Cheap portable antenna for SSB + CW w/ USRP1?

Hi all,
Just curious if anyone might have some suggestions for a cheap (ideally
< $100) portable antenna for receiving (not transmitting) SSB + CW?
Something that can easily fit into a carryon bag, can be used indoors
and set up / broken down quickly would be great.

It would be nice to cover as much of the LFRX’s range as possible160 to
6 meters I guess?
The Ettus site mentions DC to 30 MHz, but the board has DC to 50 MHz
silkscreened onto itnot sure which is correct?

I’ve got my eye on an MFJ-1622 right now, which supposedly covers 40 to
2 meters.
Not completely optimal, but it’s looking decent for the price + form
factor

Anybody out there have experience with that antenna?
Other possible leads would be greatly appreciated as well.

Thanks so much!

Cheers,
Mark


mark.cetilia.org | mem1.com | reduxproject.com

On 06/10/11 11:51 PM, Mark C. wrote:

Hi all,
Just curious if anyone might have some suggestions for a cheap (ideally < $100)
portable antenna for receiving (not transmitting) SSB + CW?
Something that can easily fit into a carryon bag, can be used indoors and set up
/ broken down quickly would be great.

It would be nice to cover as much of the LFRX’s range as possible160 to 6 meters
I guess?
The Ettus site mentions DC to 30 MHz, but the board has DC to 50 MHz
silkscreened onto itnot sure which is correct?

The LFRX has a not-very-steep roll-off above 30MHz, so it’s usable above
30MHz.

I’ve got my eye on an MFJ-1622 right now, which supposedly covers 40 to 2
meters.
Not completely optimal, but it’s looking decent for the price + form factor

Anybody out there have experience with that antenna?
Other possible leads would be greatly appreciated as well.

Thanks so much!

The MFJ-1622 is probably adequate, but not stellar. Its hard to make an
antenna that is both a good
match, and a good radiator over wide frequency radiators, and is
physically compact.


Principal Investigator
Shirleys Bay Radio Astronomy Consortium
http://www.sbrac.org

Thanks Marcus,
I realize I’m asking for the impossible at a certain level"adequate but
not stellar" should be fine :slight_smile:
Glad to know that the roll-off is not so steep as to make >30MHz /
<50MHz unusable as well

Btw, I finally managed to get UDP between my external app
and GnuRadio up & runningthanks again for all the help!

Cheers,
Mark


mark.cetilia.org | mem1.com | reduxproject.com

Hi Louis,
Thanks for the leadsthe mini-loop tuner looks like a great possibility,
though it seems like I’d need to swap out for a different size loop
each time I want to change bands1/4 wavelength, they say
but is there maybe some flex room in there?

Also confused as to whether it would help to have
an active loop for receiving, or if that’s just for sending?

Apart from having built a square loop antenna
for receiving VLFs (from the Calvin R. Graf book),
I’m a total newbie when it comes to antennas,
so it all seems a bit daunting, as I’m sure you can imagine :slight_smile:

Cheers,
Mark


mark.cetilia.org | mem1.com | reduxproject.com

On Oct 7, 2011, at 11:01 AM, [email protected] wrote:

[Discuss-gnuradio] Cheap portable antenna for SSB + CW w/
USRP1?

Since you are only interested in RX, a loop would probably work well.
You could probably rig up compact, muti-turn wire loop that could be
broken down and folded. A simple passive loop requires a high-Q,
variable plate capacitor you must tune for resonance, so it is
inherently narrow band, but that also gives you rejection. They are
lossy too, but HF is dominated by atmospheric noise so noise figure is
not a prime concern. MFJ-952 is a mini-loop tuner; just add your own
wire. There are active loops too. This is a list:

http://homepages.tig.com.au/~vk5vka/antnews.htm

Active loop design:

http://sivantoledotech.wordpress.com/2010/09/18/a-tuned-active-receiving-loop/

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