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Re: LF: Small MF ferrite antenna games

To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: LF: Small MF ferrite antenna games
From: Markus Vester <[email protected]>
Date: Wed, 27 May 2015 06:32:43 -0400
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Yes Stefan, bring colour into your life ;-) Even after more than 10 years, I still sometimes enjoy just sitting and watching things roll by on the colour-RDF screen.
With crossed loops and an E-field antenna you have a number of options.
1. The colour-DF scheme takes the E-field on one channel and a 90°-combination from two loops on the second, providing omnidirectional reception with 360° RDF functionality. The combiner is simple to make, and you'll have to add a second RX channel. A stereo soundcard can be used, and SpecLab has everything needed onboard. Having a 475 kHz directional grabber available in Heidelberg would surely be very useful to the community.
2. Then you can hardware-combine whip and loop for a unidirectional cardioid pattern. This is equivalent to K9AY or similar antennas, which on LF have provided outstanding results for a few observers in quiet locations. The crossed loops can be used with electronic steering or a small goniometer, which allow you to virtually rotate the cardioid in the shack. Note that the phase-based colour-DF scheme still works if the cardoid antenna instead of the whip is used as intensity source. I have tried this on LF, but in my location SNR gain was not up to expectations because my loops are too much affected by noise from underground cables.
3. The next step would be downconverting and digitizing all three channels separately, allowing you to steer the cardioid by software and even monitor different beam headings simultaneously. But a three channel digitizer is not so easily available, and you'll need dedicated software for postprocessing. Paul Nicholson can do this at VLF, using three stereo soundcards augmented by GPS ticks, and a posteriori synchronisation in his own software.
All the best,
Markus (DF6NM)

-----Ursprüngliche Mitteilung-----
Von: DK7FC <[email protected]>
An: rsgb_lf_group <[email protected]>
Verschickt: Mi, 27 Mai 2015 2:13 am
Betreff: LF: Small MF ferrite antenna games


Today i've played a bit with a small ferrite antenna for 630m.
It is 14 cm long and has 8 mm diameter.
Without any calculations i wound a winding of unknown number of turns
around the rod and quickly found C about 200 pF at resonance (475 kHz).
Then i added a few turns for a 50 Ohm output (measuring the voltage of
an induced signal at resonance. When applying 50 Ohm, the voltage has to
decrease to 50%) to the RX.

As expected the input signal is to low, it does not rise the noise of
the RX, so i'm missing about 20 dB. It can't be much more though because
i can receive IQ2MI/B clearly in QRSS-30 on 476.180 kHz with 25 dB SNR
in 122 mHz, see attachment.
The antenna is hanging in 6m AGL in a tree in my garden...

I'm playing with the idea of a rotary H-field RX antenna for MF, maybe
in combination with a stereo receiver and a E-field antenna. Oh and
maybe with a colour spectrogram as known from DF6NM. A lot of things to
do :-)

73, Stefan

PS: Yesterday, in a CW QSO with DK6SX/p on the loop he once completely
disappered into QSO which never happend before when receiving on a
omni-directional antenna. So i guess the colour changes in such a
spectrogram must be quite interesting and informative...

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