Adventures with my new S3


Srinivas Chennupaty
 

Hi - 
Its now been a week (actually 6 days) since I got my S3 direct from Italy :-) I thought Id share some of my discoveries/learnings
1. Its a sharp piece of kit
2. After some initial issues with SW2 shutting down, i disabled all PM on my NUC and its now stable as a rock
3. FM aliasing is pretty strong, so i have to disconnect the VHF antenna when playing around with HF
4. I tried played with a LNA in line ahead of the HF feed, connected to a mag loop antenna. it seemed to raise the noise floor, so backed away from that. back to using a mag loop directly. 
5. Has anyone had any luck with an LNA? any recommendations? 
6. Has anyone played around with installing filters in the filter bank? does it help? 
7. Any recommendations for indoor antennas. Yes I know HF and indoors dont play well, but I cannot string up a dipole (HOA issues)

I heartily recommend one, if you can get your hands on it :-) 
Looking forward to much more experimentation...

More later
Srinivas


Giampiero Bernardini
 

Ciao Srinivas,
your message is really interesting, but I don't understand what you mean for PM ( «I disabled all PM on my NUC»). What is PM?
Thank you
Giampiero

Giampiero Bernardini
Milano, Italy


Il giorno mar 6 apr 2021 alle ore 17:46 Srinivas Chennupaty via groups.io <chennu=yahoo.com@groups.io> ha scritto:
Hi - 
Its now been a week (actually 6 days) since I got my S3 direct from Italy :-) I thought Id share some of my discoveries/learnings
1. Its a sharp piece of kit
2. After some initial issues with SW2 shutting down, i disabled all PM on my NUC and its now stable as a rock
3. FM aliasing is pretty strong, so i have to disconnect the VHF antenna when playing around with HF
4. I tried played with a LNA in line ahead of the HF feed, connected to a mag loop antenna. it seemed to raise the noise floor, so backed away from that. back to using a mag loop directly. 
5. Has anyone had any luck with an LNA? any recommendations? 
6. Has anyone played around with installing filters in the filter bank? does it help? 
7. Any recommendations for indoor antennas. Yes I know HF and indoors dont play well, but I cannot string up a dipole (HOA issues)

I heartily recommend one, if you can get your hands on it :-) 
Looking forward to much more experimentation...

More later
Srinivas


--

Giampiero Bernardini
Milano, Italia


Srinivas Chennupaty
 

Ciao Giampiero - 
PM stands for Power Management. 
computer is on all the time..  - does not go to standby at all 



On Tuesday, April 6, 2021, 12:57:45 PM PDT, Giampiero Bernardini <giaber58@...> wrote:


Ciao Srinivas,
your message is really interesting, but I don't understand what you mean for PM ( «I disabled all PM on my NUC»). What is PM?
Thank you
Giampiero

Giampiero Bernardini
Milano, Italy


Il giorno mar 6 apr 2021 alle ore 17:46 Srinivas Chennupaty via groups.io <chennu=yahoo.com@groups.io> ha scritto:
Hi - 
Its now been a week (actually 6 days) since I got my S3 direct from Italy :-) I thought Id share some of my discoveries/learnings
1. Its a sharp piece of kit
2. After some initial issues with SW2 shutting down, i disabled all PM on my NUC and its now stable as a rock
3. FM aliasing is pretty strong, so i have to disconnect the VHF antenna when playing around with HF
4. I tried played with a LNA in line ahead of the HF feed, connected to a mag loop antenna. it seemed to raise the noise floor, so backed away from that. back to using a mag loop directly. 
5. Has anyone had any luck with an LNA? any recommendations? 
6. Has anyone played around with installing filters in the filter bank? does it help? 
7. Any recommendations for indoor antennas. Yes I know HF and indoors dont play well, but I cannot string up a dipole (HOA issues)

I heartily recommend one, if you can get your hands on it :-) 
Looking forward to much more experimentation...

More later
Srinivas


--

Giampiero Bernardini
Milano, Italia


Ron Liekens
 

Srinivas,

There is no use for an LNA below 30 MHz because the S2 and S3 models are very sensitive that it does not help. As you wrote, the noise level increases, but so does the signal, so it has no good result. If you experience bad signals it is because your antenna setup is not optimal. If your signals are compromised you can use a separate earth system for your setup (do NOT use the main power grounding system) and experiment with common-mode chokes. Also use quality coax. I always use quad shielded RG6 coax for my reception antennas.

