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Call Sign : 26TM676 Posts : 16 Times Thanked : 4 Join date : 2019-10-14 QTH or Location : IO83 Congleton, Cheshire Equipment Used : Rotel RVC240/Cobra 19GTL at the moment
Subject: AM antenna advice please... Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:15 pm
Hi, I'd appreciate some advice on what would be the best antenna (I appreciate it can be subjective to some extent) for mainly monitoring AM CEPT frequencies.
Currently I have a stainless springer on a mag-mount in my car although this is mostly for my 27/81 rig & works well, have had contacts around 50 miles away on 4W
Also have a homebrew T2LT half-assedly tied to a fence post which is what my old Cobra 19GTL is hooked to. Now, I understand not many (if any?) folks are using the old AM 40 in the UK but I'm interested to try and pick up signals from further afield and possibly attempt contact.
SWR is reasonable but not great on the T2LT, well below 2 though & I currently have about S4 of noise into the rig & some slight speech-pattern esque wiggles of the needle on 19 and 6 but nothing audible I can decipher nor anything to break squelch. Hence I'm thinking of installing a more proper, dedicated antenna on the side of the house & interested to hear what anyone's thoughts are on this, whether it be "X antenna works great for me when the skip's running" through to "throw the Cobra out and get on SSB"... Although I'd like to persevere with AM if there's any chance at all, since it's the "original recipe" and what I started out using, same exact model of rig in a mate's car.
Cheers & 73's, Dan.
Call Sign : CT2201/FB855/UK164 + others Posts : 81 Times Thanked : 16 Join date : 2019-07-03 QTH or Location : Yeovil Equipment Used : Yeasu FT891 MFJ Atu/Swr K40 Tankwhip x2 Mob whips 80/40/20 Age : 79
Subject: Re: AM antenna advice please... Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:38 pm
Check my post to Peter (Golden Eagle) y'day. (Should I get a Sirio Boomerang). I'll also add AM will be a difficult mode atm on the Low with SSB & FM. You'll be better on FM on net's etc. But you'll have to open the squelch to get distant stations. I regularly get to 100/120mls.In 18mths it would be best to go SSB the World will be your Oyster. Also it depends on the Qrm @ your Qth. I get S7/9 @ mine above 27.000 on Am/Fm. Good luck/Dx. 73's Mike.
GaryWilson CT Directors
Call Sign : 26-CT-1836 Ham 2E0GGQ Posts : 4101 Times Thanked : 341 Join date : 2019-06-27 QTH or Location : Redcar, North Yorkshire. Equipment Used : Radios & Wires & Stuff! Age : 59
Subject: Re: AM antenna advice please... Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:47 am
Hi Dan, AM is practically unused in the U.K now, the wiggles on your meter are probably SSB signals anyway. The T2LT is a half wave antenna so as good as anything that size, obviously a 5/8th wave antenna would step you up an s pint or two. The rule of thumb with antennas is the bigger the higher the better so do the best you can in your location. SSB really is where a lot of the action is now so that's the way to go in my opinion.
Master Virus Contributor
Call Sign : Romeo Echo 137 Posts : 94 Times Thanked : 2 Join date : 2019-10-09 QTH or Location : Halifax Equipment Used : CRT SS 9900 Antron 99 Age : 56
Subject: Re: AM antenna advice please... Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:39 am
I like to go on am and have a listen and i do hear people on but like you say it's hard to understand what their saying. I don't know if its because of my tiny antenna or i'm not high enough or both? it might be that their too far away or their in another country and the skip is bouncing them over to us? But i'm like you i do like to listen on am because it seems to get a lot further and it goes back to the old days when the skip was at its highest and the americans seemed like they were just next door. I remember back then talking to people thinking they were local and they were miles away or in another country and their signal was so strong. I remember hearing a guy talking for a week and one day him shouting me and saying could i hear him? he was giving me nine pounds all week and he said he was from budapest. I said yeah right, listen pal, i've been planked eight times this week and i don't believe you. Turns out he was in Budapest and it was Simon the wizard, true story. Back then though the americans were that strong i couldn't talk to my friends locally i was talking to americans till early hours of the morning. I miss those days and talking to people far away. I'm in Halifax and i'm talking to Scotland Ireland Wales etc then i'm getting skip and i'm talking to newcastle, manchester, blackpool and all over the uk. Then the conditions change and i'm talking to Greece, Spain, Italy, Africa,Cyprus, France and i'm like what the hell is going on with the weather? But i'm like you i love to listen to am but the noise just gets crazy and sometimes its just as bad on fm. Antennas i'm not too sure on for am but good luck.
26TC62 Senior contributor
Call Sign : 26TC62, 26CT2817 Posts : 141 Times Thanked : 29 Join date : 2019-06-27 QTH or Location : Portsmouth Equipment Used : Yaesu 891, 10m pole, wire 5/8, T2LT
Subject: Re: AM antenna advice please... Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:02 pm
Antennas aren't dependent on the mode you are using - on a given frequency an antenna will work equally well or badly for AM, FM, SSB, digital modes and so on. A T2LT cut for the frequency band you are interested in is a perfectly good aerial.
Activity on AM can be patchy - there is the Tuesday evening AM net which is mostly people "down south" by comparison with you, but with decent conditions you stand a chance of making some contacts. As the new solar cycle kicks off, the skip propagation will come back and then 6" of damp string will get you contacts often enough!
43CT016 Major contributor
Call Sign : 43-CT-016 Posts : 352 Times Thanked : 22 Join date : 2019-11-17 QTH or Location : Perth Equipment Used : iCom IC-7610/IC-9700/IC-705 Age : 54
Subject: Re: AM antenna advice please... Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:28 am
Antennas aren't dependent on the mode you are using - on a given frequency an antenna will work equally well or badly for AM, FM, SSB, digital modes and so on.
Well, it will work equally well from a tuning or resonance perspective, but not necessarily performance wise, depending on what you’re trying to achieve. For example, if you’re on FM, you’re probably doing repeater or simplex work locally, and hence want to be polarised the same way as the other user or repeater. Oh, and being ground wave, you want the antenna as high as possible too.
If you’re on SSB though, you might well be chasing DX, in which case you want an antenna with a low radiation angle so your skywave gets the first bounce as far away from you as possible.
Then there’s NVIS, of course, admittedly pretty irrelevant to a discussion re 11m, but would require a different antenna setup again.