Thursday, May 24, 2012

Static Interference & Inrad Filters

I've been busy stuck with work all this week so have had very little time to play with the radio. However when I have had the chance to listen to the bands they have been extremely noisy especially 40 and 80 meters.
Lots of static, presumably thunderstorms over Europe, no doubt due to the warm weather they have been having, however in saying that, our cold patch seems to have moved away and the last few days have seen the temperature pick up with the good weather arriving over the UK.
I’m never sure how much the weather conditions play on the part of radio waves, many amateurs will tell you that it is very little and others will tell you a lot. All I know is the bands seem to get noisier in warmer weather and rightly or wrongly I reckon the higher bands like 15 and 12 meters seem to pick up. When the weather feels close though, I find DX is poor but when it’s cooler and fresher the DX seems better. In rainy conditions sometimes you get what sounds like a scratchy interference which is obviously rain drops on the antenna (especially the cobweb) and it is gone when the rain stops. So am I talking complete rubbish or is some of it true?
I cannot believe the difference the filters make on the FT1000MP V, especially the improvement kit. The background noise/hiss has dropped by at least a couple of db, also when you buy the kit you get an extra capacitor which once attached to the main receiver does much to improve the sound of CW. Certainly now when listening out for the weaker stations the filters come in to their own especially when there is QRM about, I can quickly cut the QRM using the filters, DSP and other assorted goodies I have at my disposal.
Since on the odd occasion when I have had to drop the cobweb through bad weather it obviously reduces my antennas, especially since I now have the W3DZZ on the same mast, so consequently if I drop the cobweb the other antenna has to come down as well. So I have raised an old home brew Windom antenna up in the silver birch tree that I had hidden away in my garage, (i'd actually forgotten I'd built it)! It’s set up for 40 meters but with my tuner I can use 30, 20 and 15 without a problem although signals are not nearly as strong as the cobweb or the W3DZZ, but in an emergency it does mean I can get out which is good news.

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