28 Mar 2012

VLF E-field probes compared?

Both the PA0RDT and DK7FC E-field probes antennas are suitable for detecting weak VLF amateur signals around 8-9kHz when used with the right PC software. See https://sites.google.com/site/sub9khz/antennas for the schematics of these and others.

What I'm wondering is has anyone done a "like-for-like" test to compare their performance? With a near identical test set-up (same height above ground, same ground and PSU noise conditions) it should be possible to compare noise floor, sensitivity (S/N of Alpha beacons, VLF MSK signals), and by looking for the intensity of the intermod line at 9kHz from broadcast signals in Europe get an indication of dynamic range. Has anyone done this test at VLF? If not, it looks like I shall have to do it and "suck it and see".

Incidentally, the PA0RDT voltage probe antenna makes an ideal antenna for shortwave, medium wave and long wave DX SWLs. It is essentially a high dynamic range wideband receive antenna which is tiny, yet capable of excellent results if mounted in the clear in a low noise environment ideally away from house electrical interference.

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