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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Portable (not mobile) | AlexLoop Walkham Portable HF Small Magnetic Loop Antenna Help


Reviews Summary for AlexLoop Walkham Portable HF Small Magnetic Loop Antenna
AlexLoop Walkham Portable HF Small Magnetic Loop Antenna Reviews: 72 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $129-299 USD
Description: The AlexLoop Walkham is a Small Magnetic Loop Antenna designed by Alex - PY1AHD after nine years of field tests with more than 800 confirmed QRP DXs.
The new model goes on a small cushioned bag designed to accommodate 3 small 15 inches pieces that can be easily assembled and disassembled in less than a minute.
It has a registered record on 17 meters on the Hall of Fame of the Hfpack group - http://hfpack.com/hall/ connected to a FT817 QRP transceiver.
It is the ultimate solution for those hams who loves to be on the air anytime and anywhere and for those living with limited space.
It covers continuously any frequency between 7 MHz to 30 MHz and can be quickie and easily installed on a window or a balcony. And can go to your vacation or business travel.
It is so light that you can even walk and talk holding in your hand while tune it with your thumb.
The maximum recommended power is 20 watts SSB or 10 watts AM/FM
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.alexloop.com/
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HL1ZIX Rating: 5/5 May 20, 2017 23:09 Send this review to a friend
Great loop, but shipping makes price too high  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Update, because I felt my 4 rating was unfair. I would rather give 4.5.

A generous friend (HL1BX) allowed me to borrow his AlexLoop Walkham for testing. I have been running it for a few weeks, and here are my observations:

Pros: This is an extremely portable, and fast antenna to set up. It is well-made (also see cons), and it can be easily set on a tripod, or held-up by hand, which is something that other portable loops aren't so good at. It works very well on 20m, 17m, and 15m, given loop size. If you are buying a loop for mountain-top work, the AlexLoop Walkham is a great choice, because of it's light-duty construction and easy/quick set-up. Lastly, mag loops, like the AlexLoop, are great for city noise issues. I did notice nearly a 2s-unit drop in city noise. I was able to easily identify sources of noise, and keep the antenna turned from them. It's highly directional, and very sensitive. Remember, you need to turn these loops toward the signal, to experience max results, and it is generally within a tight area of 15 degrees, or so, that you hit the sweet spot. The AlexLoop is easily mounted at a decent height of around 5 feet, and simpler to turn, compared to table top models. It is easier to set up on a tripod than that MFJ loop tuner versions, for example (although the MFJ are almost half the price, and allow you to make your own loop sizes), and that is important, because I have found loops work FAR better at 5 to 6 feet up, compared to a tabletop. If you can get other loops up there, on a stand, then do it. Big difference! For best results, you will be turning the loop around, and tuning it constantly. Fun, as the rise/fall in signal is like turning a huge yagi, and you learn exactly where signals are coming from! Also, stay away from the loop! The MFJ's will handle up to 150w, which is very unhealthy to be close too, and dangerous. At QRP levels, radiation is far less, but you can still be injured badly, if you touch the loop at transmit. High voltage!

Cons: The price. This loop needs a price drop to be able to compete with what's out in the market, now, due to shipping prices (The new, well-built W4OP LNR Precision loop is less expensive, tests as more efficient on 40m, has markingsbto show where best to tune, and is capable of more bands). Second, I mentioned that the build quality is light duty. After using on four outings, over a few weeks, I began to notice that the paint on the plastic tube joints was showing stress fractures. The problem suddenly showed, after I tried to hold it in a horizontal position, by the handle. I happened to post this as a part of a discussion on a loop thread on another board, and the AlexLoop maker was watching. He responded that this is normal, and not to worry. I have concluded that this is not something you will be able to mount horizontally,from one-sided support, as it really seems like it would be too much stress, long-term, given what I saw for stress on the pipes and joints. It really should be supported in the middle, or at both ends, if horizontal. If you're buying this loop for typical portable put up/tear down work, then have no worries about it. I just wanted to mention that stress fractures in the paint will happen, if you hold horizontal, from one end. Lastly, as per performance, I found it was at least 2s down on 40m, and is a pretty big compromise there, but it does work on 40m. I never tried it, but if memory serves, you don't get 10m, and certainly not 80m. The LNR Precision loop would be a better buy, if you primarily work 40m, as its loop element is bigger. You need bigger loops to work the low bands, and shorter for high bands. In-between sizes will work more bands, but there are always compromises somewhere. There are online magnetic loop calculators that give you a rough idea of differences in efficiency, between loop sizes, for different bands.

