I decided that 2 antennas for diversity reception was not adequate. I have 2 verticals in the back of my property with good ground planes. In the front there is a pine with an eyebolt at about 45 ft. and a rope that goes through the bolt. I decided to cobble together a third vertical for RX. I made a little feed point bracket so I could attach a wire for the vertical element and added two radials at 180 degrees. At 45 ft the wire is a little long on 40 and a little short on 80 but should give pretty good output on either band.
The triangle is not a perfect equilateral triangle. It is 100ft on the base and about 180ft on each remaining side. With the F5K I didn't even need to make any kind of switching arrangement. I merely plugged one vert into ant 1, one vert into ant 3 and one vert into RX2. With this arrangement I can choose 1-rx2, 3-rx2, and 1,3 from the antenna control panel in the F5K
It happens there is some kind of contest happening in EU so the low end of 80M is quite active and its just a few minutes past the terminator flying over my head as I write.
The effect is somewhat subtle but there is definite improvement is readability using the diversity set up.
I rotated around between the 3 antenna pairs and there was a definate advantage with ant 1.3 vs the other 2 pairs, both in signal to noise and in fading. I switched to 160 and there was only one domestic station calling CQ in 4 land and I was not able to get much diversity on him no matter what combo I chose. I switched to 40 and listend to some Russians in the contest and a completely different set of antennas gave the best response. This time RX2, 1 was best with RX2, 3 close behind. I have a lot more evaluation to do, but I think a triangle is a good first start for actually honing this receiving technique. At some point I may phase 2 of the antennas by making a phasing box, or possibly using my MFJ 1026 and feed that box's output against a single antemma
So much playing to do, such little time, and all it took was flipping another wire up in a tree.
If you're interested in writing something interesting for this blog regarding your SDR experience let me know. I would like to include things like how your SDR contest station is set up, or your VHF station that uses SDR as the system center, feats of weak signal work or how well the SDR works in various challenging situations. If you are a foreign ham and would like to comment on the growth of SDR in your particular part of the world. Bring it on!
I reserve the right to publish or not, but I'm pretty open to documenting a wide variety of honest experiences from users, for readers to explore. The understanding of SDR in our hobby is so nascent, that I want the reader to be able to see the value of SDR through the eyes of YOUR experience and enthusiasm.