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Reviews For: W6LVP Magnetic Receive Loop

Category: Antennas: VLF/LF/HF Receive only

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Review Summary For : W6LVP Magnetic Receive Loop
Reviews: 82MSRP: 345 USD + shipping
Magnetic receive-only loop. With low-noise amplifier and transmit/receive switch and power inserter box for the LNA that allows radios such as the IC7300 with no separate receive input to easily use both a separate receive antenna and a transmit antenna. Also available with just LNA and power inserter for radios with a separate receive antenna input.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KC5VHO Rating: 2021-08-18
Great customized loop antenna with excellent customer support!! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I live at a 1 mile distance from a 10 kW 4-tower phased-array commercial AM station and about 5 miles from some powerful FM stations.
When I contacted Larry during the purchase of my receive loop in May 2020 we discussed this issue. He recommended to include a 45 MHz low-pass filter plus a 5-pole 1700 kHz high-pass filter, thus giving me an antenna frequency coverage from 1800 kHz (160m) to 30 MHz (10m). For very reasonable $35, he included these filters in my antenna's RF pre-amplifier.
The antenna is mounted on the attic, and I use quad-shielded RG-6 coax from attic to shack to further reduce the intrusion of common mode effects. The results are just great. The noise level came down from typically ~S4 to S1.
About a month ago, during very hot days with over 100 deg F (125 deg on the attic), I noticed that the loop’s preamp failed during the high heat phases of the day and recovered during evening cool-off.
I called Larry about this and sent him a follow-on email explaining my trouble-shooting process. He immediately responded with another email, writing:"There is no doubt in my mind that your preamp is defective. I will build a replacement and get it in the mail to you."
Four days later, I received a brand-new preamp with filters installed. Installation took less than 5 minutes and everything is back to normal.
That, my friends, is true CUSTOMER SUPPORT.
DOMINIC38017 Rating: 2021-07-17
Didn't Know What I Was Missing Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
When I bought my first "real" receive-only loop, the MFJ-1886, I couldn't believe the difference over a wire it could make. It's as if the whole radio spectrum truly opened up for me. I kept things the same for three years until the amp finally went out on me a month ago. I had heard great things about the W6LVP loop and reached out to Larry. He told me I could simply take his experimenters' kit and use the amp. Great communication followed and it was decided I only needed the amp. Larry even modified it to match my existing coax setup. Shipping was crazy-fast and I was back up and running with a temp loop, only 5 feet off the ground. The MFJ is on a rotor on my roof and I'm not great on a ladder, so that transplant wil have to wait. At any rate, I thought I had it good before, but this thing has really been a game changer. I fashioned a loop out of 1/4" copper tubing mounted on PVC and with the W6LVP amp, my noise floor has dropped down to 3-5 (from 7 to 9) and weaker stations are far easier to copy. It's the best investment I've made in this hobby, yet.
KC7MAW Rating: 2021-07-07
Works - Quite Impressed - No Regrets Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I took the plunge and ordered this bad boy. My noise level on 80 and 40 is S8-S9 coming off an EFHW. Not much better on 20M. I operate from a city lot boxed in by power lines on two sides and close-in neighbors on the other two. All but the strongest SSB signals on 80 thru 20m are normally in the noise and unintelligible. On this loop the noise disappears and left over audio is solid copy. It is quite extraordinary to see this thing work.

My results were with the antenna outside in my urban city yard.

If there is rain in the forecast OR you're going for some kind of permanent outdoor installation, you will need to take care to weather proof the BNC connectors (QTY 3) on the antenna. A proper tape job could probably be sufficient in most cases. This is addressed in the documentation on the web sitel.

You will need some kind of mounting system (i.e Tripod) The instructions do give some recommendations.

Out of the box, the T/R switching is fast enough to support the back and forth of VARA WINLINK. There is however, a noticeable delay in switching from XMT to RCV. The instructions discuss an adjustment that can be made internal to the TR Switch Box, which will reduce that delay if necessary. I didn't see the need to perform this adjustment. If you are contesting using CW, this adjustment may be desirable.

