Crossed Parallel Loop Antenna Build

This is the antenna I was planning on building when I ordered the LZ1AQ amplifier (and then built the hula hoop antenna as a quick test of the amp).

There is some technical information on the antenna here, which I won’t repeat, but I’ll summarize the design:

The antenna is made of four square loops. These loops are connected to the LZ1AQ amplifier. So there are eight wires feeding the amplifier, with four pairs of shorted connections, so four wires in total attached to the amp.

The amp is mounted inside of a plastic box, the type used as a junction box for runs of conduit.

The output of the amplifier is shielded ethernet cable, which runs to a control board in the shack. One pair is the signal from the amp, the other wires are used for power, as well as controlling the amp, as it can be switched remotely to use all or some of the loops. I still need to apply silicone sealant to the eight openings where the wires run in, and seal the ethernet cable entry hole with some tape.

I was debating between building a wood or PVC pipe frame. I went with the PVC because I did not want to deal with cutting and gluing the wood, or using nails and brackets and add additional nearby metal objects. I used 1″ PVC pipe.

I first cut the 10 ft PVC pipe pieces into 5 ft lengths and built the loop frame that size. I stood it up, and realized that no, this was not going to last long. So I cut the pipe down from 60″ sides to 40″ sides (close to one meter) and ended up with a much more mechanically stable design.

The wire that forms the loops is attached to the PVC pipe with plastic wire ties. the wire is white, so difficult to see in the photos. It is #10 stranded wire. Ideally you want to use as large a diameter conductor as possible, to reduce the inductance. But you quickly run into two issues: cost, and ease of use. Larger diameter cable was much more expensive. And it was going to be difficult to work with. Copper or aluminum tubing could be used, but they were also more expensive.

The loop is mounted on an old rotor (the one I used with my large resonant loop antenna project, which has been moved to a back burner for now). This antenna is indeed directional, at least on MW. I am able to hear a nearby pirate station on 1620 with it aimed in that direction, while an orthogonal bearing drops it down to just a weak carrier. Meanwhile, on my 670 ft sky loop antenna, I only have a very weak signal.

I’m quite impressed with the performance of the antenna so far. On HF, it does quite well, usually close to the big 670 ft sky loop (my main HF antenna) and sometimes better. Two places it always beats the sky loop are LW and the lower end of the MW band (where the sky loop is too short) and 11 meters (where the sky loop is way too large). It will take some more time to fully test it on a variety of signals.

Radio Dabanga

Received in 59 days. I emailed a report to radiodabanga@yahoo.com

Then on October 15, 2017 I emailed the report again to info@freepressunlimited.org

I got an email back from radiodabanga@gmail.com saying “Thank you for your reception report. A QSL card has been sent your way. Please, keep tuned in!”

So I am not sure which address is best, but there’s three to try!

Woofferton Transmission Test eQSL

I received this eQSL and email for the transmitter test I heard from Woofferton this morning on 9650 kHz, starting at 1237 UTC on 16 November 2017:

Hi Chris,
Thank you for your report and I confirm the details are correct. These transmissions were to fault-find on a 250/300 kW sender at the UK HF transmitter station at Woofferton.
These duration of these tests can be variable as the engineers can sometimes need a long time to establish a fault or they may interrupt the test, make an adjustment and resume. This is particularly so if the fault is of an intermittent nature.
Babcock, Woofferton is the only remaining UK HF sender broadcast station and also is the only one with this transmission test audio and email address.
The audio is contained in a file play-out system and incorporates non-copyright music and voice announcements from one of the engineers, Martin 2E1EKX at the transmitter site.
Thanks for your interest.
73
Dave G4OYX,
(Retired) Senior Transmitter Engineer Woofferton 1982-2012.

The Squid – A Universal Matching Transformer for Beverage, Longwire, Dipole, Random wire, K9AY, Flag, EWE… and More Antennas

I built my own “universal” matching transformer for connecting dipoles, beverages, loop antennas, etc. to coax cable, rather than having to wind several transformers and test each to see which impedance ratio provided the best match. After some interest from others who wanted one, they’re now available for purchase.

Each contains a tapped transformer, providing many winding ratios, matching a range of impedances. Each tap on the transformer comes out via a color coded wire, making it easy to determine which pair to use. You can also just go through the various combinations, to find best pair to use. The output is a standard SO-239 socket, which you can directly plug coax with a PL-259 connector into. Or you can use an adapter if you have different coax, I tend to use RG-6. That’s a 75 ohm cable, but it’s fine to use here because I can still select a tap that matches the impedance.

