|Reassembled in 1 year
||Time Owned: more than 12 months.
|I set up the loop with rotator for permanent use, and inspite of accurate sealing with PVC tape, all BNC connectors and , even loop coax have leaked.|
Coax to shack have been replaced, since the water came down all 50 ft.
The loop coax BNC connectors were disassembled, and I have to solder it to the coax, since the originally crimped connectors are loosen, and started to make QRN-like noise.
Of course, now I covered all BNCs with the liquid tape, which is used for the house roofing works.
Now it's ok, and I beleive it will stay longer than 1 year without any surprise.
||Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
|I am primarily a SWL. In 2018, I obtained one of Larry's W6LVP loops after a period in which rising noise levels have caused even more difficulty in my location in the Washington, DC area. I have used a Wellbrook 1530 for some years, with various amp heads, but even the Wellbrook which has a well-earned reputation as a low noise antenna was not coping well with rising noise in my area.|
I decided to give the W6 loop a try and set it up about 10 feet away from my Wellbrook, which is on a Skymast and up about 15 feet. The W6 loop is on a tripod but only up about 6 feet above a rear yard deck. I do not currently have the W6 on a rotator so can't speak about nulling capabilities as yet.
There was a period after I received the W6 loop where I thought there was a problem with the loop's design and performance. It just seemed to me that the signal loss for the W6 was too extreme and too much a sacrifice for the lower noise profile. However, after a series of tests I can say I now understand why the W6 loop is rated so highly by most users.
In daytime reception, I alternate between the Wellbrook and W6 -- sometimes preferring the Wellbrook because it does boost signals more than the W6. However, at a certain point I realized that the W6 provides superior readability of signals precisely because of its noise reduction capabilities.
I am about to experiment with different coax types, notably LMR600, with the W6 as there have been some very positive reports by W6 users who replaced the original coax with LMR600.
All in all, I do not regret my purchase of the W6LVP -- it can and does provide greater readability of signals. Perhaps at some point Larry will come up with a revision of the W6 that maintains its superb noise handling characteristics while adding just a bit of a boost in gain -- but as I now understand, there is always a tradeoff.
Larry's followup service has been excellent. He responds almost immediately to email inquiries and questions -- some of the best service I have ever experienced.
|All Band Receiving
||Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
|I previously reviewed this antenna but wanted to illustrate a very nice feature that has not been mentioned. If you have been using a traditional tuned antenna (dipole/vertical) as you check various bands you may need a tuner and thus an adjustment for one or more bands to maximize receive performance. With this antenna I have an excellent wide band performance with no retuning. 10 meters or 80 meters. I find that I am sometimes reflexively reaching for the Dentron tuner when changing bands - not needed. Switching in the builtin 7300 tuner has never improved performance. It can't tune the loop since it sends RF down the line. However, tuned to my dipole on 40 and turning it on and off during receive there is no improvement.|
|Outstanding Receive Antenna Loop - SWL's Review
||Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
|I contacted Larry thru his web site with an email. He responded very quickly which resulted in a phone call and a brief conversation. My issue in my location is 3 local AM Broadcast stations that overload many of my radios. I have several high quality radios ( Drake R8B, Icom IC R8600, Reuters RDR50C, and a Lowe HF-225 Europa ) One local transmitter is a 50K " Daytimer " that renders the AM broadcast band unusable, unless you engage a 10 / 20db attenuator. This 50K station also seems to raise the noise floor on the SW and Ham bands as well. The antenna used was a Wellbrook 1530, located in my attic. Larry did some research in my area and responded by suggesting 3 NOTCH filters for 3 separate frequencies in the AM Broadcast band. These notch filters would reduce the strength of each station by about 30 db. I asked him to go ahead and produce the antenna with these suggestions. I was skeptical, but NOT now. Once I received the antenna, it took me only about 20 minutes to take down the old Wellbrook 1530, and in it's place the W6LVP Receiving Loop. I used my Lowe HF-225 Europa, which is prone to overload. I could NOT believe the difference ! I did NOT need to use an attenuator. During the daytime, I tried to receive a station from Jacksonville, FL ( 600 kHz ) Normally it would be buried in noise, but I had a very readable signal at about S-7. This station is 225 miles from my location. I also must mention that this antenna is excellent for receiving the Ham and Shortwave bands. It is low noise, but also amplified. I found it was a significant improvement over the Wellbrook 1530. It has lowered my noise floor on most bands to an S-3 ( was S-5-7 ) I am very happy I made the purchase. The Loop is well constructed, and was easy to install, and came well packed. The Wellbrook 1530 is a fine antenna, however a new one would almost double the cost. Larry's W6LVP Receiving Loop antenna is a significant improvement in my location, and can honestly say I wish I had ordered earlier. It is certainly recommended by a SHORTWAVE enthusiast !|
