Tag Archives: Mad Radio DXer

The XHDATA D-808 and longwave: how to build an effective antenna

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mad Radio DXer, who writes:

I said I would share my results for attempting to receive LW signals on the XHDATA D-808, & if I can use a longwire to improve reception on this radio. This was after posting videos when I used around 50 metres of longwire connected to the D-808 for improved Medium Wave reception & to prove it works.

This first video shows that it is not possible for LW, no matter if I connect the 50 metres longwire to the 3.5mm input or the whip antenna. I also compare reception of the same station with the Degen DE1103 PLL using the 3.5mm input. The Degen DE1103 still had better reception even when I used the whip antenna extended at the very minimum when using the LW/MW external antenna trick. I know I should have used the internal ferrite antenna of the Degen compared to the D-808, but in any case I did try off camera & reception was about the same. So unfortunately the D-808 was never going to win this round.

However, there is a solution.

The answer? Build yourself a Long Wave induction antenna as shown in the second video [below]. I made one some time ago, as I grew frustrated at how poor the Tecsun radios were on this part of the band & that there were no LW induction antennas available to buy. I tried a signal on 207 kHz which is RÚV Rás 2 from Iceland. Either a radio with a very good internal antenna or a good external antenna is needed to receive this station at my QTH in southern England.

Placing the D-808 on the induction antenna resulted in a very pleasing result, which was it did get reception of Iceland on 207 kHz. So this shows that it is possible to DX on the LW bands with the D-808 with some “external help”.

For anyone interested making a LW induction antenna as shown above, here is a link to a video that has basic instructions & further results. It may be a very simple build & finish what I did, but for me the most important thing is that it works.

I hope my comments & videos will be a great help to all. Happy DXing.

Regards,

Mad Radio DXer.

Excellent–your comments and videos are most welcome! There are quite a number of SWLing Post readers who are avid longwave DXers. I love the simplicity and efficacy of your longwave antenna–something anyone could build.  A clever upgrade to the affordable D-808. Thank you for sharing!

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XHDATA D-808: using an external longwire antenna for MW

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mad Radio DXer, who writes:

I want to bring to the attention of your readers & fellow XHDATA D-808 owners that it can accept an external antenna on MW without the need for any modifications. This I found out during a DXpedition to the field when I used around 50 metres of longwire.
I have some videos to prove this. The first is the difference between the external longwire antenna vs the internal ferrite antenna…

Click here to view on YouTube.

The second video is pretty much the same as the first, but this time I am tuning on a lower frequency of the MW band. Also I show that not only can the 3.5mm antenna input be used to connect an external MW antenna, but the internal whip antenna too.

Click here to view on YouTube.

The third video shows the difference between the XHDATA D-808 vs the Degen DE1103 PLL (using the external MW antenna trick). when using an external antenna for Medium Wave. In my opinion there is not much difference between them reception-wise, but the D-808 has the advantage of being able to select tighter bandwidth filters for less QRM from stations on adjacent frequencies.

Click here to view on YouTube.

These days I am more of a MW DXer than on shortwave. I am thrilled to have found out that the XHDATA D-808 can accept an external antenna for Medium Wave in stock form, since my understanding when I read some reviews was that it could not unless an internal modification was done. I will do more experiments of MW reception with the D-808 on my next DXpedition.

I want to add a few more points…

  • The D-808 does not work with an external longwire antenna for Long Wave. I tried this & will upload a video of the result soon. However, I tried using my LW induction antenna at home & it did get stations which it could not using the internal ferrite antenna on its own. Again a video of that will be upcoming.
  • I tried using a Wellbrook antenna for improved MW reception on the D-808 & unfortunately it does not work well. There was too much background noise, & there were harmonics + images all over the band. I would instead recommend using a good passive antenna like a longwire rahter than a strong active one.
  • It is recommended to use 25 metres or more longwire for best results. Obviously, the more longwire used means the lower the frequency gain for reception.
  • I cannot guarantee that this will work for all XHDATA D-808 units in case, for eg, some have different firmware versions. All I can say is it does not hurt to try, but bear in mind what I said about the longwire antenna length. Also a nice quiet location away from manmade noise helps even more to minimise any QRM.

I hope this has been helpful & useful to all XHDATA D-808 who like me, are really into MW DXing.

I’m happy to hear that you’re enjoying MW DXing and that the XHDATA D-808 is serving you well! Over the years, my DXing habits shift and change, but I’ve always included a healthy amount of mediumwave DXing in the mix. Especially when propagation on HF is dismal, I head down to the MW band for some action! Thanks again for sharing your videos and tip!

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