Tag Archives: Bonito

DXpedition antenna testing: the Bonito Boni whip and a 240 metre barbed wire fence

 

Hi there, a few days ago I posted some reception videos comparing the performance of the Boni whip with a 30 metre longwire antenna at home, with a further check against the performance of the H field Wellbrook ALA1530 active loop. The conclusion of those tests was essentially confirmation that E field antennas don’t usually perform very well under a blanket of ‘electrosmog’ and that only on Longwave, did the Boni whip prevailed over the longwire; otherwise there was no usable difference in performance between the two.

                         Sony ICF-SW55 receiver                                     ‘Quiet’ location for Boni whip test

This prompted a number of my subscribers to ask when I would be taking the Boni whip on a DXpedition for an outdoor test against the Wellbrook and either a substantial longwire, or the 200 metre Beverage. Time is limited right now for a full test, however, I managed to throw together a kit of parts necessary to run a quick set of comparison tests with the whip, against the barbed wire fence I use for ad hoc DXing when out walking the dog! Over a period of an hour or so, I managed to copy a few stations on 31 and 49 metres and thus recorded signals using the Sony ICF-SW55 receiver with the Boni whip and barbed wire fence. Now previously, I have used that fence as an antenna for the excellent little Tecsun PL-310ET, with some nice results. However, after this series of tests, my views on the fence have changed a little. Obviously it might be somewhat directional and earthed along it’s length, neither of which I’ve checked, however, notwithstanding these performance-related factors, the performance of the whip which at home had been terrible, surprised me greatly. Text links to a set-up video and the reception videos on my Oxford Shortwave Log YouTube channel follow directly below, with embedded videos at the end of the post. 

Finally, if you’re looking for a well performing, compact and portable active antenna for outdoor use in quiet environments and of course, DXpeditions, I would definitely recommend the Boni whip. Just bear in mind that the SNR it delivers at home might not be usable for anything more than casual listening.

Thanks for watching/listening/reading and I wish you all great DX!



Clint Gouveia is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Clint actively publishes videos of his shortwave radio excursions on his YouTube channel: Oxford Shortwave Log. Clint is based in Oxfordshire, England.

Urban DXing: testing the Bonito Boni whip against a 30 metre longwire & the Wellbrook ALA15030

Hi there, if like me, you live in an urban environment, chances are QRM is having a negative impact on the quality of the signals you’re receiving at home. The presence of electrical noise makes antenna choice very important, particuarly if you’re planning to spend more than a few £££s on something more sophisticated than a length of wire. Recently I was considering the the purchase of a second compact antenna, for use at home in my shack and out and about on DXpeditions. I already had the excellent Wellbrook ALA1530 H field antenna, but at more than £250, it’s very costly and thus it seemed rather extravagent to buy a second one, if I could find something with similar performance for less expense. Space is at a premium at home and of course I take much of my equipment out on DXpeditions, so the Bonito Boni whip active antenna appeared to be an ideal choice. A wideband active antenna (from 20 kHz to 300 MHz) operating from 12 to 15V DC, with a very compact form-factor definitely ticked all the boxes. Furthermore, with reasonable second and third order intercept points of +55 and +32.5 dBm respectively, the Boni whip, on paper at least, looked like a pretty good buy at around £100.

 

Now, clearly, an E field antenna such as the Boni whip is not going to match the SNR provided by the H field Wellbrook ALA1530 in a noisy, urban environment. I have uploaded a few reception videos to my YouTube channel to demonstrate this, making a direct comparison of the two. However, what about the performance of the whip versus a simple longwire in an urban environment? Is there a delta in performance? The value proposition of the whip is primarliy in it’s performance, coupled with portability I suppose, but that must be considered a secondary requirement. The whip might be 10 or 15 times more expensive than a reel of cheap equipment wire, but will the reception justify the cost delta?!

Text links follow directly below, with embedded videos thereafter; you will find 3 reception videos comparing the whip and a 30 metre longwire, on shortwave and one each for LW and MW. At the end of each video there’s a section with the Wellbrook loop, just to calibrate where the longwire and whip are in terms of a much more effective H field antenna. The result? Well, there’s not much to separate the longwire and Boni whip, except on LW, where the whip prevails. A friend told me recently, if reception is rubbish at home under a blanket of QRM, don’t blame the antenna, the noise is the real problem. He was right. So, the next tests are to be undertaken out in the field, where the whip has a real chance to shine. I’m rooting for it because to have an antenna that performs as well as, or close to my loop out in the woods, yet can be packed away into a small case would be brilliant. Thanks for reading/watching/listening.



Clint Gouveia is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Clint actively publishes videos of his shortwave radio excursions on his YouTube channel: Oxford Shortwave Log. Clint is based in Oxfordshire, England.

Why good antennas need to be fed with good coax

Dennis Walter, of Bonito Radio in Germany, has just posted an excellent article on his blog regarding the importance of quality coaxial cable to fight local radio interference.

Click here to read his post, “Why even good antennas need good Coax cable.”

 

Bonito’s new catalog in English

Many thanks to Dennis Walter, who writes with this update from Bonito:

Bonito-Catalog

The new Bonito Hamradio / SWL Catalog 2016 in English has been released. We will distribute it on our Shows at Montichiari, Dayton Hamvention, Florence Hamfest, Friedrichshafen Hamradio, UK Hamfest etc.

The Catalog is already available as PDF download here: http://www.bonito.net/cat/Bonito-Hamradio-catalogue2016.pdf

Have fun and keep listening

Dennis

Portable power for active antennas

CPI1000 mit Powerbank

CPI1000 mit Powerbank

Many thanks to Dennis at Bonito for sharing a link to an article he recently published on the Bonito blog:

Autonomous power supply of our active antennas via USB and power bank

It is getting to be more and more difficult to procure reasonably priced analogue external plug-in power supplies because just like old light bulbs they are no longer allowed to be produced due to power consumption restrictions. We are spending a lot of time to find and buy remaining stock so that we can offer our customers noise-free external power supplies. But for years, there has been an alternative.

Our MegaLoop ML200, ML052, the MegActiv MA305 as well as the GigActiv GA3005 can be operated internally with as little as 5V and so can be powered by the supplied CPI1000DP / CPI3000DP bias tee via a USB cable.  In light of the annoying switching power supplies, PowerLAN and heightened mobility of listeners, this is a very practical alternative and offers much more flexibility for the customer.  Unfortunately, this fact is not well known and that is why I would like to shed some light on this subject.[…]

Continue reading at the Bonito website.

Thanks, Dennis!

RaspberryPirate-EtonBlockI should note that there are a multitude of 5 VDC powerblocks on the market. I have two made by Eton Corp (see above) that even have hand-crank power generation. I recently used one to power my Raspberry Pi (Raspberry Pirate!) for several hours.

As Dennis states, using a DC source certainly cuts down on interference from noisy power supplies.