Questions tagged [hf]

The frequency range 3-30 MHz. HF radio waves often propagate by bouncing off the ionosphere, allowing communication between continents. This tag may also be used for questions about the 160 meter band (1.8 MHz), which while not HF is often referred to as such due to its similar propagation.

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3
votes
2answers
429 views

House wiring as an antenna on HF and 2 meters?

The apartment I live in is a 1970s type without access to the outdoors. It does have a balcony. A 2m transceiver is the only radio which will enable me to reach the ham world. Would be possible to ...
11
votes
2answers
397 views

What would propagation look like on Mars?

If we could get a few HF stations on Mars, what would the propagation look like? Thought shamelessly copied from this blog.
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What is this burst transmission sequence across the entire band?

Fairly regularly on the 40m band I hear a quick blip of a tone, and when I look at the waterfall I see these brief transmissions all across the band that look like little dots. What is causing that?
16
votes
7answers
12k views

What is the cause of this unusually long period of terrible HF band conditions?

I've been a ham for over 40 years, but never has there been such a prolonged period of such poor propagation. This has been especially the case over the past six months or so, and they continue to ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Antenna options for a 10x20m property with a large metal roof?

I live in a house that sits in the middle of the city, in a lot 10x20m in size. The first 6x10m are covered by a metal roof with a rather low angle (IIRC only 50cm difference between the highest and ...
10
votes
3answers
843 views

Stealth HF station setup advice

I need some advice on setting up my first HF station in a somewhat restricted townhouse community. If I had a detached house with a backyard I’d probably already have everything setup. But with this ...
13
votes
8answers
3k views

Why are Wullenweber CDAAs obsolete?

Wullenweber circularly-disposed antenna arrays (CDAAs) are large HF direction-finding antennas, sometimes colloquially referred to as "elephant cages", that were popular in the Cold War. They allowed ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the proper way to electrically wire in a loading coil to a vertical antenna?

I am trying to put together a vertical pole style antenna with a loading coil housed at the base using a plan very similar to the one described in this ARRL article. I am trying to understand how to ...
3
votes
3answers
990 views

How to splice RG-174 coax?

I'm pretty good at repairing broken regular coax, but I recently had an RG-174 cut and it's too small for me to solder the center wire and keep the braid away from it. What's a good way to do this? ...
1
vote
0answers
83 views

Parasitic inductance of relay contacts

I need to switch a bank of filters operating on bands from about 2MHz to 30MHz. The parasitic series inductance of the relay contact system will have an effect on the performance of my system. ...
1
vote
1answer
141 views

How to interpret VSWR results for an attic antenna

I have an Alpha Delta DX-EE antenna in my attic. The antenna is 40 ft long and my attic is about 5ft high by 55 ft long. There's a lot of other stuff up there--a chimney, Romex, Cat 6 cable, RG-6 ...
3
votes
4answers
12k views

When will propagation on HF improve?

Will the propagation on the High Frequency bands come back up soon?? I am referring to the 3 to 30 MHz range.
5
votes
3answers
612 views

How to measure wire for antenna leg | 40m inverted V

I am building the antenna for the first time and I have choosen to start with 40m inverted-v. I am almost done with the center insulator made of PVC piping elements, three eye hooks and SO 239 ...
4
votes
1answer
864 views

How can I generate a list of APRS IGates on 30m?

I am investigating using a Tiny Trak 4 with my portable HF radio to self-spot on SOTA activations via APRS on 30m. I usually self-spot via a text message. When I don't have any cell coverage, I can ...
3
votes
2answers
464 views

Not-too-distant saltwater ground

Problem I'm planning on mounting a vertical HF multiband antenna on the edge of my roof. Due to the presence of a paved walkway and some other similar property constraints, I have no room for ...
3
votes
2answers
119 views

Tips for HF Antenna with house near AM transmitter

My back garden is very small - about 500sqft. I also live near an AM transmitter and requires an AM filter. I would appreciate some general tips on the best approach to receiving HF signals (Ham and ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Does a tube based HF transmitter need an antenna tuner?

With the adjustments on a transmitter such as a Yaesu FT-101E, is there any purpose for an antenna tuner, or can you accomplish the same thing by adjusting the loading and other controls?
4
votes
1answer
281 views

What are Radio-location Services in the 1.9-2.0 MHz range?

