Random Wire vs Loop ror RX in small back yard

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by NEBULAM57, Mar 6, 2020.

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  1. NEBULAM57

    NEBULAM57 QRZ Member


    I live in a plat in a medium sided town SW Ohio, USA (Eastern Timezone). I have a smaller back yard that's 50' x 80'. There's a power line that runs across the back of my lot and the power and phone lines run from that power pole to the west side of my house. I have no trees. I do however have a couple of pole barns at the rear of my lot, 5' off the line, ie 5' off my property line which is where the block's power lines run. The barn are around 60' from the rear of my house, which is where the lines would enter to my receiver.

    I am only really interested in listening. I don't own a transceiver. I would like to listen to LW, MW and HF ranges, tho I know the LW may be a stretch. I am currently using a 200' 18ga speaker wire antenna strung in a rather unattractive, dangling loop around my back yard. Of course this was only a trial to see what I could pick up and was rather happy with it's performance. My real desire is to hear stations out of Europe.

    I would like to make a better effort to keep my length, increase the length or maybe even employ a few different lengths but keep them "neat" in my back yard.

    So I have 2 questions:
    1. Can I string my 200' speaker wire in a back and forth pattern between the rear of my house and the pole barn's at the back of my property. It'd be a little more than 200' to make 4 out-and-back passes between the house and barns. These would be running nearly north-south. I would expect to keep say 12 inches between each run.
    2. Would I do this as an end-fed antenna with the other end just floating in space or would I bring both ends back to the receiver as a loop?
    I have more questions but I didn't want to waste anyone's time getting answers to routes I may not go down.

    Thank you for your time and any help you can provide.

  2. WA7ARK

    WA7ARK Ham Member QRZ Page

    A single horizontal wire run, as high as you can, as far from the power line as you can is about as good you will be able to do... connect the near end to your receiver.

    The noise sources that limit what you will be able to receive on the AM and HF bands are in your own house, and in your neighbor's houses. Some of those noise sources (switching power supplies and lighting, mostly) can be tracked down and mitigated, but you will not be able to do that if they are at your neighbor's.

    An amplified loop which can be located in a clear spot, as far from noise sources as possible, an can be rotated to null the worst offending noise source might help, but it will cost you $$$$ to find out...
  3. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

  4. WA7ARK

    WA7ARK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Do that before investing a lot of money. You will find that SW listening is not as interesting as it used to be. Most foreign broadcasters have shut down, and now use the internet to disseminate propaganda...
    KK1N and K0UO like this.
  5. WB3BEL

    WB3BEL Ham Member QRZ Page

    How high can you run the wire between the house and pole barn ?
    If you ran a single wire from your house to the pole barn would it be oriented so that the direction to Europe is perpendicular to the wire ?
    I think to start, a single wire would be better than one going back and forth, and would be easier to install and maintain.
    Try it for a while and see if it helps. Then decide what you want to try next.
    It does not need to be perfect to have a lot of fun.
    AK5B likes this.
  6. N1LOU

    N1LOU Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    How big of a loop could you create if you circled the property?
  7. WN1MB

    WN1MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Now that's the ticket! Completely isolate the radio enthusiast (and potential ham) from the radio and antenna. Computer and Internet access ONLY!

    Sheesh. Your reply both surprised and disappointed me, Steve.
    KK1N, KK4NSF, AK5B and 1 other person like this.
  8. WA7ARK

    WA7ARK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I support Steve on his recommendation. With the proliferation of switching power supplies, the RFI environment for AM or SW reception in towns has gotten so bad that unless you can compare what you can receive at your own location to what a miles-from-nearest house remote SDR receiver can receive (such as the Northern Utah or West-Coast KFS SDR), you will never have a clue how badly your own RF environment is polluted.
    WD4ELG likes this.
  9. W0RIO

    W0RIO Ham Member QRZ Page

    A wire running back and forth would tend to cancel out the "forth" part with every "back" part.
    I'd suggest just using a long wire that's as far from the power lines as possible.
    Since you have lots of wire, you could install two long wires which run at right angles
    (or just different angles) to each other. Connect one or the other wires to your receiver,
    depending on which one picks up a particular signal better.
  10. WN1MB

    WN1MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Steve's reply did NOT mention or even hint at anything about A-B comparison.
    N0CEL and AK5B like this.

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