You can use small good quality active antenna's like those from Wellbrook, Stampfl or NTi (Bonito) if you may not install a dipole. Be shure to mount low noise antenna's. Wellbrook has LN (Low Noise) models that are of premium quality. When have a premium quality receiver I will only show its qualities with good antenna's. I have lately seen people that have bought an Icom IC-R8600 radio and are complaining, just to dicover that they are living in a city flat and using a crappy indoor antenna ;-)

Good luck,
Ron - on2ron


Darren Hennig
 

Srinivas,

 

I second Rons comments. I recently acquired within the past 6 weeks or so, a DUOr here in central Canada. I have been using a Wellbrook ALA100-LN-M medium-aperture loop antenna (these use wire elements mine is 4.8m in perimeter) with mine. This antenna is a superb match to my radio. I am getting very good general performance in the LF-HF ranges, and the lower edges of the MF ranges are amazing often when monitoring. Hearing 10-20W MW broadcast stations, sub-25W NDBs (>1500km away) and regional sub-1kW HF stations out of central and South America (even ones not aimed at/well off the plane of my loop) is the kind of performance I had been hoping for with my ELAD radio. Dont get me started on the 2000km away T-storms from the Caribbean and Southern US Gulf regions that I can pick up fairly easily here (often enough to interfere with weak signal reception... lol) in Winnipeg MB Canada during band scans!

 

I find routinely over a good portion of the 200kHz-30MHz ranges noise floors in the -124dBm to at worst just over -116dBm unless we see/detect those thunderstorms or some local occasional RFI. I am in a suburban location with my antenna placed between buildings. I routinely see ADC PK during scanning and I am right near the max usable signal levels without requiring use of the attenuator. (MF I use it to avoid the PK reading).

 

Results certainly vary with setup ad location, but I found this combination amazingly sensitive and fairly low in noise floor getting close to atmospheric levels. I should add I also put in line a CCW (Cross Country Wireless) Receiver Front end protection unit after the power unit in order to help protect the radio from large signal surges to clamp them before entering the radio. This effectively floats the antenna on the receiver side since it is galvanically isolated and magnetically coupled with its broadband XFMR. The Loop is inherently low noise by design, and I noticed that since putting the CCW unit in line, I get slightly lower noise floor and better weak signal performance. Not a huge difference but it WAS noticeable and I am at a loss to explain why this was the case, other than perhaps the transformer on the CCW unit provides a nearly-ideal load for the radio and couples very efficiently. Not entirely sure why, but I like it as a system!! My current system is non-rotatable over winter but I plan to redo my rotation setup to employ the loop even more effectively, now that I have a very decent low noise floor.  

 

Something else to mention. Assuming noise is an issue, two things I also did for myself is to power both my ELAD receiver (since it is a stand-alone as well) and the loop unit with low noise, non-switched regulated wall adapter power supplies. This was especially ideal in the case of the loop. Switched supplies and even heavily ferrite RFI reduction still showed some noise and spurs in the sub-600kHz range. I found using a regulated, 300mA 12VDC unit on the loop solved all these noise issues, and now all I hear are local or regional sources which are also very low in general. Another thing that MIGHT help as well: Here in my location in Winnipeg Canada, I have several 50kW MW transmitters which I found when using my loop with a CommRadio CR-1a standalone SDR really tended to de-sensitize that radio affecting the MW and low HF band performance. I employed a 8dB DC-to-2GHz attenuator and that solved this. Sometimes less is more when dealing with a very broadband, wide dynamic range receiver. The idea is to optimize S/N, and while sounding counter-intuitive in a way, this approach for that radio actually IMPROVED the overall performance on all bands below 30 to 40MHz with that radio and many others (my R75 I used its internal RF gain control and attn as needed to achieve the similar results). So, you may wish to experiment with a 6-10dB attn unit and see if this improves some of your performance, in lieu of running an on-board one. Totally up to you.

 

The tenet here is to have the optimal dynamic range for reception within the signals presented to the radio. Sometimes less is more. I do not need to do this with the ELAD, but do employ 10dB ATTN as needed (MF/LF, or on occasion HF if the PK stays on I still can easily hear and detect small signals with it engaged and sometimes that helps dig a weak signal proximal to some other interfering distant QRM).

 

Not sure if any of this helped you, but I tried! 😊

 

Best of luck with the S3!

 

Darren Hennig

VE4VE

Winnipeg Canada

 

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 


--
Darren Hennig,
VE4VE - Winnipeg MB Canada
_____________________
ELAD DUOr/WellBrook ALA-100LNM antenna (4.8m Hexagonal loop) 
CLRdsp (when used standalone)


Srinivas Chennupaty
 

Darren - 
Thank you for your detailed comments. Will apply all of them right away!! the CCW unit is on its way!
Experimentation is the fun of this hobby!

thank you!
Srinivas 

On Friday, April 9, 2021, 06:12:50 AM PDT, Darren Hennig <dhennig2@...> wrote:


Srinivas,

 

I second Rons comments. I recently acquired within the past 6 weeks or so, a DUOr here in central Canada. I have been using a Wellbrook ALA100-LN-M medium-aperture loop antenna (these use wire elements mine is 4.8m in perimeter) with mine. This antenna is a superb match to my radio. I am getting very good general performance in the LF-HF ranges, and the lower edges of the MF ranges are amazing often when monitoring. Hearing 10-20W MW broadcast stations, sub-25W NDBs (>1500km away) and regional sub-1kW HF stations out of central and South America (even ones not aimed at/well off the plane of my loop) is the kind of performance I had been hoping for with my ELAD radio. Dont get me started on the 2000km away T-storms from the Caribbean and Southern US Gulf regions that I can pick up fairly easily here (often enough to interfere with weak signal reception... lol) in Winnipeg MB Canada during band scans!