I'm currently studying for the General Exam and in looking at charts of the new frequency privileges have run across a restriction I would like to have further defined. In the 160 meter band the books ...
5
votes
2answers
7k views

Where year 2016 falls in the sun spot cycle for HF propagation?

Are we now at the good or bad portion of the 11 years cycle? What effect are we seeing now? How large (strong/deep) is the effect during the peak and bottom of cycle? What will change in coming years?
5
votes
3answers
2k views

antenna in the rain

What kind of changes can be expected in the behavior (resonance, SWR, etc.) of a mobile vertical HF antenna between dry conditions and wet rainy weather? (assume a coax feed-line and low SWR in dry ...
6
votes
3answers
406 views

Long range communication with just 1W of power?

Is it possible, and how can I setup communication between stations 1000km apart from each other by using just 1W of transmission power? By communication, I mean: It can be text based It can be very ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Is 20m noisy, or do I have a lot of local interference?

I'm making my first ventures into HF with a Yaesu FT-450D and a homebrew 20 Meter inverted-V antenna a local ham helped me set up. I've noticed that the 20 Meterm band seems to have lots of ...
21
votes
2answers
5k views

Why do we use LSB below 10 MHz and USB above 10 MHz when operating SSB HF?

As a relatively new ham operator, I understand that it is customary to use lower-sideband below 10 MHz and upper-side band above 10Mhz when operating single-sideband HF. I'm curious how we got to such ...
3
votes
1answer
178 views

RTL SDR "dark region"

I'm new to RTL SDR, and I noticed there's a "dark region" (around 700-900MHz), and I haven't figured out why this is. My device's tuner is a Fitipower FC0012, where could I find the pinout and ...
3
votes
5answers
577 views

How should I select an HF antenna for portable work?

I'd like to get started doing portable HF work and I'd like some information on antenna possibilities. My broad (and somewhat flexible) criteria are: By "portable" I mean it can be carried in a ...
5
votes
1answer
822 views

Why are the lower HF frequencies not working during winter day time?

Currently my location is Nepal. We use the ICOM f-7000 radios without the antenna tuner. We use the frequencies round about 5-9 MHz, for communication over distances between 150 and 400 km. During ...
5
votes
1answer
754 views

Do short waves pass through or reflect off concrete buildings?

I live in Moscow, Russia and use DIY indoor magnetic loop antennas to listen amateur radio. Recently I received quite strong signals from Italy (20m, IV3UTV) and Slovenia (40m, S51CK), both operators ...
4
votes
1answer
169 views

Calculating effective SSN (sunspot number)?

I am doing research on how SSN-like parameters affect HF radio signals. As I can see, effective SSN is a parameter that is derived from SSN or using other parameters. Does anyone know how to calculate ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

What is a "random wire antenna"?

Some antenna tuners claim to match any “random wire” to any HF frequency. Can one really use a random wire as a practical antenna system? From everything I have heard, the resonance of the antenna (...
1
vote
1answer
128 views

BFO locked synchronous AM detection

I am fixing up an old classic Yaesu FRG7 general coverage AM/SSB/CW HF receiver. The BFO section is a rudimentry 455 kHz IFT configured as a carrier reinsertion oscillator that that is made to run USB ...
4
votes
2answers
411 views

What is the difference between Yaesu noise blanker (analog IF) and Icom noise blanker (perhaps digital)

What is the difference between the Yaesu (say FT DX 5000) and Icom (say IC 7700) noise blankers? I understood that the Yaesu NB is an analogue one while Icom uses a digital solution.
5
votes
5answers
2k views

How important is the impedance and resonance of a receive antenna?

I'm very new to shortwave radio, as evidenced here: Can an antenna be too powerful for certain receivers? I want to build a longwire receive-only antenna for the HF frequencies. I've been using ...
3
votes
1answer
562 views

Understanding of NFC Reader Antenna matching

I have been designing a 20 x 20 cm square NFC reader antenna which looks like this: In order to make it work and detect NFC tags at certain distance, it needs to be matched. To do that I was trying ...
0
votes
1answer
279 views

NFC coil matching - Q factor improvement

I have been trying to match my NFC reader coil of size 20*20 cm with a three element circuit - one capacitor in series, another in parallel and one resistor in parallel. I have been using Texas ...
17
votes
2answers
9k views

What does a noise blanker really do, and what are the side effects?

