First time trying digi modes with the W4OP mag loop tonight… I had only used it with SSB thus far. I’m quite pleased with the results, granted I was operating for about two hours today including around grey line time. I just setup the loop behind the house and ran a 25 foot piece of RG8X inside the house. The W4OP’s power limitation for digi modes is 10 watts, which is plenty for these types of modes. Though sometimes I do miss being able to crank up the power when needed…
I wasn’t getting out quite as well as I normally do with my wire antennas, but during grey line, I was heard a bit in Europe particularly on 20 meters. As you get lower in bands, the efficiency drops drastically, I think Owen Duffy rated this loop at around 3% efficient on 40 meters if I remember correctly. So you can imagine…. dealing with such an electrically small antenna – you’d expect horrible results, but keep in mind with the WSJT-X software – even with modest antennas you can make some pretty neat contacts! For SSB, propagation usually has to be quite decent in order for me switch to voice modes with the loop. Every antenna has its purpose I suppose, I just feel like i’ve been reaching for so many other antennas as of late because of the solar cycle & propagation – but I can’t leave this loop out – it’s still a fantastic performer given it’s size. It really shines with digi modes because you can leave it on a set frequency – retuning a mag loop frequently is no fun!
First W4OP loop digi mode contacts – all at 10 watts with the Kenwood TS-480SAT – thanks all!