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Premade random wire recieves nothing

Discussion in 'Scanning & Shortwave Listening' started by andy29, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. andy29

    andy29 Member

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    Hi... I bought one of these - https://archive.is/BvPAw - because my old random wire died years ago. I've put it up going the length of my garden, a few metres in the air. I made sure I used insulators on both ends and kept the entire thing from touching anything but those.



    It doesn't do anything. It's really disappointing. I live in the south of England and I always check with the weather, RTTY and aircraft on 5405, 5505, 5598, 8040, 10100 kHz and the buzzer on 4625. There's just nothing there... not even a hint of them. I don't mean it's overloading the radio, as far as I know, I mean I just get static. For some reason I do get some of the CW signals on 40 metres, and it seems to help with Radio 4 on 198 kHz. I can hear the difference when I connect and disconnect the cable, at least on long wave. Since it comes with an unun I've tried connecting the wire part to the radio directly and nothing different happens. So I don't think it's that or any connections causing the problem.

    I am only using a Degen 1103 and an RTL stick with it, but it's almost totally dead. Years ago I had a random cheap bit of wire in the same place and it did much more than this. I've had a look at a couple of web SDRs near me and it's not the conditions as far as I can see.

    I'm not really sure what to do but there must be something wrong somewhere. Does anyone have any idea of anything I've missed? Because at the moment it's like it has a break in it but that doesn't seem likely as it looks okay. I am only able to use about 13 metres of it, so most of the rest is unfortunately tied up in a loop in between the receiving part and the unun. I haven't used the ground connection and after reading lots of things I'm confused about whether it's needed of not - I'm not wanting to transmit on it. I don't know if either of those are an obvious problem.
     

  2. binrat

    binrat WDX Club Coordinator
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    Almost sounds like there is something wrong with the 9:1 unun.
     
    Tallman and Captain Kilowatt like this.
  3. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur
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    Either that or the coax or connector is shorted/open. Pretty hard to have a piece of wire go bad unless it is broken inside the insulation and cannot be seen.
     
    Tallman likes this.
  4. Shadetree Mechanic

    Shadetree Mechanic 808 On The North Side of Dover

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    I would unwind the excess and lay it out straight on the ground to see if it helps. It would be something to try.
     
  5. Road Squawker

    Road Squawker Sr. Member

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    do you know how to use a VOM to check for continunity?
     
  6. andy29

    andy29 Member

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    Thanks for your suggestions. Yes, I do know about a continuity test but I wasn't looking forward to it because it's up in the air. :) But I can see I will have to check if the problems carry on. If I do this again I will be checking it before I do anything.

    I have been playing around with connecting just the wire itself to the radio and it does actually work okay in the afternoon... I think it is probably a case of horrific interference as well as the connector going into the radio playing up at the same time. I found a 12V transformer which was absolutely obliterating everything. It's like it made the radio turn it's gain right down or something, and made it sound like there was nothing there, not even something underneath the noise, and that threw me from the start.

    I still don't completely trust the cable coming into the house either, but it's not shorted though. I hope that the output of the unun should come up as very nearly a dead short, because that's what I'm getting. I do think it is working though, because I do get signal through it.

    There is still a lot of noise and it's still no good at night, so I turned off the power to the entire house and the difference was amazing. So tomorrow I will be spending a while gradually turning things back on one by one, but so far it doesn't look like any single thing, unfortunately.

    I'll see how it goes...

    Edit: If I can get it doing something fairly well still might have a look at removing the loop of excess. It doesn't feel like it can be helping.

    How important is it that the shield of the coax coming in is connected to a ground rod?
     
    #6 andy29, Feb 20, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
    Shadetree Mechanic likes this.

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