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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Pixel RF PRO-1A & 1B Shortwave Magnetic Loop Antenna Help


Reviews Summary for Pixel RF PRO-1A & 1B Shortwave Magnetic Loop Antenna
Pixel RF PRO-1A & 1B Shortwave Magnetic Loop Antenna Reviews: 48 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $500
Description: Unique Moebius Loop architecture provides enhanced performance over standard loops
Very low IMD, 30 dB Low-Noise Preamp insures good performance in both strong and weak signal environments
Up to 30 dB rejection of locally radiated noise compared to whip antennas
Figure eight directivity and deep nulls to further reduce interference.
Primary coverage range: 100 kHz to 30 MHz
Rejects power line noise
Rugged construction, easily mounts to a pole or flat vertical surface, 1m dia. aluminum loop, supplied with LNA, power inserter and DC power supply
No manual tuning necessary
No Home Owners Association problems; low profile, easy to camouflage and works at ground level
Modular design for easy installation and maintenance
Adjustable output level to optimize output for your radio
Internal Transmit / Receive Switch disconnects Antenna / Preamp from your receiver when transmitting
Made in the USA
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.pixelsatradio.com/
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You can write your own review of the Pixel RF PRO-1A & 1B Shortwave Magnetic Loop Antenna.

Page 1 of 5 —>

KB0RDL Rating: 5/5 May 19, 2015 07:21 Send this review to a friend
Great for reducing RFI  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had mine for about six weeks and I use it only to receive on my ICOM R-75 receiver. I'm only interested in 40 and 80 meters LSB at night although I have listened to 20 meters USB in the daytime. I haven't tried it on AM shortwave or other amateur frequencies.

It does a great job of removing RFI. I could barely hear even strong stations with an end-fed wire or a random wire even with a receive tuner. Local RFI is very strong. With the loop, however, the RFI is reduced down to between a manageable nuisance level to eliminating it altogether. For me that was worth the $500 plus $60 for a cable.

On the other hand, it will not bring distant stations up except in the limited sense of eliminating RF interference. Distant and weak stations will still be distant and weak although they will be much clearer. The surface area of the 38" loop is just not big enough to catch weak signals sufficiently to make them stronger. The magnetic loop antenna is not a signal amplifier; it is an RFI reducer and a very good one at that.

There is talk of producing an 8 ft. magnetic loop but that would have to be assembled on site or picked up at the factory, and it would be very expensive.

On my antenna the amplifier seems pretty vulnerable being outside at the base of the loop. It can't be protected from a nearby lightning strike or surge without going outside to disconnect it. Disconnecting the coax inside at the switch will only protect the radio. There must be a good reason for having the amplifier right next to the loop but it's sure inconvenient.

One wonderful feature is their anything goes one year warranty. On the other hand once that warranty is run out repairs are going to cost big bucks, especially for a broken amplifier or damaged antenna. This antenna is like a lot of complex radios today and not amenable to consumer repairs. You either sent it in or replace whatever went bad -- there's no "fixing" things on site.

The inside switch gets pretty warm so it's important to turn if off when not using the antenna. I assume this shuts down the outside amplifier as well and that may supply some lightning surge protection in itself.

A great product that fulfills its primary mission very well but has a few other issues. I'd buy it again. Do you need a rotor? I just walk out on the deck and manually move it a little once in a while. I need to null out some nearby RFI that comes from a fixed source so I'm really limited in how much I can turn it anyway. Your situation could be different,

.
 
