Domestic VLF Reception

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

Traditionally, high quality reception of VLF natural radio signals has involved driving or hiking out to remote locations far from civilisation, in order to find an environment free of pollution by artificial radio signals. I`ve lost count of the times I`ve hiked out into the countryside with a small portable VLF receiver in search of a quiet spot

Domestic VLF Reception
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for a night`s listening. All I ever seemed to get is sferics and tweeks, . and hum, the ever-present signal radiating from the country`s power distribution system. Even in the best of spots this hum never goes away completely, in my part of the world at least. Now and again a whistler manages to surface above it, but I never contrived to be in the right place at the right time to hear anything spectacular. On the whole, it was quite a disappointing experience. The only course of action seemed to be to arrange the means of receiving VLF signals cleanly from home. Although I live in a rural location, the moorland around here is crisscrossed by big powerlines, as well as smaller ones leading out to the many farms. So when the receiver is switched on, most of what comes out of it is hum - a suffocating, mind numbing hum, which smothers everything but the loudest sferics. Just beneath the hum, there is another layer of noise - an unpleasant brew of signals produced by televisions and computers in the house. I`m glad to report that I`ve had a fair amount of success with setting up a home receiver, and I can now listen to a completely hum-free rendering of the earth`s natural VLF activity, more or less continuously. At times there is interference from machinery and so on, and although the antenna is now almost immune to wind and drizzle, it is still wiped out by driving rain or hail. But most of the time reception is first class,...

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