Conclusion:
Overall, this is an impressive product, and hats off to the maker. I would consider this currently the best loop for deep portable work, given its light weight, and easy set-up. I would probably look at the W4OP from LNR Precision, or MFJ936B for home work, or just setting-up in the back yard, rather than the AlexLoop, given price and performance value. Whatever you get, mount it at least 5 feet up off of the ground! There are solid tests showing the LNR Precision bests the AlexLoop (primarily on 40m), if you google. On higher bands, I doubt there is much of any performance difference.

Speaking of performance, I managed a longpath contact to Italy, IK4GRO on 17m, SSB, at 10w with an Elecraft KX2, May 4, 2017, from Seoul, Korea, with this (I am HL1ZIX, while in Korea). That is well over 19,000 miles. I was on top of a 10-story building, and the building was probably working as my ground, too (loops aren't supposed to work so well, up so high, I was told). At that height, I easily worked out to 2,500 miles (into Russia and Oceana) at 5/7 to 5/9, on 15 through 20m, on a day when propagation was not great. Maybe it was because this building put me above all of the other buildings, around.

Lastly, you'll see other low-end loops with a loop that can be broken down into several parts. That is wrong on so many levels. Those loops lose efficiency with every single broken, or soldered connection, and I would hate to take the time to put them together and take them apart. You want a loop that is one solid loop, and not multiple pieces. The AlexLoop is one thick piece of coax, and although there are soldered wires connecting the connectors to the capacitor inside, it is, at least, one solid loop, on the outside.
 
KC9OMS Rating: 5/5 Apr 30, 2017 14:58 Send this review to a friend
super portable antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased the AlexLoop about a year and half ago. I use it for portable operations. With a few pvc parts from the hardware store, I mount it on my Buddipole tripod. I do mainly PSK31 opps with a laptop, FT-817, & HardRock-50 amp powered down to 15-18 watts. I have gotten 599s and have worked all over the lower 48 states from parks and parking lots. This antenna works great and I find it easy to tune and it has the band width needed for my PSK work. It is a super, portable antenna.
 
KG9H Rating: 5/5 Apr 24, 2017 14:28 Send this review to a friend
Great performer from condo locations  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well after 2-1/2 years still a great performer. I have made contacts out to 5,300 miles with 3 watts on a KX3 and an FT-817. Mostly on CW as it is "quiet" on a balcony for operation. Does what it says, would recommend it to anyone that is balcony-bound. Have not tried it on a beach or camping but no reason it would not operate well there as well.
 
PY1ZB Rating: 5/5 Dec 18, 2016 12:07 Send this review to a friend
Quick to assemble and easy to use  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been a Ham Op for 6 years, I live in a restricted antenna space apartment, I have already tried many configurations (dipole, longwire, vertical, loaded coil, etc) always with poor/regular results, and now I tried the AlexLoop just for curiosity.

I fixed my AlexLoop in a balcony with a small mast/tripod, making it easy to be rotated. It's very light and easy to handle too, it's small and can fit anywhere away from objects. The whole process of building/tuning/using it, took less than 5 minutes.

It surprised me that operating in QRP (5w SSB), I was able to make contacts hundreds/thousands of kilometers away, and also using weak signal modes (JT65, WSPR) I made QSOs as far as 10.000 kilometers using nothing more than 3 watts. This proves the efficiency of this loop antenna. I validated it in 40/15/12/10 meter bands.

I've tested vertical and horizontal polarization/angular positions, feeling the differences in reception and transmission; the tuning process needs to be very accurate, and having a high Q sensible tuning, it can receive without QRM; every time I change the frequency, I must re-tune it slowly; but tuning process is quick and takes no more than few seconds.

I recommend it for every ham in portable operation, in restricted spaces, or just as a simple fixed configuration.

Now I should do another field tests in the top of mountains or near a salt water beach.

