Magnetic Loop Antenna: Rigid Loop versus Flexible Wire

JerryX

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Nov 9, 2017
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I want to put up a magnetic loop antenna for the upcoming DX season and am trying to decide on a rigid loop antenna like the Wellbrook ALA1530LN or a Bonito MegaLoop FX with a flexible stainless steel wire. This antenna will be mounted on a 2m pole with a rotator.

Part of my concern with the Wellbrook is shipping it all the way from the UK to California in one piece. My local UPS/FedEx gorillas seem to have a way of mutilating things they deliver, especially when it's of an unusual size or shape.

If I do go with the MegaLoop FX, I'd probably use PVC pipe to hold the steel cable in a diamond shape. I notice that they offer the wire for the loop in 5m and 10m lengths, which would be a bonus if I decided to go with a larger loop.

My interests are primarily in the LF/MW bands, so efficiency here is more important than size or convenience considerations. Anyone have any experience in this area? Looking for any and all advice...
 

tuihill

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For my W6LVP Loop I ran solid core electric fence leader cable inside 3.14 metres of 15mm alkathene pipe attached to a piece of downspout. The connecting posts fit nicely inside the pipe. Some photos attached.
 

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ka3jjz

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This Facebook group talks a great deal about homebrewing loops and substitutions like you want to do...


Another thing to consider is the W6LVP experimenter's kit - this might very well be right up your alley. It's somewhat similar to the Wellbrook offering


I don't know how far down you are going, but the LVP loops go down to 135 khz. The Pixel loop goes down to 100 khz.

Mike
 

JerryX

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@tuihill: Thanks. I’ll take a look at the W6LVP loop.

@ka3jjz: Thanks. So far, I’ve avoided Facebook, but may make an exception here. 135 kHz is plenty low for me. Is the Pixel loop the same one that DX Engineering sells?
 

dlwtrunked

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@tuihill: Thanks. I’ll take a look at the W6LVP loop.

@ka3jjz: Thanks. So far, I’ve avoided Facebook, but may make an exception here. 135 kHz is plenty low for me. Is the Pixel loop the same one that DX Engineering sells?
Yes, essentially the Pixel loop is now the DX Engineering Loop.
 

jwt873

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FWIW, Wellbrook sells a setup somewhat similar to the W6LVP Experimenter's kit. They supply an amplifier and you have to construct the loop. Medium Aperture Loop Antenna ALA100LN N. Am.

I've been using one for a few years now and I'm pleased with the performance. It works very well down to 60 kHz (WWVB). I built a square frame that's 8.5 feet per side. I ran some solid 14 ga solid wire around the perimeter to make a square 34 foot loop. It's mounted vertically with the base 2 feet off the ground out by the side of my house.

But, I'm not sure how it would work with a smaller more conventional magnetic loop with copper tubing etc. if you don't have room for a large loop, the W6LVP would probably be a better choice.
 

Ryangn

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Columbia County, GA
Part of my concern with the Wellbrook is shipping it all the way from the UK to California in one piece. My local UPS/FedEx gorillas seem to have a way of mutilating things they deliver, especially when it's of an unusual size or shape.
My Wellbrook was destroyed in shipping. When I received it I sent him an email and he sent a replacement the very next day. Great customer service so I wouldn't worry about that. Other than having a delay in getting it put up there where no problems.
 

Hit_Factor

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Part of my concern with the Wellbrook is shipping it all the way from the UK to California in one piece. My local UPS/FedEx gorillas seem to have a way of mutilating things they deliver, especially when it's of an unusual size or shape.
Life is too short to worry about things that haven't happened. UPS/FedEx pay the claims against their gorillas actions.
 

JerryX

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Life is too short to worry about things that haven't happened. UPS/FedEx pay the claims against their gorillas actions.
Sometimes they do. In my experience, they go out of their way to deny claims, usually saying the item wasn't packed correctly, or some such nonsense (I once had them deny a claim for this reason when I shipped the item at a UPS Store and had them do the packing).

When they do pay, it's usually after a few months. YMMV, but that's been my experience with shipping damage with both UPS and FedEx.
 
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