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Author Topic: Pixel RF-Pro 1A or 1B  (Read 3989 times)
AF3Y
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Posts: 3791




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« on: April 05, 2012, 08:05:34 AM »

Anyone ever use one of these magnetic loop antennas?Huh??  Gene AF3Y  Roll Eyes
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W6GX
Member

Posts: 2775




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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2012, 10:00:51 AM »

I have had a QSO with someone using a magnetic loop and I couldn't believe what I hearing.  He was well over S9.  The antenna is rotatable.  His name is Cristian Paun.  See his qrz profile below.  He published an article in QST on his home brew design.  He's a very nice fellow.  You could contact him regarding this type of antenna.

http://www.qrz.com/db/wv6n

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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W6GX
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Posts: 2775




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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2012, 10:24:27 AM »

I did look into the this specific model and it appears very interesting.  I wonder if something like this will calm static crashes on both lower and higher bands.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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AF3Y
Member

Posts: 3791




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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2012, 11:04:39 AM »

I have had a QSO with someone using a magnetic loop and I couldn't believe what I hearing.  He was well over S9.  The antenna is rotatable.  His name is Cristian Paun.  See his qrz profile below.  He published an article in QST on his home brew design.  He's a very nice fellow.  You could contact him regarding this type of antenna.

http://www.qrz.com/db/wv6n

73,
Jonathan W6GX

Jonathan, it's a receiving only antenna, I doubt if he was transmitting on it.  Gene AF3Y
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N3OX
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Posts: 8847


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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2012, 12:12:32 PM »

  I wonder if something like this will calm static crashes on both lower and higher bands.

In some circumstances if thunderstorms are in a nice tight pattern at a reasonable distance, you can get rid of a lot of the noise by nulling them.  In other circumstances when there's a wide line you won't be able to do much.

I usually get a noticeable improvement in how nice my radio is to listen to when I use a low output antenna like a small magloop with no preamplifier but that's just an overload issue... adding a big attenutator to my 80m 1/4 wave vertical will give the same improvement.  

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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
W5DQ
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Posts: 1209


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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2012, 02:07:08 PM »

Anyone ever use one of these magnetic loop antennas?Huh??  Gene AF3Y  Roll Eyes

Hi Gene,

I won a Pixel Pro-1B at Visalia DX COnvention last year and have it mounted appx 25 foot high on a small 'clacker' style Radio Shack rotor. I really like the response I get on 160, 80, 40 and 30M with it. Above 30M it really doesn't seem to do much more than my main HF antennas so I don't use it there. When we do get our occasional thunderstorm, I can definitely tell the difference between the loop and other antennas with reduced static and noise. The one thing I have noticed is on the loop is while the RX signal strengths aren't as loud as on say the OFCD or 6BTV verical, being down about 1 to 2 S-units, the background noise is down much more than that so the effective S/N is much better on the loop than say my other antennas on 160M, 80M and 40M. While I tried to test it completely, I haven't noticed much difference in rotatinig the loop to reduce man made point source noise. I have a local (or so I believe it is local) noise source on HF than is a repetitious pulsing at appx 340-350 degrees from my shack. The loop doesn't hear it at all no matter where I rotate it to yet on my Force 12 C3S on 20M the noise can hit S5-7 when pointed towards the source location.

Installing the loop was a snap. I had an 4' tall roof tripod already in place, empty, so I mounted the rotor just above that and loop above the rotor. Being the loop is so light, even the smallest TV ant rotor should be able to handle it just fine. Be sure and use the quad shielded RG-6Q coax since it provides the best shielding and low signal loss (and is called for in the instructions). I used high quality compression fittings on the RG6Q and they're much easier to put on than the old style crimp on F connectors. The loop comes with a power injector for powering the remote mast mounted amplifier. I had to add an optional RX antenna interface (an additional $150 from DX Engineering) since my old TS-940S did not automatically switch the RX antenna in and out on PTT. It was either in or out with a manual switch. Now I have it so I can use the loop and switch between the loop and the main ant to check differences in RX signals on the 2 antennas.

Is it worth the money if I had to buy one. Probably but winning it makes it even nicer Smiley

Gene W5DQ

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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
K2MK
Member

Posts: 399




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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2012, 05:01:35 AM »

I have the Pixel RF-Pro 1B. The 1A was their initial release. The 1B is just their revision B. There may have been some manufacturing improvements. I use a SteppIR BigIR on 80 through 30 meters and the Pixel loop is much quieter on 80 and 40 meters. Using my panadapter as a measuring device I was able to see a reduction in the noise floor of around 20db and a reduction in signal strength of around 15db. So there was a net gain in signal strength of around 5 db.

There was no consistent improvement on 30 meters. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't. I have a hex beam for the higher frequencies. The loop can't compete with a directional antenna.

160 meters is another story. I have a full size dipole mounted only about 10 to 15 feet above ground over it's entire length. It's pretty quiet and the loop generally doesn't show any improvement. I really can't hear weak signals with my low dipole and the loop doesn't seem much better. However, I do use it on 160 on my K3 in diversity mode where it sometimes helps with fading signals.

The loop is mounted around 10 feet above ground and is 60 feet or more away from any dwelling or power wiring. The closer you mount it to a house the greater the noise pickup from the house. Rotation is useful for nulling out noise sources. It does not peak signals arriving via skip. Read the loop specifications for more information on this. As a result, it's usually unnecessary to rotate the antenna. So it may be possible to successfully use it without a rotator.

