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What is your typical noise level?


Active Member
Dec 11, 2022
Northeast Wisconsin
When DX is not running, what is the general level of noise you get on your primary antenna? Mine is a Maco V58 up about 35 feet with a good SWR, no power lines or other antennae nearby, connected to a President Lincoln II V4 and my level never goes below about S5. Quite a bit of the time it is S7. I'm not in a city but in a country subdivision on large lots and no industry close by. Maybe this is just how the atmosphere is nowadays, always somewhat agitated and noisy (just like the human inhabitants).

I remember way back in the day (late 1970s) the airwaves would be so quiet that I could pick up someone whose signal was so weak that they were not moving the signal meter at all. But I could still kind-of work out what they were saying and possibly even talk to them. This would either be on a Radio Shack 1/2 wave or 3 element vertical beam up about 30 feet and the contact was up to 30 or 40 miles away.

I will be putting up a tower and beams in the spring and was thinking about going to something like the Shooting Star so I'd still have a strong directional vertical signal for long-ish local contacts but then I wonder if all that will happen is that my general noise level will just rise to a S9 from the current S5 and the vertical beams would be useless. In which case I might as well save the $$$ and just stick with a horizontal M104C and put the Maco V58 without the ground plane elements above the beams.
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Active Member
Nov 20, 2022
South Central Nebraska
The antenna is an IMAX 2000 @ 25 feet, in town, near power-lines.
My noise floor typically varies from S3 to S7, the really good days the noise floor will drop to S1. I think I have a bad insulator or transformer near me because the S7 days sound exactly like an old AC stick welder.
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Brother DXer

[ 226 ~ west Texas ] WDX-226
Aug 20, 2022
With no skip, both the I Max (20 ft) and A99 (34 ft) run about the same. Normally I see it's around S2 or S3, but for some reason, since November it will increase to S5 or S7 on some evenings. Curious......
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    Ham radio operators (VHF/UHF) should pay attention to enhanced radio propagation paths throughout the middle latitudes and equatorial region, a common occurrence following such events. :coffee: (y)
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    Had "Aurora" propagation on CW/SSB on 6m last evening. (300-700m range here) The 2m guys had lots of Ducting/TROPO between the East Coast and Gulf Coast op's, even early today.
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