Ham Radio - Ground spike antenna. Using the earth to receive LF and VLF. Post #1234.

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One of the most fascinating portions of the electromagnetic spectrum lies in the area below 300 kHz--the realm of Low Frequency (LF) and Very Low Frequency (VLF).  The "basement" of the RF spectrum contains all kinds of interesting signals, from military communications (for submarines, mostly) and time signals to atmospheric noise and the sounds of the Earth itself.  Now that radio amateurs are allowed to explore some of this spectrum (630 meters and 2200 meters), you may want to build an antenna to familiarize yourself with the phenomena present way below the standard broadcast band.

In this video, Kevin Loughin shows you an antenna called a "ground spike" that can be used to monitor these very low frequencies.  The antenna is simple, inexpensive, and fun to use.

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Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM)


  1. Kevin Loughin featured an antenna called a "ground spike" and I found this quite interesting. I have a lot of issues trying to get signals above the noise with anything but ferrite rod style antennas in my band of interest 150Khz - 500Khz. Years ago I had old Aircraft compass receivers and enjoyed receiving beacons hundreds of miles away quite clearly on a long wire antenna. Later generation receivers including SDR's seem to be more prone to noise and few have proper if any external antenna connections for this band. Has this ground spike antenna helped others improve their reception in this band it would be good to know before I tackle my odd shaped yard trying to make one work for me.

    1. At my Hawaii Island rural location, the ground spike antenna worked fairly well. I'm not near power lines or many neighbors, so relative isolation from an urban area surely help reduce noise. Noise levels are getting worse, no matter what band you use. I've found large loop antennas and "on the ground" long wires useful in receiving LF bands. Also, you might want to try a magnetic loop antenna--many hams report success with this antenna. Good luck. Aloha, Russ (KH6JRM).


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Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

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