Is an actual antenna for reception necessary??
I am trying to get back into the whole ham radio thing again. For now, I have no means of setting up my dipole antenna until my wire comes in. My question is, do you need a good length of wire to receive???
I just want to listen in on the HF activity, but for now I just used a short 8 ft wire, but its really really diffficult to receive anything, yet alone i can barely hear just a few cw contacts being made, but very very faintly. The other day when 15 meteres opened up, I can hear everything strong when I was turned to a receiver on globaltuners.com, but when I went to turn on my Icom 706, nothing....
So is it essential to have the same closely matched antenna to be able to receive just as its critical to have a matching length antenna to transmit?
Any input would be appreciated. Thank you! =)
A simple wire of any reasonable length will work for recieve only.
i'm sorry you don't have the experience or understanding to realize that others possess a skill set that you seem to dismiss as fantastical.
You will always get the best reception with an antenna cut for the frequency you are trying to receive. This is true whether a dipole, vertical, or random wire. Be patient and put up a good antenna when your wire comes in - there is plenty of activity on the bands.
8 feet of wire might be a bit on the short side, especially if it's indoors. Run a longer piece of wire OUTSIDE, bring the end in through a window (which you can shut right on the wire without hurting anything, especially if it's a wooden window. Be a little more careful if it's a metal window.)
Originally Posted by KD7OTA
With my first receiver (an SX-99 back in 1958), I had maybe 15 feet of bell wire running diagonally across the ceiling in my bedroom/shack, with the end hanging down and fastened to the antenna terminal on the RX. I could hear at least 3.72 bazillion stations - ham, commercial AM broadcast, shortwave broadcast -- you name it.
I should point out, however, that 1958 was right around the peak of the best propagation conditions in recorded history...
A day without thermonuclear fusion
is like a day without sunshine.
Semper ubi sub ubi.
73 de Pat, K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
Thanks for the responses. I just figured maybe I was doing something wrong. And yea, the wire was indoors. I will run some wire outside and alittle longer too. Hoping results are better. But can't wait to get the spool of wire in and make the lengths for 40 and 20. I got a MFJ antenna analyzer to make sure it will work.
First of all, if this is on a transceiver, leave the mic unplugged. That way you reduce the chance of damaging the radio with no real antenna connected.
I've had some radios receive with no antenna -- only a dummy load and a scope probe. An odd deal, but it did work. As mentioned previously, hang as long a piece of wire as you have out a window -- it should improve the reception considerably.
I have the mic definately disconnected as I don't want to ruin the Icom But ill see what I can do as far as reception.
Well the bands have been poor for years. Now....I remember when... I used to have a Hammarlund SP600 JX receiver back in the 1970's and all I did was shove a piece of wire 9 ft long into the back of it, hang the wire over the door and it used to pull in the west coast stations on 15 metres like they were down the road. Things have chaged a lot, and not for the better.
For testing purposes, I sometimes hook up a 2M mag mount on top of a cabinet and tune in WWV on the HF bands, but only the absolute strongest stations get through on this arrangement. Run a whole bunch of wire out the window, and you'll be in MUCH better shape to receive.
when I was a kid I received Radio South Africa on a small transistor radio with a large screw driver lying an inch away... true story, no other antenna connected, bring the screw driver in close, and the receiver came alive.
its relative to signal strength...
you aren't going to pick up a lot of amateur stations with a 8 foot indoor piece of wire...
yes, the wire should be matched to the impedance of the radio antenna input, just like a transmitter - although it is a lot less critical.
I can tune my transmitting antenna to nearly a perfect match just by adjusting the tuner for the highest noise level or loudest signal on any given band.
The match between the antenna and receiver matters.