with a new Ferrite bar by Amidon, transplanted right into the receiver circuitry.  I've more comparison work to do there, but I doubt that booster bar will be in my line-up in the fall.  The E100 with an Amidon bar (or maybe three Amidon bars) darn sure will.

In any case, it was a great way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon on the deck, with light breezes and temps in the mid-60s.

Have a great week!


John B.
Orcas Island, WA, USA
Rcvrs: WiNRADiO 313e, Eton e1, Ultralights
Antennas: Two 70' x 100' Conti Super Loops, West and Northwest


John H. Bryant <bjohnorcas@...>
 


Hopefully the Stormwise 1.0 X 16.8" rod has shipped by now. I was told that it would be "3 or 4 days" until it shipped, as he needed to construct the rod inside the thin, protective plastic tubing he puts all his ferrites into. I'm not doing any loopstick work until this biggie one arrives (I don't have any Amidon rods now anyway; just some vintage ones.)
 

I finally googled the stormwise site, Guy.... very impressive.  I can't wait until you have your big bar onna E100 and compare it to about the same length Amidon half-inch dia. bar of about the same length with Gary.  As I understand the theory (and I'm not sure that I do) The 1" stormwise ought to be twice as sensitive to 4 times as sensitive per inch of length.... were the ferrite mix the same.  REALLY going to be interesting to compare them. I was impressed with several things on the Stormwise site, but especially his prices for big ferrite bars.

http://www.stormwise.com/



Please refresh my memory: do I need to take an inductance reading of the STOCK loopstick on the E100 while it's in the "peaked on 600 kHz" position? I take it that this value is what I shoot for with the new Litz wire coil on the big ferrite rod.
 

That is what Gary and I did. We peaked it up at 600 kHz. and then measured the inductance (mine was 250.3. His was somewhat higher.) We then created coils that matched that inductance. I positioned my test coil halfway between the center and the end of the bar as I took off turns to hit 250.  The nearer the end of the bar, the lower the inductance and resonant frequency... nearer the center, the higher the inductance and resonant frequency.

Also, John & Gary, what is the linear distance on the ferrite rod between the peaked at 530 kHz and peaked at 1700 kHz? Are we talking fractions of an inch between the two sweet spots?

Surprised me with the distance needed to travel.  My sweet spot at the low end o the dial is about 90 percen of the way to the end. The high end sweet spot is nearly in the center... That is with the .5" x 7.3" Amidon bar. The fatter bar ought to change inductance of the coil more quickly ????


 
John, I was surprised your E10 did so poorly in your tests today. Mine has not been tested carefully, but my impression is that it is close to the DE1103 in sensitivity.
 

Yes, I was surprised, too. I'm going to have to try to align that thing and try again, only A/Bing with the E100+Amidon 7.3" They should have ben more competitive. I don't want to give up on the E10.  Given the quality of the E1 and the E100 on MW, I just can't believe that the E10 issa turkey.


John B.
Orcas Island, WA, USA
Rcvrs: WiNRADiO 313e, Eton e1, Ultralights
Antennas: Two 70' x 100' Conti Super Loops, West and Northwest


C B
 

Thanks for the heads up on the Stormwise Site. Although off of the ultralight topic, I was wondering if one of you "experimenters extraordinaire" had looked into a monster ferrite bar for an Eton E1, thereby addressing one of that fine radio's shortcomings? Considering the reports of the results of that approach with a 2010, one of those large ferrite loops should be awesome on an E1. Thanks for all of the "thinking out of the box" and experimenting on the ultralights and the 2010. Your efforts have made the hobby even more interesting. Now, if I could only duplicate coastal conditions this far inland. Hi!

 

Craig Barnes

Wondervu, CO


--- On Mon, 6/23/08, John H. Bryant wrote:

From: John H. Bryant
Subject: RE: [ultralightdx] E100 Notes + Stuff
To: "Guy Atkins" , ultralightdx@...
Date: Monday, June 23, 2008, 9:42 AM


Hopefully the Stormwise 1.0 X 16.8" rod has shipped by now. I was told that it would be "3 or 4 days" until it shipped, as he needed to construct the rod inside the thin, protective plastic tubing he puts all his ferrites into. I'm not doing any loopstick work until this biggie one arrives (I don't have any Amidon rods now anyway; just some vintage ones.)
 

I finally googled the stormwise site, Guy.... very impressive.  I can't wait until you have your big bar onna E100 and compare it to about the same length Amidon half-inch dia. bar of about the same length with Gary.  As I understand the theory (and I'm not sure that I do) The 1" stormwise ought to be twice as sensitive to 4 times as sensitive per inch of length.... were the ferrite mix the same.  REALLY going to be interesting to compare them. I was impressed with several things on the Stormwise site, but especially his prices for big ferrite bars.

http://www.stormwis e.com/



Please refresh my memory: do I need to take an inductance reading of the STOCK loopstick on the E100 while it's in the "peaked on 600 kHz" position? I take it that this value is what I shoot for with the new Litz wire coil on the big ferrite rod.
 

That is what Gary and I did. We peaked it up at 600 kHz. and then measured the inductance (mine was 250.3. His was somewhat higher.) We then created coils that matched that inductance. I positioned my test coil halfway between the center and the end of the bar as I took off turns to hit 250.  The nearer the end of the bar, the lower the inductance and resonant frequency... nearer the center, the higher the inductance and resonant frequency.

Also, John & Gary, what is the linear distance on the ferrite rod between the peaked at 530 kHz and peaked at 1700 kHz? Are we talking fractions of an inch between the two sweet spots?

Surprised me with the distance needed to travel.  My sweet spot at the low end o the dial is about 90 percen of the way to the end. The high end sweet spot is nearly in the center... That is with the .5" x 7.3" Amidon bar. The fatter bar ought to change inductance of the coil more quickly ????


