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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Wellbrook ALA-1530 Active Magnetic Loop Antenna Help


Reviews Summary for Wellbrook ALA-1530 Active Magnetic Loop Antenna
Wellbrook ALA-1530 Active Magnetic Loop Antenna Reviews: 22 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $200 £ + charge
Description: Active Magnetic Loop Antenna for medium and short waves listening operations
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.wellbrook.uk.com/
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You can write your own review of the Wellbrook ALA-1530 Active Magnetic Loop Antenna.

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N1BBR Rating: 3/5 Jul 25, 2017 17:32 Send this review to a friend
Not all that impressed  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The plus side is you have an antenna that is open-banded such that one doesn't have to worry about tuning.

The minus side is the sensitivity to DX (unless your talking 200kw BC stations) is no where near what one would have with a moderately high dipole.

I snagged a used 1530 at good price. Unless one is located in restricted or high noise location one would be well advised to visit a friend who has one before spending $$ for new.
 
K4QET Rating: 5/5 Nov 7, 2016 07:00 Send this review to a friend
Works great, thanks Andrew  Time owned: more than 12 months
Works great as stated.

Had some amp-loop screw connection problems for a while, at some point couldn't get it to work, Andrew sent me a whole new amplifier gratis after 3 years, of course solved the problem.

I especially like being able to listen to the 9kc area using TenTec OMNI VII!

 
KC0EKQ Rating: 5/5 Jun 14, 2016 00:34 Send this review to a friend
Stunning.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This a review for the Wellbrook ALA1530LNP loop antenna, which has higher gain and (in my ears anyway) a slightly longer 'reach' in sensitivity than the 1530LN or indeed any of the ALA loops I've used before it.

First, anyone following this review thread already knows the Wellbrooks have a good, strong reputation for an excellent product and just as excellent customer service from Andrew Ikin. All of that is dead-on correct.

You also already know it ain't cheap. At the time of this review/writing, the LNP version ships to the US for about $460. I'll get back to this fact in a moment.

I've been a loop antenna maniac since I was a kid **ahemcough*--years ago. I have built so many different kinds of loop antennas, mostly for receive only, that I couldn't coount or remember them all. From depth wound wood framed MW loops to spiral wound PVC SW loops to giant copper tubing loops outside and untuned, some remotely tuned... just, you name it, I built it and tried it.

Some of them were pretty lousy, due mostly to builder/operator error, I am very willing to concede. Most were good, decent, 'worked' as they should, and were very fun to make and use.

But there were a few that really stood out, which I have been using since I first built them years ago. One is passive except for remote tuning, for MW reception and noise killing; the other two are SW, amplified and untuned, and as broadband as I could make them given my tools and skills and knowledge... which I admit is likely not so vast as many of you in here.

The ALA1530LNP outshines each and every one of them, not always by a LOT but certainly by a useable SNR, and meaningful gain where it counts -- at the edge of listenability at the noise floor of my QTH.

I am proud to say one of my untuned amp'ed loops hears almost everything the LNP hears, but doesn't hear them nearly so clean and present as the LNP does. It is always just stunning to me when a new antenna (built or bought) suddenly brings a new station, a new ID one hasn't heard or logged before... and the LNP garnered three such signals the very first day I used it.

It was very easy to assemble -- everything you need is provided except for the cable needed to go between the mounted loop and the control box in the shack. In my case about 50ft was perfect, and Wellbrook says up to 100ft should be generally safe from losses and noise.

As well, you will need a mount for it. The LNP comes with a 7" end threaded aluminum pipe and flange fitting to bolt to the underside of the loop amplifier, but you will likely need to adapt it to your own needs and materials to get it just right for you.

I think it's a bit of a drag that they've installed BNC connecters for the long cable and the control box-to-receiver cable (supplied/built into the control box); I understand BNC is more popular in the UK... but in my experience they are weaker in reliability and endurance, and don't always make a solid connection, especially for an antenna mounted outdoors. SO239/PL259 connections are more robust and reliable and long-lived.

But a few 'BNC-to-whatever-adapters' make things right again, and this thing is RIGHT, anyway you look at it.

I already mentioned hearing signals I'd never heard before on any other loop (let alone any random long wire or other outdoor wire antenna). It also nulls noise and recovers signals hidden under other stations or buried under the noise floor of your location, and does so very VERY efficiently. On a cheap, lightweight antenna rotator, this loop is a real champion of low noise listening and DXing. Stunning, I say again.

Oh, about the price I mentioned earlier -- and I am not trying to ruffle feathers or make enemies or put anyone down -- for the performance you get with the correctly assembled and deployed/mounted 1530LNP loop, Wellbrook could charge much more than the average $450USD and still have a product worth every penny. I applaud their ability to sell their products at the prices they do, especially after seeing just how expensive it is to manufacture antennas and accessories.

