I decided to try using a small wide band E field type antenna with my newest receiver design… the Mini SDR, and the results have been gratifying. There many useful articles describing this type of antenna; so I won’t go into much detail about how it works. More or less it functions as a capacitive E field probe and therefore is very sensitive to EMI. However, if placed outside away from house wiring and provided with a modest local ground reference..the antenna is a good performer.
The circuit uses a JFET source follower and a BJT follower stage to provide impedance transformation of the Hi Z capacitive terminal to a 50 ohm Z drive for a transmission line. This circuit works fine but has some drawback, namely requiring 65mA of current and having a somewhat large input capacitance, which reduces performance with frequency. Ray says:
I decided to use a wide bandwidth op amp to simplify the circuit, reduce current, and provide a little voltage gain. The op amp I chose was one I have used before for RF amplification..the LT1818.
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