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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Pixel Technologies Active Magnetic Loop Antenna PRO 1B Help

Reviews Summary for Pixel Technologies Active Magnetic Loop Antenna PRO 1B
Pixel Technologies Active Magnetic Loop Antenna PRO 1B Reviews: 54 Average rating: 4.7/5 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.
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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?
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.

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??
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