|Very Satisfied with Product and Support
||Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
|My motivation for looking into magnetic receive loops was not due to local man-made interference. I live on 2.5 acres in the country, and I am blessed that my QTH is RF quiet. I looked into this type of receiving antenna to increase the signal to noise ratio on the low bands when trying to copy weak signals. I contest a lot, especially on CW, and it only takes a little bit of QRN to kill a QSO. I did not want to install Beverage antennas or multiple phased vertical type of systems, so size and simplicity of installation and operation was a prime concern. The second concern was price. If it turned out that I didn't like the amplified magnetic loop, I wouldn't be out a fortune. After examining the available options, I became interested in the W6LVP product because of its price point and excellent reviews. (Also, the cool YouTube videos). I did have some questions about coax and installation before I purchased it, so I sent an email to Larry. I was surprised to get a response within the hour, and Larry took time to fully answer my questions in detail. I decided on the "power inserter" model, because my Kenwood TS-590SG has a receive antenna jack. Shipping was super fast. For the installation I wanted, I needed to make a quick trip to Home Depot to homebrew a short, heavy gauge, 2" OD PVC mast and some adapters. A spray can of PVC glue (with primer already mixed in) was used to put it all together. My loop is installed at approx. 8 ft. above ground. The structure starts with a metal pipe buried in a hole with fast setting concrete. A rotator is mounted to the pipe, and the PVC mast extends from the rotator to the supplied loop mast via my homemade adapter. I installed the loop about 130 feet away from house to reduce the possibility of any interfering electronics. I fed it with 160 ft. of Belden Type RG-11 Quadshield coax with BNC connectors on each end. I purchased the coax assembly pre-made by the supplier that Larry recommends on his website, and I was very impressed with them too. The coax and rotator control cables were buried about a foot underground (a friend had a gas trencher) to my shack. If you are making a permanent installation with this antenna like I did, I would highly recommend buying a bottle of "Liquid Tape" to weather proof the three BNC connectors on the antenna, especially the one for the feedline. Using a sealing tape is a little challenging to work with on the bottom connector, but a few generous applications of Liquid Tape made for a nice watertight seal. Make sure your connectors are properly seated, and wind the black weatherproofing tape in the direction of rotation. Make certain that you properly strain relief the coax at the feedpoint to avoid pressure/torque on the BNC connector that may cause it to loosen. This is particularly critical if you are using a large coax cable. I am absolutely amazed with the performance of this antenna. My reference antenna is a 135 ft. non-resonant multiband dipole at 30 ft. fed with 300 ohm line. On 160-30 meters I have easily found many signals that were not 100% copy on the dipole, but easy to copy with the loop. Having the ability to rotate the loop is cool. Sometimes it makes no difference in signal at all, most of the time you can find a better orientation that increases the signal/noise ratio, and sometimes the effect is dramatic. I use the loop on 160-10 meter receive, and I've been finding that I prefer to just leave it connected as a receiving antenna no matter what band or mode I'm on... it's just so convenient and quiet. On the AM broadcast band during the day, you can rotate the loop and receive 2, 3 and even 4 AM stations on the same frequency as you rotate in and out of nulls. It's also fun playing with NDB signals. No regrets on my purchase. It's a great addition to my toolkit of ham toys, and I'm having a lot of fun with this antenna. I highly recommend it. Customer service by Larry W6LVP is top notch.|
||Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
|I live in a dense urban environment here in Honolulu. This loop has improved signal to noise ratio on all HF bands for me. Since purchasing the W6LVP loop, at least 90% of my contacts have been made using the loop and most would not have been possible without the improved S/N ratio it gives me. I average an S5 noise level using my 160M doublet and seldom have any noise with the magnetic loop. |
While the loop worked ok when originally mounted at 8 feet above ground and fed with 30 feet of RG-6 coax, there was significant improvement once I raised it to it's now permanent position of 22 feet, even through 100 ft of RG-6. It is now clear of the roof lines of my and neighboring houses.
