I agree with you that open line feed (I use 450 ohm ladderline) is the way to go with a horizontal loop. The advantage of the long loop (270 ft or longer) over the fan dipoles is that the gain is really good on the higher bands (since it is multiple wavelengths long on those bands). I have a 500 ft wire loop up at about 20 feet. It does very well on 10, 15 and 20 (because of the gain producing multiple wavelengths). My one regret is that it is only 20 feet above the ground. I am about to rectify that by trimming some tree branches and getting it up to 40 feet above the ground. With a horizontal loop, especially, it is about height, more than the length of the wire. Of all the wire antennas, the horizontal loop is really great in my book, especially with open wire feed. Granted, with a large loop there are great lobes AND great nulls. I will take the large lobes (great gain), and the large nulls (can't hear em). The ones I can't hear, I really don't worry about them. And the reception overall is pretty noise free on all bands! Dave WA6TXU.
Dave I wish I could get a LOOP higher than supports allow - but I am only dreaming - it is not possible, so I think I will experiment with other dipole-types and see what happens. Less work in the short term - more work in the long run, but the odds of hitting a good combo seem better considering the height issues AND the coax feed-line limitation I face. An in-between solution that will be better than seeing those poles sitting naked and collecting only sun, rain and the gawd awful winds. If nothing else - it will keep me moving about as opposed to sitting and playing when I strike the magic setup that in reality ........ I don't REALLY need. It's a 'project' and not much more.