HackRF on Sky Loop Antenna and Talented Balun
Todd Harrison, KF7NBI, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Arizona, USA.
In this video I put up a 20 meter band Delta Sky Loop Antenna with lighting arrestor to use with my HackRF One software defined radio.
I then demonstrate good reception from all over the USA as far away as 1500 miles using SDR Console software version 2 by SDR-Radio
I was able to use CW, AM, FM (narrow & wide) modes on HF and VHF without problems. The software is a bit difficult but I cover some tips in the video that worked for me.
My sky loop antenna was ~128feet long tuned for 1.2:1 SWR at 14.07 MHz
Hoping to use the HackRF for PSK and JT9 at 30 mW TX
Amazon store links:
100 ft RG8X COAX CABLE for CB / Ham Radio w/ PL259 Connectors
LIGHTNING ARRESTOR for CB or Ham Base Antennas
MIG Welding Wire, 4043, .030, Spool
Talented Balun by James Sanders (AG6IF)
Search for AG6IF on http://www.qrz.com
I’ve been using a HackRF for RX as well and it works great. JT65 reception is excellent; my current record is about 10k miles hearing stations from South Africa and Western Australia. Also makes a good panadapter to preview the bands; sucking in 10MHz of bandwidth at a time is a really easy way to find which bands are alive and where the most active QSOs are.
For those who are sure they’ll only ever need RX (and to be fair, the HackRF TX path is pretty limited), take a look at the Airspy. It’s based on much of the HackRF’s internals and also works with SDR Console, but costs a fair bit less.