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Author Topic: High Balcony, dense RF urban environment QTH  (Read 7484 times)
KA2ZEY
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Posts: 78




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« on: February 15, 2013, 08:52:13 AM »

Hi everyone,

So I will be moving into the 15th floor of a tall co-op in the next few weeks. The QTH is in Brooklyn, NY facing Manhattan to the North/West with exposure to the N, E and W. My station will have to be temporary, used on the balcony or inside the apartment near window. I will be operating below 20 watts so as not to interfere with anyone in the building. I have narrowed my antenna choice down to the Alex Loop. My concern is with the radio itself in such a high RF dense area. Would a Yaesu FT-817, 857, 897 or Icom 703 be absolutely rendered useless by RF or would they work fine with the loop? Or will I need a radio with better selectivity like an Elecraft K2 or KX3? I also don't want a large radio for operation.

Thanks,
D
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KA2ZEY
Member

Posts: 78




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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2013, 02:28:16 PM »

To put it another way:

Do any of the 'big 3' have smaller radios that have good front end and selectivity for high RF exposure? Or do I need to go to the 'high quality 2' (Elecraft, Ten Tec) for that. I'd rather not spend a fortune but if it will help for pleasant operating then I will splurge.

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VE3WMB
Member

Posts: 286




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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2013, 09:46:54 PM »

D :

I would suggest going with the KX3.  The FT-897 / 857 have a more robust receiver than
the the FT-817 but my experiences with these DC-to-Daylight rigs (I own an FT-817 and used to
own an FT-897D) is that they are quite noisy in an RF Dense area.

The combination of the AlexLoop and KX3 should allow you to make many QSOs and is portable enough
that you can easily take it with you on trips or on an outing to a local park (lower noise levels).
The latest KX3 firmware release (free) has introduced a DSP noise reduction feature and I have been told by a friend who has a KX3 that it works very well.  The K2 is a great rig (I have one) but if I was given the choice between the K2 and a KX3 I would go for the KX3 as it has a better receiver and it is newer
technology (the K2 was released back in 1998). 

Best of luck with your decision.  I think that you will have a lot of fun with a KX3 and an AlexLoop.

Michael VE3WMB / VA2NB


Hi everyone,

So I will be moving into the 15th floor of a tall co-op in the next few weeks. The QTH is in Brooklyn, NY facing Manhattan to the North/West with exposure to the N, E and W. My station will have to be temporary, used on the balcony or inside the apartment near window. I will be operating below 20 watts so as not to interfere with anyone in the building. I have narrowed my antenna choice down to the Alex Loop. My concern is with the radio itself in such a high RF dense area. Would a Yaesu FT-817, 857, 897 or Icom 703 be absolutely rendered useless by RF or would they work fine with the loop? Or will I need a radio with better selectivity like an Elecraft K2 or KX3? I also don't want a large radio for operation.

Thanks,
D
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KA2ZEY
Member

Posts: 78




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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2013, 08:14:52 AM »

Yes, that seems to be the most ideal combination for what I'm describing. Given the quality of the KX3 receiver and the selective nature of a loop antenna, it would really help in an urban environment with the altitude. I guess I was inquiring to see if there were more cost effective solutions but that combo is the winner.
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12700




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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2013, 08:59:07 AM »

With a loop, I doubt that any of those radios on HF is going to have the front end overloaded with noise so better front end selectivity probably isn't the issue. I expect that most of the noise will be broad band so you will have to deal with the noise that is actually on or very close to the operating frequency. If you are operating a narrow bandwidth mode like CW or PSK31 then narrow IF filters would help. Receiver noise limiters usually don't help much on that type of noise.

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W3JAR
Member

Posts: 49




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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2013, 08:17:17 AM »

Hi D,
Just moved out of Manhattan where I had my station in a bathroom. Thankfully I was on the 10th floor and it was not all too noisy. Funny part is that the height I gained in the high rise helped overcome the noise issue. Moved to westchester and I struggle with getting an antenna high enough (always seem to make it an NVIS antenna). Have you thought of hanging a dipole out of the balcony with a fishing pole? Worked like a charm for me!

All the best!
John
W3JAR
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KA2ZEY
Member

Posts: 78




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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2013, 09:07:15 AM »

John,
I'm afraid hanging anything of off the balcony would be too visible and alarming. I've though about the buddipole but again, it's a matter of ease in setting up and tearing down the station.
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W3JAR
Member

Posts: 49




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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2013, 09:12:58 AM »

Hi D,
I made that assumption as well when I first started. Only used it at night for a while. Then I began using it during the day and with 100W. Never a peep from anyone for about the 2 years of doing so, and this was on a dipole I cut for 40M, so it went several stories down. Enjoy the height though. That is something I wish I still had for 2m SSB Sad.
Good luck!
John
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KA2ZEY
Member

Posts: 78




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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2013, 09:48:19 AM »

I'd be curious to know the configuration of the dipole? Was it hanging down in a vertical plane or dangling from the balcony horizontally?
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W3JAR
Member

Posts: 49




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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2013, 10:26:30 AM »

My google searching is weak today. Shoot me an email (located in QRZ) and I can send you a diagram of what I used. If you are really into it, you can make a yagi out of it Wink
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K5TED
Member

Posts: 699




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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2013, 12:04:19 PM »

Why must you only operate on the balcony or near a window? Use RG-174 coax and keep it under 30' length. Use a remotely tunable loop like the MFJ 1786 or 1782, or if you want 40m, the 1788.   
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KA2ZEY
Member

Posts: 78




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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2013, 04:33:01 PM »

Hmmm...yeah I suppose that would be an option as well. I just like to keep everything compact and easy to break down. My wife is not too enthused about having stuff lying around that can't be broken down and personally, I like having a setup I can bring on vacation. I just picked up a used Alex Loop. I'll be able to run up to 20 watts with that and with that altitude, should give great results. Also, folks have been able to tune the Alex Loop to 6M and 2M.
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