W8EZI Rating: 5/5 Dec 24, 2014 17:37 Send this review to a friend
Undocumented Goodie  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I wanted to compare my 75 meter full size loop to the Pixel loop with an A/B switch. I installed a home made switch for this purpose. I discovered something that startled me. When you are operating on the higher frequency bands like 20, 15, 17, and 10 you will typically get fade as do I. Sometimes the signal will drop into my noise level. I simply switch antennas and voila, signal back and very loud. The fading of my 75 meter loop and Pixel loop are exactly symmetrical. When one is up the other is down. I can talk on say 15 meters and start seeing my received signal go down on my transmit antenna. This means it will be up on the magnetic loop. The signal will invariably fade again on the Pixel loop and then be strong again on my full size loop. This always occurs. It is not just once in a while. It is absolutely consistent. I can count on this throughout a qso. Too bad the guy on the other end does not have the shielded magnetic loop. Too bad the manufacturer did not test this antenna enough to discover this fact. It makes quite a selling point.

Now all I could wish for is a diversity receiver or switcher that will automatically switch antennas by measuring the best S/N ratio. I thought about designing that circuit and decided it was just easier to flip the miniature toggle switch.

BTW, my Pixel loop is mounted in the center of my 75 meter full size loop. You do not want to use this antenna without an A/B switch. Trust me!
 
N9CHM Rating: 5/5 Nov 17, 2014 13:52 Send this review to a friend
2 Pixels--twice the fun!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my 1st Pro1-B 14 months ago used ($325). It worked very well using a rotor to null out noise. I found that mounting on a 6' pole worked best for me, as opposed to a roof top mount at 30'. You can see my previous review (as KR4JA). But noises come/go and I got tired of turning the loop trying to optimize the RX signals. I really like the loop on 75M & 160M. Soon after I had the 1st loop running, I ran across another used loop, actually almost NIB as the guy only used it once. I mounted the 2nd loop about 20' from the other one (both on a 6' mast), using 100' of quad shield 75 ohm coax on each. One is broadside N/S, the other E/W. I can instantly switch between them using a 75 ohm switch. No more waiting for the loop to turn. The RX difference between the loops on most noises is amazing, really a night/day difference. The Pixels work great with the FLEX 6500, especially since the radio has 3 separate TX relay control circuits (1 for each Pixel and 1 for my Alpha amp). Two Pixels ARE better than one!
 
W5MMT Rating: 5/5 Nov 17, 2014 11:40 Send this review to a friend
WOW! Works great for noisy locations  Time owned: 0 to 3 months



I recently moved back to Texas 90% of the time from Thailand where I am HS0ZAC. While I'm selling my company and getting ready to retire I decided to stay in an apartment in what is basically a small village with shops and restaurants across the street from my company. It's charming and convenient, but the apartment is like a Faraday Cage. It's completely opaque to RF. My 2 meter HT works, but no matter what I do I can't hear anything on HF. I tried a small mobil whip on the small balcony, but all the shops and restaurants generate so much RF noise that I could hear almost nothing but the noise. Also, it's south facing toward Dallas and Mexico, so most of the U.S. is blocked. I knew I'll be buying a house on a good bit of land and on a lake in a year so I thought I was stuck until then operating mobile and portable. Even my Alexloop I use for QRP I heard nothing inside the apartment.

I'd seen the RF PRO-1B at a hamfest and thought it would be fun now and I could also use it later for the low bands. I thought maybe I could get something out of it to from this dead zone I'm living in. I've never used a separate receive antenna before. I like to listen a lot more than I transmit, so I figured I'd try the RF PRO-1B to listen now and as part over my 2 way low band solution later.

WOW! Even when I get the ranch, I'll be using this for my receive antenna below 20 meters. I have NEVER heard 160, 80 and 40 meters like this. I don't get many signals over S9+10 even with the preamp on my little KX3 on. But, If I turn on the NR and NB on the KX3 I heard stations filling the bands from one end to the other that sound like I'm listening to a cell phone. It sounds so much better than my inverted V's and verticals I used in 50 years of haming. And, I can use it all the way up through 10 meters WITHOUT tuning. I can move the cursor on my PX3 pan adapter and instantly QSY to weak stations. I can use my laptop to QSY automatically with what pops up on the DX clusters instantly WITH NO TUNING in the entire HF spectrum. I get the same sound quality from below AM broadcast up to 30 MHZ for SWL stations. It's convinced me that what counts is S/N ratio. I am sold on this unit. Also, the null point is VERY effective, but VERY narrow. You can null out a single noise source, but the unit is almost completely omnidirectional except for that very narrow null. I don't have it on a rotor. I have it mounted on PVC pipe sliding quickly into a larger PVC that is permanently mounted to the steel railing. That way I can bring it inside for stealth when I'm not using it.

