“Emulating” a Wellbrook ALA1530LNP w/MFJ-1886 + MW550P

I just happen to have a Palstar MW550P Preamp Tuner for SWL and AM BCB DXing. I figure I would try it with the “anemic” MFJ-1886 loop.

The Wellbrook ALA1530LNP has TWO preamps – one at the antenna (P1) and one in the controller (P2).

I was able to “emulate” the Wellbrook using the MFJ-1886 and the Palstar MW550P. P1 is the MFJ-1886 antenna based preamp, and P2 is the MW550P Tuner / Preamp.

How does it play?

I brought the MFJ-1886 loop up to the same level as the Wellbrook. The great thing about this is that I can now see that the Wellbrook has less noise, but the “kludge” will be “good enough” until I receive my second Wellbrook loop in February. It is way more acceptable than having just the MFJ-1886 alone. With the P3 panadapter, I can clearly see that the MFJ-1886 plus MW550P is about 10 dB noisier, but that indeed it is at the same level – which is really important when you want to phase antennas using the NCC-2. So I do look forward to swapping the MFJ-1886 for the new Wellbrook.

Take Aways

  1. Don’t try to go cheap on your receive antennas. Buy the best, and I am sure the Wellbrook ALA1530LNP is one of if not THE best
  2. Use twp of the same antennas. This is even more important than I had expected

For me, the adventure in DX-ing and ham radio is learning along the way. I get just as much of a “buzz” thinking about solutions to problems and then trying them – both receive and transmit. Constantly striving to improve your station – or just trying new things can keep one interested for many years, if not a lifetime.


One Comment on ““Emulating” a Wellbrook ALA1530LNP w/MFJ-1886 + MW550P

  1. The signal to noise ratio is largely set by the first amplifier, after that you can only ADD extra noise to the signal so the ability to hear very weak signals is down to the quality of the first amplifier which is built in to the loop. You may be able to filter some strong signals on adjacent frequencies but excessive amplification usually has the effects of producing intermodulation products which hinder reception.
    The most important detail under domestic conditions is to put the antenna as far away as possible from your and other houses. We all have many very noisy electronic devices, CCF lamps and some LED lights, switching supplies, some DSL equipment and Plasma TV’s . Some devices are very bad news. Fortunately inductive coupling falls off as the inverse cube of distance so careful and distant positioning can allow you to hear signals that are undetectable on inside antennas. Putting a loop 20′ away from a house can make a day/night difference to noise levels.
    There is a lot of life after medium wave! NDB’s are a great challenge, there are very many HF broadcasters and the whole world of Ham Radio and in particular WSPR . Then there is also the rapidly evolving world of on-line SDR’s ( sdr.hu has over 500 world wide receivers ).
    I have a KiwiSDR which covers AF to 30MHz and sits on a home network. It delivers incredible performance at a remarkable low price.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: