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Reviews For: AlexLoop Walkham Portable HF Small Magnetic Loop Antenna

Category: Antennas: HF Portable (not mobile)

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Review Summary For : AlexLoop Walkham Portable HF Small Magnetic Loop Antenna
Reviews: 78MSRP: 129-299 USD
Description:
The AlexLoop Walkham is a Small Magnetic Loop Antenna
designed by Alex - PY1AHD after nine years of field tests
with more than 800 confirmed QRP DXs.

The new model goes on a small cushioned bag designed to
accommodate 3 small 15 inches pieces that can be easily
assembled and disassembled in less than a minute.

It has a registered record on 17 meters on the Hall of Fame
of the Hfpack group - http://hfpack.com/hall/ connected to
a FT817 QRP transceiver.

It is the ultimate solution for those hams who loves to be
on the air anytime and anywhere and for those living with
limited space.

It covers continuously any frequency between 7 MHz to 30
MHz and can be quickie and easily installed on a window or
a balcony. And can go to your vacation or business travel.


It is so light that you can even walk and talk holding in
your hand while tune it with your thumb.

The maximum recommended power is 20 watts SSB or 10 watts
AM/FM



Product is in production
More Info: http://www.alexloop.com/
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
15784.9
N0XE Rating: 2019-10-09
Best Loop so far Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I had an Alex Loop before and it worked well but sold it when I got out of Qrp for awhile, when I returned to low power operation I went through several loops such as the Chameleon F loop, the Alpha Loop, as well as the RF Precise loop and all worked pretty well. That being said for some reason the Alex Loop still seemed to give me better results and being so lite weight and portable was still my favorite Magnetic loop antenna. I just got another one recently with the upgraded gold plated connectors and the antenna is nothing short of magical as others have mentioned in other reviews. I have been using mine indoors a lot as of late and making even 40 meter Qs on both CW and even SSB. This is something that I found very difficult with my other loops. They all performed well on 30 meters and up but 40 was poor, the Alex Loop has out performed them all and I had these loops for some time so it was just not due to propagation. I love this antenna, my home is a stucco house with a full metal roof yet signals seem to be very little affected, I have also used it in a concrete High School Gym complex with no windows and full metal roof and yet worked stations on both SSB and CW. It has amazed me and continues to do so, when outside it even works better like any antenna. I plan on keeping this antenna now and never letting it go. If there is any issue with any of the mag loops it is the high cost of them but a lot of our radio toys are expensive as well so just the way it is. I accept the cost for the performance I get. I am in to Rapid Field deployment operation as of late and this antenna just can not be beat when it comes to set up and take down, and portability, in just a few minutes I am on the air and just about as quick tear down is complete and I am headed back to my home. If I could only have one antenna for all types of operation on HF Qrp , the Alex Loop wins hands down.
73 Jim N0XE
KC4AUF Rating: 2019-02-21
The Alex Loop Anttna boarders on being magic Time Owned: more than 12 months.



I worked EA6FO Balearic Islands during the recent 2019 International DX-CW contest on 2-17-2019 at 13:01UTC on 14.064. The interesting part is that I used a Yaesu FT-817nd, (4watts per my Bird 43 watt meter) into an Alex Loop antenna sitting on a tripod right behind my chair in the shack. That was 4146.2miles according to QRZ or 1036.55 miles per watt. I don’t know if that is a record anywhere but considering the solar flux was only 69 I was very impressed. This was a practical experiment of the efficiency of Alex Loop Antenna under the worst conditions in the bottom of solar cycle #24. I not only use my Alex Loop Antenna for my ham radio QRP work but I find it to be a fabulous antenna for SWLing.
I emailed the CW operator at the EA6FO contest station Julio Isa Garcia EA3AIR explaining what I had done and here is his reply:

On Tue, 19 Feb 2019 20:28:30 +0100, Julio Isa Garcia wrote:
14064 CW 2019-02-17 1301 EA6FO 599 KW KC4AUF 599 VA 3
Dear Tony
This is a literal copy of my QSO with you in 20 meters.
I was going at a very calm rate, but I do not remember having any problems to copy you. Surely your signal was not 599 but I heard you well.
I inform you that the QSO is already uploaded to LOTW.
73 de Julio EA3AIR


AH6VF Rating: 2018-11-12
AlexLoop has opened a new world of going foot mobil. Good fun. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Bought the AlexLoop at the PacifiCon Conference in Oakland Calif where Alex gave a GREAT talk, I also picked up a KX3 and PanAdapter. What a great combo, I have been going mobile on Maui and Oahu Island, busy during the day, making contacts at night from hotel balcony. Cannot imagine any other means to accomplish this. I spent Veterans Day going from tourist look-out.... to drive up hill tops, not bothering to take apart and pack the AlexLoop (even though I can set up and key-up in 6 minutes flat without a problem). If I am driving from one location to the other, I just put the AlexLoop on the Back seat, the tripod on the floor board and the KX3 seat.

