SW wire antenna

Thread Starter

bootloader9800

Joined Jan 12, 2021
79
Hi folks, hope all is well. I wanted my SW radio to have better reception. I was told online to tie a really long wire to the SW radio antenna. ( This is supposedly called a wire antenna in SW circles) I was also told to make sure that the wire needs to be thin as opposed to 14 gauge power wire.

Can someone tell me why using a thicker wire is bad for this situation? Just trying to understand the physics behind this.

Ty 4 the replies!!
 

sagor

Joined Mar 10, 2019
695
Nothing wrong with heavier wire, it is just that it needs more tension or more suports to prevent it from sagging or swaying in the wind (hitting other things maybe). Thin wire is easier to break, more frustrating at times.
Most "antenna wire" is copper in the 16-14g size range.
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
5,663
A random wire antenna is a popular option for getting on the air fast, particularly if you are operating portable or in a makeshift location. It could improve your reception but the trouble is for a random wire to work well it needs a good counterpoise, that is, another long(ish) wire connected to the radio's "ground" and usually running along the physical ground.

A shorter but impedance matched antenna will do better than a longer one with a bigger mismatch but the better the match the narrower the antenna's bandwidth so it's a tradeoff.

Which radio are you using? Which bands/frequencies do you listen to?
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
4,194
I've always used #12 THWN/THHN solid or stranded copper wire for both SW end fed long wire antennas and my tuned Ham Band dipole transceiver antennas that I built. I once used copper clad solid wire but the copper clad got penetrated/eroded and the steel wire rusted and broke. No particular reason but strong enough to withstand heavy winds whipping the trees around it was terminated to and easy to roll up for field day portability. Never had one break unlike an 18 AWG end fed sloper that I bought pre-made that did not survive a heavy storm. For my shortwave receiver I use an 80' end fed sloper with a Balun and an end fed longwire as long as I had room to hang it with an Unun. One trick to longwires is to fold the wire so that it runs parallel (2-3' separation) to itself in order to double or multiply its length. Another nice addition is a tunable antenna matching preamp such as the MFJ-959C. https://mfjenterprises.com/collections/tuners/products/mfj-959c?
It will tune the antenna to the listening frequency and amplify the signal into the radio plus a few other tricks. Also, to protect your radio, it is advisable to use a surge trap to prevent lightning induced electromagnetic power from zapping your radio.
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Thread Starter

bootloader9800

Joined Jan 12, 2021
79
A random wire antenna is a popular option for getting on the air fast, particularly if you are operating portable or in a makeshift location. It could improve your reception but the trouble is for a random wire to work well it needs a good counterpoise, that is, another long(ish) wire connected to the radio's "ground" and usually running along the physical ground.

A shorter but impedance matched antenna will do better than a longer one with a bigger mismatch but the better the match the narrower the antenna's bandwidth so it's a tradeoff.

Which radio are you using? Which bands/frequencies do you listen to?
This is the radio that I have.....
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01ARN28SQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I am trying to listen to any and all SW news channels from Russia.
 
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Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
5,663
This is the radio that I have.....
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01ARN28SQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I am trying to listen to any and all SW news channels from Russia.
I am afraid yo are going to have quite challenge using that radio to receive Russian services. Sensitivity and selectivity are two very important performance specifications for receivers. That one is not going to have the necessary band specific hardware to get good numbers. I wouldn't want to discourage you from trying, but I expect you won't have any luck. A better radio would make it possible, though.
 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
8,710
Another way to do something almost functionally equivalent is to get a VPN and then go looking Russian news services outside of your country (I see you are in the U.S., where some Russian news sources were suddenly and recently blocked). For example, Russia Today (RT) is available in Argentina. It may not be quite what you are looking for but it can let you hear another side of the story.
 

Thread Starter

bootloader9800

Joined Jan 12, 2021
79
I am afraid yo are going to have quite challenge using that radio to receive Russian services. Sensitivity and selectivity are two very important performance specifications for receivers. That one is not going to have the necessary band specific hardware to get good numbers. I wouldn't want to discourage you from trying, but I expect you won't have any luck. A better radio would make it possible, though.
Oh sorry and forgot to mention, I am also using this antenna with the radio......https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000023VW2?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details

It is a 23 feet Sangean ANT-60 Short Wave Antenna.

Do you think if the Sensitivity and selectivity issues change for the better while using this antenna? Ty
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
5,663
Oh sorry and forgot to mention, I am also using this antenna with the radio......https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000023VW2?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details

It is a 23 feet Sangean ANT-60 Short Wave Antenna.

Do you think if the Sensitivity and selectivity issues change for the better while using this antenna? Ty
The antenna can’t change the radio’s inherent capacity. It can provide a stronger signal which can sometimes help to the extent that poor sensitivity means the radio needs a stronger signal to respond. But selectivity is just there for you to deal with. You could put an amplifier and filter between the antenna and the radio, but you are much better off spending that money on a different radio.

This Tecsun radio has an excellent reputation. Realize it is $100 more than what you bought but in this case you get what you pay for. The Tecsun even has an antenna input, because it is designed to be a functional SW radio. Even if you do get a better radio there is no guarantee you will have reliable reception of any particular service. Back in the days of the USSR I could have guaranteed you could get the North American English language service but of course the content wasn’t useful to tell what was going on, only to know what they wanted you to think was going on.

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