73 de PY1ZB
Roney
 
WB4NRE Rating: 5/5 Dec 1, 2016 09:38 Send this review to a friend
Excellent portable antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
On a trip to Bonaire from 11/5-11/12/16 I worked several stations from the waters edge using my Alex Loop on a tripod and an Elecraft KX3 with 5-10 watts SSB.
You just peak the noise using the PX3 and let the ATU do the rest. Contacts included many stateside but the best was JH1OCC from Japan! I worked mainly on 17 and 20 mtrs. Excellent product and much easier to configure than the Buddipole I have taken in the past.Wish it could handle slightly more power.
 
G4YVM Rating: 5/5 Jun 11, 2016 14:00 Send this review to a friend
Works FB  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was going to buy one of these from Alex in Brazil but found one on HRD second hand, hardly used, thus saving some money. Took it out today and found it extremely easy to use, extremely well made and extremely effective!

Alex has done a splendid job of designing and building this loop to such a good degree. I used it successfully on 40m, 30m and 20m, SSB and CW all on 5w from an FT817.

What can I say? It works. Really pleased with it.
 
NA7US Rating: 5/5 Feb 21, 2016 17:16 Send this review to a friend
Great Portable Antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This antenna performs! I have worked several countries with my K2 and the Alex Loop running 5 watts in side my house on the ground floor. It is quick and easy to set up. The only drawback is how sensitive it is when changing even a few kc and the SWR jumps up but is easily brought into resonance. I have tried several portable antennas and this is by far the best. A little pricey but worth it.
 
VE4MM Rating: 5/5 Jan 8, 2016 19:13 Send this review to a friend
Easy to Set Up and Use  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased this antenna for our trip to Sint Maarten December 3-13, 2015.

I brought my Elecraft K3 and the antenna in a back pack and operated from our Ocean Front Condo deck in Simpson Bay.

The antenna set up in a few minutes and I was on the air right away. Made numerous contacts each day on 10M, 20M and 40M. Signals were 59+ on 40M which I could not believe from such a tiny antenna.

I brought a Buddie Pole to Mexico in 2008 and it was hard to tune and the performance was bad compared to the Alex Loop. Buddie Pole in garbage now.

I will bring the same setup to Turks and Caicos when the wife I travel there in December 2016 in Grace Bay and stay in a new house on the ocean.

Nothing like operating the radio while watching the yachts in the Bay, and planes land and take off at SXM Airport, and watch people on the beach at the same time. Paradise!
 
2E0RDA Rating: 5/5 Sep 28, 2015 07:46 Send this review to a friend
Fabulous Portable Antenna...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Received this in the post in the UK from Brazil in less time than expected, at least 5 days early. Well packed. First time out with it today, mounted on the recommended Vivitar VIV-VPT-1250 tripod (bought on EBAY from the USA). very easy to assemble, even first time. Took less than 3 minutes. Connected to my Yaesu FT-817ND, and within a few minutes was listening to a call which I thought I could make a contact with. Using 5 watts from my QTH at Stanmore, North London, I answered a CQ call on 20m and was heard first time. Made a contact in Rudersdorf, South East Austria, a distance of approx. 984 miles. Not bad for a first effort, even with just 5 watts. I was told my siganl report sounded like 5/8, but the meter at the other end said 5/4, but I was coming through loud and clear. Can't wait to use the brilliant Alex Loop again. My only criticism is with the tripod - too light and almost blew over a couple of times, so will have to add weights to it, or change the tripod (not the fault of the antenna).
 
VE4MM Rating: 5/5 Aug 30, 2015 15:46 Send this review to a friend
Nice Small Package  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got the loop working the other day and took 3 minutes to set up. Bought a Vivitar tripod for $15 knocked off the camera mount with a wrench and used electrical tape on 2 places for the antenna support. Works perfect.

This thing pulls in signals. And I am amazed at the performance for such a small antenna.

I bought this for my 10 day trip in December 2015 to Sint Maarten. (And may operate from other close islands)

I have brought a 2 element Steppir beam, Crankir, and a Buddie Pole on other trips and I am just sick of lugging all this stuff in my luggage now.

With my KX3 and Alex Loop in a backpack I am set with a load of under 10 pounds.

My wife will be happy that I do not need 2 large suit cases and a ski bag for my equipment.

MM
 
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