But a further point about the price is that I am an American first and foremost when it comes to my real shopping and supplying for all of my interests, and before I bought any Wellbrook UK products I bought a Pixel (now Inlogis) RF-Pro-1B loop from DX Engineering in Ohio, in the good ol' US of A... for a bit over $500USD.

And it worked. For a while it was the best antenna on my lot, and I have nothing to say against the product per se... but even with weatherproofing (remember I've been at this for decades) it had moments of breakdown and power issues and just plain not working.

I guess I'm trying to say that the RF-Pro-1B is a fine antenna but at around $50USD more than the Wellbrook, and at the performance level I have now been seeing/getting with the LNP compared to the Pro-1B's performance, well... it doesn't make sense to me to spend more money to get what *I* feel to be less of an antenna.

I know a lot of us are quite pleased with the RF Pro-1B, and that's great. But now, run a Wellbrook for a bit, and try to tell me you don't hear and see and know a pretty meaningful difference in performance.

This is a stunning product, a champion of RX loop antennas, and if one can afford it, the ALA1530LNP will immediately and absolutely prove to you why it is worth every penny.

 
G1HBE Rating: 5/5 Jan 4, 2016 05:55 Send this review to a friend
A solid performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm trying to remember when I got my ALA1530 and it must be around the year 2000, and it has spent most of that time being punished by the Pennine weather here in Cheshire, England. Like most SWL's and Radio Amateurs, I have been greatly depressed by rising noise levels and my favourite lowbands have been badly hit over recent years. Listening with a random wire antenna is now a lost cause.
Once I'd got the 1530 mounted outside at gutter height I was amazed at how the local noise dropped from S8 down to S1, and troublesome noises could be nulled by rotating the loop. My MW(AM) listening is now back on track and I am able to operate on the noisy 160m band again. This year the loop was badly damaged in the storms and I decided to replace it with....another ALA1530! I did consider the Pixel Loop, but after reading a few reviews and listening to some comparison MP3's I'll stick with the Wellbrook.
 
KB8NTY Rating: 5/5 Oct 21, 2015 21:06 Send this review to a friend
A VERY PROVEN PERFORMER!...EXCELLENT!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I wanted to submit my review-experience of my Wellbrook ALA-1530 loop...

My experience is based on my specific application, which was for amateur radio. The ALA-1530 covers a nice range of frequencies but my focus was for the ham bands.

Hopefully this review will address your Ham Radio use concerns.


Overall it has exceeded my every expectation!

My original target was to be used on the low bands, 80, 40 & 30 meters as my transmit vertical worked well but was noisy of-course. The ALA-1530 presented an acceptable signal to noise ratio that allowed for the signals to be copied above the associated low-band noise.

On the remainder of the HF bands, 20-17-15-12 & 10 meters produced results that were not expected!...Meaning I did not expect to hear signals on my loop that I just couldn't hear on my 4 element Yagi.

Keep in mind my ALA-1530 is mounted on a ground mounted tripod no higher than 10 feet above ground, rotated with a rotor to allow me to null specific noise I didn't want to hear.

These types of loops are not like a gain type of antenna that you use a rotor to peak signals...It is bi-directional with figure of eight reception pattern so basically I can simply use 1/2 of the rotors capability as 180 degrees gives you what you need.

I live in a very noisy city neighborhood, my yard surrounded with power and other types of lines. My Wellbrook loop has made a huge difference and improvement in my operating success.

I can honestly say in the year I have owned my ALA-1530 loop it has allowed me to work 4-5 all time new countries...At 300+ those new ones are hard to come by...Honest I was amazed that my loop heard signals that my 4-element Yagi did not! and truly made the difference of working those new ones or not...because they were just not there with my Yagi.

It was just like magic, using my ALA-1530 loop the stations signal just appeared, it came right out of the noise allowing a true Q-5 copy! No signal showing on the S-meter but a true Q-5 effortless copy...switching back to the Yagi the signal completely vanished into the noise level...not even a trace to be heard!

It made me think of just how many signals I have missed without my Wellbrook ALA-1530 loop!

At over 300+ countries those 5 new countries were every bit worth the price of my loop!...Some may not understand this statement, however many certainly will!


My goal of this review is to assure any Ham radio operator who is contemplating purchasing the Wellbrook ALA-1530 loop for amateur radio use...Please be assured you will not be disappointed...Not at all!

For the most part the loop will not increase signal strength, what it does is reduce the noise allowing for that signal to appear right out and above the noise!..I swear its almost like magic!

