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Author Topic: KiwiSDR antenna question  (Read 729 times)

Offline Strange Beacons

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KiwiSDR antenna question
« on: January 07, 2019, 0148 UTC »
I'm currently using a spare MFJ-1622 antenna I had lying around my radio shack on my KiwiSDR. It seems to work fairly well, but I'm wanting to make my SDR the best it can be. All of the research that I've done for KiwiSDR antennas keeps leading me back to the W6LVP mag loop. So far, I've read only glowing reports about it and I've been emailing back and forth with Larry, the antenna builder. I'm impressed with all of his responses and I am leaning pretty heavily towards buying one of these.

Does anyone here have any experience using this antenna?

Update: It always pays to search through older threads on here. Though not specifically about how the W6LVP works with a KiwiSDR, this thread discusses the antenna's merits.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 1928 UTC by Strange Beacons »

Offline MDK2

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Re: KiwiSDR antenna question
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2019, 0639 UTC »
I have vague daydreams of setting up my own kiwi SDR. Besides the expense when my limited hobby funds are earmarked for various station improvements, my main deterrent is the high level of RFI around my QTH which I've come to terms with on a personal level, but would likely be a turn off for any visitor. (Although various grounding and a renewed ferrite core attack are in the plans.)

But pretending that I am going ahead with it, I have wondered about having my W6LVP in use for a kiwi SDR because the kiwi interface doesn't allow for things like antenna switching or rotating. Should I set one up, any visitor is at the mercy of whatever position I happen to have it in. If what they want to hear is coming in toward the null side, they're going to be out of luck. So for that reason, it may not be the best choice.

That said, I do think some folks on the kiwi SDR network are using the W6LVP loop. Sorry, I can't remember which ones, but you might find them if you look and if so, see how it's working for those stations.
Denver, CO.
SDRPlay RSP2pro, Icom IC-7100, Grundig Satellit 750, Realistic DX-300, Tecsun PL-600.
W6LVP active loop, G5RV, 20m dipole, homebrewed mag loops.
eQSLs appreciated wickerjennie at gmail

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: KiwiSDR antenna question
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2019, 1100 UTC »
I'd suggest considering a LoG (Loop on Ground) antenna for a KiwiSDR. I usually have mine connected, except when there's substantial pirate activity, then I connect the 43m dipole as I figure most listeners to the radio are interested in pirates.

I've found my 350 ft LoG produces a very good signal, especially on MW, but does not overload the KiwiSDR (it does not have an attenuator). Previously I used the sky loop, but that often overloaded the KiwiSDR. I do have plans to build a splitter that only passes a portion of the signal to one port, and connected that to the KiwiSDR, the other port going to the netSDR, which does not suffer from overloading.

MDK2: I do not have a high noise environment here, but from reports of others that do and have tried a LoG, they said it worked remarkably well.

Update: I just built the splitter, seems to be working. I'll write up a short post in the Equipment board.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 1126 UTC by ChrisSmolinski »
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
NRD 545 / netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 58 ft T2FD / 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop

Offline MDK2

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Re: KiwiSDR antenna question
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2019, 2047 UTC »
MDK2: I do not have a high noise environment here, but from reports of others that do and have tried a LoG, they said it worked remarkably well.

How big does it have to be? I have a decent sized yard for a suburban neighborhood but it's about 75' wide and 150 deep, and I have the neighborhood power line along the back, a street light power line along one side, and the power drop cutting diagonally across my back yard.
Denver, CO.
SDRPlay RSP2pro, Icom IC-7100, Grundig Satellit 750, Realistic DX-300, Tecsun PL-600.
W6LVP active loop, G5RV, 20m dipole, homebrewed mag loops.
eQSLs appreciated wickerjennie at gmail

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: KiwiSDR antenna question
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2019, 2319 UTC »
I have two LoG antennas. The first is 50 ft (total length, roughly a square 12 ft on a side), and works well on 25m and up. The smaller is 350 ft total length, not a square, sorta a deformed rectangle. Works best on LW/MW and the lower part of HF.  If you have a high noise environment, I'd consider giving one a try.

p.s. I am going to have some inexpensive fixed value matching transformers for sale shortly, suitable for LoGs and other antennas.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
NRD 545 / netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 58 ft T2FD / 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop

Offline MDK2

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Re: KiwiSDR antenna question
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2019, 0617 UTC »
I have two LoG antennas. The first is 50 ft (total length, roughly a square 12 ft on a side), and works well on 25m and up. The smaller is 350 ft total length, not a square, sorta a deformed rectangle. Works best on LW/MW and the lower part of HF.  If you have a high noise environment, I'd consider giving one a try.

p.s. I am going to have some inexpensive fixed value matching transformers for sale shortly, suitable for LoGs and other antennas.

That gives me some ideas. I don't have a lot of wiggle room thanks to that power drop bisecting the backyard, but maybe something can be done. Thanks.
Denver, CO.
SDRPlay RSP2pro, Icom IC-7100, Grundig Satellit 750, Realistic DX-300, Tecsun PL-600.
W6LVP active loop, G5RV, 20m dipole, homebrewed mag loops.
eQSLs appreciated wickerjennie at gmail

Offline Strange Beacons

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Re: KiwiSDR antenna question
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2019, 1611 UTC »
Thanks for weighing in, guys. I've gone ahead and purchased the W6LVP loop. I hope to have it assembled and connected by early next week.

Offline ultravista

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Re: KiwiSDR antenna question
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2019, 0319 UTC »
p.s. I am going to have some inexpensive fixed value matching transformers for sale shortly, suitable for LoGs and other antennas.

Count me in. How will you announce availability?

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: KiwiSDR antenna question
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2019, 1111 UTC »
p.s. I am going to have some inexpensive fixed value matching transformers for sale shortly, suitable for LoGs and other antennas.

Count me in. How will you announce availability?

I'll post here on the HFU. Building the first units now...
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
NRD 545 / netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 58 ft T2FD / 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop