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Author Topic: Atlantic HF (new antenna setup and location)  (Read 10566 times)
dave
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« on: November 02, 2009, 03:08:16 PM »

Here are a couple pictures of the newly relocated receiver setup for the Atlantic HF feed.  I host this feed myself as I have had a keen interest in HF for the past 30+ years.

The receiver is a small Yaesu FT-817 hooked to a DX Engineering Active Receive Antenna mounted in the woods (as far away from man-made noise sources as possible).  The DXE-ARAV2-1P is a low-noise receive antenna that provides excellent receiving performance from 100 kHz to 30 MHz using a whip antenna element 102 inches long.

The receiver is hooked to an old Linux box which streams the feed and controls the Yaesu radio via hamlib.

I am still optimizing the frequency schedule, trying a mix of NAT (North Atlantic Tracks -  Gander, Shanwick, Santa Maria, New York) and some CAR coverage (Caribbean Area) in the morning.  Since HF radio propagation is dynamic and based on sunpots and geomagnetic field activity, this can be challenging.  But the aim is to have some activity to listen to most of the time.  Trans-Atlantic traffic tends to be very active much of the day, peaking at night (East Coast time) from the U.S. to Europe and early morning and daytime between Europe and the U.S.

The new receive antenna is an improvement over the old setup, providing excellent signal pickup and reduced noise.  It is a much more pleasant listening experience.  For you newcomers to HF listening, there is no "squelch" so you will always hear a quiet "hiss" in the background. 

Enjoy.

-Dave

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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2009, 11:44:53 PM »

wow, that's pretty much in the woods  grin

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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2009, 07:57:15 PM »

I've never worked with active antennas, could you add a second antenna with phasing harness to give it gain in a particular direction?

-Steve
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dave
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2009, 08:18:53 AM »

Yeah...you can run a pair of these or a 4-square.  I've used the 4-square version on 80/160m and it performs well, but primarily on 80m.  On 160m I think you are better off with a long Beverage (880') if you can fit one in.

This one is getting good enough reception that I'm not inclined to incur the 4x expense, plus in this setup I would also have to simultaneously switch directions automagically when I switch to pick up the CAR-A and CAR-B traffic.  But it would provide gain in those directions.  What I'm not sure of is how the spacing affects the array over a wide frequency range.  I understand this pretty well for narrowband passive arrays but not for active wideband antennas such as these.

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Darrell
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2009, 08:24:46 PM »

Ahh that antenna looks so lonely and cold.  tongue
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2010, 01:32:17 AM »

Indeed a nice setup... in the middle of the woods too Smiley

Marek
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