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 Idiots guide to Pre-amp..

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Hotel Zulu 253
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PostSubject: Idiots guide to Pre-amp..   Idiots guide to Pre-amp.. Icon_minitimeTue Jun 08, 2021 10:53 am

Hello Everyone,Just wanted some advice on a couple of items I’ve never used but would like the full s.p
Firstly PreAmps good or Bad?
I’ve seen the ones you get that are installed on Linear amplifiers and also separate units,but as I have never used either I was wondering are they worth cost.I’m thinking about the QRM that I sometimes get on certain frequencies.(That bloody train track down the road..lol)
Secondly Antenna tuners/matchers,My SWR is fine so know worries there (It could be better on the muppets) but that’s life…🤣🤣🤣
Joking aside are they actually worth the effort if you needed a tiny tweak without having to adjust the tip section again..

Thank you Gentlemen.

CT4029
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PostSubject: Re: Idiots guide to Pre-amp..   Idiots guide to Pre-amp.. Icon_minitimeTue Jun 08, 2021 11:45 am

Hi,

Pre-amps do what they say on the tin, however what they don't do well is discriminate between what you want to hear and the noise around you. They are great where you have no noise and can faintly hear stations but only serve to amplify the noise in situations where you have it. Unless you have a perfect low noise environment i'd personally give them a miss.

Tuners - if your SWR is within acceptable limits then why bother..better to spend time setting up your TX side with Good coax and tuning your antenna to be resonate where you want it. 

It may also improve your reception at the same time.

Time invested in my experience is better than throwing money at work rounds or unnecessary tech.

This is just my opinion there's plenty on the subject of pre amps, coax and SWR within the site and I'm certain that members will be along with suggestions and real world experiences that may be of use to you.


All the best..

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PostSubject: Re: Idiots guide to Pre-amp..   Idiots guide to Pre-amp.. Icon_minitimeTue Jun 08, 2021 12:05 pm

Preamp will just bring in the noise stronger well that is my opinion.

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PostSubject: Re: Idiots guide to Pre-amp..   Idiots guide to Pre-amp.. Icon_minitimeTue Jun 08, 2021 12:44 pm

Thanks Gmonkey,I’ve certainly invested time and money trying to keep that QRM and unwanted hisses,pops and bangs at bay the best I could.
With decent RG213U coax and Common mode choke,Every electricial cable has a clip on ferrite ring.I think it’s just the world with live in with Wifi and other modern toys.The reason why I asked about preamps was to see if I could hear those far away stations that can hear me fine but are radio 3 and signal 3-4 any better.Like the 27 division Iceland I was struggling a bit to hear as he faded in and out.It certainly wasn’t Iceland warehouse on the high street.🤣🤣🤣
I think I’ll just have to suffer the QRM on Am/Fm a little bit longer,SSB is fine so maybe the preamp would be better on that mode.
As for the tuner/matcher thanks for the advice I’ll give that a miss then.

Thanks again.
CT4029
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PostSubject: Re: Idiots guide to Pre-amp..   Idiots guide to Pre-amp.. Icon_minitimeTue Jun 08, 2021 12:47 pm

Thanks Alan pilot,Maybe I’ll see if I can borrow one to give it a go.
But as you say it would most probably bring In everything as well as distance stations.Let’s see👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

Thanks
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PostSubject: Re: Idiots guide to Pre-amp..   Idiots guide to Pre-amp.. Icon_minitimeTue Jun 08, 2021 2:17 pm

I find the pre-amp quite helpful, as said it will make everything "louder", it picked my background noise up from 1 s point to about 5 s points but in doing so I can actually make out what some of the very faint stations are saying.
I use my pre-amp literally all the time, because where I live, every station is faint unless the conditions are very good.

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PostSubject: Re: Idiots guide to Pre-amp..   Idiots guide to Pre-amp.. Icon_minitimeTue Jun 08, 2021 2:28 pm

Hello Hotel Zulu 253,
I was thinking just that about bringing up faint and distant stations and I could always twiddle the RF gain as well.It’s mostly QRM as I’m in the city of London and you can’t fart without someone hearing it as it’s built up so much.Completely different from their and our weather is awful..lol
I’m thinking of getting a One as there not too expensive and what have I got to lose,you never know it may help loads.
Thanks for your advice..

CT4029

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PostSubject: Re: Idiots guide to Pre-amp..   Idiots guide to Pre-amp.. Icon_minitimeWed Jun 09, 2021 5:09 pm

If without a pre-amp on and on an empty channel the S meter is reading anything other than zero then you don't want to be using a pre-amp. If you do all you do is amplify the noise too, reducing the dynamic range of the radio and making wanted signals harder to hear.

I have a pre-amp on my Icom 7300 and it does get used on 10m and 12m but that's only because even with it turned on the noise level on an empty frequency isn't even S1.

I could use one on CB in my car because out of town I get S0 and could use a pre-amp to bring in weaker stations from 20-30 miles away better but there's no point because the stations I hear are far enough away that I'm still going to be wiped out by their local noise floor levels so even though I can hear them they'll not hear me..

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PostSubject: Re: Idiots guide to Pre-amp..   Idiots guide to Pre-amp.. Icon_minitimeWed Jun 09, 2021 5:22 pm

Thanks Northern Crusader,There’s certainly plus and minus points for the PreAmp,I was looking at those Italian Linear Amps and they come with or without a PreAmp.Now I can see why the one with the PreAmp is a bit frowned upon.

