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Author Topic: Can an antenna work while laying on the ground?  (Read 3233 times)

Offline alpard

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Can an antenna work while laying on the ground?
« on: March 25, 2023, 1300 UTC »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBS-CNtY2Uk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0WvIxoU0LI

What do you think? Have you tried this type of HF LF MW LW Rxing with the ground lying wire antenna?
What was the result?
« Last Edit: March 25, 2023, 1310 UTC by alpard »
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Offline Sealord

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Re: Can an antenna work while laying on the ground?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2023, 1359 UTC »
I use an off-the-shelf (MMD-40) end fed dipole on the ground (D.O.G.) that gives me good results with low noise when used this way.

I have also used the same dipole laid directly on top over 100ft of pvc 22 ga. stranded wire (attached to a RF-Systems MLB) and then using an A/B switch can get some directional differences between the two to avoid QRM/enhance reception.

I'm sure soil conductivity plays a big part in all of this.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2023, 1819 UTC by Sealord »
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Offline RobRich

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Re: Can an antenna work while laying on the ground?
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2023, 1823 UTC »
My former 148' loop-on-ground was a good antenna particularly for regional reception from LW to mid-HF frequencies.

https://www.hfunderground.com/board/index.php/topic,29940.msg114696.html#msg114696

A terminated beverage-on-ground is a popular directional antenna, too.

On-ground antennas are designed typically for signal-to-noise; not gain. Losses can be in the many tens of negative dBs, so a low-noise preamp might be required depending upon various factors.

As Sealord noted, ground conductivity can be a factor. I am over sandy soil with poor conductivity, so my LoG probably would have performed about the same slightly above ground, on the ground, or even buried in the ground several inches. YMMV.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2023, 1825 UTC by RobRich »
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Offline Josh

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Re: Can an antenna work while laying on the ground?
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2023, 1910 UTC »
Some HAM antenna books have given details on subsurface antennas for hf. One of the more effective setups was simply remove the outer shield from some rg8, waterproof the ends and center connector and bury it about 3 inches below. Another that comes to mind was an antenna laid out in a horizontal mine shaft in the American sw, worked great on the lower bands. The US missile silos have an interesting subsurface vlf antenna array too. Antennas on the surface is like cheating compared to these.
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Offline ka3jjz

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Re: Can an antenna work while laying on the ground?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2023, 0123 UTC »
There are several links to the subject of loops on the ground (LOG) antennas here in the RadioReference wiki....

https://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Loops#Loop_on_the_Ground_.28LOG.29

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Offline alpard

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Re: Can an antenna work while laying on the ground?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2023, 1123 UTC »
Yeah - this is an interesting topic for me.  I am going to give a try with this antenna configuration for purely RXing MW and HFLF dxing, to see how it compares with Active or just normal long wire high up.
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Offline alpard

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Re: Can an antenna work while laying on the ground?
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2023, 1521 UTC »
I tried 40m wire on the ground in end fed configuration into the ATU.  It certainly shows big signal boost on some bands 6 Mhz 11 and 12 Mhz. 
But on the other bands such as 4-5 Mhz, noise has increased a lot.  And especially on MW, the noise is quite bad.
I had to lay the wire on the concrete slab path in the back garden along the garden shed to make it look inconspicuous.  Would it be better if the wire were on the soil or grass, rather than the concrete slab path? No?

I felt that it could do a good balun.  How do you choose what type of balun it needs?  There are various type of baluns 1:1, 1:9, 1:49, 1:4 etc? 
« Last Edit: March 28, 2023, 1523 UTC by alpard »
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Offline outhouse radio

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Re: Can an antenna work while laying on the ground?
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2023, 1952 UTC »
http://www.antentop.org/021/files/k3mt_021.pdf
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSioSzSiScc
 
type "  grasswire  " into your favorite search , and you'll find all kinds of stuff .

and yes i have broadcast with a grasswire in the past when out camping on motorcycle trips.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2023, 2011 UTC by outhouse radio »

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: Can an antenna work while laying on the ground?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2023, 0440 UTC »
I've used BOG's for decades for listening on family property out in the sticks. All you need is something along the lines of a chalk line reel to hold the wire, they work great for listening.

I knew a pirate who used wires for transmitting cut to frequency like Outhouse is talking about. He lived in the desert southwest, I never bothered to try one here as we get heavy dew and fog in good weather. He liked to use them for tx'ing laid on wooden fences and block walls.

Outhouse, don't drank too much on those motorcycle trips. Too much lean in a curve could kill you.

Offline RobRich

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Re: Can an antenna work while laying on the ground?
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2023, 0303 UTC »
Try doing a loop-on-ground. A 60' circumference (i.e. a square with 15' sides) is a good starting point for a basic LoG.

I would be more concerned with common-mode choking than impedance matching if using a LoG or unterminated BoG as simple impedance is going to be a moving target depending upon frequency. Pretty much any 1:1 choke designed for MW/HF should suffice. Do not spend any serious money. For example, wind some of your feedline through a Fair-Rite mix 31 or 43 torrid, or even a TDK N30 if desired.

