Saturday, 1 September 2012

ML40 MK2 Magloop

                                 ML40 MK2 Magloop

Being a keen ham radio operator I often get frustrated by having very poor working conditions from my home qth. I have up to now had great success with my Buddipole vertical on 20 meters but have never been able to get a 40 meter contact.
 I operate on PSK31 and SSB from my qth and also operate portable qrp SSB from my caravan which is either on Dartmoor or Exmoor and from here I use a 20 meter home made vertical.

The latest idea was to find a suitable way of operating 40 meters from both locations and without having a big antenna and in fact keeping as small a footprint as I can.

So weeks and months of searching for a suitable antenna lead me to allsorts of weird and often wonderful antennas. As you can imagine the prices varied and so did the reviews.

Reading through a copy of Radcom I came across a review of a loop antenna made by Tom G4TPH, now I have to say I don't know Tom from Adam but in my recent communication with him he seems a really decent guy.
The review in Radcom was good and so was the one in Practical wireless, both mentioned that this was a compromise antenna but they still gave it a decent review.

I emailed Tom and he replied that he had none in stock as he was having a problem getting parts. Ok back to the drawing board or maybe not. Tom said he was trying to source new parts and would let me know when and if he got them.

 A few weeks later I received a email from Tom telling me that he had a few new antennas in stock, great I bought one and its arrived (above)

I set it up as per instructions and within 30 minutes I was operating on 35w PSK31 first contact. tuning was no problem if you follow the instruction. I have to say the receive on the magloop is really good so how about 40 meters.

Here is a photo of my very first 40 meter contact from my home qth to 2O12L Olympic special event station. Well pleased with a 59 report..

So in the first few hours I have made contact on 20 and 40 meters both on PSK31 and SSB

Its early days with this antenna and I have to find a way of providing a clear waterproof cover for when its raining (almost every day in the UK) as I am not sure it will survive for to long unprotected in the open.

I will update  on how this antenna performs over the next few months but my initial thoughts are it does what I haven't been able to do so far and that's give me 40 meters.

Check out Tom,s website and take a look for yourself.

I am sure that this antenna is not for everyone but for operators like me who live in a planning restricted area with really small gardens it seems to be a great addition to my shack.

I am really looking forward to a lot of new contacts in the near future with this antenna.