NM6E Rating: 2021-07-03
Fantastic! One protected W6LVP Mag-Loop using two radios!! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
What can I say other than, “Why did I wait so long??” Like others, I live in a suburban environment with lots of noise. I use a 30’ vertical and it picks up a lot of noise but ‘something’ changed (for the worse) early this year. After 35 years of hamming, I was now suffering from some sort of PLI (Power Line Interference) or “other noise generating devices”… Well I worked with the local power company (ONCOR Electric) and even invested in other equipment for PLI/RFI Direction Finding… I found 8 poles with bad connections on the insulators and 1 bad transformer after various days of hunting… The power company eventually worked on them and to my surprise, my S8-S9++ on the low bands (80-30m) went away.. Problem solved. Or so I thought.. 2 months later, here comes the noise again.

Enter Larry. I explained to Larry my operating environment, noise problems etc.. My station consists of a 30’ vertical. I run two rigs + an amp. One for CW/SSB (FTDX-101MP) and its little brother, the FTDX-10 for Digital FT-8/RTTY and as a backup. The AMP has two inputs (quasi SO2R with the Expert 2K-FA) so each radio shared the same antenna that is being tuned by a Palstar HF-Auto.

The FTDX-101MP has 3 (three!) user-configurable antenna inputs. One was set for RX-ANT input (position #3) and the TX antenna was set to input 1 that feeds the amp/tuner/vertical. The FTDX-10 only has a single antenna input.

Working with Larry, we figured out that all we really needed to have both always inline and able to work easily with the Loop and his Transmit/Receive switch was coax jumpers, RCA cables and a readily available A/B switch. So the only thing I ordered was the Loop, T/R switch and its accompanying power supply/walwart from Larry.

I had existing coax (50 Ohms) so I just used BNC to SO-239 adapters for the coax run to the W6LVP loop RX antenna connection – that carries the 12Vdc to the loop and the other end came into the shack. I put it up about 10-12 feet and can easily take it down as I put it on the patio table that has a center hole for the umbrella (At night, the umbrella is replaced with the loop and let the DX'ing begin!!)

I cabled up both radios to the A/B coax switch (an old Daiwa 2-position coax switch). The FTDX-101MP ANT #3 (setup for RX port) feeds the A position of the A/B coax switch. The FTDX-101MP Coax ANT-1 feeds the SPE-Expert Input #1 on the HF-Amplifier followed by the tuner that feeds the vertical. (recall my SPE Expert 2K-FA has two HF Radio inputs and 1-HF ANT output that feeds the Palstar HF- Auto tuner connected to the vertical.

The FTDX-10 HF-ANT output feeds position B on the A/B coax switch. This now allows me to “feed” the W6LVP Transmit/Receive Switch by selecting the A or B position that connects to the RADIO input on the provided Transmit/Receive Switch. The W6LVP T/R switch “Transmit Antenna” output feeds the SPE Expert 2K-FA input #2 when using the FTDX-10 or any radio that only has 1-antenna input. His instructions are straight forward but my application was a bit of a stretch and wanting to protect my investment in the loop from the nearby Transmitting/vertical antenna.

And now for the coolest part. Both radios have a TX-GND output from the linear and/or accessories port. In the case of the FTDX-101MP, all I needed was a readily available RCA-to-RCA cable connecting to the W6LVP Transmit/Receive PTT (RCA).. It has TWO RCA PTT inputs!!

In the case of the FTDX-10, I ordered a MINI-DIN (8 pin) to -RCA cable from W7YEN cables (find him on Ebay) that had tapped the TX-GND line that connected to the “Tuner/Accessories” port on the FTDX-10.
I am now able to ‘protect’ the W6LVP Magnetic Loop Antenna Transmit/Receive Switch by deactivating (whenever either radio keys down on SSB or CW) when using the Amplifier at any power level, simply by adding TX-GND and some common RCA cables and their respective MINI-DIN (10 or 8 pin) port.

