HF Aerial advice ?

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HF Aerial advice ?

Postby 742-xx » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:18 pm

I'm looking at getting into HF and particularly transatlantic aircraft side of things. I'm looking at the aerial side of things. Do I need a massive aerial ?
Ideally I'd like a vertical type fastened outside the house. Its purely for recieving. But they appear to be huge and very expensive.
I'm new to this, so please be gentle !
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Re: HF Aerial advice ?

Postby Chris P » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:57 pm

efficient HF aerials can sometimes be relatively large but there are magnetic loop antennas such as those made by Wellbrook which are only about 1m in diameter however they are not cheap . Try a few searches on line to get a feel for the costs involved .

the main problem with HF reception these days Is the high levels of interference generated by all manner of electronic devices . If you are unfortunate to live in a high noise area it can be almost impossible to hear much above the local noise with any aerial . The best locations for HF listening are remote from other houses and overhead mains transmission lines and pylons . The aerial needs to be located as far away as possible from buildings whilst maintaining a short feed into the receiver

Cheaper antennas like longwires and dipoles are more prone to interference from things like wallwarts ( switch mode power supplies ) anything to do with computers ( monitors and routers ) and data links using the mains supply as a network .

vertical aerials can be made cheaply using fibreglass fishing poles and wire but are not as effective as dipoles and loop versions and need very good earth counterpoises .

Some experimenting with a simple longwire and aerial tuning unit connected to a fairly good receiver will be required to establish what levels of noise are to be found at your location before you splash out the cash . It is also beneficial to see if you can receive a fairly strong signal from a reliable source such as the RAF HF volmet transmissions on 5450Khz , If you struggle to hear those transmissions above the noise then you will struggle to hear much else I'm afraid .
If there are any amateur radio clubs in your vicinity it may be worth contacting them to see what the picture is like where you live
Regards Chris aka G8FFF nipper or tazmin88
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Re: HF Aerial advice ?

Postby m0lsx » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:08 pm

MFJ does a VERY nice small loop tuner. It is designed as a transmit antenna, but it works better on RX, than it does on TX. The same with the miracle whips etc. They really are very good on RX.
The small loop tuner, comes in several different models, on RX the meter is no added benefit, so maybe the 933 will fit your needs.
A 28 foot loop will cover from 60 to 40 meters.
I have had some good 17 meter QRP contacts on mine using just 4 feet of wire.
With my miracle whip I crocodile clip a few meters of wire to the end of it & it will then happily run on 80 meters TX. On RX, I find the miracle whip works reasonably without any extra wire.
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