Happy Tuesday in SWL land,

I thought I’d mess around with the magnetic loop (Chameleon F Loop) this past weekend, this thing is a snap to setup, I have yet to explore all the possibilities with it. It is by far the quietest antenna that I have.

Although I have yet to make many contacts on it because it’s too RF noisy inside the house, so this weekend, I thought I’d experiment by tuning the loop for the 30m WSPR band, and attaching it to the coax that is used for my vertical outside. I used a 3 meter piece of LMR400 to get the loop away from where the vertical was laying.

It was kind of a pain in the butt though because, when the loops position changed, the loop would need retuned, so I had to make fine adjustments on the loop antenna to get the swr right (can you picture me running in and out of the house many times?), but it was able to pull in signals on the 30m band that my other antennas weren’t, the weather wasn’t too cooperative this weekend, so I had to cut the experiment short. Hopefully I can let the program run all day to compare the results against the other antennas. I’m also happy about the new Elecraft KX3 firmware beta release that came out recently which allows a full 15 watts of power, which will suit this loop nicely.

Although the loop was 3 meters away from the vertical antenna, that may have still been affecting the loop, as could the ground radials, so I also raised the loop using the tripod. The antenna has a very convenient connection to a tripod, although quite top heavy, the tripod supports it, I wouldn’t trust it with any amount of wind though. This antenna would probably be more enjoyable if you were sitting very close to it, as it does require fine tuning, I just wanted to try this out!

I still want to take this thing to the top of a mountain somewhere and try out some SSB contacts on it. I keep hearing that antennas do amazing things when brought to great heights, guess that makes sense! There aren’t many high points in Central Texas, so I’m not sure if it would make a huge difference. Most places around Austin are 500 feet above sea level, some are just a bit higher.

I was busy on JT65 this weekend, snagged Canada, Venezuela & several stateside contacts in the end. I guess I need to get better about maintaining my log too, because when I logged in this morning, everyone had uploaded except me!

Edit: Loop is now for sale! (Loop is sold)

 


Keep it weird!


K5ACL

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