Welcome to the new DXer based in Breckland!

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a2c39a
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Location: 4km NE of Tacolneston, Norfolk.

Re: Welcome to the new DXer based in Breckland!

Post by a2c39a » 30 Dec 2014 20:45

I noticed in another thread Catherine,
that you do not use any specially adapted radios for your DXing.

As you do not live very far from where I work, I wondered if you would like to borrow a Degen DE1103 which I have modified with narrow filters?
If you have not heard of the DE1103 (or the Eton E5) they are the most sensitive of portable radios for DXing. When modified with narrow filters, they are much better at getting DX stations that are close to local/semi-local stations.
If you found the 1103 was useful then I can do the same as I have done for Alex L, and modify one for you.

Also, from another thread, I wonder if you are not a full member of FMList?
Once you have put your full location details into FMList,
If you hear a station you cannot instantly identify,
You put the frequency into MyFM and select the likely propagation mode,
All the stations on that frequency are then listed for you from all countries in order of likely reception based on distance and power.
It makes it much easier to decide what to check for confirmation of the station you are receiving.
It also gives beam heading (not that I can change mine, fixed SE) and distance from you to the DX transmitter site. All very useful stuff.

Let me know about the DE1103 and we can arrange how I will get it to you in the new year.

Best wishes, John.

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a2c39a
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Re: Welcome to the new DXer based in Breckland!

Post by a2c39a » 30 Dec 2014 20:52

Alex C,

I can do the same loan for you if you are interested?
However, it would need to be a time when you were in Norwich, for me to get the DE1103 to you.
I work in the Costessey area, which is not that far from Hellesdon for getting a radio to Catherine.

Best wishes, John

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Re: Welcome to the new DXer based in Breckland!

Post by Alex Cator » 30 Dec 2014 21:14

No thanks. I know how great the DE1103 is, but I'm quite far from Norwich, and I wouldn't know where to go. Also not sure if my parents would approve of me borrowing another DXer's radio, as I live with my parents at the moment.
Home: Sony ST-SB920 (modified), Sony XDR-S10HDiP, Onkyo T-4970, Ford 5000 RDS, horizontal Triax FM3
Mobile: Ford Fiesta (Style, 2013) and Ford Focus (2012) car radios
Portable: Tecsun PL-390, Grundig G5 (2 x 110kHz), Etón G8

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a2c39a
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Location: 4km NE of Tacolneston, Norfolk.

Re: Welcome to the new DXer based in Breckland!

Post by a2c39a » 30 Dec 2014 21:28

That's OK, Alex,

It's not my only 1103. I have two DE1103s and an Eton E5. I have modified all so that they have sockets for the 10.7MHz ceramic IF filters. At the moment I have 80/110 in the E5, 80/150 in one 1103 and 150/150 in the other 1103.
It is very easy to change the filters once sockets are fitted so I would change the 150/150 1103, over to 80/150 or 80/110.
I can then loan out the two 1103s and still have the E5 (which I prefer using) for me!

Should you want to borrow one in the future, just let me know.

Best wishes, John.

Catherine
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Re: Welcome to the new DXer based in Breckland!

Post by Catherine » 31 Dec 2014 17:00

a2c39a wrote:I noticed in another thread Catherine,
that you do not use any specially adapted radios for your DXing.

As you do not live very far from where I work, I wondered if you would like to borrow a Degen DE1103 which I have modified with narrow filters?
If you have not heard of the DE1103 (or the Eton E5) they are the most sensitive of portable radios for DXing. When modified with narrow filters, they are much better at getting DX stations that are close to local/semi-local stations.
If you found the 1103 was useful then I can do the same as I have done for Alex L, and modify one for you.

Also, from another thread, I wonder if you are not a full member of FMList?
Once you have put your full location details into FMList,
If you hear a station you cannot instantly identify,
You put the frequency into MyFM and select the likely propagation mode,
All the stations on that frequency are then listed for you from all countries in order of likely reception based on distance and power.
It makes it much easier to decide what to check for confirmation of the station you are receiving.
It also gives beam heading (not that I can change mine, fixed SE) and distance from you to the DX transmitter site. All very useful stuff.

Let me know about the DE1103 and we can arrange how I will get it to you in the new year.

