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Your average band noise smeter reading on HF

Discussion in 'Discussions, Opinions & Editorials' started by N0SYA, Apr 7, 2012.

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  1. N0SYA

    N0SYA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am interested in finding out what zedders face as far as typical/average no-signal condition smeter readings are with simple wire antennas such as dipoles and loops. Just band noise. And also if zedders employ internal or external rx amplification. Any input appreciated!
  2. KJ3N

    KJ3N Ham Member QRZ Page

    As of 11:30 local time:

    160m: On the only 160m antenna I have; S7.

    80m: On the 134 foot doublet; S4. On the 75m wire vertical; S6.

    40m: On the 40m loop; S2. On the 134 foot doublet; S1.

    20m: On the 40m loop, or the doublet; S1.

    15m: Doublet, or 40m loop; S1. On the 4-element 15m beam (pointing South); S2.

    10m: Loop or Doublet; S0. With the pre-amp on; S1.
  3. NN3W

    NN3W Ham Member QRZ Page

    I do not use external pre-amps. On my EDZ i get S0 to S1 on 10 to 20 meters. S3 on 30. On my 80 quad I get S2 on 40, S3 on 40 and S6 on 80. The 40 meter delta array yields me S2 on 40.
  4. NN4RH

    NN4RH Subscriber QRZ Page

    Depends on how I set my attenuators, pre-amps, and RF gain, and which antenna I'm using. Could be anywhere from S0 to S9+
  5. KJ4VTH

    KJ4VTH Subscriber QRZ Page

    Highly variable on this G5RVjr near the airport. Today 20m is very quiet S0 with intermittent S3 static crashes with lots of activity on the band. 10m is S4 noise and no strong stations heard. 40m is S3 noise and very few stations.
  6. KJ3N

    KJ3N Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yep, that was helpful. :rolleyes:
  7. N8YX

    N8YX Ham Member QRZ Page

    S3-S5 on the TS-940S/6BTV (20M), S7 on an IC-751A/80-15M inverted V (80M), S5-6 on another IC-751A/G5RV (40, 20M), S2 on a CPI2000/4BTV (11M) at the moment. I'm not running the internal preamps on any of the Icom gear, nor do I have the CPI's external preamp activated.
  8. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's usually very quiet here. Even though I have high tensions lines running along two edges of my lot, I've never heard a peep of electrical noise, even on 80. We do have a lot of weird "natural" noise up here at times...."Auroral roar" ans such, that can dominate on 20 meters.

  9. W9OE

    W9OE Ham Member QRZ Page

    My worst band by far is 40 meters. Some nights I can have an S7 noise level about 40% of the time. I do use the internal pre-amp always. 20 meters and up are never a problem. I do live in the city so I would expect a little noise from time to time. It is just something you have to adjust too and learn to work around.

    I resent weeks I have had a lot or noise in the form of static crashes due to all the storms down round Tenn. I sure wish they would keep their noise to them selves down there.
  10. PE1RDW

    PE1RDW Ham Member QRZ Page

    on my ts 680 with a g5rv one leg hanging loose on the ground facing NE no amp att active

    160 m S3
    80 m S2
    40 m drowning in contest stations right now but just below 40 m S1.5
    30 m S5 pulse noise
    20 m S1
    17 15 12 and 10 m S0.5 - S1
  11. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Mine varies with conditions, the weather, time of day, and receiver used since S-meters are not calibrated the same way and can be wildly different with the same antenna on the same band at the same moment.

    I don't use any kind of preamps on anything, as I always hear "band noise" (residual static/noise) on every band as soon as I connect an antenna -- so a preamp wouldn't do anything except screw up dynamic performance.

    I do use a preamp on a small (36" diameter) loop antenna which I sometimes use as a "separate RX antenna" on 160m/80m; because that antenna is so small that without a preamp, there is no "band noise" at all. Even with a 20 dB preamp, there isn't much but that's the whole reason to use such an antenna. With "full sized" antennas I always have band noise from MF through HF and VHF.
  12. W6OGC

    W6OGC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Using a ~200' loop around the eaves of the house, the noise level this morning is S4-5 on all bands 160-10, with more birdies than the Wild Animal Park. Now that I am on the verge of getting the SteppIR BigIR wired in, I will be able to turn my attention to birdie hunting, and noise reduction. A fellow about a mile from me was plagued with hideous noise, called out the utility company QRN hunters and discovered the noise was emanating from a battery charger for a weed whacker in a neighbor's garage!

