A little more work on my magnetic loop antenna.

I switched from using a Wifi stepper to a little high torque 12v DC motor + gearbox. I really liked the Wifi Stepper, it was painless to setup and use. It was exactly what (I thought) I wanted. Unfortunately I couldn’t get enough torque at low RPM with the little steppers I had. My variable capacitor has much to large a range, and needs very fine adjustments.

I don’t know how much torque the DC motor + gearbox actually has, but it feels like a lot. Another bonus was that the motor, gearbox, and a nice PWM controller was $30 AUD from Banggood.

For testing with my SDR I also switched to using a short coax cable and a long (powered) USB cable. I don’t think I’ve seen such a clean FT8 waterfall on my PC before. There is still some RF (right next to 7.074) but it’s night and day really.

Still, no idea if I can actually hear any better, but it certainly looks clearer.

My next plan is to switch to a shielded coupling loop. Right now, it’s just a few strands of copper wire twisted together in a rough loop. I found a nice piece of cable to use a while ago, but my soldering iron couldn’t heat the large solid conductor. I bought a Chinese T12 solder iron from Banggood that should have plenty of power.

For my other noisy project, I’m pretty sure it’s USB switch mode noise. Yay.