Manufactured Antenna Recommendations for RSPdx?

SDRPlay Independent Community Forum Forums SDR Antennas Manufactured Antenna Recommendations for RSPdx?

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  • #667
    planewryter
    Participant

    SDR Mavens,

    In anticipation of purchasing an SDRPlay RSPdx, I would first like to purchase an economical antenna suitable for the RSPdx’s exclusive use.

    Would you be so kind as to suggest the Make and Model of an antenna(s) (e.g., Comet, Diamond…perhaps MFJ?) that you find to be well-suited for this application?

    Many, many thanks in advance for your assistance!

    Plane Wryter

    #682
    SDRplay_Tech
    Participant

    I am afraid that there is no single antenna that will work well across the entire frequency range covered by the RSPdx. That’s the main reason that it has multiple antenna ports. For operation from VLF to 300 MHz, I can strongly recommend the Bonito Megadipole MD300DX. It is NOT cheap, but it’s performance is excellent. For frequencies above 300 MHz, a Scanking Royal Discone 2000 is probably a reasonable choice if you want just one antenna to operate up to 2 GHz. However, please be aware that this will give you no gain and so the performance will be modest at best. If you want the best performance then I am afraid you will need dipoles cut to the specific band of interest.

    #673
    Utility DXer
    Participant
    #672
    Utility DXer
    Participant

    I am very happy with my W6LVP Loop. Here is a review I wrote on eHam under the name UTESWL: https://www.eham.net/reviews/view-product?id=13215

    Back in July/August I wrote to Larry about his W6LVP Recieve Only loop. I live on a small lot, am not a ham but a shortwave listener interested in DXing HF utility stations. Before contacting Larry I spent about 6 months researching different types of magnetic loop antennas and surveying the marketplace as well as reading and watching reviews. I had narrowed my choices down to a Wellbrook ALA1530LN, Pixel Pro 1B and Larry’s W6LVP Loop. After comparing the Wellbrook and W6LVP performance by listening to different online KiwiSDRs I went with with Larry’s antenna as I couldn’t hear much difference on the weak signals I seek.

    Larry was fast in responding to my inquiry (within the hour if I recall) and did a site survey of my local RF environment. I had told him I have two MW stations in my town booming on 1420 and 1470 khz and initially he recommended a filter to drop everything below 2 Mhz, I explained I was also interested in LF and VLF and wondered if he could just install a notch filter for the two stations and he did it. He also recommended a filter to cut stuff above 45 Mhz which I also had installed.

    Once he received payment, I received the loop promptly and it arrived securely packed. Setup was a breeze and I went with the speaker tripod he suggested to do my initial tests. I have the loop mounted outside on the tripod and RCA antenna rotator 7 feet above ground. I was BLOWN AWAY by this antenna’s performance. Though I knew it would be an upgrade from the long wire I had been using, it was more than an upgrade, it was a REVELATION.

    I spend a lot of time listening to USB voice comms from things such as airline, government and military stations as well as monitoring ALE and other data modes.

    The area I am in is semi-suburban/semi-rural in a valley halfway between Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. I have a lot of neighbors with noisy electronics around me but I have been able to effectively null out interference by rotating the antenna. My longwire has a noise floor of S5. The W6LVP knocked my noise floor down to between an S1 and S3!

    I am now picking up stations I didn’t even know existed. For instance, I can reliably monitor Bangkok’s Meteorological Radio most mornings on 8743 khz and and Australia’s VMC marine weather station just after midnight on 6507khz from my Washington State location. This is astounding as I had previously only been able to pick this up via KPH’s KiwiSDR which is connected to a massive TCI-530 log periodic!

    In fact I found I am able to pick up many of the same things that I hear on KPH’s SDR with my W6LVP connected to an SDRPlay RSP1a!

    Whether it be the Civil Air Patrol nets, US Coast Guard, COTHEN, Canadian Coast Guard stations on Canada’s East Coast, Canadian Forces, USAF HFGCS, US Navy TACAMO or more distant signals from Sydney, Auckland, Guangzhou, Beijing or the RAF Military One VOLMETs, Bangkok Meteo, airlines communicating with New York, Gander, Manila, San Francisco, Auckland, Nadi, Santa Maria and Magadan air traffic control, Cuban spy numbers stations, Japanese and Russian Navy signals it’s all happening! I think I even picked up some pagers near the 10 meter band during a Sporadic-E band opening. And this is during a low sunspot cycle! I can only IMAGINE what this amazing antenna will bring in during more active solar activity.

    In summation, there are more expensive loop antennas, but I highly doubt their performance would exceed what I get at my location to the point of justifying the additional expense when including cost + shipping from overseas. There are also cheaper loop antennas but none come close to the quality and workmanship of Larry’s product.

    Communication was another factor in my decision to go with the W6LVP loop. I had sent Wellbrook a question when still considering their ALA1530 and they never responded. Larry however has been there with answers every step of the way during my purchase and I have no doubts that if I ever needed anything beyond this purchase he’d be there to assist me. That’s likely the difference with dealing with a person versus a company but I also feel good knowing my dollars went to a good person who takes care of his customers.

    73s

    —-

    Here is where you can order one: https://www.w6lvp.com

    #754
    Andy2
    Participant

    Just some input from a satisfied Wellbrook user. I think the overall performance between the Wellbrook and the W6 loops is closely comparable. I saw a several S-point reduction in local noise when I changed from my wire antenna to the loop, and being able to rotate these loops is a major benefit.
    Re support. It’s strange that Andy Ikin did not get back to you, as I’ve found him very responsive and quite willing to chat. He also surprised me when I ordered a separate LF amplifier from him (for a homebrew LF loop I was constructing), and he told me that it was not suitable for fitting to the old LA1530 which I had purchased about 15 years previously. Now that’s what I call record-keeping!
    BTW, I think Wellbrook is a one-man band and Andy is getting on in years now. Last time I spoke to him (about a year ago) he told me he is reducing the range of products now and may retire soon.
    No doubt the W6 loop is the cheaper option over in the States, as import taxes and duties will not apply.
    Either way, I think we can probably agree that our loops have saved our bacon as regards noise. For now, at least.

    Andy.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by .
    #976
    scubpout
    Participant

    You may want to consider the PAR Electronics EF-SWL Antenna, I’ve used it for four years and am satisfied. Not too hard to set up if you have some room and a few tallish things to hook on to.

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