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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: 42 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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K1FPV Rating: 4/5 Jul 21, 2014 14:33 Send this review to a friend
Excellent performance with minor hardware issues!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Being in a city with businesses and other homes nearby, noise (QRN, Plasma noise, computers, etc.) is quite a problem! Having read the review done in QST and read the reviews here, I decided to try the Pixel RF Pro-1B. Performance-wise, it is everything the manufacturer claims! I purchased mine from HRO locally along with 100' of the RG-6/U coax.

I installed mine on a 10' TV mast with a TV rotator and a 4' mast atop the rotator getting it approximately 14 feet up. I use a couple of long-wires for SWL purposes as well as a 160 Meter Dipole and inverted V's for 60 & 40 meters. I found while SWLing on the BC band, some stations are a bit weaker on the S-Meter using the loop, however the readability is much improved over the long wires in that much of the noise that previously was a problem is nearly gone or totally gone depending on the stations I'm tuning in as well as the orientation of the antenna.

On 75 and 160 Meters, I tried using separate RX and TX antennas and in all cases. Depending on where I turned to loop, noise for all intensive purposes was gone making for Q-5 copy 95% of the time. Often I heard stations using the loop I didn't even know were there when listening with the TX antennas.

You may ask, why then did I rate it a 4? Well, in my case, when hooking it up, I found that the U bolts for mounting the externally mounted amp at the loop were metric threaded, yet U.S. standard 1/4-20 nuts were supplied. Also, apparently 2 nylon washers are supplied for mounting to isolate the amp from ground. These are taped to the case of the amp. Only 1 washer was supplied with mine. This made it necessary for 2 trips to Home Depot for replacement hardware. No big expense....just more of a pain in the aXX !

All in all, would I buy it again knowing what I know now? The answer is a definite YES ! It is a bit pricey, but I feel it is worth the money especially if Pixel gets the hardware issues straightened out!

Bill, K1FPV

 
W8EZI Rating: 5/5 Jul 14, 2014 09:22 Send this review to a friend
Antenna works as advertised  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got my Pixel loop about 2 months ago. I have it mounted in my back yard about 10 feet up to the bottom of the loop on an inexpensive rotor. There was an initial problem. The power supply was generating a birdie in the middle of 40 meters. Pixel immediately sent me a new power supply as soon as I phoned them. They sent me a prepaid label to return the bad supply.
I installed an A-B switch for my receiver to make instant comparisons between my full size 75 meter horizontal loop and the Pixel Loop.
Now to the performance. Be aware throughout this little missive that I am comparing the Pixel Loop to a 75 meter full size horizontal loop about 35 feet off the ground. I live in a small town about 3 blocks from city center. I have had serious noise problem when using a dipole. The full size loop did a whole lot to lessen my noise from nearby residential homes and small businesses. My full size loop crosses my metal roof with about 5 feet to spare on the two ends of my home. I am on a 100 X 120 lot.
First I will note that using the Pixel loop to null noise from a storm works pretty well. My full size loop will work better on 75 meters in almost all conditions than the Pixel Loop. The only exception is at night when the storm noise is coming from just one direction and I can null it with the Pixel Loop. So it kinda makes sense from a simply gut feeling that a full size loop fed with open wire line is going to work better than the Pixel Loop. I find this gut feeling to be true in fact.
Now, I have no antenna for transmitting on 160 meters so I will not say much except that the Pixel loop will receive better than my 75 meter loop. When working on 40 meters and reception conditions are marginal, I find myself switching to the Pixel. The signal strength is down but I can just hear the other station better. These situations involve stations that are not even moving my S meter. I cannot give measured S/N ration readings. I am just going by what I can hear. This is also true on 20 and 17 meters.
On 15 and 10 there is a very different story. Switching to the Pixel will show an increase in my S meter reading and a significant increase in S/N ratio. An average example on 10 meters where this antenna works best for me would be hearing a station showing an S 1 signal strength on my 75 meter loop. Switching the Pixel would bring up the strength to S3 or even 4. This is also with less noise.
It took me some time to test and get a feel for this antenna. My initial feeling after hooking up this antenna was disappointment. I expected my 75 meter loop to out perform the Pixel on 75, but I did not expect the S meter reading to drop several points on 40 meters. I thought I had wasted my money. However, after operating with this antenna for a couple of months, I kept finding myself switching to the Pixel when reception started getting dicey. This is true on 40, 20, and 17. On 15 and 10, it is obviously showing stronger S meter readings and much better S/N. I no longer have a dipole to compare performance. I suspect however, that this Pixel would run rings around a dipole when operated in an urban environment. I believe that for those who live in a city with a lot of QRN around them, that this antenna mated with a dipole or loop makes a very good antenna system. For most who only have room for a dipole and are at the mercy of surrounding plasma tvs, I would think that they would find this antenna to be a very welcome relief from the noise. I also use a DSP audio ADAPTIVE noise reduction module. I have become very spoiled now. I expect that most of my QSOs will sound like FM.
Again, I think that this is a pretty good investment for those who live in an urban environment. You could spend thousands more on a Cadillac transceiver and still be plagued by a noisy received signal
 
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.
 