Best wishes, John.
Hi John,

Not at the moment thanks. Might buy one (or the Eton, which I've seen mentioned on Digital Spy) for myself at some point! ;)

Yes, I'm registered on FMList and use MyFM when I hear a new station. :)

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a2c39a
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Re: Welcome to the new DXer based in Breckland!

Post by a2c39a » 31 Dec 2014 20:04

OK Catherine,

My offer is always open so you can do a 'try before you buy' on a DE1103. The performance is the same on an E5 but it has a much better user interface than the 1103.
I don't know what reception you get on your current radios but at my work location in Bowthorpe Industrial Estate there are very few days when my narrow band E5 will hear nothing from europe. :)

When you do buy an E5 (hard to get hold of now) or DE1103 (still fairly easily and cheaply available), I will be happy to fit sockets and narrow filters for you.
The narrow filters make a big difference to the performance of the radio.

I did the filter mod on a DE1103 for Alex L, which John F now uses. I have just done the same again for Alex L on a Grundig G5 (same as Eton E5).

Best wishes, John.

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Re: Welcome to the new DXer based in Breckland!

Post by Alex Cator » 01 Jan 2015 20:38

John, in case you're interested, there are also hardly any days my Sony ST-SB920 cannot grab anything from mainland Europe, using one of my house's TV antennae, a Yagi in the loft, pointing towards Tacolneston. I had no choice but to have it pointing towards Tacolneston, as my house's lawyer fitted it, and it can't be accessed by us. The most obvious of the foreign stations is VRT Radio 2 (Oost-Vlaanderen) from Egem on 98.6 MHz, which is available under flat conditions with fading. The Lille/Bouvigny-le-Mont (France) stations are also there, but only via tropospheric scatter, even though it can be grabbed always with a Triax FM3 in the study. At the back of the box there is also Q-music from IJsselstein, Netherlands. Nothing from the continent can be heard under flat conditions on my Tecsun PL-390 (better than the PL-310) while indoors, but I will have to try it on my cul-de-sac, where I guess it will grab VRT R2 on 98.6 MHz from Egem.
Home: Sony ST-SB920 (modified), Sony XDR-S10HDiP, Onkyo T-4970, Ford 5000 RDS, horizontal Triax FM3
Mobile: Ford Fiesta (Style, 2013) and Ford Focus (2012) car radios
Portable: Tecsun PL-390, Grundig G5 (2 x 110kHz), Etón G8

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Re: Welcome to the new DXer based in Breckland!

Post by Alex Cator » 01 Jan 2015 20:46

FORGOT TO SAY THIS:
Do not travel to East Harling expecting you'll hear foreign FM stations all the time on the car radio. Nothing from the continent can be grabbed on the car radio in East Harling, even though you do hear a very faint VRT Radio 2 (Oost-Vlaanderen) from Egem, on 98.6 MHz, when you exit East Harling, at the foot of the hill it's on, going towards Garboldisham and Stanton on the B1111. The Ford Focus Mk. III (latest generation) car radio, that I use for mobile DXing, is better than most car radios, and don't expect you'll hear it on your car radio, unless you've got a latest generation Visteon/Ford, Volkswagen, Blaupunkt Digiceiver, Kia, or Pioneer Supertuner car radio. If there are any other car radios at similar level, please inform me. Conditions were very poor that day, so poor I couldn't hear Dutch FM in Great Yarmouth despite a good radio. Tropo is responsible for a lot of coastal receptions of Dutch radio in Eastern England.
Home: Sony ST-SB920 (modified), Sony XDR-S10HDiP, Onkyo T-4970, Ford 5000 RDS, horizontal Triax FM3
Mobile: Ford Fiesta (Style, 2013) and Ford Focus (2012) car radios
Portable: Tecsun PL-390, Grundig G5 (2 x 110kHz), Etón G8

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Re: Welcome to the new DXer based in Breckland!

Post by Alex Cator » 01 Jan 2015 20:48

My Sony ST-SB920 gets Tacolneston at more than 70 dB on that setup with the ANT ATT switched on, so Tacolneston must be very strong. I've never once heard overload on that tuner, and it survives well with strong signals.
Home: Sony ST-SB920 (modified), Sony XDR-S10HDiP, Onkyo T-4970, Ford 5000 RDS, horizontal Triax FM3
Mobile: Ford Fiesta (Style, 2013) and Ford Focus (2012) car radios
Portable: Tecsun PL-390, Grundig G5 (2 x 110kHz), Etón G8

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a2c39a
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Re: Welcome to the new DXer based in Breckland!

