Posted by SWLing Post contributor Troy Riedel:
I just noticed something on eBay. Seller “playloudfm” based in Greece (100% feedback rating), the first to offer the high gain external ferrite antenna for the Tecsun PL-360/PL-365/County Comm GP5, has a new offering:
From the seller’s listing:
– Frequency: 530Khz – 1710Khz
– Passive, No external power or battery needed
– Wireless connection to AM Radios
– Plus a low impedance output 3.5mm mono plug for 50 ohm scanners
– Improves Sensitivity and Performance of your AM Radio Receiver for AM Band Dxing!
– Very small and lightweight, perfect for traveling antenna
This AM antenna can be used in two different ways
1) you can simply attach it near your AM radio internal ferrite antenna – wireless connection
2) use a 3.5mm cable to get a low impedance output for use with 50 ohm scanners
Use tuning knob to get the maximum signal
Have any Post readers bought and used this?
If anyone wonders,the external antenna from Greece
is eight inches long.
Theodoros (playloundfm) confirmed today he has a Longwave
version of this antenna in development.
No info on whether it will cover LW and MW or just LW only.
Here is a Radio Jay Allen piece on Loop Antennas and their
I am happy with the ferrite rod I bought off this seller for my PL-390 although it did take a very long time to arrive. I haven’t properly tested it against a loop but I believe loops outperform it.
Regardless I’m happy to give this new antenna a go, so I have ordered one. Hopefully it arrives before the middle of March but I’m not holding my breath. Greece has a very slow postal service. (in my sameple size of 1 that is)
Just got the latest QST, filled with pages and pages of advertisements for equipment and accessories for the ham op. All these companies are in the business of selling products to make the hobby more interesting and satisfying. If you like the satisfaction of home brewing, great; if not then spend the money and keep them in business. There’s room for everyone in the hobby.
Here’s one; I just bought an AN-200 Loop from Universal Radio. Have I built loops before? Sure, last one was an VLF loop so big I had to build a wooden frame just to wind all that wire. But that was then, this is now, and I’d rather just spend the money, get it quick, and not delay the fun of using it.
You can convert your AN-200 to 630 meter band coverage by
soldering a cap (220pf in my AN100) across the variable.
An SPST gives two band coverage.
On longwave it goes down to 400 khz (you may have to
experiment with different value caps though).
In an interesting coincidence, I just got an email from the guy I bought a bunch of ferrites from.
To not be be spammy, I won’t post his contact info in this post, but if folk are interested, I can later. My lone purchase was perfect. I’d buy another set, but I haven’t gotten around to building the first antenna on my list.
What do you all think?
…you used to buy ferrite bars measuring 62x12x4mm from me a while ago.
Now that I acquired a quantity of these ferrites, I am offering them
at a wholesale price for $18.80 per 60 piece lot.
It runs $8.00 to ship them to United States from Lithuania by priority airmail.
Extra $4.00 shipping for each additional 60 piece lot.
Tracking number(should you want one) would run another $3.00 on top of that.
70-odd years ago ferrite antennas were a marvel that radio enthusiasts struggled to understand.
60-odd years ago passive coupled ferrite antennas were a project for advanced enthusiasts’ magazines.
50-odd years ago they were a quick project for a basic radio enthusiast on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
40-odd years ago they were common subjects in boys-own-style “introduction to radio” magazines.
Now, apparently, they’re marvellous again but nobody even thinks about building them – partly because they’re common as muck, but partly because the average SWLer or ham doesn’t build much anymore &, in Western countries at least, people have been convinced they need to own the ‘best’ to be a ‘proper’ enthusiast.
It’s kind of sad really, the way that for most people hobbies are gradually shifting from ‘something you need to learn & think about and put effort into’ to ‘something you do by acquiring stuff’…
I have sincere respect for people who build radio kits and radio antennas, and people who work on cars and create furniture as well. It’s all a wonder to me, but it’s not something I’m particularly good at. Being able to “make” antennas, or to be able make anything else like that with your hands really is an art, a craft worthy of respect, but it shouldn’t have to be a mandatory skill for entry into the radio hobby
We build stuff primarily because you can’t buy it
or it’s not being made anymore.
Don’t think you can’t do it,every one of us
started out as complete beginners too.
Find an easy project (like the hula hoop loop
shown in an article here) and have at it.
You’ll be glad you did.
I am going somewhere interesting in March to collect some MW spectrum. I had planed to take my MW portable loop, but this stick will attract less attention (than the loop) when crossing international borders etc. The 50 ohm connection option is what I need. Purchased just now! Let’s see how it works out!
The antenna has arrived and it’s wonderful! Smaller than I was expecting but on my AirSpy HF+ (the receiver I needed this for) it works amazingly well. I’m totally happy – well worth the $’s!
A shootout between this and a passive loop antenna would be interesting.
Absolutely…betcha the loop wins?.
But if you want a ferrite bar,spend a
wee bit more and get the best:
Just a “wee bit ” more expensive … as in more than 4x more 😉 Anyway, thanks … I didn’t know these Q-Sticks were still being sold.
I bet the C. Crane TCF would be a fair shootout. I have one, but C. Crane discontinued those last year … or maybe in 2016? I tend to think shootouts should pit products that are still in production unless one is using a discontinued product as a baseline. Eh … maybe I’ll do it?
I dunno,Gerry quotes $52 plus Priority Mail on his website
vs. $40 for the other one plus $11 shipping.
And Gerry is in Pensacola,not Greece.
I compared the Q Loop since it has a tuner, $199 + SH …
Ha! Memories of the old ‘Dewtron Wavetrap’. Not quite the same as the Dewtron was an active device that needed a battery to work. The Playloud one is purely passive, but it will no doubt bring about a useful boost.