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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Verticals and Wire | Array Solutions AS-SAL-20 Shared Apex Loop Array Help


Reviews Summary for Array Solutions AS-SAL-20 Shared Apex Loop Array
Array Solutions AS-SAL-20 Shared Apex Loop Array Reviews: 8 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $795
Description: Shared Apex Loop Array: A Wideband Directional Receiving Antenna for 500 KHz - 30 MHz
optimized for VLF, BCB, Low Band DXing, and shortwave to 15MHz, 24 foot tall andj approximately 40 foot footprint
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.arraysolutions.com
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KI0KB Rating: 5/5 Feb 5, 2014 07:26 Send this review to a friend
Great Antenna & Great Product Support AS USUAL!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
So I purchased the SAL-20 shared apex loop array antenna not knowing what to expect given the location I planned on placing it in. It has a relatively small footprint when it comes to a receiving antenna for 160 and 80 meters which was the reason it intrigued me. My setup has the antenna between two garages, one of which is nearly all metal, my 40 foot tower which the NW loop is actually guyed to and then two very large 100 year old trees bordering the southern edge of the array, one of which is the guy point for my SE loop. A six foot synthetic fence borders the north edge of the antenna which the NE loop is guyed to. My fear was that all these natural and manmade items would destroy any gain or directivity from the antenna. I believe they have had some effect but I still have gain and directivity and it often hears better than the GAP center fed vertical dipole I have been using for both receive and transmit for years. The GAP is in the front yard about 150 feet from the SAL-20.

I did raise my loop one 4 foot section higher than came in the original box. I did this because for my base I sunk a 3 inch PVC pipe 1.5 feet into and flush with the ground so that I could drop the fully assembled mast into the hole easily and it would be self supporting until I got it guyed with the loops. The horizontal part of the loops and the coupler wires dangling made intriguing targets for my cats plus I wanted something I could easily duck under when walking in the area and something I could mow under if needed. The extra four feet did the trick. However, by raising it four feet you will need to either guy the loops further out to keep them horizontal to the ground or guy them more elevated to accomplish the same purpose. On my SW loop it is guyed further out. The other three loops are guyed to the tower, tree and fence about four feet or so off of ground level.

For my loop sizes and coupler locations I used exactly what was recommended as a starting point in the instructions. My loops seem well tuned and my front to back is 18 dB on one loop pair and 12 dB on the other loop pair. I am sure this is related to all the "stuff" this antennas is surrounded by but still I found this pretty amazing and encouraging given its location as described above. The next question was, can it hear? The answer is yes! On 80 meters it quiets my noise level by 3 S-units and the weak signals will often pop out at that point. In the Unidirectional mode it definitely has directivity and it "steers" instantly with the push of a button so it's quick and easy to find the peak direction. On 160 meters the Bidirectional mode is used for reception particularly for weak signals. On 160 meters the GAP antenna is very quite out here in the country so I don't see the noise floor I do on 80 meters and the SAL drops the noise floor from S1-2 to 0.

Having never used a receiving antenna in the past I didn't know what to expect but have been very pleased. The other thing I realized was how well the GAP Voyager center fed vertical dipole actually works as both a receive and transmit antenna on its own for those with limited space or budget when looking at the low bands. The GAP does well but the SAL is able to shin with many of the weak signals heard on the band. Although the GAP is a very quite antenna out here in the country the SAL is a quieter antenna and the directivity I'm sure has something to do with that. During the recent FT5ZM DXpedition I could hear those guys on 80 meters on the SAL during the gray line propagation about 10-15 minutes before I could start to hear them on the GAP. I would eventually hear them on the GAP but you get the picture of what this antenna might be able to do for you even if you don't have the ideal location to place it. I'm keeping this antenna! I have found some signals on 160 that I could not hear with the GAP but were S5 on the SAL...Amazing.

With my set up it's an easy one man operation to take it down and put it up so I suspect that I will be taking it down for the summer and putting it back up for the next low band season. With a single 75 ohm feed line into the house and it's portability it doesn't get much easier than that.
 