Read the eHam reviews for much more information. Overall it was a good investment for me. It really depends on what you are comparing it against.

73,
Mike K2MK
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AF3Y
Member

Posts: 3791




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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2012, 12:28:55 PM »

Thanks for the replies!  I ordered one today. I'll report in on how well it does or doesnt do its job Grin  Not cheap, with all the coax jumpers, etc. + shipping, a little over $450. Lotta money for an old retired guy. Roll Eyes  73, Gene AF3Y
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W5DQ
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Posts: 1209


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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2012, 12:38:19 PM »

Thanks for the replies!  I ordered one today. I'll report in on how well it does or doesnt do its job Grin  Not cheap, with all the coax jumpers, etc. + shipping, a little over $450. Lotta money for an old retired guy. Roll Eyes  73, Gene AF3Y

I think you'll find the performance on the low bands (160, 80 and 40) to be well worth the cost. Just be thankful you don't have to add the DX Engineering RX Antenna Switch unit too - that would kick you up to $600+  Sad

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
K2MK
Member

Posts: 399




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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2012, 01:57:49 PM »

Hi Gene,

Two tips. First, you'll need a 10mm open end wrench. The supplied U bolts are metric and due to a tight fit with the amplifier module a socket wrench or an adjustable wrench won't fit.

Second, when you open the very large box you'll be tempted to quickly connect the bits and try it out indoors. Fight the temptation. There are so many noise sources inside a home you'll think you bought a lemon.

73,
Mike K2MK
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AF3Y
Member

Posts: 3791




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2012, 03:14:08 PM »

Hi Gene,

Two tips. First, you'll need a 10mm open end wrench. The supplied U bolts are metric and due to a tight fit with the amplifier module a socket wrench or an adjustable wrench won't fit.

Second, when you open the very large box you'll be tempted to quickly connect the bits and try it out indoors. Fight the temptation. There are so many noise sources inside a home you'll think you bought a lemon.

73,
Mike K2MK

Got one in the toolbox Mike. They said to expect delivery in 3 days or so. I have a spot that should work well, right outside my side porch. I will have it up at least 10 feet, but probably 15 on a section or two of tv mast. I am planning something that I can quickly take down if we get hurricanes this year. (I have my 6BTV on a tilt base, so it can be laid down easily.) I am not going to put a rotor on it for now, but will be able to turn it manually if need be. If not, Ratshack has a rotor that would handle this antenna easily and not break the bank!
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K7KB
Member

Posts: 607




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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2012, 03:52:18 PM »

Let us know how well the loop antenna works out for you Gene. I might be in the market to get one myself Smiley

John K7KB
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W5DC
Member

Posts: 146


WWW

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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2012, 04:08:48 PM »

I have a 1B which I purchased to deal with a neighbors plasma tv.  It works.  I did need get the AM broadcast band filter because of overload from two nearby broadcast stations.  It also can help to pull very weak dx stations out of the "mud".

Dunc, W5DC
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KH6DC
Member

Posts: 643




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2012, 04:43:07 PM »

I have the Pixel RF-Pro 1B. The 1A was their initial release. The 1B is just their revision B. There may have been some manufacturing improvements. I use a SteppIR BigIR on 80 through 30 meters and the Pixel loop is much quieter on 80 and 40 meters. Using my panadapter as a measuring device I was able to see a reduction in the noise floor of around 20db and a reduction in signal strength of around 15db. So there was a net gain in signal strength of around 5 db.

There was no consistent improvement on 30 meters. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't. I have a hex beam for the higher frequencies. The loop can't compete with a directional antenna.

160 meters is another story. I have a full size dipole mounted only about 10 to 15 feet above ground over it's entire length. It's pretty quiet and the loop generally doesn't show any improvement. I really can't hear weak signals with my low dipole and the loop doesn't seem much better. However, I do use it on 160 on my K3 in diversity mode where it sometimes helps with fading signals.

The loop is mounted around 10 feet above ground and is 60 feet or more away from any dwelling or power wiring. The closer you mount it to a house the greater the noise pickup from the house. Rotation is useful for nulling out noise sources. It does not peak signals arriving via skip. Read the loop specifications for more information on this. As a result, it's usually unnecessary to rotate the antenna. So it may be possible to successfully use it without a rotator.

Read the eHam reviews for much more information. Overall it was a good investment for me. It really depends on what you are comparing it against.

73,
Mike K2MK

Ditto, I have the same exact setup as Mike (80-6m BigIR and Pixel) and use the Pixel 80-40m and sometimes 30-20m.  It works pretty good for what it is.  I rotate mine manually by hand towards the dx station I'm trying to work.

73, Delwyn KH6DC
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73 and Aloha,
de Delwyn, KH6DC
AF3Y
Member

Posts: 3791




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« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2012, 12:16:14 PM »

Received the receiving only antenna from Pixel Technologies and got it in the air today, only to find out that NONE of the PL-259s they put on the coax assemblys will mate up to ANY SO-239 here. I have a bulkhead in the window with 5 SO-239s to get antennas into the shack. I had them go ahead and make the assemblys as I cannot see well enough to solder anymore.



The pins on the 259s go in nice and tight, but the threads will not "grab" the threads on the SO239. I tried all 3 of them and no luck. Went over to a friends and tried them on some SO239s he had. NO luck.



These PL259s seem to have been put on a F connector on the end of the assembly (Pixel is very active in satellite antennas, etc., thus the type F connectors.) The 259s dont have a brand name.



Has anyone had a PL259 that would not mate with a SO-239?Huh  Gene AF3Y
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