The transmit/receive switch/power insertion box works well. The delay in transmit/receive switching has not been detrimental to Winmore Winlink, FT-8, and other digital modes.
I also find that during NVIS contacts between the Islands, I can counteract sometimes strong QSB by switching back and forth between the horizontal polarization of my doublet and the vertical polarization of the loop. I also find being able to move between bands and up and down across a given band using the loop without tuning is a great help in finding activity, especially during contests.
Larry Plummer was very responsive and helpful. On his recommendation I paid extra for low and high pass filters. My results with the W6LVP loop's performance have been much better than other hams here in Honolulu who bought the loop with out filters and I attribute this to the incorporation of the filters. Thanks Larry!
I hope others using this loop can find the same benefit that I did and the great amount of enjoyment of the hobby that it has enabled.
||Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
|I'm currently using a Drake R8 and SDRPlay RSP1A with this antenna and couldn't be more pleased. I'm even able to listen to our local FM stations with full quieting with this antenna on the RSP1A. Highly recommended. |
|W6LVP Mag Loop 6 Month ARRL Field Day Review
||Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
|What could be a better way to participate in ARRL Field Day than with a new IC-7300 and a W6LVP Magnetic Loop Antenna.|
When I got the loop initially I thought it would only be needed on 40 Meters and below.
ARRL Field Day has changed my opinion. I found that the ARRL Field Day gave me a chance to optimize my roofing filters and pass band filtering as well as take advantage of the noise cancelling null and forward gain of my W6LVP Mag Loop from 80 to 6 Meters. The W6LVP made easy contesting with good results as a result of using the excellent W6LVP Mag Loop.
Just the ability to simply tune anyway in the contest bands and not have to waste a second to tune up first before checking hot band activity is amazing enough.
There are more and more video reviews on YouTube that verify just how much background noise from the signal can be removed. I kid a little but it does almost make 80 meters sound like 2 Meter FM :-)
Stopping by the W6LVP web site I have noticed that he now has several products using Magnetic Loop technology available for the DX, SWLer or QRP enthusiast.
Watch the videos then join in for low static and low noise receive available with a W6LVP Magnetic Loop Antenna.
Hope you get a chance to try one out!
Earlier 5-star review posted by WD9GNG on 2018-03-08
One Friday evening I contacted Larry W6LVP and asked a question about the kind of coax that he would recommend for his Magnetic Loop antenna. I was surprised to get a response with technical information within an hour or so. With this kind of customer service I decided to go ahead and order one of his antennas later that evening. I actually received the antenna on Monday afternoon within a couple days.
I had extreme electrical noise that was S-8 most of the time on my OCF Dipole that made my radio almost unusable. Based on his recommendation, I picked up a Channel Master rotator also. I placed the W6LVP loop up at 20 Ft and found that I get a very tight null when rotating just a few degrees one way or the other. I couldn't believe the clear signals that were hidden by the previous high noise level. It reminded me of SWLing 50 years ago as a kid back in the good old days before the electrical noise environment turned so bad. It not only nulls electrical noise effectively it also reduces background static and other distance noise and makes 80 meters sound almost like 2 meter FM!!!
As I mentioned, the antenna arrived within a couple days and was of high quality construction and packed extremely well. I had read the previous reviews about Larry's product quality and customer service and my experience was also very good!! There are many videos on YouTube that demonstrate the excellent noise reducing properties of the W6LVP Magnetic Loop antenna.
The Channel Master rotator allows for the full effect of the excellent directionally of this Magnetic Loop antenna. I have read that Broadcast Band Listeners use this antenna to pick up and select between multiple stations on the exact same AM frequencies.
I highly recommend Larry W6LVP and his Magnetic Loop antenna to other Hams and SWL listeners. He responds personally to emails within a business day usually just an hour or two. What more could a customer ask for?
The YouTube videos were one of the most important deciding factors as well as Larry's customer service and his quick response to questions regarding his excellent antenna. As far as I can tell, his antenna is the most quiet and efficient Magnetic Loop antenna available on the market.
The many positive reviews and live demos on YouTube provided all the convincing that I needed. I think you will find that the W6LVP Mag Loop will be a welcome addition to your shack!!
|Saved by the Loop!
||Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
|Moved from a low noise, rural location in Michigan where I had the good fortune to have a tower with horizontally polarized antennas to a city subdivision in Florida with an HOA. At this point, the only viable antenna option for me is a multi-band vertical antenna. So up went a Butternut HF9-V. |
Imagine my surprise (horror?) when I fired up the rig and found I had S9 +10 db noise level 24/7 on 3.5 mhz along with decreasing, but correspondingly high, levels on up through 10 meters. I like to chase DX and participate in international DX contests. This all but KO'ed any enjoyment I might have doing such.
