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Mike Coslo
November 8th 03, 04:06 PM
I've finished my magloop, and have a few questions.

I made the antenna according to Reg's magloop program.

Octagon loop, 7.3 meters diameter

19.05 conductor diameter

100 watts output

3 meters above ground (though not for testing)

average soil

The diameter of the coupling loop is .420 meters in diameter. Since I
saw this param changing all over the place as I changed frequencies in
the program, I just chose a diameter from somewhere in the 40 meter
band. The loop is done up as a Faraday loop from coax, circular, and
placed in the traditional position. Continuity has been measured.

All seems to be well, but when attaching the antenna analyzer to the
thing, I get infinitely high SWR in most places (understandable) with a
foray into around 100-300 ohms on what I think may be the tuned frequency.

Anyone know why my measurements could be so far off? At first I thought
the loop could be cut wrong, but just using the program shows a wide
variation in loop sizes, so I doubt that is correct.

TIA - Mike KB3EIA -

Roger Adam
November 8th 03, 05:11 PM
Mike,

I don't see any mention of a fixed or variable capacitor. I take it that
there is one fitted!

Just an observation,

Roger, G7JAQ,

Reg Edwards
November 8th 03, 06:16 PM
"Roger Adam" wrote -
>
> I don't see any mention of a fixed or variable capacitor. I take it that
> there is one fitted!
>

================================

Neither is there any mention of frequency. Where is the antenna analyser
connected? What parameters are being measured. How long is the feedline,
etc. ?

Does the antenna work when connected to a transmitter or receiver? If it
doesn't what are the symptoms?

A magloop has an extremely high Q and narrow bandwidth. Behaviour
approaches that of a quartz crytal. If you don't get the expected
measurement results then the most likely reason is the limited capabilty of
the analyser. A precision, scientific-grade instrument is needed.

Reg.

Richard Clark
November 8th 03, 07:21 PM
On Sat, 08 Nov 2003 16:06:36 GMT, Mike Coslo >
wrote:

>Octagon loop, 7.3 meters diameter
....
> ...somewhere in the 40 meter band.

On Sat, 8 Nov 2003 18:16:19 +0000 (UTC), "Reg Edwards"
> wrote:

>Neither is there any mention of frequency.
....
>A magloop has an extremely high Q and narrow bandwidth. Behaviour

Really? You two are talking past each other.

73's
Richard Clark, KB7QHC

Richard Clark
November 8th 03, 07:56 PM
On Sat, 08 Nov 2003 19:39:39 +0000, wrote:
>Would it not be better to get a long piece of
>pipe and a plumber's pipebender and make the loop out of one piece of
>pipe to avoid joints?

Hi OM,

Solder is for weather sealing an already conductive join. Those who
think of the solder as conductor then extend its resistive qualities
into the equation (ignoring the massive surface area involved). If
their solder jobs melt, it is only positive proof of the poor surface
preparation, and/or subsequent oxidation following a poor solder job.

Mike's 7 Meter diameter 40M loop hardly fits into the "mag loop"
genre. The coupling loop comes closer, but then it has the advantage
of being near the larger element which offloads the current demand.

However, one piece of pipe works too, but you still have the joins at
each end. What size wire will you use? When can you finally use
something more reasonable than #0000 to the transmitter terminals
(which, no doubt, harbor #18 wire)? ;-)

73's
Richard Clark, KB7QHC

Mike Coslo
November 9th 03, 02:25 PM
Roger Adam wrote:

> Mike,
>
> I don't see any mention of a fixed or variable capacitor. I take it that
> there is one fitted!

Of course! I have a 4 element trombone cap, powered by an electric
screwdriver.

- Mike KB3EIA -

Mike Coslo
November 9th 03, 02:56 PM
Reg Edwards wrote:

> "Roger Adam" wrote -
>
>>I don't see any mention of a fixed or variable capacitor. I take it that
>>there is one fitted!
>>
>
>
> ================================
>
> Neither is there any mention of frequency. Where is the antenna analyser
> connected? What parameters are being measured. How long is the feedline,
> etc. ?

The frequency I chose for the *coupling* loop size was around 7 mhz in
the 40 meter band. I chose this because of the wide variation in loop
sizes called for by the program.

the antenna overall is designed to hit 75 meters, and at the other end,
17 meters. But 40 meters is the mainstay of this antenna.

The analyzer is connected to a piece of coax that is connected to the
coupling loop, which is a Faraday loop.

The feedline for the testing is around 5 feet of 50 ohm cable. I don't
doubt that my proximity to the antenna might have some effect, but I
don't expect it to be that extreme.



> Does the antenna work when connected to a transmitter or receiver? If it
> doesn't what are the symptoms?

Haven't connected it yet. I wanted to see if I was in the ballpark.
Initial tests suggested I probably aren't.


> A magloop has an extremely high Q and narrow bandwidth. Behaviour
> approaches that of a quartz crytal. If you don't get the expected
> measurement results then the most likely reason is the limited capabilty of
> the analyser. A precision, scientific-grade instrument is needed.

Now I am really perplexed! If I need an instrument such as you
describe, how will I ever get this thing to tune with my lowly IC-745?
It certainly isn't a scientific instrument. What I used to test the loop
was a MFJ-259 analyzer. Not "lab grade", for sure, but not at the bottom
of the barrel either. It has worked competently for everything else I've
used it for.