VA3MW Rating: 3/5 Jun 5, 2014 04:19 Send this review to a friend
It does work  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my unit for over a year now and I use it at my contest station for my receiving antenna. The pre-amp failed me once and Pixel did replace it at their cost which was excellent.

The 2nd time the preamp failed, I was my fault due to a failure in the T/R relay that controls the switchover of which antenna does the receiving. These things happen. This is not Pixel's fault.

However, the expense of getting that repaired is high. As the pre-amp is 'potted' you can't just fix it yourself and it is disposable. To buy a new pre-amp is over $200 to order from Pixel plus shipping costs. This as the expense of a couple of parts that are likely easy to replace in a normal world. They do recommend you add an MFJ-1708 (another $80 US) to prevent things like this happening.

So, while I rate it a 4 for performance (apparently the Wellbrook is better, so they would get a 5), I rate it a 0 for supportability and the ability to fix it should something happen to it. Even a nearby lightning strike could do it in it seems. There is no lightning protection between the loop and the preamp unit.

Pixel is pretty good in communicating with me (although there was some confusion on the cost of the pre-amp, as when I called them, they told me it was $100-ish and when I followed up by email it was $200)

I am trying to be as objective as I can as this is an expensive solution. I might have to go back to my K9AY.

 
KJ6CA Rating: 5/5 Feb 11, 2014 06:07 Send this review to a friend
works for me  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Been fighting the roar of the neighbors halogen lamp for quite a long time, used the anc4 which helped , but after putting the 1b on a 15ft mast with a roter . no more qrm. this ant works. I am very happy . bux well spent. kj6ca bob.
 
KO7AA Rating: 5/5 Dec 11, 2013 10:25 Send this review to a friend
Worth the $$$  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've been doing without 160M for too long, I need some 160M points in the DX contests. I have a Cushcraft MA160V over 90 X 35' radials, but here in in-town Tucson the noise is a steady S-6 to 7. Very annoying! The radio here is a Ten Tec Omni VII, and the DSP is great on 40/80, but just doesn't seem like much help on 160. I have never used a receiving antenna, and don't have any free time to work on one to get it right. An active vertical or active loop? The Pixel had good reviews and it was delivered in 1 day from HRO in Phoenix.

This is a plug and play antenna, perfect. I had cemented a 6' pipe in the ground 175' from the house and blasted a 8" deep trench in the ground with a power washer before I got it. This antenna was completely mounted, hooked up and running 30 minutes after opening the box. The RX protective relay took 5 minutes. All the cables and connectors are included. There was 100' of their special low loss RG6 in the box and I had ordered another 100' for my set up.

I have nothing to compare it to, but the noise on 160M is now S-0. Most signals heard are S-0 to S-3, but it is all about signal to noise ratio, and the loop is QUIET!

In the ARRL 160M last weekend I sat on 1820 khz and called CQ with 800W into the MA160V. I worked 210 stations in 3.0 hours and don't think I missed any callers. Did a few A/B tests with the vertical and loop, but the loop was so quiet it was irresistible. Like working 10M. I'm certain it will be useful in the ARRL DX in Feb.

73, Bill KO7AA in Tucson, AZ
 
JRT3 Rating: 5/5 Nov 24, 2013 07:37 Send this review to a friend
Great in an atti, too!  Time owned: months
New QTH, after 36+ years in the old one, since my recent update - a one story garden home with a floored/walkup attic, buried utilities, and... an HOA that forbids outside antennas, other than a small DIRECTV dish! No problem - I carried the Pixel loop on a five foot mast to the new home - up the stairs and into a tripod base rested on the attic floor. I recently raised the loop to the top of the tripod's ability and secured it in the direction nulling a nearby 50kW daytime (850kHz) MW BC-er. Feeding it was simple - I found the wall F connector outlet nearest my office's desk (This house has RG6 runs - with splices - to two walls in nearly every room.), traced it to it's RG6 splice - unscrewed it - and attached a short run of RG6 QS to the Pixel loop - simple and fast installation.

