13-10-18 Observations

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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13-10-18 Observations

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 13 Oct 2018 09:35

A Spanish station dominated 1490 between 00:00 and 01:00. Lots of Spanish OM talk and lively Latin rhythms. I cannot dig out an ID, but the 1490.0018 offset suggests this could be Radio Merida from Venezuela.

Radio Vida Nueva from Barranquilla was present on 1489.9843 for most of the morning, with a spate of minor drifting around the middle of the morning. This came up well at 05:30.

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: 13-10-18 Observations

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 13 Oct 2018 10:50

700 was quite busy this morning!

699.9934 Presumed Radio Sucre with Latin rhythms.
699.9984 Something, but below audio level.
699.9994 WLW.
700.0019 Cali? OM talk, but with some music. Possible IDs around 05:06:07 and 05:06:20. W Radio, Cali?

WLW was the strongest signal with some reasonable peaks.

simbeav
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Re: 13-10-18 Observations

Post by simbeav » 13 Oct 2018 11:09

Interesting how reception varies by location.

Hardly anything on 1490 here, but there was a Spanish station most of the night on 1480, but I haven't been able to track down an ID. I suspect WMDD.

700 was mainly WLW, with Sucre in for a short but strong burst.

satnipper
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Re: 13-10-18 Observations

Post by satnipper » 14 Oct 2018 11:40

Well this lazy SOB finally erected a Flag antenna - weird beast with dimensions 10 x 2m. My home-brewed binoc balun had a problem (just like in the Cabardes badlands in summer) so pinch-hit with a commercial flag balun from the ebay Canadian seller. And it all seems to be working very well. Saturday morning was packed full of NA from 0000-0300 and still going through files. I could have a sub-hobby dxing VOCM outlets - the western coastal scouselands seem a good location for NA MF - much better than NW London 'burbs.

I'm being quite methodical and logging everything heard on each frequency - sending logs to MWC as well.

Some freqs open here which were blocked in London but also the reverse applies; 1485 and 1368 are very strong here for example. But Jaguar Pro really works well and opens up the Perseus.

Stuart

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Re: 13-10-18 Observations

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 14 Oct 2018 15:12

You have an excellent location for transatlantic DX Stuart.

Jaguar seems to have been taken up by most of the names in MWC, although a few seemed reluctant to give it a try. It has been almost revolutionary here.

But I really need to do something to my flag. If you could see how I have it, you would laugh. The two verticals are often barely eight feet apart and the top and bottom parts of the wire meet in the middle to form an X shape. This is NOT how you should have a flag. I do it because it kills the noise. Sadly, it also lowers signal levels slightly, but that signal-to-noise ratio is probably the most important thing here. I am happy to lose a bit of signal so I can remove 90% of the noise.

Our hobby is often about compromise.

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Re: 13-10-18 Observations

Post by simbeav » 14 Oct 2018 15:37

How have you both 'constructed' your flags? Do you have a frame and if so of what is it made? Or do you suspend the wire in some way or what?

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Re: 13-10-18 Observations

Post by tvdxrools » 14 Oct 2018 16:35

2 bits of wood will do and remember you dont have to have the bottom wire up of the ground and tbh i never noticed much difference between the bottom wire a few feet off the ground to laying on the ground , make it how it suits you and not the perfect ones you see online , only tips i can give is make sure the horizontal sections are longer than the verticals and go all in with the balun ie good ferrite or buy one , David

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Re: 13-10-18 Observations

Post by tvdxrools » 14 Oct 2018 16:44

forgot to add i use 75 ohm sat cable for flags or bevs so u dont need to use 50 ohm ,David

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Re: 13-10-18 Observations

Post by satnipper » 14 Oct 2018 17:25

My flag uses B&Q green "grow-poles" (is that what they are called?) about 2m long. Both are wedged into 30kg concrete parasol stands and the bottom horizontal section is on the ground. I use tape to hold balun and resistors in place half-way up poles.

In France I use 2.5m wooden poles into parasol stands and the bottom wire is about 30cm off the ground.

I use RG213 coax to connect balun to rig.

The eBay seller kaka2500 (?) does very decent baluns and fixed/variable resistors for Bevs/EWE/Flags.

Stuart

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Re: 13-10-18 Observations

Post by satnipper » 14 Oct 2018 17:33

Removing 90% of noise is a fantastic achievement. The s/n ratio much more important than signal strength alone for receiving.

I have always said you don't need a pre-amp on MF if you have a decent balun and coax. And I have shown it again here. The Wellbrook loop is a good performer but in a urban/suburban location you are amplifying noise. Much happier to use the passive Flag for MF.

