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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Directional: Yagi, quad, rotary dipole, LPD, etc | AOR LA380 Help


Reviews Summary for AOR LA380
AOR LA380 Reviews: 3 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $370
Description: The LA380 is a compact active (1 foot diameter) loop antenna specifically designed to provide good reception when away from the main monitoring location or when large external antennas are not practical.
Compact, but achieving high performance, it features an internal high-gain amplifier (20dB for 10kHz-250MHz) and excellent overall strong signal handling (high IP3 +10dBm).
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.aorusa.com/la380.html
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3B8BB Rating: 5/5 Oct 30, 2012 11:56 Send this review to a friend
Best indoor antenna  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
One of the most efficient antennas I have come across.Robust built by AOR this loop the LA350's bigger brother has a better signal to noise ratio than my 160 feet long wire.On various bands (up to 500Mhz)the signal strength is slightly lower on the S-meter than the outdoor antenna but the sound quality is far superior and by rotating the loop it cancels out the noise.Very impressed,a bit pricey though but well worth the spend.
 
CT1EHO Rating: 5/5 Dec 6, 2011 13:48 Send this review to a friend
Small size but efficient  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Let me tell you… it’s fantastic a loop this size can pick up so much signals!
I live in a condominium block and there are some local antenna restriction laws unfortunately, since I ever had the HF listening passion I couldn’t do it without some way to surf the airwaves, I played with some wires on my balcony but the neighbours start complaining about the “aesthetics” of my apartment windows, so I had to think about another strategy. I have always heard about the magnetic and active loops for SWL and how well they work, surfing the net I came across one of the most elegant indoor active loop I ever saw and that was the AOR LA-380! It was available from one of my frequent online radio warehouse dealer so I ordered it.
The AOR LA-380 is a beautifully made small indoor receiving active loop antenna, the loop is made of polished aluminium tube with a loop diameter of about 1 foot. It has a base stand with a green power LED and the power switch, in the back there is the BNC connector to the radio and the power jack. The loop also connects to its base through a BNC connector, there are a frequency range selector and a fine tuning knob in the loop. The loop base can be placed near the radio equipment and there is the possibility to install the loop itself near a window, for that effect there is a supplied short length coaxial cable in the packing box. There is however a word of caution, this loop is not built to be left outside it is only made for indoor use because it lacks the proper seals and gaskets on the small tuning box and knobs.
Now talking about how it works, well I can only say it works great! With all the hanging wires I have had in the balcony picking up lots of electric noise from the appliances in the building , this little antenna picks up very clearly the entire HF range (need tuning), but the signals are strong and most of the time noise free, I say most of the time because I have some BPL noise sometimes coming in, but the one good way to fight that is the directional characteristics of the loop, I can discriminate the noise according to the direction of the signals when it’s possible, just turning the loop a bit.
The loop has a built in low noise preamplifier, it can’t be bypassed, it is always on since power is supplied and power button pressed, but this preamp is essential since there are not enough RF pickup area in such a small loop, the AOR engineers found a nice balance between the size of the loop and the amount of amplification on a low noise figure device, the result is similar to a properly mounted external antenna, however this is my impression.
Tuning around… in MW I’m able to catch some DX stations, once I was picking up Iran! All of the HF amateur radio bands SSB signals popping up and of course the utility stations also, since I’ve been using the loop I am able to intercept much more aeronautical and maritime traffic than before and that’s mainly due to the reduced tendency to noise pickup.
The loop is been used mainly on my SDR receiver on which it works fabulous! My SDR receiver is a PM-SDR (RF-System) using the PC onboard 96KHz Realtek sound card, I get low noise floor on most of the bands but good signal discrimination.
It is hard to believe… sometimes I’m listening thousands of miles away SW DX stations inside the brick walls of my flat and even so it’s not in the top of the building, I live on the first floor!
This antenna is a compromise antenna, but it works really well if there is no other possibility to install properly tuned and high large antennas. I can say I don’t miss so much action on the HF, it’s been rewarding no matter the fact I can’t have external antennas on my apartment, this little antenna gave me back some SWL’ing pleasure.
I absolutely recommend this product for those SW listeners who have the antenna restriction problems. The price seems a bit high though, but you won’t be disappointed.
Best regards, and good DX!
 
EB1CYY Rating: 5/5 Jun 3, 2008 00:33 Send this review to a friend
The best option for indoor places  Time owned: more than 12 months
First impression when i opened the box was that i have purchased a cheap Chinese antenna. but when i connected it to my AR7030 the performance was great. I live in the center of Spain and can hear without problems the overseas airplanes, HAM radios from Italy and Great Britain Weather stations.

The knobs are well constructed and provides a precise adjusting. The loop is fixed to the main box with a simple BNC connector that is very delicate but does the job well.
The band steps of 60khz and 40khz are really useless for me and the “Others” step it too imprecise. I would like to have 0.1-3Mhz, 40-150Mhz and 144-500Mhz steps instead of the useless 60Khz and 40Khz.

For use it with handheld scanners the history changes, i recommend you do not buy this antenna for portable “super-wideband” receivers. I have put it on my IC-R20 and the performance fell down. I listen the same stations that i can listen with a simple Diamond RH-795

If you live in a small flat with “not-friendly neighbors from Hell” maybe this is your best option.
There is many articles written by active antennas retractors who can create you a serious doubt about the performance of an active antenna. My opinion is they are not right at all. Long wire and dipoles are the best option if you live in the country far away from any urban area, but if you live in a city, the several noises and interferences may annul your wire antenna. After read some articles by passive antennas enthusiast, i purchased a Buddipole for DX only and the performance in outdoor is the same that the LA380 and into my house the Buddipole is deaf like a chair.
Finally beware if you purchase an LA380 as a travel antenna, is a very delicate antenna and easy to break. The loop screws and the BNC are delicate like porcelain.
 


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