The Optimum Low Cost Complete AM-FM-SW Antenna System for the Sony ICF-2010

By ~ RHF

PART ONE: Building and Using an Antenna Rest with the Radio Shack AM Loop Antenna (RS-AM-LA) and the Sony ICF-2010.

1. The ICF-2010 will fit into the RS-AM-LA and the Tuning Control of the RS-AM-LA is accessible.
This is the One Advantage of the RadioShack AM Loop Antenna over the Trek and the Select-A-Tenna is:
* The RS Loop's Tuning Control is on the Front.
* The RS Loop's center is open (~7.5")
* Many Radios will Fit-Into the RS Loop: CCRadio Sony ICF-2010 Sangean ATS-909 to name a few.
* Frequently placing the radio inside the RS-AM-LA can produce better results then placing the RS-AM-LA next to the radio.

2. To Optimism the Use of the RS-AM-LA with the Sony ICF-2010 one can 'built' a "Rest".
? What ? A "Rest" A piece wood measuring: 2" by 8" by 12".
? Why ? The Sony ICF-2010 base is 12 Inches long, and the RS-AM-LA base is 8 Inches long.

3. ? How ? Cut a piece of wood to the 2" by 8" by 12" size.
Cut a One Inch Deep and Three Inch Wide Slot (Channel) Across (Perpendicular) in the piece of wood. Measure 1" & 3.75" from one end and using a square to scribe two lines. Cut at the lines to a depth of 1" and remove the wood from the Slot. This 'Slot' should have fairly squared sides and a flat bottom. Sand & Finish the "Rest" (wood) to your personal liking.

4. How To Set It Up:
Place the 'Rest' on a 12" or larger Lazy Susan and center it. Place the RS-AM-LA in the Slot and center it front to back. Place the Sony ICF-2010 in the surface of the piece of wood and Slide-It through the RS-AM-LA and center it on the 'Rest' with the RS-AM-LA on the left side around the speaker. This will allow access to all the Sony ICF-2010 radio's front controls and not impair the sound coming from the speaker.

5. How To Use It ?
Set the Sony ICF-2010 to the 'target' AM Station Frequency.
First, Rotate and Position the Lazy Susan for 'Best' Signal.
Second, Tune the Loop for 'Best' Signal. Fine Adjust the Radio
Positioning and Loop Tuning for 'Optimum' Reception.

PART TWO: Using an External Antenna with the RadioShack AM Loop and the Sony ICF-2010.

If your 'interests' in an External Antenna for the Sony ICF-2010 include AM/MW reception; the RadioShack AM Loop antenna makes for a Strong 'directional' AM/MW 'booster' Antenna. The ICF-2010 can be placed into the 'open area' of the RS AM Loop. The position of the ICF-2010 and the RS AM Loop can be varied to 'optimize' the coupling for the desired station being received. An 'external' Random Wire Antenna and Ground Connection can be feed into the RS AM Loop with a 1/8" Mono Plug (center pin antenna & outer barrel ground). Using the RS AM Loop this way 'effectively couples' and Tunes the External Random Wire Antenna to the Sony ICF-2010 for AM/MW Reception.

NOTE: If the ICF-2010's 'internal' RF Attenuator will not reduce the external antenna loop coupling enough. Additional Attenuation can be achieved for the External Antenna with a 5K Tapered Potentiometer placed in line between the Antenna Lead, the 1/8" Mono-Plug and Ground. One terminal end of the POT is the Antenna; the other end terminal of the POT is Ground; and the center terminal goes to the center pin of the 1/8" Mono Plug (Adjust signal level as needed for optimum reception). The Barrel of the Mono-Plug is the Ground side.

PART THREE: How to Build a simple External Random Wire Antenna to work with the RadioShack AM Loop Antenna; using Common Speaker Wire for the Antenna.

"How To Assemble" this simple multi-use AM/FM/SW Antenna System. What you have 'connected' to your Sony ICF-2010 is an Inductively Coupled AM Loop Antenna with an attached External Terminated 145 Foot Random Wire Antenna. Plus you have an Extension Wire Antenna attached to the Sony ICF-2010's Whip Antenna for FM and Shortwave Reception.

The Parts Needed:
* 1/8" 'Mono' Jack
* Alligator Clip
* 75 Ft 20AWG Stranded Speaker Wire
* 50 Ohm Resister

How to Put It All Together:
1. Cut-Off a short 18" piece of the Speaker Wire and split it into two wires. Take the piece of Speaker Wire that has the 'White Stripe' on it and strip 1" from both ends. Attach the Alligator Clip to one end.

2. Take the remaining 73.5' of Speaker wire and strip 1" of wire from both wires of both ends.

3. For the Radio/ Loop end of the Speaker Wire: attach (solder) the 'White Stripe' wire to the outer terminal of the 1/8" 'Mono' Jack; alone with the other end of the short single wire with the Alligator Clip on the opposite end. Next connect (solder) the other non-striped Speaker Wire to the center Terminal of the 1/8" 'mono' Jack.

4. For the 'far/outside' end of the antenna: affix (Solder) a 50 Ohm Resister across the two Speaker Wires and cover and seal with electrical tape.

5. Place the RadioShack AM Loop next to your Sony ICF-2010 . The loop
and the radio should from a "T". (Use the above REST to make things easy.)

6. Plug the 1/8" mono Jack into the RadioShack AM Loop Antenna.

7. Attach the Alligator Clip to the Sony ICF-2010's Whip Antenna.

8. Make an 18" stress loop in the 73.5' of Speaker Wire, and run the rest of the wire around the room, or to the outside and up in the air.

9. Use a piece of #25 poly/nylon string to help route and tie-off the far/outside end of the antenna out and up into the air.

Summary: What you have 'connected' to your Sony ICF-2010 is an Inductively Coupled AM Loop Antenna with an attached external terminated 145 Foot Random Wire Antenna. Plus you have an Extension Wire Antenna attached to the Sony ICF-2010's Whip Antenna for FM and Shortwave Reception.

NOTE: The Sony ICF-2010 may be powered by Batteries or using the AC Power. Try both power sources and see which gives you the 'best' reception and the 'least' noise in your radio's location.

PART FOUR: Indoors Limited Space Antenna:
One Modification to the External Antenna above for an Indoor Limited Space Antennas -or- Restricted Conditions Antennas:

1. Use a piece of non-metallic material as an Antenna Coil Form. (Most people use a piece of One Inch by 8 Foot PVC Pipe)

2. Estimate the amount of wire you need for a Lead-In Wire; to safely run to an Inside Location or OutSide Mounting Position (10-20 Feet) for the Antenna.

3. Wrap the remaining Speaker Wire (55-65 Feet) flatly around the PVC Pipe in one smooth even layer. (Start about One Foot from one of the ends and leave your estimated Lead-In Wire as a loose tag end.)
NOTE: Some people use Nylon Parachute Cord as a Spacer between Speaker Wire Windings to extend the wrapped area/length of the antenna element.

4. Secure the wrapped wire ends on the PVC pipe with electrical tape.

5. Position and Mount this Wire Wrap piece of PVC Pipe Coil End Up and keep it away from any other objects as possible. (Trim it if necessary.)

Summary: This type of Helically Wound Antenna on a piece of PVC Pipe is commonly called a "BroomStick" Antenna.

This posting original appeared in the Sony ICF-2010 Yahoo mailing list and posted with permission by RHF. Thanks to RHF for sharing!


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