Now that i’ve finally got my vertical back up, I had a bit of time to devote to deploying the W6LVP active receive loop outdoors. I took a quick trip up to Fry’s and grabbed a 100′ run of RG6 75 ohm quad shield coax, some BNC to F adapters, and a 100′ control cable for the rotor. I couldn’t find quad shield coax with BNC connectors, so i’ll soon have to invest in a coax tool kit & learn the process. I’ve got some other cables that need shortened, so if anyone has any good recommendations on coax tool kits that will work from large to small types of coax?
Initially i’m pretty impressed with this loop – it seems like it’s fairly built well, and will hold up to the elements well due to the types of material (furniture grade plastic). This thing is made perfectly already for mounting in a rotor like the one shown below, which is the basic channel master TV antenna rotor you can find at many retailers. I think I paid $99 for the rotor & controller?
I took extra care to weatherize the connections on this loop – which is something I always emphasize no matter what antenna i’m experimenting with. Weatherize, weatherize, weatherize! Don’t skimp on the rubber amalgamating tape or electrical tape. I recommend Scotch Super 33 or 88, and 3M rubber splicing tape. The stuff literally just molds and melts together to form a really great seal.
The antenna now has a clear view of the horizon & the waterfall has gone completely clear from moving it indoors to outside! The antenna is up at about 25′ in the air on a fence top rail mast attached to the house and concreted at the base.
My aim over the the next few months will be to observe its durability in the brutal Texas outdoor weather. The enclosure for the LNA seems to be sealed quite well and didn’t appear to need any additional weatherproofing. The plus side with this particular loop, is that if you need to deploy it in an attic like many that will probably be interested in an antenna like this will do, it breaks down to a size that will fit through a standard crawlspace hole. Unlike the solid loops which are too large to fit through a standard crawlspace square.
Immediately hopped over to the 630m band on WSPR to let it run tonight and see just how well it does overnight. The loop is oriented perfectly east to west so will have very sharp nulls to the north & south. As a great broadband antenna, i’ll have to get used to the band hopping feature again with WSJT-X! I’ve never been able to cover such a broad spectrum with one antenna. Certainly exciting to see the results and data trickle in over the next few weeks!
Happy Labor Day folks!