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Posted: 9/7/2010 10:16:26 AM EDT
I put up a horizontal loop over the weekend in the back yard. It's roughly 250' of wire strung between trees and about 50' up at the highest point. Before I just had a random wire. Man it's quiet, and receives much better than I thought it would. Sunday I heard stations in New Zealand griping about not being able to contact a station in Australia.

I feed it with 450 ohm window line to a cheapy MFJ manual tuner. I use the tuner as a preselector since I'm not yet licensed. Hopefully it'll do 80-10 meters when I get my ticket.

This is your cool antenna story of the day, bro.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 10:39:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2010 10:53:10 AM EDT by A_Free_Man]
Loops are known for being quiet. Congrats on having room for your loop!

Formula for a loop is

1005 / freq of lowest band in mhz = length of wire in feet

Or you can flip that around.

1005 / length of wire = lowest freq in mhz

1005 / 250' = 4.02 mhz

That's the top of the 80/75 meter band.

Usually loops for the ham bands are, for the 80/75 m band, are a little longer, about 270'. Hopefully the tuner will help.

http://www.dxzone.com/cgi-bin/dir/jump2.cgi?ID=23575

If you want to get fancy, you have enough wire for the Super Loop 80. This antenna gets VERY high marks from my ham friends.

http://www.iw5edi.com/ham-radio/30/super-loop-antenna

Link Posted: 9/7/2010 12:24:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2010 4:55:31 PM EDT by HarryStone]
I made it just as long as I could given the trees I had, but I think I might add some kind of push up pole or something at one corner of the house and see if I can get a little more area inside the loop and therefore more wire. It's more like a big horizontal triangle now instead of a square. If I get it closer to a square I should get over the ~250' I have now.

I'm going to have to change the wire anyway, it's THHN wire and it will probably look like hell after a while when the insulation starts coming off. I just had a roll handy and I was bored so I went out and did it. I'm going to replace it with that stranded copper clad steel wire from The Wireman. I don't have any insulators on it now either since I'm not transmitting yet. The feed point is a mess of solder connections and wire ties and I'll replace it too with stranded window line and one of those ladder lock center insulators. Still it's doing great for a little over an hour of time putting it up and using wire I had on hand.

Shooting string in the trees with a slingshot was easier than I thought it would be. I did lose a little bit of string when I hung the weight in a branch and couldn't get it back down. So now one of my trees has a few feet of string and an old A2 flash hider hanging out of it. I like the look, but I'm not right in the head.


edit - wire ties, not wire tires.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 4:40:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By HarryStone:
Shooting string in the trees with a slingshot was easier than I thought it would be. I did lose a little bit of string when I hung the weight in a branch and couldn't get it back down. So now one of my trees has a few feet of string and an old A2 flash hider hanging out of it. I like the look, but I'm not right in the head.

I modified the ball thrower for my dog. I prefer it to the slingshot and it works great.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 2:35:30 PM EDT
Skywire Loop antennas are the shizz!! They're quiet, have great performance given their height, and don't require any ground plane.

You did good feeding it with ladder line. Lader line is the ONLY way to feed an antenna IMHO.

Now take your license test!!!!!!!!
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