Post by a2c39a » 02 Jan 2015 05:18

Thanks for all the info Alex,

First thing to say is that, considering the antennas you are using are not at all suitable, you are doing very well with your home DX reception!

I find that when I visit my friends in Oulton Broad or Lowestoft, under flattish conditions, I hear less than at home! My friend Carl says it is because of the extra height at my home location.

When in the Wymondham, Attleborough, Thetford areas, I have much more interference from the West Norfolk, Cambridge, etc, stations. For instance, 102.7 is either Radio 538 or nothing at my home location.

As far as car radio reception is concerned, I have the standard radio fitted to a Suziki Swift Sport 2007 model. It does have DSP but my MP74 or DEH-P5800MP would be so much better. It is another of the units built into the dash board and with controls on the steering column. It will receive Radio Een on 95.7 despite BBC Norfolk on 95.6 but takes a long time to narrow it's bandwidth. Sometimes you think it is never going to do it! That is at work in Bowthorpe but this frequency is one that gets zapped by BBC Cambridge when I get near Wymondham on my way home.

The E5 that I keep in the car is always able to hear much more than the car radio.
An important part of portable DXing, especially in obstructed areas, is moving about to find the right spot. At work I will receive Stu Bru on 102.1 but if I turn or move, Radio 538.
(you will notice that I am not a proper DXer as I talk in station names, rather than transmitter sites!)
At home I have several 'sweet spots' where I can receive European signals with a slight lift on my DE1103s but I can only extend the whip by 300mm to 450mm or the Tac intermod is too great!
The whip on my old Celica T Sport was about the correct length for 1/4 wave on 3m but the Swift whip is only half to three quarters that length. If it is easy, I may change it but probably just continue using the E5.

The S10 at home on the 4 ele vertical yagi is just so much better than everything else I have!! :)
tmp_IMAG0006-329424771.jpg
3m 4 ele almost vertical yagi
The 3m yagi is on the far left. The nearer, slant yagi is for 1.5m and is moved to almost vertical on the opposite side of the roof now.
tmp_IMAG0089754450283.jpg
S10 in my airing cupboard 'shack'!! :)
Best wishes, John.

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Re: Welcome to the new DXer based in Breckland!

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 02 Jan 2015 11:10

We are all proper DXers. It's a hobby. Like the Creme Egg. How to you eat yours?

One thing. If you can, place your antennas either vertical or horizontal. Slant is not ideal and you will lose quite a lot of signal in both planes. I think it's something like 13dB from each. Horizontal to vertical is about 20dB. It's easy to think that you get the best of both worlds in slant. That's not a problem with stronger signals, but you will lose a lot of weak DX this way.

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a2c39a
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Re: Welcome to the new DXer based in Breckland!

Post by a2c39a » 02 Jan 2015 11:55

Slant (45°) polarisation can actually be quite good John.

If you want both polarisations from a single antenna, 45° slant will only lose 3dB from each plane.
Although this is not good for weak signals it can be an acceptable compromise under some circumstances.

My aV (almost Vertical) yagi is much more vertical than it is horizontal. Little (maybe 1dB) will be lost from vertical signals but much more than 3dB will be lost from horizontal signals.
I sill do not understand how it works so well on both polarisations.

I had deliberately twisted the 1.5m yagi over to slant polarisation for DAB reception. There was not room to go fully vertical. It had originally been used for TV reception.

Best wishes, John.

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Re: Welcome to the new DXer based in Breckland!

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 02 Jan 2015 12:23

Well, I may have mistaken the exact figures, so we need an expert to come in so we can be more precise on this. This 'slant' topic was also discussed on the Yahoo group last year and the general feeling was that slant was NOT a good compromise. Probably the reason you have been having success with your antennas in slant polarisation is because your antennas are in the loft. This will considerably affect their overall pattern and performance. If you feel everything is working well, then that's good.

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Re: Welcome to the new DXer based in Breckland!

Post by a2c39a » 02 Jan 2015 13:47

Hello John,

It is -3dB for a 45° slant polarised antenna receiving a vertical or horizontal signal.