What does this mean? Well this setup will save you $$$$ over the other brand shipped out of Ohio. I priced out that setup and was looking at north of $700 with some other boxes/relays and their loop. I got the same for half the cost.

Now, I will admit, if you’re running CW at a high rate, there is an inherent delay in releasing the TX-GND to force switch the loop back into active/receive mode but my effort is more search and pounce than running.. So you may lose a dit-or two as I am seeing about 1 second or less when going from the TX mode to RX mode and the relays doing their job in releasing the PTT lines. If you’re running SSB, no big deal IMHO as this antenna, for me has just about eliminated the noise that was pretty much making 80-30M useless for me.

I have no regrets with my W6LVP Magnetic Loop Antenna and its Transmit/Receive Loop option. It’s a life saver and I don’t ever have to worry about “blowing out the amplifier” because with either radio active, it will automatically be disabled by using the two available PTT ports from any radio and the TX-GND outputs they provide.

If you are suffering from noise/Power Line Interference or noise generated by neighbors devices, try the W6LVP Magnetic Loop as it provides a lot of bang for the buck and great support from Larry..

PS: as to the source of my 'new' noise, I suspect A) a solar roof system a neighbor setup or some grow lights/fish tank with heater.. I'll work on finding that source when it's not summer time in Texas...
N5YPJ Rating: 2021-04-09
Works great as claimed Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
After a severe RFI issue basically put an end to my HF operating I purchased two of these loops and a DX Engineering NCC-2 phaser. Each loop was mounted on a mast with a RCA TV antenna rotor spaced about 40 ft apart over our metal roof. Rotating the loops alone often lowers the noise level from S-9+ to S-3 S-5. Then rthe NCC-2 comes into play and adjusting the phase usually brings the noise down to S-1 from the mentioned S-9+, it is the difference in being able to copy a signal or not hearing it at all due to the noise level.

UPDATE: Needed to move one of the loops and the relocation put the loops 20 ft apart. It has made a big difference in performance on 40 thru 10 meters though some performance may have been lost on 80. I'm not that fond of 80 meters but do prefer the upper bands. The set up had seemed to be some what less effective on the higher HF bands compare to 40 - 20. Now it is overall much better. What a difference changing the spacing made.

The set up was not cheap but it saved my hobby. Would I buy it again? Yes in a heart beat.

Update 04/2021: Worked 80, 40 & 30 FT8 throughout the winter season using these loops daily as RFI at my QTH is as high as S-9/+20 working JAs, VKs, ZLs & YBs. I was pleasantly surprised to copy and work XV1X & HS5XWY. Added 40 new countries on 80, 30 on 40 mtrs and Around 50 on 30 mtrs. I am impressed, wish I had learned about this type of receive system a little sooner.
TEXASSDR Rating: 2021-03-24
Great Antenna Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The best solution I have found for a noisy suburban environment. Great guy to work with. My antenna is custom made with an AM notch filter to take care of a close local broadcaster. Weak central and south American stations come booming in. Highly recommend.
N9KRG Rating: 2021-03-02
Instant RX Improvement For Apartments Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I live in an apartment with 100's of units. The RFI around me is intense. I used to have the hardest time hearing stations from my wire antenna inside my apartment. While there's never a magic solution for anything because bands and conditions can change so much, I highly recommend this antenna for apartment dwellers or HOA's. I can now pick up weak stations that I was never able to before. It's like my Icom 7300 got a new set of ears. What I do is use this in combination with Larry's TX/RX switch and I use my 124ft end fed wire inside for TX and this antenna for RX. It's a perfect combination. I can't wait to see what this thing can do when I actually own a home some day!
K2JZD Rating: 2021-02-16
it really does work!! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I read all the reviews and finally decided to give it a try. A little bit about my qth, im in the middle of two blocks of brick row houses with driveways with a small lot and unbearable rfi some days. Ive put ferrites on everything possible to limit my rfi but evenings on 40m & 80m give me such a headache. Ive tried the mfj1026 that helps on days when my neighbors HVAC isnt running but when its on (especially all summer long) its unbearable. I just got my loop and mounted it on a 10 foot metal pole in the backyard as far away from my house that I could and used 150ft of rg6 with F->BNC adapters. I fired it up and was shocked what I could hear during my 40m & 80m nets, signals that even the big boys had a hard time pulling out. Signals my efhw inverted L at 30 feet couldnt pull out. Must purchase a rotator im sure that would help a lot. Also want to try it mounted at roofline see if theres additional improvement. Also thinking about replacing the lmr400 part with thin hardline and see if theres any improvement.
GRUESHORTWAVE Rating: 2021-02-16
i'm shocked at what i can receive now Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
i have the receive only with power inserter. i've had it hooked up for 3 days and love it. i'm shocked at how good some people are coming in from as far away as southern Illinois, kentucky, ohio, lower michigan, indiana. i'm located in NE Wisconsin.