For a dipole antenna, one wire goes to each leg of the dipole. For a loop, connect to the two wire ends. For a beverage, one wire to the antenna, the other to the ground rod. And so on. Note that the transformer is only designed for receiving applications, not transmitting.

The transformer has three isolated eyebolts. Two are used for the antenna connections to take the strain off the tap wires (don’t just directly connect to them) and the third to hang the transformer.

Unused taps should be covered with electrical tape, so the wire does not corrode.

More details as well as ordering information on The Squid page.

Winter 2017-2018 Snowfall

On Parr’s Ridge in northern Carroll County, MD.

Contest!
Guess The Amount of Snow At Casa De Smolinski

Seasonal Snowfall Contest Entries

16	Snowbrow
20.7	wadejg
23.9	dcasey
24.5	Squawks12
24.9	Bob919
29.2	SSB
30	Takoma
33.3	Merry Mildist
36.8	83worldtraveler
36.9	beadalou
38	ubimea
38.4	USAJerry
38.5	Evann21
40.8	Groveton
41.1	I Love MetMet
41.1	Rex Block
41.3	taylort2
41.7	PBH
43.6	gelezinis vilkas
44.4	SoCal SnowGal
44.4	Xtrain21
45.5	Rex Block
46.2	Terpiecat
47.325	Kate commenting
50	walter-in-fallschurch
51	huskerdont77
51.4	BigCountry
51.9	bachaney
52.2	eric654
52.4	gelezinis vilkas
54.7	parksndc
54.9	heroine.chic
55.2	chrisofthebeagles
55.9	heerokdas
62.2	TominMichiganParkDC (*) late entry, not reflected in the mean/median values
62.8	Lord Stark
63.1	WGsnowchic
66.0	--sg
65.0	CalypsoSummer
67.6	surewhynot
68.8	wwashington postt
81.3	hee hee

Mean: 45.68″
Median: 44.4″

November Total: 0.0″

Saturday December 9, 2017:
3.5″ snow.

Friday December 15, 2017:
0.75″ fluffy snow.

Sunday December 24, 2017:
0.25″ Snow and sleet.

Saturday December 30, 2017:
2.0″ very dry snow.

December Total: 6.50″

Thursday January 4, 2018:
0.9″ very dry snow.

Monday January 8, 2018:
0.25″ snow and sleet.

Saturday January 13, 2018:
0.25″ snow and graupel.

Tuesday January 16, 2018:
0.3″ snow.

Wednesday January 17, 2018:
2.0″ snow.

Tuesday January 30, 2018:
1.5″ snow.

View post on imgur.com

January Total: 5.2″

Friday February 2, 2018:
Snow flurries.

Sunday February 4, 2018:
2.4″ of heavy wet snow, followed by rain and some freezing rain.

Wednesday February 7, 2018:
Sleet, freezing rain (0.1 inch) and rain.

Monday February 12, 2018:
Some sleet in the morning.

Saturday February 17, 2018:
2.0″ wet snow.

February Total: 4.4″

Friday March 2, 2018:
0.5″ wet snow, whipped by strong winds.

Monday March 12, 2018:
1.2″ snow.

Wednesday March 14, 2018:
Snow flurries.

Thursday March 15, 2018:
Snow flurries.

Friday March 16, 2018:
Snow flurries.

Tuesday March 21, 2018:
7.5″ snow.

Wednesday March 20, 2018:
8.3″ snow.

Sunday March 25, 2018:
Light snow flurries.

March Total: 17.5″

Monday April 2, 2018:
0.5″ of snow after 0.43″ of rain.

Monday April 9, 2018:
Snow flurries/showers, no accumulation.

Tuesday April 17, 2018:
Snow flurries, no accumulation.

Thursday April 19, 2018:
Rain and some sleet mixed in.

April Total: 0.5″

2017-2018 Season To Date Total: 34.1″

Previous seasons:
Winter 2016-2017
Winter 2015-2016
Winter 2014-2015
Winter 2013-2014

Winter 2009-2010: No details, but the seasonal total was about 100″ with three major blizzards.

Radio Romania International QSL

Received in 46 days, along with a program schedule, small sticker, and 2017 laminated pocket calendar, for a report emailed to engl@rri.ro. This was the first reception report I sent out after starting to QSL SWBC stations again, after about 3 decades.