Travelling and DXing with the Bonito MegActive MA305 antenna

 

Ok, so officially it wasn’t a DXpedition; it was a well needed vacation in the sun after several hectic months of work, some of which involved travel to slightly more exotic locations. However, these days, I view any travel, whether it be for business or pleasure as a ‘DXpedition’ opportunity! Some of you might remember that I purchased a Bonito Boni Whip at the beginning of 2017 because (a) I needed another antenna and (b) a second Wellbrook loop felt like too much of an extravagance. They’re excellent antennas for sure, but at around £300, I couldn’t justify buying another. Thus, for about a third of the price I bought the Boni Whip. It proved to be an excellent choice – very compact and so perfect for my regular DXpeditions, quick to set up and capable of really excellent DX. There are many videos on the Oxford Shortwave Log YouTube channel that are testament to this. I wrote a couple of articles, published here on the SWLing Post which were seen by Dennis Walter of Bonito, who subsequently contacted me and offered to send over their MegActive MA305 E-field antenna for testing. Dennis made it crystal-clear that I was to ‘do my own thing’…test the antenna in any way I saw fit and publish my findings so DXers/radio enthusiasts could learn more about the capabilities of the antenna – from another DXer. I was happy to agree to this arrangement and the MegActive MA305 duly arrived, complete with two lengths of (bayonet BNC terminated) high quality H-155 coaxial cable. Continue reading

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The Bonito Boni-Whip: proving to be excellent portable antenna for DXing

Hi there, if you’re a subscriber to the Oxford Shortwave Log YouTube channel, you will be aware that I have been using a Wellbrook ALA1530 H field antenna, for 15 months or so, with (at times) excellent results. A while back I was on the lookout for a second antenna, however at more than £250, I couldn’t justify purchasing a second Wellbrook. Ultimately I splashed out on the Bonito Boni whip E-field wideband active antenna (20 kHz to 300 MHz) and with a very compact form-factor suitable for DXpeditions/portable operation in general, the Boni whip definitely ticked all the boxes. Furthermore, with reasonable second and third order intercept points of +55 and +32.5 dBm respectively, the Boni whip, on paper at least, looked like a pretty good buy at around £100. Continue reading

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New Italian Brochure is online now

For my Italian friends. See you next week in Montichiari.

Italian Brochure is ready for download:

Thank you Luca for your help.

Keep listening

Dennis

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Why even good antennas need good Coax cable

“Nothing’s going on shortwave anymore!”

Really?

Many ham radio operators and SWLs keep telling me that nothing is going on on shortwave. On top of that there are news that international stations are discontinued and you keep thinking, “Ok, this station is gone now as well, too bad.” The listeners forget about it and in the worst case, they pursue a different hobby.

Many OMs do not notice that there is not less activity on the band but that local noise has become a lot stronger and so many stations get lost “in the mud” and cannot be heard anymore.

noise floor

That means that these stations are simply hidden by the noise floor and are beneath the local noise level. Continue reading

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SDRplay active antenna test

Currently, the SDRplay receiver is very popular and we are often asked if we have already tested the radio, when it will be integrated into the sdrplayRadioCom 6 software and how the radio works with our antennas. I contacted the manufacturer, Jon Hudson, and obtained a receiver for testing purposes. For this test we used the SDR# software in its current version (March 2016) because it offers more setting options than HDSDR program.

The SDRplay receiver is completely powered and controlled by USB. And so it was only natural to run tests of this radio as an autonomous and portable receiver connected to our MegActiv MA 305 and the new MegaLoop ML052 which are also USB-powered. We only tested the shortwave reception of the radio because around Easter the amateur bands were unusually busy with contests.

SDRplay Test at the Bonito Notebook

Continue reading

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Extra SAQ transmission on August 16th, 2016!!!

An extra transmission from the Unesco World Heritage Grimeton Radio Station (SAQ) will be made on Tuesday, August 16th, 2016, on the occasion of the 11th nordic shortwave conference HF 16 with the attached longwave symposium LW 16, a venue held on the small island of faaroe north of Gotland in the baltic sea.

Start up and tune in of the transmitter will begin at at around 09.15 UTC (11.15 local time), and the transmission of a message on the frequency 17.2 kHz CW, will start at 09.40 UTC (11.40 local time).

You can also watch a live video stream of the event on www.alexander.n.se.

No QSL-cards will be given this time and no List of Reports will be constructed but we accept shorter Listeners Report to e-mail info@alexander.n.se.

Extra SAQ transmission on August 16th, 2016

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Easter offers

For the easter time I made some special offers and lower the price of some of our popular products. Just click the Image to see the offers.

ostern2016

I wish you a nice Easter time, good reception and many QSOs.

Kepp listening
Dennis

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New Bonito Hamradio / SWL Catalog 2016 in English has been released

The new Bonito Hamradio / SWL Catalog 2016 in English has been released. We will distribute it on our Shows at Montichiari, Dayton Hamvention, Florence Hamfest, Friedrichshafen Hamradio, UK Hamfest etc.

The Catalog is already available as PDF download here: http://www.bonito.net/cat/Bonito-Hamradio-catalogue2016.pdf

hamcat2016

Have fun and keep listening

Dennis

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Bonito exhibits at the Radiantistica Expò in Monitichiari

Radiantistica Expò MonitichiariI am very happy to announce that Bonito will exhibit at the Radiantistica Expò in Monitichiari (Italy) this March 12th and 13th. My wife and I will bring a fine selection of our actual product range with us and hoping for many visitors and hopefully new cutomers. Continue reading

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Autonomous power supply of our active antennas via USB and power bank.

It is getting to be more and more difficult to procure reasonably priced analogue external plug-in power supplies because just like old light bulbs they are no longer allowed to be produced due to power consumption restrictions. We are spending a lot of time to find and buy remaining stock so that we can offer our customers noise-free external power supplies. But for years, there has been an alternative.

Our MegaLoop ML200, ML052, the MegActiv MA305 as well as the GigActiv GA3005 can be operated internally with as little as 5V and so can be powered by the supplied CPI1000DP / CPI3000DP bias tee via a USB cable.  In light of the annoying switching power supplies, PowerLAN and heightened mobility of listeners, this is a very practical alternative and offers much more flexibility for the customer.  Unfortunately, this fact is not well known and that is why I would like to shed some light on this subject.

CPI1000 with Powerbank

CPI1000 with Powerbank

Here you can see an example of how you can operate the MegaLoop ML200 or the ML052 with a power bank totally independently for a couple of days. The antennas only consume max. 40mAh and can get by with a 2100mAh power bank for a few days without any problems. The power bank shown here is actually meant to recharge Smartphones. But we can use it differently as well. On the „Düsseldorf Boat Show”, I was given this power bank together with an ICOM M25 radio and attached a ML052 to it. Result: The antenna has been running on a 40m RG58 coaxial cable for four days without recharging. This also shows that the length of the cable is of no real importance. Continue reading

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