Antenna Reception Question

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by W8MWR, Dec 10, 2018.

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  1. W8MWR

    W8MWR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have created a three axis antenna for my HF and UHF rigs. The UHF is a vertical J-Pole that works very nice. The other two are HF antennas made from MFJ-347 Double Pipe Mounts. These units allow me to mount two mobile whips as a horizontal dipole. One set are Lakewood Hamstick's 9175 (75/80 Meter) and the other are 9140 (40 Meter) mounted 90°'s to each other. I am driving them with a Kenwood TS-440S at full power setting (100W give or take). I use an MFJ Versa Tuner II (MFJ-941D).
    I was making contacts over 1500 miles and getting reports of 59 in the evening hours. One gentleman told me he was driving a new Cushcraft antenna with 830 watts. I gave his signal a 47 report. Another was a comparable situation.
    How is it that I can bang out such a good signal but cannot receive very well at all? Is there anything I can do about it? I don't have a port for a beverage antenna so I am stuck. Is the signal directional?

    All input and knowledge greatly appreciated.
  2. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's hard to say for sure, sometimes propagation does funny things that aren't so symmetrical. But I'd suspect the answer has something to do with the fact that reception is all about signal-to-noise ratio, while transmission is all about effective radiated power. Understanding that, it becomes obvious why one of the most common reasons for an "alligator" station is a high local noise level. It's not the only possibility, but it's the one I'd probably want to investigate first.
    W8MWR, K2CAJ, WA7ARK and 1 other person like this.
  3. WA7ARK

    WA7ARK Ham Member QRZ Page

    What do you see on the S-meter with the receiver tuned between stations? Does that change based on time-of-day?

    During the five years I lived in a dense suburban neighborhood, I saw the resting noise level on 40m go from about S2 to a steady S9, and could only receive the strongest stations.

    I attribute this to the proliferation of consumer electronics containing switching power supplies. Nowadays, everything does, wall-warts, CFLs, LEDs, ballasts, refrigerators, washing machines, furnaces, cooling, computers, TV, solar..

    I now live rural, where I can somewhat control my local RFI environment. However, it is a constant battle. I'm having to test for RFI every new gadget that we buy. Some of them get returned. Some get modified...

    Getting an SDR receiver that lets you see several MHz of the spectrum simultaneously of a waterfall display makes spotting the unintentional RFI radiators much easier to spot...
    W8MWR likes this.
  4. W2AAT

    W2AAT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Perhaps you were giving a honest report to them while they were giving the typical 599 report given by a large part of our community. Most reports these days are subjective and subjective means 599.... I wonder how many grumbled over your honest report....
    KA0HCP, W8MWR and AG6QR like this.
  5. K2CAJ

    K2CAJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Perhaps there is a lot of noise where you live, and not a lot of noise where the receiving station is. I'm guessing your QTH between Baltimore and Washington may be noisier than some other locations.
    W8MWR likes this.
  6. W8MWR

    W8MWR Ham Member QRZ Page

    As the contacts were all made in a consistent time frame I never looked into the matter in this way. I did take a look at the local conditions using a spectrum analyzer and gained no in-site from it. The best answer I have heard is that it is a small antenna so less signal being captured. By adding a duplexer and wire antenna, I believe, I can then pull a good signal as well as transmit one. My only other alternative is to add a second transceiver or receiver and a wire antenna.
  7. W8MWR

    W8MWR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had not considered this possibility. I will keep it mind for the future.
  8. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think it's just the weak signal propagation everyone is experiencing these days.

    "The new normal" if you will.

    Stations I used to hear in the evening on 40m at 20 over S9 on a regular basis are now only around S5 to S7 sort of thing.

    So are these weaker signals occurring because my 200' long antenna at 50' in the air not receiving properly either?
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
    W8MWR likes this.
  9. W8MWR

    W8MWR Ham Member QRZ Page

    During the daytime it is a VERY noisy area, in the evening (20:00 to 01:00) it quiets down quite nicely. I typically get about S2 to S3 for noise. When I take my rig up to the hills of WV I get about S2 with the same antennas. It doesn't fully account for the disparity but, this may be a multi-factor issue. I will investigate futher. Thank you.
  10. W8MWR

    W8MWR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would concur but for the fact that in real time our signals are so mismatched. Thanks for your response and I'll keep you posted.

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