 
John, I was surprised your E10 did so poorly in your tests today. Mine has not been tested carefully, but my impression is that it is close to the DE1103 in sensitivity.
 

Yes, I was surprised, too. I'm going to have to try to align that thing and try again, only A/Bing with the E100+Amidon 7.3" They should have ben more competitive. I don't want to give up on the E10.  Given the quality of the E1 and the E100 on MW, I just can't believe that the E10 issa turkey.


John B.
Orcas Island, WA, USA
Rcvrs: WiNRADiO 313e, Eton e1, Ultralights
Antennas: Two 70' x 100' Conti Super Loops, West and Northwest



bbwrwy
 

Because of painful arthritis in my thumbs I find it difficult to tune
the Sony SRF-59 receiver. So, after reading John's report, I decided
the Etón E100 might be the answer. First, I can't believe its
minuscule size - 17.64 cubic inches. One could almost hide it in the
battery compartment of a Grundig Satellit 800. However, it's still a
larger than my other ULRs, especially the SRF-t615.

Within a few minutes of first turning the power on it was obvious how
good its sensitivity and selectivity were. During the day the most
powerful signal received at my QTH is from KOKP-1020 (400 Watts @ 24
km.). It rocks the S-meter on my IC-R75 over to S9+40dB. So, imagine
my surprise when I was able to hear KBUF-1030 (1 kW @ 355 km) in the
KOKP slop on the E100 at mid-day. I estimate it was SIO=242 compared
to SIO=131 on the SRF-T615. Using my ancient Space Magnet fed through
a Sony ANC-2 antenna coupler, the signal was an estimated SIO=443.
Admittedly I had to detune the receiver to 1031-1032 kHz to clean up
the QRM.

The biggest plus of this hot little receiver is the ability to be
tuned without the difficult thumb wheel used on the SRF-39FP and SRF-59.

Thank you John for the glowing report on the E100. It is a winner. I
recommend everyone get one before they are gone from the market.

Richard Allen
near Perry OK USA
WiNRADiO G313e, ICOM IC-R75 and too many ULRs.


John H. Bryant <bjohnorcas@...>
 

I'm really glad that you like it, Richard!

The more I diddle with it, the better that I like it, myself. Its also very amenable to a number of easy modifications, for those who are interested in going that route.

Its great just stock, but usually the sensitivity can be improved a bit by careful alignment.  The instructions are on the dxer.ca website and can be done by anybody with a small Phillips screwdriver.  You do not need a signal generator, but can align things quite well using weak stations near 600 kHz. and 1400 kHz. Not using a signal generator drives purists nuts, but it sure works for us out here on the Left Coast.

There are still lots of NIB E100s on ebay at under $50.... one of these days this no-longer-produced little RF Rocket will disappear from the market....

Great news, Richard.  If you don't feel comfortable aligning it, I'll happily do so in December. It won't help much, but every little bit....

John B.

Orcas Island, WA, USA
Rcvrs: WiNRADiO 313e, Eton e1, Ultralights
Antennas: Two 70' x 100' Conti Super Loops, West and Northwest






At 12:35 AM 6/27/2008 +0000, you wrote:

Because of painful arthritis in my thumbs I find it difficult to tune
the Sony SRF-59 receiver. So, after reading John's report, I decided
the Etón E100 might be the answer. First, I can't believe its
minuscule size - 17.64 cubic inches. One could almost hide it in the
battery compartment of a Grundig Satellit 800. However, it's still a
larger than my other ULRs, especially the SRF-t615.

Within a few minutes of first turning the power on it was obvious how
good its sensitivity and selectivity were. During the day the most
powerful signal received at my QTH is from KOKP-1020 (400 Watts @ 24
km.). It rocks the S-meter on my IC-R75 over to S9+40dB. So, imagine
my surprise when I was able to hear KBUF-1030 (1 kW @ 355 km) in the
KOKP slop on the E100 at mid-day. I estimate it was SIO=242 compared
to SIO=131 on the SRF-T615. Using my ancient Space Magnet fed through
a Sony ANC-2 antenna coupler, the signal was an estimated SIO=443.
Admittedly I had to detune the receiver to 1031-1032 kHz to clean up
the QRM.

The biggest plus of this hot little receiver is the ability to be
tuned without the difficult thumb wheel used on the SRF-39FP and SRF-59.

Thank you John for the glowing report on the E100. It is a winner. I
recommend everyone get one before they are gone from the market.

Richard Allen
near Perry OK USA
WiNRADiO G313e, ICOM IC-R75 and too many ULRs.


bbwrwy
 

I don't think I'll have any difficulty aligning the E100. I peeked
inside and it's less daunting than the Grundig Satellit 500 I'm
currently working on. Tecsun did a good job designing the little
receiver.

I do have questions however. What's the best way to remove the excess
wax holding the movable coil on the ferrite rod? I'm guessing it's
scraped away with something like an Exacto knife. Is that correct?

Since I don't have an audible daytime station on 600 kHz, is it all
right to use either 590 or 610?

If I goof up, I have a backup E100 available. From the outside it
appears to be from a different (later) production run. Already the
sound through the speaker of the first E100 has become distorted. I
have no idea how to fix that problem. Luckily, the audio is OK
through headphones.

Thanks all.

Richard Allen
DXing since 1960.


ronshire2000
 

in my opinion the speakers in these e100's are very poor, to make mine
sound better i moved the tone switch to the low position

Already the
sound through the speaker of the first E100 has become distorted. I
have no idea how to fix that problem. Luckily, the audio is OK
through headphones.

Thanks all.

Richard Allen
DXing since 1960.