What's wrong with it? Not much if you don't mind needing AC power. It needs a 115 to 24 VAC power brick that comes with it to power the 20VDC out of the coax power inserter to the preamp mounted below the antenna. NOT being able to run on 12VDC is a big thing to me. I like QRP and my operating style is like I'm doing it after TEOTWAWKI. I'd also like to take this out and use it portable while transmitting with my AlexLoop or Buddipole. I almost gave it 4 stars, instead of the 5 stars, for not having as an optional power inserter that runs off 12 VDC. I'd gladly pay extra for that. Even better one with a TR switch built in.

NOTE! The review summary here is WRONG! It does NOT come with "An Internal Transmit / Receive Switch disconnects Antenna / Preamp from your receiver when transmitting"

Everyone that operates HF should have one of these.
 
K0RWM Rating: 5/5 Nov 14, 2014 21:27 Send this review to a friend
I really like the Pixel 1B  Time owned: months
I read the previous review and am surprised the fellow found it great on AM but doesn't hear local signals. I purchased the loop at Dayton this May after 2 years of reading reviews and thinking about it. It works great especially on 160 meters and use it on 75 when noise is bad. It receives like any small loop, with the one huge exception, you don't have to tune it. The signal levels are right with the 150ft dipole, ladder line, Balun Designs Choke, 20ft of LMR400 and Ameritron ATR-30. I had a full size 75 meter loop fed with homemade ladder line to a Matchbox. Going back to the dipole and coming into the house with 20ft of coax has stopped the noise from the house migrating up the feedline to the antenna. Also used the phasing boxes and they were helpful. Bottom line, less time phasing and balancing the noise cancelers. Hear a neighbors TV or power line noise, null it out and hear signals. What you are really paying the dollars for isn't so much the loop, but the awesome amp that makes up the gain for the fact this is an un-tuned loop. Maybe the fellow before me has a bad amp, could be?

Without this loop, I can forget hearing anyone on 160 meters. Broadcast DX and SWLing is great. The loop is mounted to a steel fence post about 6 ft away from the house and about 6 ft high with a Radio Shack rotor. It solves my noise problems, so 5 stars here.
 
VE9MY Rating: 2/5 Oct 23, 2014 14:47 Send this review to a friend
Unsatisfactory performance  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently purchased the Pro-1B and was excited that it is reviewed to be better than a Beverage. I must say it works very well in receiving a 50KW AM broadcast station from Toronto and does clear up some noise on 80 meters but I have yet to hear any amateur stations, with this antenna, other than "local" stations within the Maritime provinces and NE USA.I hear Europe S9+ with any of my dipoles or vertical but zip with the Loop. "It's an expensive broadcast receive antenna", which is NOT what I purchased it for. I have carefully made sure installation is correct and the preamp definately works, at least on AM broadcast, but very disappointing as an amateur DX antenna. My Beverage was becoming too much for me to maintain with our maritime winters and thought this was the answer. Any suggestions?
 
W8EZI Rating: 5/5 Sep 15, 2014 14:47 Send this review to a friend
follow-up report  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I rated this antenna back in July 2014 after I had had it for 2 months. I have more information now. It appears from the other reviews that this antenna will give different levels of performance at different frequencies when compared to an antenna that is different than mine. My transmitting antenna is a 75 meter horizontal loop at 35 feet high.

Please note my previous review. I will not repeat too much.