Most HF rigs have a noise blanker (NB) feature. It does reduce some types of noise (car ignition noise and such). How does it really work? I've read it has negative side-effects with strong signals, ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

How does selecting the opposite sideband when receiving CW on HF reduce interference?

I am studying for my FCC General Class license, and question/answer G4A02 reads as follows: Q: What is one advantage of selecting the opposite or "reverse" ...
9
votes
2answers
533 views

Why don't monolithic HF transceiver ICs exist?

HAM operators who build their own HF rigs typically do so using discrete components. However, for VHF and UHF rigs, an operator can make use of monolithic transceiver ICs on the market For example,...
3
votes
2answers
294 views

What are some shortwave radio stations I ought to reliably receive in New Hampshire?

I recently bought a Techsun PL-660 radio and it picks up virtually nothing on SW. I fear I may have a dud.
3
votes
1answer
251 views

Are there many analog (AM) shortwave broadcast stations left?

I'm considering hanging a long wire this spring and trying to get my 13 y.o. son interested in radio as a Scouting activity. Has everything gone to DRM these days, or is it worth dusting off my HQ-...
5
votes
1answer
523 views

What are these continuous sine wave tones I keep hearing?

I'm messing around on WebSDR and by just scanning through I sometimes come across these continuous tones in USB. One in particular was 28.800 MHz USB. I've picked them up on nearly every WebSDR unit ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

What is propagation like when there are no sunspots?

Am considering getting my license again after raising kids, and wondering if there is any point in HF operation besides local chats — that is, what is propagation like when there are no sunspots?
6
votes
7answers
11k views

Is a ground plane necessary for transmitting and receiving with a vertical (monopole) antenna?

I've read the post here: https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/77256/why-do-some-radio-antennas-require-a-path-to-ground-and-some-do-not which says The antenna system requires a "ground ...
4
votes
3answers
781 views

Suggestions for mounting a mini-whip as high as possible

I've ordered two mini whip antennas from Ebay (Russia) for HF and MW. As power lines cross my city property in a L shape - the only way to get away from them is to go up. So I'm hoping that going 5-...
5
votes
2answers
422 views

How is it possible for an HF signal to go around the world when part of it must be in sunlight?

I believe most of us know about the ionosphere, and skywave propagation, but I'm kind of tripping up on the D-layer. If the ionospheric D-layer absorbs HF signals (40 meters, for example) during the ...
2
votes
2answers
418 views

Apartment antenna and rtl-sdr with upconverter

I'm just starter. I bought MFJ-1622 40-2M APARTMENT ANTENNA (I don't have access to the roof) I only have RTL-SDR with Upconverter (I'm on budget). I living on 10th floor and I will use it from my ...
9
votes
2answers
771 views

Can there be (long range) propagation of HF from satellites?

HF transmissions from the ground can be reflected by the ionosphere leading to very long distance propagation. Satellites in low Earth orbit (160 km to 2,000 km) fly within the ionosphere (60 km to ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do I only hear broadcasts from 150 kHz to 29.999 MHz?

I am currently studying for my amateur radio license. Until I'm licensed, I'm trying to use a Sony ICF-SW7600GR receiver to listen in on amateur radio "phone" transmissions. No matter what I do, ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

Alinco DX70 TH at 10W

Is it possible to make the Alinco DX70 TH operate at 10W PEP? The radio seems to be 100W and I read somewhere that you could switch it to 50W, but since my licence currently limits me to 10W, I'd like ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What impedance matching do I need between my 300Ω feedline and Softrock receiver?

I will be assembling a Softrock Ensemble II HF receiver, and I know I'm going to want it on air as soon as I build it, so I'm challenging myself to build an antenna for it first. The plan is to do a ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How to transmit images and video through a hurricane?

Background You're in the path of a hurricane, and the eye just passed over your head. There is no electricity (apart from your own generator or battery), there is no mobile network and there is ...