My ALA-1530 has become a very important part of my station set-up, at this point I couldn't think of operating without it.

It is low profile, lightweight, good looking and very well constructed!

Oh yea it's also unbelievable on the Broadcast band...The other night I was tuning the AM broadcast band, I'm located in Ohio I was listening to WCCO 830 kHz in Minnesota, As I turned the rotor...WCCO slowly faded away and up came XELA / XEITE in Mexico city, Mexico!...How cool by simply turning the antenna I was able to hear two stations on the very same frequency, one in Minnesota, the other in Mexico!

Just one sample of what all this loop can do.

This loop provides the user hours and hours of an intriguing listening experience.

Regardless if its AM broadcast band listening, Shortwave listening, or Ham Radio...This Wellbrook ALA-1530 is a proven winner...Please Be assured!

It is worth every penny.

The build quality is truly great and just recently the amp module is now manufactured as a stand alone, allowing one to easily remove just the module for either repair-replace,upgrade whatever your need may possibly ever be, without having to include the complete loop antenna!..Just Great!

My concern as others may be was the shipping time..I can tell you my delivery experience time was actually quicker than some domestic purchases I have made!...You will not be disappointed, I was so impressed with the short time it actually took.

The effort put into packaging allowed for a very safe and secure delivery...No issues.

Fast shipping with complete shipping communication, tracking etc, throughout the complete way.

Customer service?..Let me just say this company provides personalized service second to none. I have been beyond satisfied with the service I have received from Wellbrook.


I have to say my ALA-1530 loop antenna and experience with the Wellbrook company has been without peer!...A truly complete pleasant experience!

With the service that Wellbrook provides and such hi-tech quality product, guarantees that this company and its products is here to stay.

Your *complete* satisfaction in every way will be exceeded!...Be Assured!...


***Thank You Wellbrook***








 
W5DMT Rating: 5/5 Apr 11, 2015 00:03 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic Little Receive antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was a bit hesitant to drop this much money on a receive antenna. I would love to have the space for a Shared Apex Loop, but I simply don't. I bought this expecting it to be a compromise at best. I was extremely wrong.

I mounted my loop on a 6 foot pipe that I pounded about 3 feet into the ground, and then put in on a Yaesu G450 rotor. (Overkill!) I use it on 40, 75 and for listening to AM Radio on my Kenwood TS-590SG. As I'm sitting here typing this, I'm listening to a station in Los Angeles. It gets a lot more directional the lower you go.

I purchased the version without the preamp. My 590 has a hot receiver, so I was told that I just wouldn't need it. (How's that for a company telling the truth?)

My advice, buy one. It's a quiet receive antenna, and well worth the effort!
 
KH6DC Rating: 5/5 Nov 9, 2013 18:12 Send this review to a friend
Awesome Receive Loop  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
My pixel Pro 1B died and couldn't hear at all when switching between the vertical and Pixel. Reading the reviews and articles, it was getting another Pixel Pro 1B or the Wellbrook ALA-1530. I read the articles then discovered the one written praising the Pixel was written by the engineer that works with Pixel. Decided to go with the Wellbrook and can't be more than pleased with it's performance in pulling out the light dxpeditions. Highly recommended and Andy was a real pleasure to deal with.
 
LA8VSA Rating: 5/5 Nov 9, 2013 08:04 Send this review to a friend
Simply the best  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Noise is history after i start using this antenna.
Using this antenna in combination With the MFJ-1026. Then i can phase and switch between rx and tx with my vertical antenna.
Service from WELBROOK is a own category, in a good way.
RECOMMENDED TO EVERYBODY WITH NOISE-PROBLEM
 
PA0LUX Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2013 13:48 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding and the best service  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this antenna in January 2013. It worked even better as expected. Of course wonder antenna's do not exist. But this is as close to that as it gets. So small and such reception. After about a month a problem arose. The antenna still worked but the pre-amp started drawing excessive current. After having sent one mail to Wellbrook I received a complete new loop antenna within a week. Without any cost and sent abroad.
You do not see many of those companies anymore, they are proud of what they are doing and they are doing a great job. Chapeau!
 
G4PNF Rating: 5/5 Feb 25, 2013 11:09 Send this review to a friend
Just brilliant   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am in a town centre QTH and the only practical transmitting antenna I can have is an end fed wire. I have S9 of noise on 160m and S8 on 80m.
The Wellbrook loop has transformed my receive performance. The signal to noise ratio on most signals greatly improved especially on 160m. The Wellbrook loop has made these bands usable and pleasurable in a way that was not possible before. From 40m upwards the improvement in RX is not so dramatic but switching to the loop is quite often advantageous to improve copy.
 
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