This table gives all the possibilities:
804-1.pdf
Antenna polarisation and losses.
(627.16 KiB) Downloaded 149 times
Best wishes, John.

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Re: Welcome to the new DXer based in Breckland!

Post by a2c39a » 02 Jan 2015 14:06

Another thing I have just thought of John,

is the mounting of a slant polarised yagi.
Just like a vertically polarised yagi it can only be rear mounted or mounted on a plastic or fibreglass mast (not carbon fibre). If it is centre mounted on a metal pole at the balance point, as a horizontal yagi would be, the radiation pattern (reception pattern!) will be ruined for vertically polarized signals.
It is therefore not possible to just slant over a previously horizontal antenna on it's metal mast without considerably compromising it's performance.

To do it properly so it works as per the table, it will have to be re-mounted on a non-conducting mast or totally rear mounted (behind the reflector) on the metal mast.

This is the most probable reason people have noticed large attenuation of signals when attempting to use slant polarisation.

There is no metal pole involved in the mounting of any of my antennas.

Hope this helps?

Best wishes, John.

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Re: Welcome to the new DXer based in Breckland!

Post by Andrew Webster,Wigan » 02 Jan 2015 15:48

Beware of Blaupunkt car radios I have a San Remo RD168 and that has Digiceiver on the front but it does not have sharx and selectivity is not good.

This was given to me because it used to pop and bang from the speakers so I opened it up to find most of the power transistors and the output chips were badly dry jointed so many I to do a blanket resoldering on it.
That sorted those problems but it's disappointing from a reputable Co like Blaupunkt anyway studying the service manua confirmed that this model does not have sharx.

Andy.
Receiving equipment: 2 Sony ST-S311, 1 Sony ST-SE520, 1 Sony ST-SE700 2 crossed FM 5s rotatable, 1 homemade FM 3 horizontal beaming S/E, 1 vertical FM 3 fixed beaming at Ireland, 2 element band 1.

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Re: Welcome to the new DXer based in Breckland!

Post by Alex Cator » 02 Jan 2015 19:38

a2c39a wrote: When in the Wymondham, Attleborough, Thetford areas, I have much more interference from the West Norfolk, Cambridge, etc, stations. For instance, 102.7 is either Radio 538 or nothing at my home location.
I remember, back in the summer, a strong tropo that brought in crystal clear (local-like strength, with full RDS and stereo) NPO Radio 1 from Goes on 104.4, to the east of Norfolk, and probably the east of Suffolk (and Essex maybe?) as well. I got the full signal on the A143 on the outskirts of Harleston! There was an NOS programme on the station from what I remember, so the RDS changed from "RADIO 1" to "R1 NOS" and back again every moment. There was radio-text as well, displaying "NOS - " followed by the programme name. Omroep Zeeland was there (on 87.9, also from Goes) as well, but with weaker signal strength due to lower power, and Sky Radio (again also from Goes, on 101.9) had the same strength as NPO Radio 1. I was on the way back from Great Yarmouth on this journey. It got weaker, but it still was very steady, in Diss, as Diss is a town with lots of buildings. By turning round a corner, I might hear a hint of BBC Radio Norfolk, from Great Massingham, also on 104.4. I did cross the district border from South Norfolk District into Breckland District, and, even though I did hear a few fights with BBC Norfolk, Goes was still there! The transmitter site of BBC Norfolk on 104.4 is located in Great Massingham, West Norfolk, near the Breckland border, and it must be surprising for Goes to walk over it in Breckland! Goes was stronger than BBC Norfolk, still, in South Lopham. At Garboldisham, they were at equal strength, but, as soon as I got by Riddlesworth Hall School, BBC Norfolk had completely walked over Goes. I was on a journey to Thetford. I remember another day, when tropo was at similar strength to that day, and I got Goes at similar level. Again, they were at equal strength in Garboldisham, but exiting Garboldisham, en-route to East Harling, my home village, BBC Norfolk was stronger and "BBC_Nrfk" showed on the radio display. On that road, Classic FM (Peterborough, G) and Sky Radio (Goes, HOL), both 101.9 stations, were having a fight, halfway between East Harling and Garboldisham. Recently, in the car, on the way to Thetford, I had Heart Cambridgeshire (Madingley, G) and Q-music (Egem, BEL), both on 103 MHz, having a fight, just between East Harling and Bridgham on the Bridgham road! Cambridgeshire and West Norfolk are the infamous sources of stations who fight with foreign stations here in Norfolk, even Lincolnshire at times, which could easily fight with 538 from Smilde on 102.2, with a local from there called Lincs FM, from a site in the Wolds known as Belmont. Tropospheric propagation can bring in Heart West Midlands (Sutton Coldfield) on 100.7, to my area, which can fade in to block out Q-music from IJsselstein, Utrecht, The Netherlands. This proves that I am (unfortunately) in a good location for inland British DX, as well as DX from across the North Sea! :(
I want to move to the Suffolk Coastal District, when I am a married adult, because I want to work in Martlesham. I will probably also have good, uninterrupted European DX from across the North Sea. That does not mean I am moving because of the DX. To DX, a change of location is not the good thing to do, it's a better antenna. I want to get a Körner 9.2 antenna, so that I can't listen to Cambridgeshire or West Norfolk while pointing toward the continent. An HS Publications antenna phaser will be useful to null the annoying Stoke Holy Cross and Tacolneston transmissions, and also the annoying Kiss 105-108 from Mendlesham, Suffolk, plus the noise that might be caused by neighbours, particularly if one owns a plasma TV. I recommend that to you, so you can have Tacolneston attenuated without affecting your DXing. Ask John Faulkner for more info on it. You are lucky not being in range of Cambridgeshire!
Home: Sony ST-SB920 (modified), Sony XDR-S10HDiP, Onkyo T-4970, Ford 5000 RDS, horizontal Triax FM3
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Re: Welcome to the new DXer based in Breckland!