Thanks for the advice.
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PostSubject: Re: Idiots guide to Pre-amp..   Idiots guide to Pre-amp.. Icon_minitimeWed Jun 09, 2021 8:57 pm

I think others' advice so far explains why I never had any luck with preamps in the distant past. I had one in a b300p and a little standalone one again by Zetagi, but don't remember them ever helping my receive. I am not going to try using one again in these modern times as my quietest noise levels are S3-4 at home, and a chunk of the time I have to contend with this...



...can you imagine what the noise would be like with a preamp. +20 probably Sad

If you want to wheedle out the weakest signals there might be some other bits of hardware you could try. I say "might" as I haven't tried either yet, but am seriously considering. One is a decent DSP noise reducing speaker. The other is the QRM Eliminator. A combination of the two might be good. The latter though looks it could be a little difficult to set up for ease of use on and transceivers that are not high end Ham units. Plenty of vids on utube if you want to look them up to see how they have worked for others, and think there was a thread somewhere on this forum about the QRM Eliminator.

Antenna tuners/matchers definitely have their uses, and not just for tuning ladders and fences to radiate on frequency Laughing But I would never use one personally just to tweak the SWR of a good antenna that is showing as close enough.

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PostSubject: Re: Idiots guide to Pre-amp..   Idiots guide to Pre-amp.. Icon_minitimeWed Jun 09, 2021 9:15 pm

Cheers again SangueG,The QRM I get is about S2-3 and mostly on Am,Fm which is bearable as I’m mostly on SSB.
That’s a great little video and your advice has definitely got the old grey matter working.
Thanks
CT4029
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PostSubject: Re: Idiots guide to Pre-amp..   Idiots guide to Pre-amp.. Icon_minitimeWed Jun 09, 2021 10:29 pm

Flipping 'eck Neal! That is some interference. Shocked

I've noticed similar my way but only on the freeband up to the high end of UK CB, once you get to 10m, (28MHz), it totally disappears?!?!? (Similar story once you get down to EU/mid block). On my old FT757 the NB does its job at mostly removing it especially with a drop of the RF gain but sometimes it's bad, other times not there. I know others are plagued too and I've not yet heard a reasonable explanation for it.


Anyway, back to Tom's question...

I played with preamps in my 'way back when' CB days with no luck whatsoever and wouldn't even consider one now.
(OK, maybe a low noise mast head type for higher frequencies but only at a push.)

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PostSubject: Re: Idiots guide to Pre-amp..   Idiots guide to Pre-amp.. Icon_minitimeFri Jun 11, 2021 2:21 pm

Victor wrote:
Flipping 'eck Neal! That is some interference. Shocked

I've noticed similar my way but only on the freeband up to the high end of UK CB, once you get to 10m, (28MHz), it totally disappears?!?!?

Same here. That's because on 11m, like the other public use frequencies there's no offence of transmitting interference in a band where you don't require a licence but there is in the amateur bands so manufacturers of devices like switch mode power supplies and those powerline devices that allow you to use your home mains wiring as network will make sure they notch out interference on the ham bands, aviation, military and maritime etc.

I remember when I had PLT interference on the amateur bands from a street over that OFCOM treat it as broadcasting without a licence and the operator of that device is told to cease using it immediately or face prosecution. It was a joyous day when they turned it off.

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PostSubject: Re: Idiots guide to Pre-amp..   Idiots guide to Pre-amp.. Icon_minitimeFri Jun 11, 2021 7:48 pm

Victor and Conor, unfortunately for me on 28HMz and above it is no better, although on that radio it is loudest and strongest on 25 and 26MHz. The old girl underneath picks up the noise when it's at its worst on much of HF but no where near as bad as on the 6900. Although a lot newer, I think the 6900 is just made very cheaply. It certainly does have a very sensitive receive which probably compounds the problem, just for example I pulled the coax plug out the back and stuck a mini allen key (about 3" long) into the centre of the socket and it still picked up the noise at S1.. and also brought in 161 a div station!

Anyways, I shouldn't hijack the thread. I am working on my problems. Maybe when I obtain my ticket that might help me, but I certainly wouldn't want to involve ofcom at the moment Wink Just wanted to express my opinion, which seems to match others, that eliminating unwanted noise is more beneficial in assisting bringing in weak/quiet stations than using a preamp to amplify all signals including unwanted noise.

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PostSubject: Re: Idiots guide to Pre-amp..   Idiots guide to Pre-amp.. Icon_minitimeSat Jun 12, 2021 10:56 am

I'm with you there all the way Neal, if you've got noise to start with then a preamplifier is only going to make it worse.


As Conor, (Northern Crusader), pointed out it's a mess all over the RF spectrum but luckily not so bad on the Amateur and protected bands. If you took a look at the spectrum of your typical mains supply it looks like a 'comb' filter arrangement with notches on those protected bands, but 'sod-you-all' everywhere else! .....unfortunately that includes the UK CB frequencies and 'freeband'.  Sad 

(Please don't hook a SDR or spectrum analyser up to your mains - I was inductively coupled when I checked it.)


Always worth looking at out own RF mess too. Despite my best efforts to keep mine down I was caught out with my recent interests in VHF....seems my Baofeng charger was the culprit pretty much wiping out all my HF reception! The regulation/charging circuit was fine in the charging base but the mains adapter was spewing cr*p all over the place!
That soon went in the bin and replaced with an 'old fashioned' transformer adapter ridding my noise problems.

No preamplifier in the world would have got around that nonsense! Wink



Nice one with the PLT nonsense Conor, bet that was a HUGE sigh of relief! Idiots guide to Pre-amp.. 1f44d
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PostSubject: Re: Idiots guide to Pre-amp..   Idiots guide to Pre-amp.. Icon_minitimeMon Jun 14, 2021 7:25 am

I thought this post was about preamps.
Plenty posts about qrm.
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