KN2M Rating: 5/5 Jan 14, 2014 17:55 Send this review to a friend
Great Product  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The antenna can be put up without a helper. I picked up some PVC parts at the local home store to help mount the antenna and make a custom base. I had several discussions with Array Solutions about this system both before and after it was installed. Product support is very excellent. It is important to make the horizontal wires exactly the same length and keep them parallel to each other. This system has two very important features. First, it has 8 directions, which helps by maximizing the F/B at critical times. Secondly, it needs no ground system or radials unlike my K9AY system. This simplifies installation greatly. There are advantages with noise rejection that the SAL offers over other loops but signals were overall similar to the K9AY. It is very fun to use this antenna to copy AM station from hundreds of miles away.
 
N8BI Rating: 5/5 Dec 9, 2013 22:25 Send this review to a friend
Great Peformance  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The AS-SAL-20 performance is outstanding. Totally eliminated 20 over snow static with my verticals for 80 & 160 during CQWWSSB. The F/B ratio exceeds my expectations. Signal to noise ratio better than the beverage in the same direction. How about phasing two SAL-20's?

 
AI2N Rating: 5/5 Nov 27, 2013 10:01 Send this review to a friend
As Advertised - Great!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I acquired an AS-SAL-20 to augment the other rx antennas on my 125’ x 125’ city lot.

The hardware is very nice. The antenna went together well, though the clarity of the manual (rev 1.5) could be improved upon. I used cheap plastic fence posts from Tractor Supply at the four corners to keep the bottom wires horizontal and 4 feet above ground (and, hopefully, out of the snow). I felt no need to experiment with the location of the couplers on the bottom wire; the antenna worked as advertised when assembled per the manual.

The initial tests were successful and commensurate with the impressive youtube videos. The F-B ratio on groundwave (daytime) broadcast band signals is amazing. In some cases reversing the pattern causes a perfectly audible station to go completely inaudible. Impressive. In the bidirectional mode signal strength is much higher than in the unidirectional mode, provided there is no interference off the back.

On 160 meters the SALA is -usually- better than my full-sized Flag antennas and BOGS (two of each, switchable in 4 directions). There -are- occasions when another antenna hears something the SALA does not, probably due to the signal’s arrival angle. The old saw is true: More rx antennas are always better than fewer.

Caveat: due to the small size of my lot my rx antennas are probably too close to each other, possibly compromising their performance.

So; I like my SALA.
 
N1DG Rating: 5/5 Nov 23, 2013 07:48 Send this review to a friend
Took one to C82DX. Directivity great!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Best of the receiving antennas we had in Mozambique on reducing noise. Directivity is much better than what I have at home on the K9AY. Don N1DG
 
V51B Rating: 5/5 Nov 21, 2013 10:46 Send this review to a friend
Small antenna with great ears  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I got my antenna about 2 months ago and have never looked back.

My problem is I do not have the space for a beverage into any direction, but would love to have ears on 80 & 160. My yard is just too small and after speaking to Mark, he advised the antenna should be able to work even if I placed it on the roof of my house……and that is exactly what I did. Yes, it is now close to Xmas and I have had questions such as “is that a wire xmas tree??” Hahahaha!!!

I installed the antenna on the roof of my house as originally discussed and have even had the pleasure of working (believe it or not) K9W on both 80m cw and 80m ssb with the use of my new “ears”. Other new band dxcc’s that I have heard since I have this antenna includes T33, S21, XZ, XR, many EU’s, etc.

Finally; this is a great product for those who do not have space for large RX antennas. S/N ratio is awesome and I am sure any dxpedition will also find this to be a very good antenna
 
K1QX Rating: 5/5 Nov 18, 2013 12:06 Send this review to a friend
SAL20 at PJ4X  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
We took a SAL20 to PJ4X to augment our Beverages. We found it helped pull many signals out of the QRM and QRN. We also found it worked well on the high bands too. Control and remote unit well made, easy to use. Had fun on the broadcast band before the contest doing testing
 
BA4TB Rating: 5/5 Nov 5, 2013 06:24 Send this review to a friend
Great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Ordered one for our zone 23 dxpedition-B9/BY9GA.
Good low band receiving antenna,and excellent quality!
 


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