lord_ravensbane wrote:8) this may or may not fit this topic line,but here goes:i was looking through my mfj catalogue yesterday,and thought about an mfj product that was mentioned in one post..i was trhinking about buying (when i can afford it),either the mfj-784dsp with a 1020 tuned antenna,or just the mfj 1026 alone..any opinions or suggestions welcomed..btw i use a radio shack dx-399 reciever.
Well, it all depends on what you want to do. For example, I have both a passive "random wire" and an active antenna. At times, the active antenna is better while at other times, the wire is better.
If you have the ability of installing an external antenna, then the cheapest and best choice would be the "wire" antenna. However, if space is limited, then "external" probe antennas are second-best. I use an external "H-800 SkyMatch" antenna from LF Engineering. It's only 26 inches tall yet it is very rugged and it works surprisingly well... and it is affordable at $139.00
I would stay away from "internal" active antennas as they have a tendency of picking-up all of the RF noise that is inside the house (computers, dimmers, Ac wiring, etc.) Thus, even if the MFJ-1026 does work, it's not as good as an external one.
On the noise reduction front, the MFJ product is good, but I personnally prefer the Timewave DSP599zx (see below).
Here are two sources for the H-800 antenna:
Direct from: http://www.lfengineering.com/products.htm
or better yet, and for the same price, from Grove Enterprises at this link: http://www.grove-ent.com/ANT15.html
My main RX setup is as follows:
"Timewave DSP599zx" DSP-based noise reduction device. IMHO, it's much better and more flexible than all others out there. I really like their 5 kHz bandwidth setting... great for SWL'ing
"H-800 Skymatch" active probe antenna.
"Kenwood R-2000 Receiver w/VC-10"
Antenna (the MOST important part): if space is a concern, then consider the H-800 ($139.00). If not, then string-up an external wire antenna.
Noise Reduction: if $$ permits, the MFJ, or my favorite, the Timewave model. Both perform an excellent job at the audio level. Just remember that they work at the audio level. If there is strong RF noise, then their usefulness is limited