Now I am set up in half the time, normally within 100 feet of the car. Ge out of car, Tuck the light wight tripoid under my left arm, AlexLoop in left hand, Radio in shoulder bag and walk to the nearest picnic table. Able to QSO to all islands in Hawaii, Tomorrow, heading to beach7am to reach for mainland contacts. Having a blast. Have written Alex with tune-up questions (and KX3 questions) and he has replied withing 24 hours. Great service. I cannot imagine anything easier for a hiking, portable set-up or that is hotel friendly. Everything fits in school-bag size backpack and I am not obstructing people paths. What is next? Thinking of adapting a MAG mount to snap on top of my trunk, so I can just park, slap up the antenna and be operational from the air conditioned cab. Have not asked Alex about that yet! MagLoop on a Mag-Mount?
N6XJP Rating: 2018-11-10
A Little Magic? Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had this amazing loop for about 6 years. Portable set up this afternoon with the loop sitting in, and just above the bed of my pickup truck. I managed a solid 599 both ways at 1350 miles...using a whopping 5 watts. Playing around with the SKCC Weekend Sprint you just never know who is going to come out of the murk. Thanks Alex....dynamite antenna.
WA4CZD Rating: 2018-09-03
Really fun Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I took an almost 10-year absence from the hobby due to a genetic degenerative disorder. But thanks to FT8 and this loop antenna I am back, QRP from my recliner & bed.
So far, this loop has worked 49 states minus Hawaii, and 22 countries including Falkland Islands, using 5 watts PEP and FT8 and JT65. WSPR is also fun to leave running overnight.
The loop is on a cheap speaker stand I got from Main Trading, and indoors, so I can't review the durability of the loop but it is lightweight and packs easily into the nylon zipper case.
K1YPB Rating: 2017-10-06
Very impressive for small antenna Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This really is a great little antenna! Well made, with great portability and easy setup. Consistently getting 3000 mile plus 5 watt contacts with JT-65 and this antenna mounted on a Buddipole tripod. I made a professional looking little PVC threaded adapter to mate the tripod and antenna for less than a few dollars from Home Depot. It’s ideal for modes like JT-65 where there is no need for QSY. Very high Q and narrow band width. But for Modes like JT-64 just set it and forget it. Always monitor your SWR for rig safety though. This little loop out performs my full size 20 meter quarter vertical, and that antenna is really good at this QTH. It is truly impressive what can be done with 5 watts and this neat little antenna.
WA6JFK Rating: 2017-09-22
Good quality product Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I would agree with the other poster that this is quite a nice antenna in a small package.
Very well constructed, nice Cordura case etc.
Should be used with an antenna analyzer as tuning for "maximum noise" does not get you were you need to be.
My one big complaint is the funky tripod mounting system, it's like some temporary thing you rigged up, not quality. I need to work on a better setup for that using some kind of photographic clamps or something.
VE3HG Rating: 2017-08-24
Amazing Performer Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I won the AlexLoop several years ago at the Four Days In May QRP dinner at Dayton and I've been remiss in not offering my review. First thanks to Alex Grimberg – PY1AHD, the builder of the Alex-Loop (site http://www.alexloop.com/) for his generous support of the QRP community. And now this amazing true story: I setup the AlexLoop at the Toronto Maker Fair under the massive concrete overhang that projects from the multi-storey Toronto Reference Library located in downtown Toronto. My wire antenna picked up only electrical noise but with the AlexLoop we heard Europe on 20 meter CW and worked guys in the US on 40 meters. During the summer I setup a Ham Radio demonstration station at Oakville's weekly Saturday summer farmer's market using the AlexLoop on a 5' bamboo pole taped to a tent support and regularly worked into Europe using a NorCal QRP rig. A wire antenna would not have been allowed around the crowds and the many children at the market.
HL1ZIX Rating: 2017-05-20
Great loop, but shipping makes price too high Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Update, because I felt my 4 rating was unfair. I would rather give 4.5.

