Great experience with PAR Electronics EF-SWL

Useful information regarding antennas for SDR products.
NoelC
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:50 pm

Great experience with PAR Electronics EF-SWL

Postby NoelC » Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:50 am

I did some homework before buying the SDRplay RSP1 and landed repeatedly on recommendations for the PAR EndFedZ EF-SWL long wire (45 feet) antenna:

http://www.lnrprecision.com/store/#!/EF ... p/39885474

I mounted the box under the eave at the northwest corner of my house, and ran the wire up and over the tops of several modest sized trees, finally hanging the end with a weight near the top of one of them.

I got 28 feet of great low-loss Davis BuryFlex coax cable (less than 1 dB attenuation per 100 feet at HF frequencies) with connectors pre-installed:

https://www.k1cra.com/ProductDetails.as ... DAVISBFLEX

Finally, I picked up an SO-238 to SMA male adapter from eBay to allow the connection between the coax and the RSP.

This combo really works. It blows the doors off the performance I had been getting from my old Radio Shack SWL receiver hooked to a wire strung around the room. I compared notes with a Ham friend and found I'm actually decoding more JT65 stations than he is, and he's put a fair bit of effort into his antennas. And I'm having no problems picking up VHF and UHF signals. For example, I'm getting good, strong 850 MHz signals from PD and fire departments up to 30 miles away (I'm looking forward to a "scanning" feature in a future SDRuno release).

My advice to all who want a delightful SDRPlay-based SWL experience:

Take the time to get a good antenna and mount it outside, away from the noise sources in your home, and get good coax with good quality connectors to bring the signals in. Plan to spend as much on the supporting hardware as on the radio spectrum processor itself.

-Noel

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