Stuart

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Re: 13-10-18 Observations

Post by tvdxrools » 14 Oct 2018 17:44

for flags /ewe dont over complicate things , just get a decent back null and a good sn ratio and away u go , David
ps as for resitors i just used a junk box 2k variable

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Re: 13-10-18 Observations

Post by tvdxrools » 14 Oct 2018 17:53

i have never used a preamp on mw well i tell a lie i used one that was in a preselctor i had for the pmsdr which you couldnt turn off , i would rather have a clear s3 signal than a s9 signal backed up with mush , i have had comments saying your signals dont seem strong but loud , they dont realise a beverage is a low gain rx antenna with a good s/n ratio which its all about , i have had sigs at a s4 - 5 but sound like 20 over , David
ps my ocd kicking in again but ferrite on everything and a good ground helps too lol

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: 13-10-18 Observations

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 14 Oct 2018 20:51

I can add something to this. A ham friend wound me some transformers for flags and Beverages. He said it wouldn't make any obvious difference to the ear or even S meter if I used 50 or 75 ohm coax. It would amount to one extra turn on the transformer. That is how forgiving flags are.

As for the signal to noise, it's great being able to null out most of the noise, but I suffer Spain at night as a result, not to mention other things to the rear which I have traditionally been able to null.

I will have to take a photo of the flag Simon. But you must first promise that you won't laugh when you see it. I haven't cut the grass for weeks either. :oops:

simbeav
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Re: 13-10-18 Observations

Post by simbeav » 14 Oct 2018 21:57

Thanks everybody. It may happen......eventually.

Don't worry John - Certainly wouldn't laugh. No grass in my garden - Just ground ivy ! And a tree which takes up half the garden, is about to go and "may" give me room for a flag.

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Re: 13-10-18 Observations

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 14 Oct 2018 22:20

Do it Simon! :) You know you want to.

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Re: 13-10-18 Observations

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 15 Oct 2018 19:08

My flag.

Flag 1.jpg
Flag 2.jpg

It works better like this! :lol:

The yellow wire is the base wire. I have far less noise when I raise the centre of this wire and wrap it around the plant. The green coated wire is the top section, which is part of a continuous run for the rest of the flag wire. The verticals are approximately eight feet apart, so the top wire sags in the middle. If I shorten the top and bottom wire, the noise returns. It's all about phasing out the noise.

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Re: 13-10-18 Observations

Post by simbeav » 15 Oct 2018 22:08

Thanks John.

So let's see if I have this right. I take a random length of wire, attach a Balun and resistor somewhere in the loop made out of the wire, toss it in the general direction of a couple of vertical poles, hope for the best and pick up The Philippines, West coast of America and all points in between.
Amazing ! I'll have to give it a go,

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Re: 13-10-18 Observations

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 15 Oct 2018 22:18

I am a Bodgitt & Scarper Ltd. man. Always have been. Always will be. The flag started off with the best intentions here, also the correct dimensions, spacing, etc., but it currently works better like this.

If you look at it along the lines of stringing up a wire in the shape of the flag, then yes, that's more or less it, providing you have the correct transformer and variable resistor in it, plus the correct length of wire.

My resistor box is also a transformer and it gives far deeper nulls. I don't understand the circuit though as I didn't build it and so cannot explain it or give you the component values.

The main thing to understand about the flag is that it is two verticals phased against each other to give it the uni-directivity. Trial and error are always good, but you won't go wrong if you follow these instructions:

http://www.dxing.info/equipment/ewe.dx

This is the ewe. Same thing, but the you join the grounding points of the verticals and it becomes a flag.

Some people have doubled the size of the flag and claim it works well. I would be careful if doing this and make sure you also have a standard sized flag. Julian built a double sized flag and the nulls were nowhere near as deep.

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Re: 13-10-18 Observations

Post by simbeav » 15 Oct 2018 23:14

Double is out of the question.

I notice that you and David mention a variable resistor, but many of the diagrams have a fixed one somewhere around 900Ω and the Canadian ebay seller has a fixed resistor. Does it matter ?

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Re: 13-10-18 Observations

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 15 Oct 2018 23:56

Good question. I would say yes, definitely, because there is bound to be something you want to fine-tweak. The noise in my case, but there is another example. My local TalkSport 1107 from Boston is solid here, but not mega strong. Since it is a stable signal, I was able to null it out by adjusting the variable resistor. This left Vietnam the other winter.

* I have found that flag nulls are deeper than those of the ewe.

Another thing you can do if you have a fixed resistor and you have movable verticals, you can adjust the null by moving the verticals around.

Interesting that fixed resistor flags are being sold on Ebay. Maybe this says something, but I always understood that an adjustable resistor is necessary depending on the state of the ground.

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