To be blunt, this is the quietest reception I have ever experienced - day or night. Radio Australia on 9580 kHz was 30 over S9 earlier this Sunday morning - still ~S9 when they went off at 9 AM CDT. I could pickup EMI from dimmers in the eat-in breakfast area and the overhead pot lights. Replaced with regular switches fixed that. The raucous RFI buzz repeating throughout the RF spectrum was traced to a 12" powered subwoofer - securing it's AC supply during listening cured that. Moving my listening 'post' to the opposite side of the room got rid of the EMI the Palstar R30A received from my 25" LCD monitor/PC combo - poor shielding in that radio as the Icom R75 and Lowe HF-150 never suffered from it.

My Pixel loop weathered some pretty good storms outside - now that it's 'indoors' it's overly robust construction is not a necessity - the Wellbrook might just suffice in such an installation. Of course - I have no inclination to try - I am content with my Pixel loop! Oh, and more than a little pride to find and buy something still designed and made here in the US!

Okay... maybe add a rotator??
 
K5ML Rating: 5/5 Nov 19, 2013 15:29 Send this review to a friend
Great Product, Great Service  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I'm very pleased with both the antenna and the company.

I installed the Pro 1B this past February. The longer I have the antenna, the more I appreciate it. I live in an antenna-restricted community and my only other option is to listen on a ground-mounted vertical. More often than not, on the higher bands, the vertical hears DX better, but not always. From 40 meters on down, I've gotten to where I use the Pro 1B almost exclusively. In addition to being quieter, it has sharp nulls that come in handy for squelching plasma TV noise, other QRN or stateside QRM. I bought a small TV rotor to turn it. Usinga rotor to get maximum benefit from the antenna is highly recommended. This week I worked XR0ZR on 160 meters. The Pro 1B was the difference between hearing and not hearing him and this has happened on many other occasions as well.

The reason why I like the company is because they are very good about responding to problems. About 2 months after having the antenna it started intermittently not working. Pixel sent me another preamp and coax jumper believing that would almost surely that would solve the problem. It seemed to work at first and then it started cutting out intermittently again. Finally, I decided to physically shake the loop when it was functioning to see if I could make it stop working. Sure enough, it did and after shaking it several times more, it finally started working. I e-mailed Pixel, they sent me another loop and that fixed the problem. When they send a replacement part, they send a postpaid label to return the defective part. Just drop the old part in the box and drop it off at Fed-Ex.

In summary, I highly recommend the Pro 1B because it delivers as promised and the company is quick to respond when there's a problem.
 
KR4JA Rating: 5/5 Oct 1, 2013 08:52 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Results  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had the Pro 1B for about a week, and boy am I impressed. I had it mounted at 30' for a few days on a chimney mount (with rotator), then moved it into the woods behind the house at 7' (fixed N/S) Little if any difference except maybe somewhat quieter near the ground, as others have commented on (although I will probably add a rotor in the future since there are noticeable nulls on some signals). I've mainly stayed on the low bands, 40-160M, and boy does the Pixel shine there compared to either dipoles (75 &40) or inv L (160). So much better S/N ratio, drops the noise floor substantially while not dropping the RX'd signal as much as the noise floor (the lower in frequency, the better S/N ratio). I'm using it with a FLEX 6500 and the combination of an SDR with the Pixel Loop is really paying off. I find myself using the Pixel 90% of the time, and 100% of the time at night on 40M-160M, as the nighttime signal pattern favors the Loop. I have a 50KW AM radio station 6 miles to my west, and I have no problem with overload (the Loop really makes it fun to monitor the AM BCB at night). See my QRZ page to see the actual signal differences on the Panadapter with/without the Pixel, as well as links to YouTube videos from others showing the difference.

This really opens up a new world for weak signal detection in noisy conditions. Believe the hype...the Pixel Mag Loop downright plays....
 
VE4AMN Rating: 4/5 Sep 21, 2013 19:17 Send this review to a friend
Handles the plasma TV  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased this to manage intense interference from a plasma TV. My XYL tolerates my hobby... she will not accept that it curtails her TV time. This knocks out the interference sufficiently for me to copy signals on 160 and 80 that otherwise would be obliterated. It seems to have about 20db front to side. I rotate it using an old TV antenna rotator and it is up about 8 feet on a pole set in concrete. It is not as dramtic as the video, but works well. It is a little pricey, which is why I gave it a 4
 
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