my radio is 20 year old beat up radioshack dx-398 and i use batteries to power it.

given everything i have researched about antennas, it boiled down to A) you buy one B) spend years futzing with home builts or C) do nothing and give up on shortwave.

well i bought this b/c i read enough that loop antennas are good for nulling out noise or stations depending on how you rotate. this one covers broad range of freq. and s/n is very strong! i then saw reviews on here and comparisons on youtube and that sealed the deal - i was going to take the plunge and get it. and this is the best thing i could have done.

every night now i scan mhz - mhz on LSB and i get people talking galore. some are very noisy/static, some are better, but 3 or 4 out of 10 that i find are very good and 1 or 2 are shockingly good and clear.

just like all the other reviews saying how helpful and knowledgeable larry is - it's true! he asked for my location so he could add filters that help reduce interference from nearby radio stations, he put two different connections on it for me - one for a typical base station radio and one 3.5mm for my dx-398. (i am strongly considering getting a good radio now) but now i know why everyone has generally very good reviews for the dx-398.

oh and the kicker is - i tried it in an upstairs bedroom with results that disappointed me, but was way better than a strait wire. i worried about having to put it in the attic, put it outside (condo association nope!) but then i moved it downstairs near a patio door which faces north. it's on a pole from one of those wire-shelving units about 5ft off the ground. i can easily rotate by hand, but seemed to have found the perfect rotation angle which is almost due-east/west.

i'm brand new to shortwave and every time i've tried it i've been disappointed. not any longer, now i'm hooked at scanning the bands whenever i can.
KI5O Rating: 2021-02-05
Fantastic loop, even inside Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Larry is wonderful to work with. Helpful information, as well as quality product. His service alone is a great start.

I had the loop outside for 6 months and was very happy. Roof replacement required taking down several items from outside, including the loop. I hung the loop on a plastic hook in the shack and found that it was working FB from inside as well. If I get any local noise, I would turn the loop to null out the interfering signal from plasma TV, LED christmas lights, etc....

Well, after some time inside (abt 18 months) I decided to get it back outside and on a small TV rotator above the roof of the house. You actually only need 90 degrees of turn radius. As Larry has mentioned, turn the loop until you get the lowest noise. Your signals on receive may not be as strong as on your transmit antenna, but likely will have significant improvement on signal to noise ratio. Signals that you never saw or heard that were buried in the noise are easy copy with the increased value between desired signal and surrounding noise.

I took the loop back outside and up high on a rotator because recently I'm having some very strong QRM electrical noise. Some is from next door, some from down the street at a dirty power pole, and yes some is inside of my own home. (Hey, wife has to charge things from time to time!) Within the 90 degree range, I turn the loop to lowest noise. Sometimes makes as much 6-7 s-units of difference in the range of a 90 degree turn. Obviously some the local noise is not able to be knocked out completely, but this has been great for fighting local QRM.

I couldn't be happier with this product.