Great experience with PAR Electronics EF-SWL

Useful information regarding antennas for SDR products.
Corax
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:27 am

Re: Great experience with PAR Electronics EF-SWL

Postby Corax » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:07 am

Hello Noel C and everyone who might want to help me,

I have the RSP2 and a PAR EF-SWL antenna as you, however all I get is noise and interference and the radio seems to be overpowered by other commercial AM signals. I must comment that this does not happen when I use the same antenna connected to a HACKRF which is not overpowered and doest not show the same interference and noise as the RSP2. I am posting 2 pictures for comparison with the HACKRF listening to a morse code transmission clearly and then I connected the same antenna to port A on the RSP2. You can see the difference in the waterfall and how on seems cleaner while the other is full of lines from interference and noise. also, I had to reduce the gain to the minimum to barely hear the morse code over the noise and interference.
I am very disappointed/worried that something might be wrong with my RSP2 that I just bought. I also did a lot of reading before going for that combo for SWL but it is not working at all as I expected. What could I be doing wrong?

I appreciate anyone´s input on this. Is it a problem with the RSP2? since we have the same setup, what could I be doing incorrectly/differently?

I tried the same with the uno software provided with the RSP2 and the results were the same. I only get overload. By the way, I have a TRAM 1411 discone antenna that seems to work for SWL and VHF/UHF on both ports.

I also have read that for a wire antenna like the PAR EF-SWL the recommended port is the Z port. I have not tried that port yet because the antenna feed is coaxial. I am waiting for a Balun from NOOELEC like the one recommended in the SDRPLAY RSP2 antenna document along with a SO-239 to SMA adapter to connect from the coaxial to the Balun. Will this be a better solution than connecting the PAR EF-SWL to the SMA ports directly?

Thanks to anyone who can provide help on this.
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Last edited by Corax on Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am, edited 0 times in total.
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NoelC
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:50 pm

Re: Great experience with PAR Electronics EF-SWL

Postby NoelC » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:24 am

I'm using SDRuno. Is there a possibility it knows how to coordinate the enabling/disabling of the internal bandpass filters better than the software you have?

-Noel

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Corax
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:27 am

Re: Great experience with PAR Electronics EF-SWL

Postby Corax » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:44 pm

I have also tried with SDRuno. Same results.
Last edited by Corax on Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am, edited 0 times in total.
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commsta miami
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:30 pm

Re: Great experience with PAR Electronics EF-SWL

Postby commsta miami » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:19 pm

CaptainNemo wrote:Thanks Noel for your answer.
Generally speaking I'm interested in whole radio spectrum.
At the moment the scope of my question was (is)
A) 250khz--450khz (NDB)
B) 520kHz NAVTEXT
C) 1500kHz--3000kHz (Coastal Radio)
So to keep thing in a qualitative/semi-quantitative approach -- taking into account there are a lot of "variables" you can't control (noise, propagation, ...) -- maybe you can post (if you have time to waste)
A) how many distinct NDBs did you logged, nearest station (km), farthest station (km)
B) how many distinct Navtext stations did you logged, nearest station (km), farthest station (km)
C) how many distinct coastal station did you logged, nearest station (km), farthest station (km)
with your EF-SWL from January up to now?
Of course I know these 9 numbers are far from a "technical report"... it is just to give the flavor...
it is just a to understand how my DIY random wires experiments
compares with a fine and good quality commercial product.
Thanks in advance.
Gio.


Gio,

I listen to the same frequencies 200 kHz to 5Mhz with the PAR EF-SWL 9:1 balun at 9 meters above ground with a very good earth ground in water. The original PAR long wire really isn't long enough for the LF 200kHz to 3 Mhz band so I ended up replacing the wire with a 40 m long #12 ga copper wire on the #3 terminal and removing the jumper from #1 to #2 terminals and installing another 40 meter #12 ga copper wire on the #2 terminal about 45 degrees away from the #3 wire direction. I connected a #12 ga copper wire from the 3 meter deep ground rod to the #1 ground terminal.
I connected a 50 ohm RG58 coax from the 9:1 balun to the RSP1 unit and noticed an immediate amount of overload on the low end of the frequencies with many images of the AM radio band. I use the SDRConsole V2 software and even at -80db there were no good signals. I went out and purchased an adjustable 0-30db attenuator and placed it on the antenna input and set it to -20db. With that I was able to eliminate most of the overload. I have found that the RSP filters and amp are really only good down to 530 KHz. Below that the sensitivity falls off greatly. I am able to log local 518 kHz Navtex all day but not many at night more than 200 kms. I only log 1 local NDB about 100 miles away at 332 kHz during day and too much intermod at night. On MF, I can hear many Canadian WX stations about 1200kms on 2749 kHz and DSC on 2187.5 KHz. So the modified antenna works well. On a side note, I have a Icom R71A receiver spliced into the antenna and on LF NDB, I get many stations up to 1200 kms at night on the same antenna. NAVTEX on 518 kHz on the Icom gets stations 6000 kms on late winter nights from South America. Try using an attenuator and modifying the length of the long wire for much better results.
Last edited by commsta miami on Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am, edited 0 times in total.
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