After convincing myself the source(s) of the noise were not from my household and driving around the area with my car radio on an unoccupied AM band channel, it seemed the (main) source of the noise might be HV (100+ kV) power lines that are about 500 feet west of me. So I submitted an RF interference complaint with our local power company. Got a quick initial response from an investigator, but to this date there's been no progress.
In the meantime the 3B7A dxpedition was activated, and I somehow managed to get in their log despite the fact that they were Q3 here at best. Then, for the Florida QSO Party I decided to run low power so that, hopefully, I could copy most of the stations that called me. The tactic worked but limited the QSO total significantly. After these two events, I decided to try and do something to improve the situation and decided to purchase one of Larry's loops.
Per his suggestion I used 100 feet of quad shielded RG6. Initially, I oriented the null of the loop due west towards the power lines I suspected are causing much of my noise issue. The noise levels were dramatically lower with the loop vs. the transmit antenna, BUT so were the received signals' level. The net effect was no meaningful improvement in signal-to-noise ratio.
All right, maybe my assumption about the location of the noise source was incorrect. So, I rotated the loop while observing the noise level on 80 meters and found that when the loop was pointed in the NNE/SSW direction the noise level dropped about 2.5 S-units (~15 db).
After a bunch of ABABAB testing and having made over 1000 contacts in the recent CQWW WPX CW contest using the loop, I can say that there is a SIGNIFICANT improvement in S/N with the loop null pointed at the noise source - significant to the point that I actually enjoyed the contest and could copy 99+% of those that called me. (Luckily, the noise source is not directly in line with Europe!)
So, at this point, I'm happy that I can continue to enjoy ham radio as I have done so in the past. The W6LVP loop antenna is currently critical this!
A few other points:
- The W6LVP loop is very light, and easy to set up, store and transport.
- It worked first time and has survived 20+ contest hours being 40 feet away from the transmit antenna using up to 900 watts of transmitted power.
- In my case, while the loop significantly improves S/N on 80 (probably 160 as well) through 20 meters, it does not do so on 17 through 10 meters. It's about a wash on 17 meters, and it's worse on 15 through 10 meters. I don't know why this is. It could be that at those higher frequencies, the NNE/SSW noise is not a factor, and that my noise level is due to all the electrical/electronic noise sources spread about in my neighborhood.
- I did not detect any strong signal distortion relate issues associated with the wide band amplifier during the contest. I have four 1 kW AM radio station antennas between 3.5 - 10 miles from me.
- As an added benefit the loop is a nice BC/SW listening antenna (up through 20 mHz or so.)
- Larry is great to work with, and he offers an outstanding no questions asked 30 day return policy (which I will NOT be invoking!)
- The dark color of the coax cable loop and support blends in well with my backyard foliage.
I am extremely satisfied with this loop antenna.
|Good low-noise loop!
||Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
|I've had a Pixel/DX Eng RF Pro-1a loop for nine years. Nearly five years ago I moved to a garden home in a community that does not permit outside antennas. A tall walk-up attic seemed the obvious place for my loop - I was rewarded with great reception - for a while. The un-taped type-F (CATV) connectors loosened aperiodically by thermal cycling, finally not correctable - I needed a new loop - I elected to try the new loop from Larry Plummer. As an SWL, I did not need the T/R version.|
Larry offered to make me one with F connectors - impatient, I ordered one with BNC's - it arrived nicely packaged in a couple days via Priority Mail in a smaller box than I expected. I had a 100ft of new Belden RG-6QS which I doubled and fished back up the wall as I found a loose splice in the RF Pro-1a feed. The two loops have equal 50ft feeds and the loops were // and 20ft apart.
The old loop was 2+ S-units higher reading in BG level than the W6LVP loop. On local LW NDB and MW BCB stations alike, the new loop is 1 - 1.5 S units lower - which translates to a 3 - 6+ dB higher S/N! I really like this loop. I have two Lowe HF-225 receivers - one for each loop, which are now at 90 degrees with respective to each other - a crude 'diversity' reception. If I could keep only one loop - it'd be the W6LVP.