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K9AY – saviour in the noise

By Werner Funkenhauser
July 12, 1999

I had almost given up on DXing from my high noise location in Guelph, even with my venerable Kiwa, and various phasing units with other antennas. In fact, I was using the phasing units for noise reduction, rather than to steer nulls.
In December 1998, Al Merriman built me the control units of my K9AY loops system. As Al says, his K9AY system was a huge hit on the Newfoundland Dxpedition in October 1998. I saw first hand what the system was capable of.

Since then, I have had good DX successes in a highly noisy environment, including regular reception of TAs in the longwave band, most recently, July 11, 1999.
Given the right conditions, regular summertime reception of the more common Cubans, Venezuelan, Mexicans and Colombians is possible. Since 690 kHz was vacated by CBM, I have heard CBU a number of times with this system.

The antenna is highly directional in its various elements which are aimed NE, NW, SW, SE. I hear CBA on the NE element, while killing CHOK, which appears best along on the SW leg. Since CBL left 740, I regularly hear CHCM. Prior to that, a usual easterner was CHTN, despite WGN.

I use a Dressler ARA 30 with an MFJ 1025 for phasing, but find that it is only infrequently necessary.
I use my system without amplification, relying the internal pre-amps of my Drake R8B or my Icom R71A.
On MW, I generally operate without the preamp. In fact, many times I will attenuate the signal.
Longwave is another matter. There, the preamp is engaged, and AGC is generally set in the "off" position.

Real Audio examples of the front to back performance in this antenna can be heard in reception of CKLW vs. CJBQ.
I am roughly midway between these two stations. The listener can hear the reduction of CKLW's QRM as I switch from the SW to NE element and ajust for maximum CJBQ signal.
Another example shows the almost in-the-clear signal of CHTN, then a sports stadium speech over WGN.
Sorry about the poor sound of the first example.
The CKLW example was recorded during the day, the CHTN example, at night.

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