Post by Jim (Bournemouth) » 03 Jan 2015 10:29

Welcome, Alex.

Good to see some younger members joining in.

I am in a different part of the country to you east coast mob :) - down on the South Coast in Bournemouth, about an hours drive from Nick who is further north and east.
My Dxing is entirely SDR based, I don't use any conventional tuners at all. Meens I can see large chunks of spectrum at once - I don't think I could use a conventional tuner for DXing now.
My "shack" consists of the SDRs and a PC in a small room upstairs, and my laptop wherever I happen to be, either my sofa, garden or during breaks at work! I use Teamviewer to connect to my radio PC, it means I don't need to spend hours in the shack shut away from the wife.....
Jim, Bournemouth, Dorset. IO90BR.

Elad FDM-S2, Perseus/FM+ and Funcube Dongle SDR Recievers 8-element OP-DES for Band 2, 12-ele ZL Special for 2m, plus wideband vertical
.

Image

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Re: Welcome to the new DXer based in Breckland!

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 03 Jan 2015 12:29

Sorry John. I think I missed this post.
a2c39a wrote:Hello John,

It is -3dB for a 45° slant polarised antenna receiving a vertical or horizontal signal.

This table gives all the possibilities:
tmp_Screenshot_2015-01-02-13-41-48850855382.png
Sorry it is not that clear but the forum does not seem to let me upload the pdf file.

Best wishes, John.
I don't see how the difference can possibly be only 3dB difference between slant and either H or V. The difference between H and V by themselves is recognised as being 20dB, so slant to V or H must be half that. The difference is easy to see when I rotate the 9.2 between H and V. Your loft walls/roof will be distorting the patterns of your antennas.

Regarding the uploading of pdf files, how big is the file? The file size restriction for uploads is currently set at 5MB.

Cheers

John

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a2c39a
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Re: Welcome to the new DXer based in Breckland!

Post by a2c39a » 03 Jan 2015 17:37

Hello John,

Forget my aerials, they are a compromised set of loft mounted antenna.

When you rotate an aerial by 45°, half it's capture area is vertical and half is horizontal. Half the capture area will give half the received signal power. Hence -3dB. This is what the table is showing.

Also note, from the table, that for completely opposite polarisation, the attenuation should be infinite (much more than 20dB).
However, no null will ever be perfect so -20dB (one hundredth of the signal power) may well be a typical practical cross polarisation loss.

I still think think the greater loss people have experienced with 45° slant polarisation will be due to aerial mounting.
There must be no vertical mast through the elements.
Just like mounting a vertically polarised yagi, it must be rear mounted (behind the reflector) or mounted on a non-conducting mast.

Best wishes, John.

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