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Experiments with a 7 1/2" FSL


By Everett Sharp N8CNP everettsharp@aol.com 6/18/12 revised
Using a 6 1/4" OD thin wall PVC pipe as a base and Russian 62 X 12 X 4 mm Ferrite bars that were mounted onto
the PVC Pipe with Scotch brand clear duct tape, with sticky side up and the tape is lapped over itself to connect the
tape ends together. The ferrite bars are then place onto the substrate and then covered with 1/2" PE foam to
separate the coils from ferrite. In some of the experiments I will be using bars that have been cut in half, thus they
are 28.6 mm" long and 12 mm wide and 4 mm thick. The reason for this is to see if using segmented sections offer
any advantages over using the 62 X 12 X 4 mm bars butted together. The reason for this experiment is based on
information that was in Kevin Schanilec's recent article " Optimization of Ferrite Sleeve Loop Antennas", and Q test
that were run by Steve Ratzlaff, evaluating the Q measurements of spaced/gapped ferrite bars.
Note: all test coils were coupled to a Icom R75, using inductive coupling, using a ferrite rod, spaced 1 3/4" from the
test FSL. The rod has a 5 turn coil, that is connected to 50 ohm coax, that goes to the R75. The 12.5" , Tri-Coil, Dual
Band FSL, that is being used as the standard, is direct coupled with a 2 turn pick up coil, that is connected to a
matching transformer, then to the 50 ohm coax. A (A/B) switch is used to move back and forth between the test
FSL and the standard (12.5" Tri-coil, dual band).
Experiment (1) Make up a 7 3/8" wide X 7 1/2" diameter FSL using 6 rows for the 28.6mm long ferrite bars, each
row had 41 bars per row, for a total of 246 bars and were covered with 1/2" PE foam. These ferrite bars were 62
mm long and but were cut in half with a diamond tile saw. A two coil contra configuration was wound on to this
test FSL.
(Pictured below are the 2 coils wound on the FSL and the segmented ferrite that has been placed on the PVC pipe)

Below is the data form Experiment (1)
Coil Hook up Litz Wire Turns Inductance uH 10 - 505 pf 25 - 985 pf
Parallel 660/46 31/31 264 425-1725 KHz
Series 660/46 31/31 1085 153-830 KHZ


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The testing/evaluation of Experiment (1) showed sharp tuning and
reasonable rotational nulls. On MW, for the most part, it was
comparable to my 12.5" FSL, showing less QSB on some stations, while
the larger FSL showed less QSB on other stations. The S meter
readings were about the same and little difference could be detected
in S/N between the two. I saw some advantages with the smaller FSL
on LW over that of the larger FSL. The LW band was showing a little
higher S meter readings and much clearer audio, with less noise, thus
a little higher S/N. With this set up I was able to get my desired
results, of full band coverage on both MW and LW Bands.
Experiment (2) I wanted to see how the same two coil, contra configuration, as used in Experiment (1), would
work on a different ferrite substrate, that was made up using full length, 62 X 12 X 4 mm ferrite bars butted
together, end to end, 3 wide. This made a FSL that was of the same width and diameter as the one in Experiment
(1), as pictured below.
The picture below and to the right, is of the test stand that I use. Mounted on it is a N-50 (10 381 pf) and also a
Russian two gang varicap (10-505 pf and 15-485 pf). It also has a switch to stitch, in and out of the circuit, the 15-
485pf section. Then mounted on the back side is a ferrite rod with 5 turns of wire connected to 50 ohm coax,
this is the inductive pick up from the FSL. It is spaced 1 3/4" from the FSL. Also pictured to the left is a 3 bar wide
FSL used in the above experiment.

