Since I was granted my General and Extra license, I learned so much about High Frequency Communications. Propagation, Antennas and so much more littered my shack and turned it into a place of knowledge.
After listening to my Elmers and doing extensive reading, I got rid of several causes of noise. I had around an S7 Noise floor during evening hours for over 2 years. One single cause was a rogue mercury street lamp that created a long “chirp,” every minute or so. One day our town DPW came by and replaced all of those old lights with LED’s I no longer had any issues and my S7 turned into an S5 even with proper grounding and antennas that were adequately matched for their intended band. I still however could not hear weak signals and in one of our worst times in a solar cycle, I then strive to get that noise floor even lower.
Enter more research. I looked into beverage antennas and quickly came to my senses that beverage antennas would be very long and directional, several would need to be cut in order to match bands of my choice. That ended any ideas of a beverage since I have a small urban lot.
My only other alternative was a receive loop. After looking up Wellbrook RX antennas and some others, I finally settled on Larry Plummber’s RX loop (W6LVP).
This loop is a very broad-banded RX loop measuring 1m around with a coverage from 2200m to 10m! This loop has a built in active pre-amplifier at the base of this loop and is fed via DC over coax. All BNC Connectors!
Here is my installation on a small TV antenna rotor and some minimal waterproofing. I will need to do a better job. Before I do that, I will need to run some additional coax, maybe 75 ohm RG-6.
As far as performance, this loop is phenomenal! First to mention, and most recognizable is the fact that my noise floor went right down to flat and near 0, compared to my transmit antennas, it was a significant difference. I also noticed that signals did not “jump,” out at me or get enhanced in any why. They were the same intensity and S unit factor as they were before. I could hear signals that I could not before, with a lower noise floor. With this loop being on a rotator, I can use null characteristics to block out unwanted signals. Nulls are very, very sharp!
This antenna has changed the way I use my HF Station. It has lowered my noise floor significantly and helped me work weak signals. Best contacts were Louisiana and Texas!