    He bought a timer for the neighbor so the thing recharged between 2 and 3 in the morning and all is quiet!
  13. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    43' vertical far from the house S0-S2 on all bands. Dipole on TV mast above roof - S9 on 80 S4 on 40 S2 on higher bands. I'm learning that the vertical hears much better than it transmits on 80 and 10 meters, probably due to the lower noise. I need to get another support up so I can a get loop up away from the house.
  14. G8ADD

    G8ADD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Its unusually quiet here this evening (twilight here) with people away for the Easter break!

    G5RV doublet at 20 feet to a TS-520S:

    1.85 = S2
    3.70 = S6
    7.15 = S6
    14.20=S1, same for 21 and 28.

    When the neighbour has his plasma TV on add 4 S-points to the LF bands!


    Brian G8ADD
  15. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I can make my VHF noise level rise just by pointing at the sun. It rises quite a lot, actually. On 2m, if I am at the setting sun on the western horizon, the noise comes up at least 1 "S" unit. On 70cm also.

    On 70cm-33cm-23c-13cm if I am at any local airport, the noise level can rise to "S9" or higher when the radar system sweeps this way, which is a few times a minute. It's very broadband and can easily wipe out a contact. But only when I'm aimed at airports. I try not to do that if I can avoid it.
  16. N0SYA

    N0SYA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Appreciate the info gents. I should have been more specific by asking for band noise level when that band is open; 20 daytime, 40 all day, 80 at night, you get the idea.

    I have a coax fed loop of a hundred feet or so, and it's pretty quiet when the hf bands are open, but is subject to local noise from pcs and switching psus wich seem to be everywhere. My neighbors garage tv tells me when he's home and putzing around in the garage, the tv's h oscillator puts in an s9 noise every few KHz from vlf to wherever I tune in the hf bands, varying in strength and always changing slightly in freq. Guess I could van eck hack the signal and watch whatever he's watching. Most bands above 80 the smeter rests at s0 daytime, unless there's a solar or geomagnetic storm where it can sit at 7 or so and lasts for weeks at a time it seems. Too close to summer and the rainy season for 80 to be quiet at night so that spoils a reading for now with storms from St Lou to Nashville to Peoria finding their way to my antenna.
  17. KO6WB

    KO6WB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My S-meter can read just about anything I set for. Doesn't really indicate much and as a calibrated instrument it leaves a lot to be desired. What is important is the signal to noise ratio (SNR) and if it's around 10 db or so then I'm a happy camper.
  18. AG6JU

    AG6JU Ham Member QRZ Page

    most noisiest is 80 meter band for me, with SSB 2.8 kHz filter it read S7 , but with CW 300 Hz filter it read S2, that is my main reason I only able to operate in CW.
  19. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Lately, 160-meters has been running between an S-9 to almost +20 dB. That is with an "S" meter calibrated for S-9 = 50 microvolts and pretty accurate "dB over" readings. It does fall to around S-7 at times.

    The higher bands generally drop off in noise level as the frequency increases.

    All of my "S" meters are calibrated for S-9 = 50 microvolts and the accuracy in the "dB over" is good.

    Now, I do have better than average antennas which does increase the noise level in most situations.

    Glen, K9STH
  20. KA5S

    KA5S Subscriber QRZ Page

    At the moment, with antenna/tuners as below and a Ten Tec Jupiter 538; the tuners are in the shack.

    Carolina 160-80 Windom W 100 FT LMR400 to LDG Z-11 Pro
    20FT High 100FT Dipole W 30FT Ladderline/BALUN/30FT 9913 TO AT1000 Pro Tuner

    1.9 Windom s6 Dipole S6 (Jupiter's int tuner AND AT1000Pro needed for dipole)
    3.75 Windom s6 Dipole S5
    7.16 Windom S6 Dipole S5
    10.115 Windom S4 Dipole S4
    14.15 Windom S7 DIPOLE S6
    18.1 Windom S4 DIPOLE S3
    21.15 Windom S3 DIPOLE S3
    24.91 Windom S3 DIPOLE S2-3
    28.4 Windom S3-4 DIPOLE S3

    These antennas are oriented N/S with the Carolina Windom on the East side of the lot and the dipole not quite over the house near the middle. They are due replacement; previously, with 200 ft LL fed dipoles at N and S ends of the lot I measured as low as 1 uV (<S0) on an FT920.

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