 

I find routinely over a good portion of the 200kHz-30MHz ranges noise floors in the -124dBm to at worst just over -116dBm unless we see/detect those thunderstorms or some local occasional RFI. I am in a suburban location with my antenna placed between buildings. I routinely see ADC PK during scanning and I am right near the max usable signal levels without requiring use of the attenuator. (MF I use it to avoid the PK reading).

 

Results certainly vary with setup ad location, but I found this combination amazingly sensitive and fairly low in noise floor getting close to atmospheric levels. I should add I also put in line a CCW (Cross Country Wireless) Receiver Front end protection unit after the power unit in order to help protect the radio from large signal surges to clamp them before entering the radio. This effectively floats the antenna on the receiver side since it is galvanically isolated and magnetically coupled with its broadband XFMR. The Loop is inherently low noise by design, and I noticed that since putting the CCW unit in line, I get slightly lower noise floor and better weak signal performance. Not a huge difference but it WAS noticeable and I am at a loss to explain why this was the case, other than perhaps the transformer on the CCW unit provides a nearly-ideal load for the radio and couples very efficiently. Not entirely sure why, but I like it as a system!! My current system is non-rotatable over winter but I plan to redo my rotation setup to employ the loop even more effectively, now that I have a very decent low noise floor.  

 

Something else to mention. Assuming noise is an issue, two things I also did for myself is to power both my ELAD receiver (since it is a stand-alone as well) and the loop unit with low noise, non-switched regulated wall adapter power supplies. This was especially ideal in the case of the loop. Switched supplies and even heavily ferrite RFI reduction still showed some noise and spurs in the sub-600kHz range. I found using a regulated, 300mA 12VDC unit on the loop solved all these noise issues, and now all I hear are local or regional sources which are also very low in general. Another thing that MIGHT help as well: Here in my location in Winnipeg Canada, I have several 50kW MW transmitters which I found when using my loop with a CommRadio CR-1a standalone SDR really tended to de-sensitize that radio affecting the MW and low HF band performance. I employed a 8dB DC-to-2GHz attenuator and that solved this. Sometimes less is more when dealing with a very broadband, wide dynamic range receiver. The idea is to optimize S/N, and while sounding counter-intuitive in a way, this approach for that radio actually IMPROVED the overall performance on all bands below 30 to 40MHz with that radio and many others (my R75 I used its internal RF gain control and attn as needed to achieve the similar results). So, you may wish to experiment with a 6-10dB attn unit and see if this improves some of your performance, in lieu of running an on-board one. Totally up to you.

 

The tenet here is to have the optimal dynamic range for reception within the signals presented to the radio. Sometimes less is more. I do not need to do this with the ELAD, but do employ 10dB ATTN as needed (MF/LF, or on occasion HF if the PK stays on I still can easily hear and detect small signals with it engaged and sometimes that helps dig a weak signal proximal to some other interfering distant QRM).

 

Not sure if any of this helped you, but I tried! 😊

 

Best of luck with the S3!

 

Darren Hennig

VE4VE

Winnipeg Canada

 

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 


--
Darren Hennig,
VE4VE - Winnipeg MB Canada
_____________________
ELAD DUOr/WellBrook ALA-100LNM antenna (4.8m Hexagonal loop) 
CLRdsp (when used standalone)


Srinivas Chennupaty
 

Ron,
Thanks for the input. I currently use a mag loop. will explore the other antennas you mention. Its so true that the Elad is so sensitive. I hear so many barely audible channels that i am motivated to fix the antenna issue :-)
thanks!
Srinivas 

On Friday, April 9, 2021, 02:23:13 AM PDT, Ron Liekens <r.e.liekens@...> wrote:


Srinivas,

There is no use for an LNA below 30 MHz because the S2 and S3 models are very sensitive that it does not help. As you wrote, the noise level increases, but so does the signal, so it has no good result. If you experience bad signals it is because your antenna setup is not optimal. If your signals are compromised you can use a separate earth system for your setup (do NOT use the main power grounding system) and experiment with common-mode chokes. Also use quality coax. I always use quad shielded RG6 coax for my reception antennas.

You can use small good quality active antenna's like those from Wellbrook, Stampfl or NTi (Bonito) if you may not install a dipole. Be shure to mount low noise antenna's. Wellbrook has LN (Low Noise) models that are of premium quality. When have a premium quality receiver I will only show its qualities with good antenna's. I have lately seen people that have bought an Icom IC-R8600 radio and are complaining, just to dicover that they are living in a city flat and using a crappy indoor antenna ;-)

Good luck,
Ron - on2ron