Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Loop repaired

I guess you can file tonight’s entry under, “I really didn’t need any more problems, but...” The MFJ loop I’ve been using died again. Specifically, the small 1 RPM motor in the unit stopped working. This is the second replacement motor I’ve installed. The first, luckily, died while the unit was under warranty. And, true to MFJ’s word, they sent me a free replacement quickly with no questions asked. This one was, now that the unit is out of warranty, $40. {sigh}
These small magnetic loops are very interesting antennas. I have compared them to a G5RV at 50 feet and they are surprisingly effective. Plus, with my space-limited situation, I have few alternatives. So, with it now fixed, perhaps I’ll get it reinstalled this weekend before the Winter weather befalls us. Here’s a picture of what is inside these devices.
MFJ loop motor
Dave has one of the small high efficiency loop tuners like this one (or one similar) on the MFJ site. He used it on Deer Isle last year but conditions were so terrible that it wasn’t possible to get a good feeling for how it performed. We’re returning to Deer Isle again this year for the Patriots Day celebration. I’d like to really run one of these things through its paces. The weight and size are suitable for a 100 Pound DXpedition. If you could obtain a 10 or 20 foot piece of copper tubing upon your arrival, it might be a fine antenna to have in some remote place!
I guess I’m advocating more “thinking outside the box” here. Sure, the big DXpeditions pack yagis and tower sections and mast. That’s not what we do (we 100 Pound DXpeditioners, that is). Instead, we look for alternatives that provide good options with small size and little weight. Don’t be afraid to think of, or try, something a little unorthodox. You never know where the next really interesting idea may come from!


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