My radio just came alive

A place to discuss the HF and Shortwave listening side of the radio hobby. Discuss equipment, frequencies and antenna systems etc. Anything HF!
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NightProwler
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My radio just came alive

Post by NightProwler » 30 May 2014, 17:00

I just built my first balun for HF receiving and it's made such a difference, My radio has come alive. Before I was just using a length of wire across the garden but now Ive added the balun it has made a huge difference :P All fits inside a plastic pipe nicely with plastic milk bottle caps on each end.
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Re: My radio just came alive

Post by Tigersaw » 30 May 2014, 19:20

Thumbs up for making your own, makes you feel good doesn't it

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Re: My radio just came alive

Post by NightProwler » 30 May 2014, 19:26

Yes it does, Im amazed at the amount of stations im pulling in now. One thing I forgot to add was an earth, I can either take the balun apart and fit a connector for an earth wire or I could connect one straight to the back of the radio. Which way would be best or does it not matter?
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Re: My radio just came alive

Post by ChrisCSL » 30 May 2014, 20:47

NightProwler wrote:Yes it does, Im amazed at the amount of stations im pulling in now. One thing I forgot to add was an earth, I can either take the balun apart and fit a connector for an earth wire or I could connect one straight to the back of the radio. Which way would be best or does it not matter?
What type of antenna?

Any kind of self-contained dipole, doublet or yagi or anything with its own radials, then don't earth it.

Any kind of long-wire, then couple the co-ax outer braid to earth at the antenna feedpoint. Do not use a separate earth at the shack end, as this may 'defeat' your safety RCD/ELCB mains trip, and leave you wide open for a good zapping if anything goes wrong on the 240V side.

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Re: My radio just came alive

Post by NightProwler » 30 May 2014, 21:47

It's just a length of wire about 15 foot long connected to the balun. I'll earth it from the balun tomorrow. The only earth rod I got is about 2 foot long, Will this be long enough?
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Re: My radio just came alive

Post by ChrisCSL » 30 May 2014, 21:57

NightProwler wrote:It's just a length of wire about 15 foot long connected to the balun. I'll earth it from the balun tomorrow. The only earth rod I got is about 2 foot long, Will this be long enough?
It's sort of a question with no correct answer.

Any earth is better than no earth, and the bigger the earth the better, but if a small earth is all you can accommodate, then do the best you can.

Does your plot allow you to bury a few radials converging on the earth spike? ... say, an inch or two down in your lawn so that the lawnmower can't get hold of them?

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Re: My radio just came alive

Post by NightProwler » 30 May 2014, 21:59

Well it's mounted about 6 foot above the lawn on the back of the shack so running any sort of cable down from it to the ground is no problem at all. I'll try it tomorrow and see how it goes.
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Re: My radio just came alive

Post by Mattylad » 30 May 2014, 22:03

Excellent.

I have found info here showing how to build them and it looks easy.

Might have a do at this myself if I can find enough spare coax, it might help my high noise level when the aerial is connected.

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Re: My radio just came alive

Post by ChrisCSL » 30 May 2014, 22:04

NightProwler wrote:Well it's mounted about 6 foot above the lawn on the back of the shack so running any sort of cable down from it to the ground is no problem at all. I'll try it tomorrow and see how it goes.
Nice. Get a nice big copper pipe and a Tenby Clip from the DIY store, and mallet it in as far as it will go. Put the balun - or is it actually an unun? - right down at ground level immediately above the earth.

Fill yer boots ;)

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Re: My radio just came alive

Post by NightProwler » 30 May 2014, 22:16

The one I made I copied from this chap...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHvWoiTwlDw

I have no idea what he is saying but I just watched the video and went from there.

My neighbour has loads of metal rods about 5 or 6 foot long in his garden, I'll see if I can get one off him tomorrow :D
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Re: My radio just came alive

Post by ChrisCSL » 30 May 2014, 22:26

NightProwler wrote:The one I made I copied from this chap...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHvWoiTwlDw

I have no idea what he is saying but I just watched the video and went from there.

My neighbour has loads of metal rods about 5 or 6 foot long in his garden, I'll see if I can get one off him tomorrow :D
Good job that I shprecken the old doitch.

Yep, he says it's a 9:1 un-un, which is just the job for a long wire.
Scrounge a nice pipe, bang it in, shine-up the end with some emery paper, fit the Tenby clip, and away you go.

NO earths at the shack end lads. It might have worked in the age of wire fuses, but it's lethal now.

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