In the below table are the results from the Experiment (2), with the two coil, contra wound, three bar wide FSL
Coil Hook up Litz Wire Turns Inductance uH 10 - 505 pf 25 - 985 pf
Parallel 660/46 22/22 308/308=205 485-1750 KHz 345- 1400 KHz
Series 660/46 22/22 308/308=846 175-735 KHZ
As can be seen from the data the results fell short of meeting the desired criteria for band coverage. MW band
worked out okay. However, LW fell short of the desired band coverage. The tuning was sharp and the rotational
nulls were good. In comparing it to my 12.5" FSL it performed about the same on some stations and on others fell
short and had a little lower S meter readings than the bigger FSL. So in comparing the two designs from
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Experiment (1) and Experiment (2), it looks like the segmented ferrite FSL used in Experiment (1) came out the
winner all the way around.

Experiment (3) in this next experiment I wound
the 2 coils in a Polydoroff configuration, with coils
wound in the same direction and the two outside
leads connected together and the two inside
leads connected to the varicap, as in the diagram
to the left. These coils were wound on the
segmented ferrite substrate. It took several tries
to arrive at the number of turns required. In the
below table is the data.
Coil Hook up Litz Wire Turns Inductance uH 10 - 505 pf 25 - 985 pf
Series 660/46 14/14 100/101 =264 500-1800 KHz 355-1350 KHz
Series 660/46 15/15 115/115 =301 470-1675 KHz 335-1265 KHz

Experiment (4) In order to have something to compare the segmented FSL to from Experiment (3), I also wound
the same 2 coils, in a Polydoroff configuration, on to the 3 bar wide substrate, with the ferrite ends butted
together and the coils were placed at about the same location as the previous Experiment (3). In the below table
is the data from Experiment (4).
Coil Hook up Litz Wire Turns Inductance uH 10 - 505 pf 25 - 985 pf
Series 660/46 12/12 99/96 =280 418-1706 KHz 300-1270 KHz

In evaluating the two FSL's wound in the Polydoroff configuration from Experiments (3) and (4), I could not tell any
difference in the performance between the two different ferrite substrigts. However, when comparing either of
the two against my 12.5" FSL, I got higher S meter readings (from 1 to 3 S units higher) and better S/N. This
evaluation was based on 18 different, day time, radio stations and I spent a lot of time listening to weak stations,
many showed no S meter readings, so it was all by ear. The tuning was sharp and rotational nulls were good. I
could not tell any difference between the two Polydoroff configurations, with either the segmented or butted
ferrite substrate FSL designs.
It took more winding turns on the segmented FSL to get to the desired tuning range, than for the FSL with the 3
bars butted together. The segmented FSL had a little less tuning range than the one with the 3 bars butted
together. So based on this evaluation I see no advantage in building a segmented FSL for the Poyydoroff design.
However, for whatever reason, it appears that the Ploydoroff configuration did outperform both of the a 2 coil,
contra wound, FSL's In Experiments (1) and (2) even though it is contradictory to the current belief that more
windings are better.
In these next 3 experiments I used a 7 1/2" diameter X 10" wide platform, 4 bars wide and butted together, of
the 6 X 12 X 4 mm Russian ferrite, with 1/2" of PE foam between the ferrite and the coil.
Experiment (4) These 2 coils were wound in contra. The tables below have the data for this experiment .
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Coil Hook up Litz Wire Turns Inductance uH 10 - 505 pf 25 - 985 pf
Parallel 660/46 25/25 270 420-1545 KHz
Series 660/46 25/25 1140 150-655 KHZ

Experiment (5) I removed one for the coils from Experiment (4) above and rewound it in the same direction as the
other coil, so both coils are wound in the same direction. In doing this, as can be seen there was a slight increase in
inductance, but a reduction in band coverage. This was more then likely caused by increased distributed
capacitance with the 2 coils wound in the same direction and connected in parallel. Data for this experiment is
shown in the tables below.
Coil Hook up Litz Wire Turns Inductance uH 10 - 505 pf 25 - 985 pf
Parallel 660/46 25/25 278 415-1500 KHz
Series 660/46 25/25 1142 170-655 KHZ

