I will NOT be held responsible
for any info that is listed here
ALL DONE AT YOUR OWN RISK !
HF RFI Generator - "Electronic Defrost Timer" : We had a defrost timer replaced in a near 20 year old refrigerator. The mechanical one that was in it was replaced by the Supco model UET120
which is of a solid state design. It creates some pretty nasty SW/HF
interference with it's internal switching power supply (as I was afraid
of). But it could have been worse. It’s RF noise in my situation (and
is at a pretty major level) is between 2200 and 4000 kHz. It drops off greatly after that with only a very low level spur or harmonics above up to around 20 MHz.
Thomas Witherspoon of "The SWLing post.com"
reports to me that between his refrigerator and freezer are the 2 worst
HF RFI generators in his house. It appears that all new refrigerators /
freezers are using these "el-cheapo" Chinese solid state "Defrost"
timers now. These might seem more robust, but as I read around the
internet they are not. Guessing are more prone to failure from
spikes/power line surges ? Yeah, the new DX catch....the neighbors refrigerator.
Thank goodness I still have the MFJ-1026 device at HQ in case it gets too bad, but that is pain to have to deal with.
More nasty household appliance RFI woes for HF reception.
This time it's a "Solid State" Refrigerator Defrost Timer. We experienced this UET120 model by Supco.
Yaesu FT-70D Notes : A few notes from our Yaesu FT-70DR "Fusion" test sample hand held transceiver (sorry we are not planning a review on this radio).
- Operates well enough all around with plenty of decent undistorted receive audio.
- Fusion "Yahoo Groups" have reported excessive receive failures since it's release, that is internal speaker fails but still works with speaker mic OK.-
Internal microphone sensitivity between analog and fusion transmit
audio is still far apart and Yaesu should consider separate TX level
adjustments for digital and analog, otherwise TX punch is good.- Very good ergonomics and very easy to see LCD display and backlighting.
- Many may not prefer the electronic volume control (The FT2DR has a top mounted dedicated volume control)
- No extended receive above 579.995 MHz (nor MW or FM broadcast).- Receive coverage lacks SW broadcast (which the FT2DR has, AM mode only). -
The biggest "Bug-A-Boo" with the FT-70DR involves "stand by" current
when off. Many Chinese handhelds suffer from this bug and the Japanese
made Yaesu FT-70D is nasty BAD here as well in our testing. It's
receive current consumption in regular operation is not so great either
even with it's RX LED's off and battery saver in use and this is even
in analog mode (the FT-2DR fares MUCH better here in the
specifications). ONLY way around the excessive "stand by current" bug
is to totally remove the battery when not in use (a royal pain in the
rump !). Yes, this is even after the recommended firmware update !-
Cabinet is on the "chubby wide" side. For anyone with small hands you
know what I mean. Not easily placed in ones shirt pocket either (unless
you are a lumberjack).- Included plastic antenna continues the Yaesu tradition here (that is a bit on the "ugly-thugly" side and only so-so performance).
|N9EWO Review :
C.Crane "FM REFLECT"
Indoor FM Antenna
C.Crane's "FM REFLECT" Indoor FM Wall Antenna (it's outer box photo above).
100% Passive and Respectable. Made in China. (sorry no longer available new) (N9EWO Photo)
PRO : Improves FM Broadcast reception over the standard T-style dipole
that was included with older Stereo receivers. Passive design for
excellent signal to noise ratio. Design is much less affected by people
moving around in the room (a major issue with any indoor antenna). 8
foot 75 ohm coax feedline (no 300 ohm twin lead feeds lines used here).