Alternatively, I even use inexpensive mix 73 binocular cores and enamel magnet wire to wind basic chokes for low frequency receiving antennas. Four turns for primary. Four turns for secondary. End result is a little 1:1 isolation choke, at least for up to a few MHz. Fair-Rite 2873000202 is under $1 each.

If doing a true *terminated* BoG with a resistor to ground at the far end, then figure around 200 to 300 ohms simple impedance on MW and lower HF bands. A basic 4:1 current balun at the feedpoint should suffice.

All that said, I actually tried various baluns on my 148' LoG over the years. I ended up tossing them and using feedline straight to the LoG. I did have a few snap-on ferrites of whatever mix(es) on the feedline near the feedpoint, plus a KD9SV common-mode choke back near the receiver, but neither did much for my particular environment. Another YMMV situation.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2023, 0749 UTC by RobRich »
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Offline alpard

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Re: Can an antenna work while laying on the ground?
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2023, 1302 UTC »
Try doing a loop-on-ground. A 60' circumference (i.e. a square with 15' sides) is a good starting point for a basic LoG.

I would be more concerned with common-mode choking than impedance matching if using a LoG or unterminated BoG as simple impedance is going to be a moving target depending upon frequency. Pretty much any 1:1 choke designed for MW/HF should suffice. Do not spend any serious money. For example, wind some of your feedline through a Fair-Rite mix 31 or 43 torrid, or even a TDK N30 if desired.

Alternatively, I even use inexpensive mix 73 binocular cores and enamel magnet wire to wind basic chokes for low frequency receiving antennas. Four turns for primary. Four turns for secondary. End result is a little 1:1 isolation choke, at least for up to a few MHz. Fair-Rite 2873000202 is under $1 each.

If doing a true *terminated* BoG with a resistor to ground at the far end, then figure around 200 to 300 ohms simple impedance on MW and lower HF bands. A basic 4:1 current balun at the feedpoint should suffice.

All that said, I actually tried various baluns on my 148' LoG over the years. I ended up tossing them and using feedline straight to the LoG. I did have a few snap-on ferrites of whatever mix(es) on the feedline near the feedpoint, plus a KD9SV common-mode choke back near the receiver, but neither did much for my particular environment. Another YMMV situation.

Great info. Thanks.   Yeah 1:1 homebrew balun sounds easy and simple enough.  The Wire on the ground of about 40m long (I have added more wire), is definitely hearing the stuff on the HF and MW, but also some portion of the bands sound extremely noisy.   And it has not heard anything exotic DX yet.  Just usual night time stuff on LF and MW is heard with the wire on the ground. Having said that, the whole HF and MW condition is very poor lately.  I think there have been some gigantic geo solar activities recently, and it might still affecting the band condition?

Not sure, if there could be better and more efficient DX receiving antenna - preferably homebrew ones.  My active miniwhip and longwire and youloop are OK for the run of the mill stuff, but not really exciting for hearing more challenging DX.

And I was hoping that this LoG or WoG receiving antenna could bring some exciting DX, but so  far, it has been medium success.   Longer and bigger antennas are not necessarily better, I was reflecting.  But search and experiment will continue finding the right cheap simple DX antenna.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2023, 1306 UTC by alpard »
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Offline alpard

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Re: Can an antenna work while laying on the ground?
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2023, 1851 UTC »
The LoG seems a lot better RX antenna than my MIC Active Miniwhip from side by side testing on MW and the most of HF LF portion of the spectrum.
It definitely needs good ATU.   A 1:1 balun would help even more as well.
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Offline Pigmeat

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Re: Can an antenna work while laying on the ground?
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2023, 0032 UTC »
One thing that needs to be said about LOG's and BOG's is they're quiet. You normally have to turn up the gain on your radio up a bit to get the best out of them.

Once you get used to the little tricks of using them, I think you'll really enjoy them. You can literally take them anywhere. I take one about 50 meters long to the beach with a portable and lay it out LOG style. I stay out until the wee hours of the morning waiting for the Cuban MW blasters to go long and the Caribbean and S. American MW's to pop up.

Offline Josh

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Re: Can an antenna work while laying on the ground?
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2023, 2219 UTC »
One might be able to roll out a directional ground rhombic, orient the antennae so it has a pointy end towards the region of interest, add a variable resistor of a few hundred ohms there, and feed it at the opposite end. A balun of a few hundred ohms to 50 ohms at the feedpoint and tweak the resistor to get the best front to back.
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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Can an antenna work while laying on the ground?
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2023, 1534 UTC »
One might be able to roll out a directional ground rhombic, orient the antennae so it has a pointy end towards the region of interest, add a variable resistor of a few hundred ohms there, and feed it at the opposite end. A balun of a few hundred ohms to 50 ohms at the feedpoint and tweak the resistor to get the best front to back.

Related - I've read claims of directionality from LOG antennas, depending on where you locate the feedpoint. I experimented with LOGs several years ago, but never delved deep enough to see what sort of directionality I was getting, if any. It could however be an interesting area for experimentation.
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