This next group of experiments are with a 7 1/2" X 12.5" long FSL, using the same 6 1/4" OD pipe as above, but
with 5 rows of the 62 X 12 X 4, with the ferrite bars butted together. This is covered with sliding rings made up
1/2" PE Foam, so the coil spacing can be changed without having to re-wind them each time.
Experiment (6) In this experiment I set up the FSL with 2 sliding coils that were wound in a 2 coil Polydoroff
configuration, both coils wound in the same direction. The sliding coil set up was to make it easyer to try to find
the best coil spacing. The below tables show the results of the different coil spacing.
Coil Spacing Litz Wire Turns Inductance uH 10 - 505 pf 25 - 985 pf
1 1/2" 660/46 11/11 102/104=340 380-1540 KHz 274-1170 KHz
2" 660/46 11/11 101/103=321 400-1620 KHz 283-1221 KHz
3" 660/46 11/11 100/101=302 400-1625 KHz 288-1250 KHz
4" 660/46 11/11 99/100=284 414-1665 KHz 295-1265 KHz
5" 660/46 11/11 98/98=266 430-1745 KHz 310-1320 KHz
6" 660/46 11/11 93/95=248 440-1750 KHz 320-1390 KHz
7" 660/46 11/11 90/90=227 460-1800 KHz 330-1420 KHz
8" 660/46 11/11 86/88/=215 475-1870 KHz 340-1470 KHz
9" 660/46 11/11 79/81=193 500-2045 KHz 360-1550 KHz

It looks like the optimum spacing is somewhere between 5" to 6". I have no way to determined tuning sharpness,
other than subjectively. So to tried picking a station that give a S9 and I marked the location of the varicap knob
pointer and tune it until I had a S5 drop and mark that
spot. All coil spacing's indicated about 1/8" of movement
of the tuning knob, with the exception of the 6" coil
spacing and it was about 1/16". I checked the rotational
nulls but did not see any difference with any of the
spacing. I could not detect any difference in S/N with the
different spacing.


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Below is a picture of the 2 sliding coil Poloydoroff configuration

Experiment (7) In this experiment I wound a 4 coil Polydoroff configuration, with each coil centered over the
ferrite joints. I started out with four 5 turn coils but had to change to it to 6 turns each, as I was not able to get the
desired band coverage. Two different coil spacing's were used, as shown in the table below.
Coil Spacing Litz Wire Turns Inductance uH 10 - 505 pf 25 - 985 pf
Centered over
each of the two
outer rows of
ferrite
660/46 6/6/6/6 21/25/26/20
85/85=234
455-1900 KHz 325-1450 KHz
Centered over
each of the 4
ferrite joints
660/46 6/6/6/6 23/26/26/23
88/88=264
430-1790 KHz 310-1360 KHz

I spent a lot of time listing to many weak stations and
found several that could not be heard at all on my 12.5"
FSL, but could be heard on the 4 coil Poloydoroff. I even
had one station that was way down in the noise and did
not show any S meter readings on the 12.5" FSL, but was
showing a S5 on the 4 coil Poloydoroff , I switched back
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and forth several times, just to make sure there were no improvements in the band conditions and the results
were the same.
With this 4 coil Pollydoroff configuration, the rotational nulls were slightly better than the 2 coil Polydoroff in
Experiment (6) and the tuning sharpness was a little better. Over all this experiment gave the best performance of
any of the experiments discussed in this writing.
Pictured below is the 4 coil Poloydoroff set up

To summarize: This was one of the most interesting group of experiments I have done to date. In my opinion there
were two interesting things that came out of these experiments, one of which, is how well the Polydoroff
configurations worked in both the 2 coil and 4 coil winding configurations. However, the 4 coil Polydoroff, on the
12" wide FSL platform, was by far, the best performer of all of the experiments in this article. It might be
interesting to look at this in a 6 coil configuration at some later date. The other interesting discovery is that the
segmented ferrite FSL worked very well, but showed on advantages in the Polydoroff configuration. Based on
these experiments, there should be no reason for anyone, wanting to building a FSL, to be concerned with splicing,
butting together, the ferrite to get the desired width and it might even work better than one continues bar, or
rod. In multi-coil configurations, it is best to allow for 2", or more spacing between the coils. By doing so will
decrease the distributed capacitance, thus improve the Q and increase the tuning range. Center the coils over the
ferrite joints, this also helps improve the Q.
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