I found that there is almost never a time when my 75 meter horizontal loop will not outperform the pants of the Pixel loop. I described the performance on 40 meters as marginally better than my horizontal loop. It appears there are atmospheric conditions that now change my assessment. I found band conditions pretty bad today on just about every band including 40 meters. I switched over to the Pixel, and band just lit up with signals. I could hear sooo much better on 40 with the pixel antenna. This was true on all the bands from 40 on up. My horizontal loop is still the complete winner on 75 meters. I also discovered that chasing BC AM was very very nice with the pixel loop.

So, to summarize my latest discovery with this antenna, there are varying band conditions that ruin my reception on 40 meters and up. The pixel antenna will some how fix this. I remain clueless about the physics involved. I can only report what I hear. Making an A/B switch to select between your transmit antenna and the pixel is really a must. Pixel should probably offer it at a modest price as an accessory. I would not recommend using the Pixel without it. You need to be able to select the best signal.

It will also remind you each day why you spent so much money on a receive only antenna :-)
 
WB7QXU Rating: 5/5 Sep 10, 2014 20:07 Send this review to a friend
Great for Low Bands  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have one for low bands and seems to work well on 160m also AM Broadcast. I live in a high noise environment and been fighting the PUD over Power pole makes too much noise. I originally bought it for that, but It is not that effective and power line noise nearby. It works just as their website demonstration. AM broadcast is great, 160m ,80m is great 40 nice too but above that it seems to tapper off and seem just as good as the other antennas. Mine is on a 15ft pole with TV antenna to rotate it.
 
K1FPV Rating: 5/5 Sep 10, 2014 10:47 Send this review to a friend
Impressive Performance !  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've been using my Pixel RF PRO-1B loop now for several months. I initially tried it out inside the basement where my ham shack is located and was amazed how well it performed inside. I later located it just outside at ground level and performance was as good and even better than inside naturally!

The best performance however was when I moved it about 50' from the house, approximately 10 feet off the ground mounted on an old TV antenna rotator. This allowed me to remotely rotate it to eliminate noise. It really shines from roughly 12 mHz. and below. It is much quieter and I often use it as a receive antenna on 30 meters and below while transmitting on other antennas.

Above 12 mHz, performance is comparable to the transmitting antennas I use. I use it often as an SWL antenna especially in the VLF range. I listen to European VLF BCB reception between 153 kHz. and 270 kHz. I've logged many stations being able to null out noise and interference by rotating the antenna.

The antenna is a bit pricey, but I feel it is worth the money and would highly recommend it to anyone wanting a great receive antenna.

Bill
K1FPV
 
KD5J Rating: 5/5 Jun 17, 2014 11:30 Send this review to a friend
DX Engineering special  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have had my eye on the PixelSat loop receive antenna for a long time. I always thought they looked neat because the antenna reminds of pictures of military radio operators from WWII and they often had loop antennas set up in the background.
DX Engineering a few months ago had a special sale for the PixelSat and it came with a free HyGain rotor. I couldn't resist so I ordered one. I had a five gallon bucket filled with concrete with an aluminum pipe in it. It makes a perfect stand to mount the antenna. I have it inside a wood frame storage building in the backyard (and out of the weather).
The first thing I checked out with the antenna are the nulls. They are very,very sharp! One evening at dusk I was listening to WREC 600 kHz in Memphis, TN, 100 air miles away. I was able to null out WREC and then I was able to hear, with no problems, WTM in Cedar Rapids, IA.
I use this antenna for reception on 160/80 with a K3. Because the nulls are so sharp, I find little need to turn it. It does a very good job to improve reception over a dipole because it picks up less. You can see the difference if you have a scope such as the P3.
Because of it's small physical size, it is not a magical "DX Catcher" but it brings down the noise enough to let me hear weak DX stations.
This antenna is viable solution for those with limited space for antennas.
This antenna was good choice for me to improve low band reception because of my limited space. I would not recommend the expense of adding a rotor as I hardly need to use mine unless you are into AM band DXing.
 
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