Finding Noise with an Antenna

[K5ACL], aka [SignalSearch], recently brought his active receive loop antenna in off the roof to give it a checkup and perform any necessary maintenance. While it was in the shack, he took the opportunity to discuss how well it would perform indoors. The verdict? Not ideal. He’d mount it 50 feet away from the house if the HOA would let him.

Houses, and subsequently most ham shacks, are filled with noise sources that interfere badly with HF. So after spending a minute or so listening on an SDR, [K5ACL] demonstrates another use for this type of tightly-tuned antenna—as a noise detector.

The main culprit in [K5ACL]’s house is the ceiling light that’s right there in the shack. You can see the noise striping the waterfall as he turns it on and off. But the noise from the light is small potatoes compared to some other common household items, like those power line adapters that turn house wiring into networking cable. Those produce so much noise that even an active loop is really no match. Stay tuned after the break to watch [K5ACL] work the bands through the noise.

Loop antennas are great if you’re stuck in an apartment building or a congested city. They’re easy enough to make, whether you want a portable loop or a permanent installation.


3 thoughts on “Finding Noise with an Antenna

  1. Neither if your links at the bottom are for active antennas. They are both passive, tuned loops. Active receive antennas have, you know, active components ie amplifiers in them.

  2. Build laptop or phone interface for true portability, go outside and find all the other sources of noise you can’t turn off.

    Disguise loop into a trellis or bird and squirrel circus feeder. Bury cable to the quietest spot you find. Watch the Ytube video how a man wedges a square ended shovel and buries a cable with push-back invisibility. No digging up soil. Done real quick.

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