AM and FM DX

Can I use it as a snow chasing retreat?

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Accomodation may be one star though - 20 year old canned food maybe and cockroaches probably. TV buildings usually have a snake too.

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But on the plus side, you will get EXCELLENT reception! :grin:

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It was the Academy TV equivalent from memory. I’ve owned it for a few years but never installed it until now.

Yeah I had wondered about amplification. I have an old Kingray amp sitting in a box somewhere, I should dig it up and try it. I didn’t go about installing it on the antenna for fear of overload from the very strong local signals.

And yeah, I only realised after installation that the opening is facing south. Ideally it would be facing north towards the local TV towers, but if I can get on the roof at some point it shouldn’t be hard to just swing it around 180-degrees.

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Is this your fm antenna???

This is the one that @matt86 uses.
He has it mounted on the southern side of his mast. The way he has the antenna mounted and his location favors southern signals.

With it mounted facing south like in this photo, you will still get good reception from the north, but the nulls will be to the sides of the antenna, East / West. Not good for receiving 94.9 River Fm.

I would purchase the 10mm-UA30PDF masthead amp.

If you have overloads you can turn the fm gain down. The Kingray amp you have might not amplify fm, or it might only amplify band 1 tv upwards. Anyway trial and error is how I got my setup right, and moving the fm antenna up and down the mast also can make a big difference too. My fm dxing reception is worse at the top of the mast. 1/2 - 3/4 height was the best.

I hope this helps out.

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Eve if nothing else a masterhead amp will overcome signal loss with the cable run.

I’ve had good success with that amp too.

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I always thought it was the opposite - that the opening went towards the stations that you want the best reception from .

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Matchmaster even say that too, but from my testing I have found the opposite.
The back of the antenna has more surface area and captures more signal. It gives me the strongest signals from the south, I can get RDS for the Wollongong / Illawarra stations when pointing this way. With the opening facing south no RDS, and no Canberra / Goulburn Tropo reception.

I only found this out by trial and error.

This PDF shows the antenna is directional to some degree, and the most gain is not from the front as Matchmaster claim.

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Interesting video on omnidirectional FM antennas

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I have seen that video before, it is very informative. The notch is definitely at the front of the Matchmaster Omni fm antenna.

My old one broke, the mounting snapped and the plastic clips at the front perished too, so I did a few experiments with it to make it more directional.

Without the clips I straightened out the element somewhat and this moved the maximum gain to the front of the antenna, the nulls then moved to the side of the antenna.

With a broken mounting I had to hook the antenna over the pole. Depending on which way I hooked it in a vertical position I could make it very directional.

Half circle (back) pointing up to the south. Very directional to southern signals, nulls to north, east, and west.

Half circle (back) pointing up to the north. South facing down, maximum gain to the north, nulls in other directions.

So to make this antenna 100% Omni like in the video, you would need to straighten it out completely and mount it vertically.

Next time you are up on the roof spin the antenna around 180 degrees and see what difference it makes to the weaker signals you are currently pointing at.
You may also find your Tropo from the north is much stronger too.

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My antenna looks almost identical to the one you posted the manual for. So yes, I think I might trying just swinging it 180 so the notch is aiming straight at Coot-tha and see what happens.

The Kingray is indeed one of the analogue TV era ones that amplifies anything from Band I north - I grabbed one just as production had ceased, just in case. It may have a purpose in the future but I feel here it would just amplify noise. I like the idea of that Matchmaster one though, as I could then adjust the amplification to find a sweet spot between improving signal and overload. Might make that an early Christmas present to me…

Do you think I’d be able to run it indoors, at least at first? I’d love to try it out and get the gain right before mounting it on the mast.

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My hunch is adjusting the gain indoors is likely to give you a different result to when it’s mounted outside, so I’m not sure doing that will help you much?

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Has anyone gone the extra mile and have an antenna that spin around on demand?

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A bit of enhancement about tonight, getting 91.7 2ST up here near Newcastle… most Sydney stations are enhanced, still couldn’t get 2RSR or 2BAC with their improved signals though. 2RE was enhanced from the north too which didn’t help in getting 2RSR. Middle Brother ABCs also enhanced.

Weak 103.5 2BA and 103.9 2PB as well.

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A weak easterly change has come in this evening; I find these are the best for tropo to and from the Canberra region.

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Had some good moderate to strong localized tropo this morning. All enhancements were from the south.

Power fm over Rhema CC with no CCI from Rhema. Power fm did not hit RDS strength.

VOX strong enough for RDS decode.
2RPH causing CCI to Radio 50+ CC
2ST enhanced but below RDS strength

Pulse fm causing CCI to Todays Country CC.
No 2ST Nowra.

Basically the duct covered from Saddleback Mt / Southern Highlands to Sydney.
The enhancements are breaking up now.

Tropo Forecast
Looking ahead this week not much on the horizon.
Tuesday morning some low to moderate enhancements from the north

Thursday morning some moderate enhancements from the south

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Strong signals from Rockhampton this morning in Brisbane.

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Some more tropo again tonight, and like this morning the ducts are again very local.
Sydney to the Central Coast.

All CC community stations enhanced with Radio 50+strong enough to decoding RDS.

Rhema CC below RDS, Coast fm suffering less splatter from Cada. I am able to get a stereo signal, and full RDS decode when tuning to 96.35 mhz.

Today has been the day for very short localized ducts.

Wollongong / Illawarra slightly weaker than normal. My DTV strength is lower than in normal non tropo conditions.

Looking forward to some more long range, and more intense enhancements, also SpE season should be about to start soon.

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