Monthly Archives: April 2015

Band II: Elad FDM-S2 vs Sony XDR vs RTL Dongles

I was at the Carcassonne QTH over Easter and I was wanting to do a test on Band II in between the Elad FDM-S2, Sony XDR (Konrad modded), E4000 generic dongle and an ezcap R820T2 dongle. The QTH is in a rural location and I can hear several Catalan stations over 100 km away through the gaps in the Pyrenees.

First I had to order and have delivered a 6m 3mm thick 50mm diameter alum pole to replace a 2mm thick one which had collapsed at the top bracket due to the high winds – the worst part of living in the area – no doubt. I reinstalled a couple of FM5s in H and V orientation. Feedlines come into shack and into a Maplin 2-way F switch. Then output from switch goes into a Maplin 4-way splitter (no pre-amp). So with one switch I can switch between H and V signals.

For the tests I beamed at 120 degrees on 102.2 Mhz – Catalunya Ràdio from Rocorba – 25kw and a distance from me of 139 km. (data from FMlist), and used H polarised twig.

Sony XDR was as usual superb – good signal on 102.2. Next came a generic E4000 dongle which gave up some audio in SDR# – not good though.The Elad and the R820T2 dongle had no audio on 102.2.

I was surprised the Elad was so poor – I can now see why pre-amps are required. I did not bring the Perseus FM+ but I will do next time.

I finally checked the powerful 103.6 Flaixbac outlet from Maçanet de Cabrenys at a distance of 103 km. FMlist says the power is 0.2 kw. I’m pretty sure it’s much higher than that. It’s audible in many locations in Aude and Pyrenees Orientales. At my QTH it powers in, and the XDR was rocking, both dongles were about the same while Elad had audio but trailed the dongles.

I was so surprised by how poor the Elad was that I by-passed the 4-way splitter on 102.2 – to no avail. I am very surprised that there has been no real outcry about high poor the Elad is out of the box on Band II. It certainly is not deaf on MF.