Is Anyone Using or Has Anyone Tried the "Loop Skywire" Antenna?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by N2NH, Jul 9, 2018.

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  1. VK2WP

    VK2WP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    My 40M horizontal loop is in daily use and the first thing I noticed how quiet it is in my suburban location. Only 7 metres high (about 22ft) which is as high as it can go without the local council coming down on my neck.

    Multiband operation (except 160M), fed with 450 ohm ladderline, aerial tuner and a 1:1 balun. They can be a bit directional and am lucky it is set up to favour the U.S and EU.
    N2NH and AD5HR like this.
  2. AD5HR

    AD5HR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have no "DX awards", just the qsl cards. Never been much on wallpaper.
    I would love to have a dipole up way high, but not possible here.
    The tuner loads it up on 80M to 6M. I tie both leads together and feed it
    as a vertical with a large "tophat"on 160M.
    A homebrew hairpin tuner loads it on 2M.
    Open wire or window line to the tuner allows for much less feedline loss,
    don't use coax!
    Most "stealth" antennas are compromised in some manner or other, but
    this one works well for me here in suburbia.
    N2NH likes this.
  3. N2NH

    N2NH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks Eric. Presently I'm trying a small loop on HF and with the warm weather I'm thinking of taking it to a local park and seeing how that works out. I am looking at this as a step up from the small portable loops I presently own and from digital only modes - which will probably be the best option for right now. I did have an indoor horizontal loop at my previous QTH but outside of a very few DX stations, it was pretty much NVIS.
  4. NE1U

    NE1U Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had a horizontal loop with ~270' wire & driven thru 600 Ohm ladder line that is a continuos part of the wire in the loop ... kind of a PITA to do, but there are no solder joints. Held up at 4 corners, 90', 8', 40', & 60'. The 8' was 24' but a PITA neighbor complained to the town PnZ. At the bottom of ~30' of the ladder line is a 4:1 balun (grouneded) putting most of the impedance variations within range of the autotuners. Ladder line was constructed with plastic irriagation tubing from HD ... incredibly cheap!! Note that the design of the ladder line is integral to the impedance tuning. However the total expense was pushing $700 ... note to self, you cannot buy exactly the lengths of what is needed by calculation, and then there are other pieces such as balun, pulleys, rope, tree climber to go up 100' pine tree, etc.

    Performance? Well, I do have a AT-100ProII and an HF-Auto (more $$$). My xcvr is 20W out so I could compare the LDG versus the Palstar (relays v steppers comparison). Also, relays tune much faster than steppers. Who knew?!?! Those tuners could tune from the bottom of 80m thru 6m. LDG did a better job at the bottom of the 80m tho but doesn't make sense. Local QRM is noticiably lower by grounding the balun.

    THEN the top of the 60' support broke off!!! I used a combo metal & fiberglass military surplus tent poles. The top 2 sections of the 60' support were fiberglass. I was thinking to minimize coupling to anything metal. What I was not thinking about is the lateral stress on the fiberglass ploe sections ... they broke off. Grrrrr. Unfortunately I never had the chance to compare to a local ham's ultimate station (50' tower & multiband beam & K3).

    In the final analysis, I will be moving in the not too distant future. The current antenna will not be repaired, but I am planning to duplicate at the new location (currently unknown per wife's ambitions). This antenna was a good performer. I have an an SDR e/w 2 rcvrs and use with a touch screen notebook giving direct acces to the each rx's spectrum as well as the full spectrum display == instant band change when something interesting shows up. The LDG's tuning was instant and I did not use a cable off the SDR ... never got to it because it was so fast. Long term, a cable giving tuning info to the Palstar & amp will be implemented.
    VK2WP and N2NH like this.
  5. N2NH

    N2NH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree with you about the ARRL membership. I have learned a lot about Amateur Radio in two places. Here at QRZ and from all those great articles on the ARRL website. A steal compared to the cost of books regarding the same information.
  6. N2NH

    N2NH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That should read the ARRL not QRZ.
    NE1U likes this.
  7. N3UPM

    N3UPM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been through the normal progression of wire antennas, G5RV, dipoles, loops, delta loops, inverted L's, and horizontal loops. Then only antenna I really use at home anymore is the horizontal loop. Cut for 80 meters, fed with coax, and (gasp!) no balun or choke. I have horrible powerline noise and interference at my QTH, the loop negates this better than any other antenna I've tried. Never had any problems, works fine for what it is, don't really want to hang anything else. I still experiment with other antennas, but the loop works for me. I actually just cut replacement wire for mine, have to hang it this coming weekend. I have a cherry tree that seems to like to shed limbs on my loop every winter. Never actually broken the wire, but it sure does stretch it and strip the insulation!

    Finding 4 good supports that are high enough is the toughest part of this antenna. Is it the bestest antenna? No, definitely not. But as they say, "you don't kick a running horse" so I'll stick with it.
    VK2WP, K6LPM and N2NH like this.
  8. K6LPM

    K6LPM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey , this antenna is what it is....
    Versatile , cheap, easy, and will work.
    My best skyloop was greater than full wavelength @80mtrs, inverted delta sloper and balanced feedline. Top span between trees at 50ft and the feedpoint at level ground. Sloped at about 45°
    Worked great, with lots of lobes on higher freq. It was cheap and easy.
    I liked it alot!
    VK2WP, N2NH, N3UPM and 1 other person like this.
  9. AA7EJ

    AA7EJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    My approximately 400 m loop was strung about 10 -15 m high depending on tree size. Made from "telephone drop wire " and lasted few years in WWA.
    Worked OK on 20 , the multi lobe pattern was sometime challenge to keep the contact going longer.
    My most memorable contact was between WWA , Sweden and "the windiest place on Earth" _ south pole - same time ! The multi-lobe radiation pattern had its advantage.
    The "cloud wormer" effect can be reduced by NOT sizing the loop for LOWEST frequency of interest - but at minimum DOUBLE the size if you have the room!
    73 Shirley
    K6LPM and N2NH like this.
  10. WE4E

    WE4E Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have a ~530ft horiz loop up somewhere between 35 and 55 or so feet, depending on how it meanders through the trees. It's sort of a blob shape, fed on the west side. I use about 150' of RG6 quad shield as a matching section. Works on 160 and 80 with no tuner for most of the band. Tunes easily on 20, and will begrudgingly on 40. I've done a ton of DX on 20, from Asiatic Russia to Australia and New Zealand. It's remarkably quiet, probably as much from swr losses as anything. I freely admit that I'm almost certainly just "getting away with it". It tunes easily on 6m, although I shudder to know what odd lobey mess of a pattern it has. I put it up to get something on 160 with the hope that I could get 80 out of it.
    W1TRY, VK2WP and N2NH like this.

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