A generous friend (HL1BX) allowed me to borrow his AlexLoop Walkham for testing. I have been running it for a few weeks, and here are my observations:

Pros: This is an extremely portable, and fast antenna to set up. It is well-made (also see cons), and it can be easily set on a tripod, or held-up by hand, which is something that other portable loops aren't so good at. It works very well on 20m, 17m, and 15m, given loop size. If you are buying a loop for mountain-top work, the AlexLoop Walkham is a great choice, because of it's light-duty construction and easy/quick set-up. Lastly, mag loops, like the AlexLoop, are great for city noise issues. I did notice nearly a 2s-unit drop in city noise. I was able to easily identify sources of noise, and keep the antenna turned from them. It's highly directional, and very sensitive. Remember, you need to turn these loops toward the signal, to experience max results, and it is generally within a tight area of 15 degrees, or so, that you hit the sweet spot. The AlexLoop is easily mounted at a decent height of around 5 feet, and simpler to turn, compared to table top models. It is easier to set up on a tripod than that MFJ loop tuner versions, for example (although the MFJ are almost half the price, and allow you to make your own loop sizes), and that is important, because I have found loops work FAR better at 5 to 6 feet up, compared to a tabletop. If you can get other loops up there, on a stand, then do it. Big difference! For best results, you will be turning the loop around, and tuning it constantly. Fun, as the rise/fall in signal is like turning a huge yagi, and you learn exactly where signals are coming from! Also, stay away from the loop! The MFJ's will handle up to 150w, which is very unhealthy to be close too, and dangerous. At QRP levels, radiation is far less, but you can still be injured badly, if you touch the loop at transmit. High voltage!

Cons: The price. This loop needs a price drop to be able to compete with what's out in the market, now, due to shipping prices (The new, well-built W4OP LNR Precision loop is less expensive, tests as more efficient on 40m, has markingsbto show where best to tune, and is capable of more bands). Second, I mentioned that the build quality is light duty. After using on four outings, over a few weeks, I began to notice that the paint on the plastic tube joints was showing stress fractures. The problem suddenly showed, after I tried to hold it in a horizontal position, by the handle. I happened to post this as a part of a discussion on a loop thread on another board, and the AlexLoop maker was watching. He responded that this is normal, and not to worry. I have concluded that this is not something you will be able to mount horizontally,from one-sided support, as it really seems like it would be too much stress, long-term, given what I saw for stress on the pipes and joints. It really should be supported in the middle, or at both ends, if horizontal. If you're buying this loop for typical portable put up/tear down work, then have no worries about it. I just wanted to mention that stress fractures in the paint will happen, if you hold horizontal, from one end. Lastly, as per performance, I found it was at least 2s down on 40m, and is a pretty big compromise there, but it does work on 40m. I never tried it, but if memory serves, you don't get 10m, and certainly not 80m. The LNR Precision loop would be a better buy, if you primarily work 40m, as its loop element is bigger. You need bigger loops to work the low bands, and shorter for high bands. In-between sizes will work more bands, but there are always compromises somewhere. There are online magnetic loop calculators that give you a rough idea of differences in efficiency, between loop sizes, for different bands.

Conclusion:
Overall, this is an impressive product, and hats off to the maker. I would consider this currently the best loop for deep portable work, given its light weight, and easy set-up. I would probably look at the W4OP from LNR Precision, or MFJ936B for home work, or just setting-up in the back yard, rather than the AlexLoop, given price and performance value. Whatever you get, mount it at least 5 feet up off of the ground! There are solid tests showing the LNR Precision bests the AlexLoop (primarily on 40m), if you google. On higher bands, I doubt there is much of any performance difference.

Speaking of performance, I managed a longpath contact to Italy, IK4GRO on 17m, SSB, at 10w with an Elecraft KX2, May 4, 2017, from Seoul, Korea, with this (I am HL1ZIX, while in Korea). That is well over 19,000 miles. I was on top of a 10-story building, and the building was probably working as my ground, too (loops aren't supposed to work so well, up so high, I was told). At that height, I easily worked out to 2,500 miles (into Russia and Oceana) at 5/7 to 5/9, on 15 through 20m, on a day when propagation was not great. Maybe it was because this building put me above all of the other buildings, around.

Lastly, you'll see other low-end loops with a loop that can be broken down into several parts. That is wrong on so many levels. Those loops lose efficiency with every single broken, or soldered connection, and I would hate to take the time to put them together and take them apart. You want a loop that is one solid loop, and not multiple pieces. The AlexLoop is one thick piece of coax, and although there are soldered wires connecting the connectors to the capacitor inside, it is, at least, one solid loop, on the outside.
KC9OMS Rating: 2017-04-30
super portable antenna Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased the AlexLoop about a year and half ago. I use it for portable operations. With a few pvc parts from the hardware store, I mount it on my Buddipole tripod. I do mainly PSK31 opps with a laptop, FT-817, & HardRock-50 amp powered down to 15-18 watts. I have gotten 599s and have worked all over the lower 48 states from parks and parking lots. This antenna works great and I find it easy to tune and it has the band width needed for my PSK work. It is a super, portable antenna.