Mounting ears and center section that have nail mounting holes
(required to use, see con). All white color. Includes a 75 to 300 ohm
CON : Wall mounted antenna, generally ugly and difficult to hide, must
be mounted to something and is not easy to deal with with it's thick
elements. Stiff coax cable. Pricey for what it is (at full price). Heat
shrink piece over coax connector was not done properly and made for
difficult connection to receiver (one can just carefully remove it with
a pair of scissors). As it is with any indoor antenna some
experimentation may be required to locate the best hot spot in the room
(may require an extension of the coax cable). The weird whip portable
antenna connection with the provided 75 to 300 ohm balun and alligator
clip did NOT provide any improvement in our testing (we say any host
receiver MUST have an actual antenna and ground connection, 75 or 300
Final Word : This 54 inch "INDOOR" FM broadcast antenna was a winner in
our tests. After trying many indoor FM antenna's over the years, this
one works and no fiddling with some phasing control. We tested this in
a horizontal configuration (see photo below). Not that it will make the
weak station jump to full scale signals (it can't and doesn't). But
when directly compared to a dipole antenna that were included with
older stereo receivers from years past (not a folded dipole type), the
C.Crane FM REFLECT was definitely an improvement (on a some stations it
was quite surprising). Completely passive design, this is NOT another
and undesirable active antenna either (designs which we don't bother
with anymore at all), so NO added noise to the signal. We found it
worked equally well across the entire FM broadcast band (88 to 108
MHz). A bit ugly yes, but is still easier to hide over a even more ugly
pair of "Rabbit Ears".
Sadly this antenna has been discontinued and no longer available new.
© N9EWO, all
"FM Reflect" is a bit on the unwieldy side and is less stiff than one
would hope for. We mounted the test sample on the top of 2 bulletin
boards with it's feedline coax neatly hidden in the space between them.
There are TINY mounting holes at each end and a couple in the middle,
but to use these will take a fairy long and thin nail etc. Being as
"thugly" as it is, it cannot be used without some mounting support
(must be wall mounted). In testing it would have been nice to have seen
the coax slightly longer than it's 8 feet (say 10 to 12). But is easily
lengthened (the shorter the better of course.) (N9EWO Photo)
Craig Menning guest "micro review" on the Grundig / Eton "Field" Receiver (many thanks Craig)
Guest Review :
Grundig / Eton "Field" BT (Bluetooth) Receiver
It now has Bluetooth support with the new BT model. Appears
the speaker sound has radically changed over the old non-BT version. There has
been a change to the bass response through headphones. At "maximum"
Bass adjustment, the new version has much less low end. Similar, but not so
obvious results with the speaker.
Eton Field : Current readings in AM and FM, no signal, minimum
volume (in mA's)
With LED Backlight ON -
AM/on AM/off FM/on
As you can see the LED backlight adds 42 mA, something to be
avoided. The new radio seems to draw 14-16 mA more than the old one. Box
covering the speaker in the new BT version, precluding the conversion to a
longer AM antenna. Will update this as necessary as Craig learns more with his
On AM (MW) , the new Field and the old version are basically the
same. Some minor sensitivity differences could be seen on a few frequencies,
but not enough to say one radio was more sensitive than the other. On FM, for
the most part they were the same, but there were a few stations that came in
better on the old radio. On shortwave, using the whip both radios are the same,
for the most part. Around 15 MHz, the new BT version did slightly better. My
revised opinion, from a general shortwave standpoint is these radios are the
same. Naturally adding a wire antenna helps greatly.
Contrast on the new radio's display is better, I also
observe that backlight on the buttons is better. I wish the display could be
seen with the LEDS off (with any negative type LCD display this is not
possible…N9EWO). One comment common to both radios is the tuning is
terrible. The two speed tuning is annoying.
Another observation, on AM, the older version had birdies /
hets / whistles on four different frequencies. The new version only had one.
This is an improvement. I wonder if the new added shielding was a factor ? The
station had to be extremely weak, barely audible for these to be observed. With
stronger signals, they are not noticeable.
I did notice that, on the old version, the audio could get
louder. This could be due to the difference between a 4-inch speaker and a
sub-two inch speaker. Or, there could be other differences?
Conclusion: I wouldn’t get the new version expecting an
improvement in signal reception. Given that the old one likely has better
battery life, I’d say that is the better choice. Since both old and new would
allow adding the jack for alternate AM antennas, anyone wishing to do that
could go with either radio.