- Mike KB3EIA -

Mike Coslo
November 9th 03, 03:08 PM
wrote:

> On Sat, 8 Nov 2003 18:16:19 +0000 (UTC), "Reg Edwards"
> > wrote:
>
>
>>"Roger Adam" wrote -
>>
>>>I don't see any mention of a fixed or variable capacitor. I take it that
>>>there is one fitted!
>>>
>>
>>================================
>>
>>Neither is there any mention of frequency. Where is the antenna analyser
>>connected? What parameters are being measured. How long is the feedline,
>>etc. ?
>>
>>Does the antenna work when connected to a transmitter or receiver? If it
>>doesn't what are the symptoms?
>>
>>A magloop has an extremely high Q and narrow bandwidth. Behaviour
>>approaches that of a quartz crytal. If you don't get the expected
>>measurement results then the most likely reason is the limited capabilty of
>>the analyser. A precision, scientific-grade instrument is needed.
>
>
>
> I've read a little about magloops (I'm a total dunce as far as aerials
> are concerned). It always mentions the fact that losses should be
> minimised on aerials made of copper tube by making sure that all the
> joints are well-made. Would it not be better to get a long piece of
> pipe and a plumber's pipebender and make the loop out of one piece of
> pipe to avoid joints?

You are right, but.....

If we look at the "best" setup, it would probably be one very wide
diameter (not talking about the perimeter of the loop itself) silver
loop. But these things work even with soldered copper pipe.

Plus with the perimeter of my loop (7.3 meters or almost 24 feet!)
getting one solid piece of pipe would be pretty hard, let alone forming
the loop. So I do a few tradeoffs.

- Mike KB3EIA -

Mike Coslo
November 9th 03, 03:18 PM
Richard Clark wrote:

> On Sat, 08 Nov 2003 19:39:39 +0000, wrote:
>
>>Would it not be better to get a long piece of
>>pipe and a plumber's pipebender and make the loop out of one piece of
>>pipe to avoid joints?
>
>
> Hi OM,
>
> Solder is for weather sealing an already conductive join. Those who
> think of the solder as conductor then extend its resistive qualities
> into the equation (ignoring the massive surface area involved). If
> their solder jobs melt, it is only positive proof of the poor surface
> preparation, and/or subsequent oxidation following a poor solder job.
>
> Mike's 7 Meter diameter 40M loop hardly fits into the "mag loop"
> genre. The coupling loop comes closer, but then it has the advantage
> of being near the larger element which offloads the current demand.

Whoops! Typo alert! before we get too far, that is a 7.3 meter
circumfrence, not diameter. My bad. A 7.3 meter diameter loop would be
something indeed! And wouldn't work for anything higher than 6.5 mHz 8^)



- Mike KB3EIA -

Reg Edwards
November 9th 03, 06:27 PM
Mike,

Ignore the old wives. The extra resistance due to soldered joints around a
copper octogon is unmeasurable. Wipe off any visible surplus solder while
hot or use fine glass-paper. I finish off with metal polish and a coating of
clear yatch laquer. A beautiful, long lasting appearance .

The usual conductor material in commercial magloops is an aluminium alloy.
Its lighter, cheaper, weather resistant and you can't tell the difference in
radio performance. By far the best way of improving magloop performance is
to increase the circumference of the main loop. Double the circumference,
half the capacitance and the difference will astound you. However there's
nothing more to be gained after the circumference has increased above about
3/8ths wavelength at the frequency of interest.

Just make the main loop diameter, capacitor value, conductor diameter and
coupling loop diameter according to program Magloop4.

Ideally, there should be no direct connection between coupling loop and main
loop. Otherwise RF currents will flow on the coax feedline and can make a
mess of the null in radiation pattern. A few ferrite sleeves over the
antenna end of the coax will help.

The coax used in the coupling loop can be junked. The Faraday thing is a
waste of time and material. Just use a length of wire stiff enough for it to
be self-supporting. It can then be easily adjusted for diameter.
Alternatively, if made a little oversize, it can easily be rotated a little
relative to the main loop to vary the coupling coefficient.

If the loop diameter is adjusted for the 80m band it will be near enough for
the 160m and 40m bands too. If you do nothing with the program except
change frequency you will see the diameter of the coupling loop changes very
little from one band to another.

But if you have some wierd, bulky, home-brew contraption for the tuning
capacitor then in practice things may behave less conveniently.

You won't need an antenna analyser. Just connect a transceiver with its
ordinary SWR meter to the antenna and it should work right away. Don't take
undue notice of the SWR meter till exceeds 1.5 : 1.

It is the transceiver with its own SWR meter which has to be kept happy -
NOT the analyser.

If you've never used a magloop before then it may take a little time to get
used to the VERY narrow bandwidth especially on 160m and 80m.

Just go ahead, finish construction and stop worrying.
----
Reg, G4FGQ

Richard Clark
November 9th 03, 08:25 PM
On Sun, 09 Nov 2003 14:56:14 GMT, Mike Coslo >
wrote:

>> A precision, scientific-grade instrument is needed.
>
> Now I am really perplexed! If I need an instrument such as you
>describe, how will I ever get this thing to tune with my lowly IC-745?

Hi Mike,

Don't get hung up in the Cassandra cries of impossible. Your receiver
will tell you quite well where the loop is resonant. You will get
much more background noise as you tune the band across that frequency;
and if you cannot tune your receiver with such restraint to observe
this, prospects for transmission tuning are far bleaker. Shelling out
bucks for "scientific-grade" instrumentation does nothing to improve
the situation when your receiver has more than enough "precision."

There are zero-power tuners on the market that have adjunct white
noise generators to allow you to tune an antenna system using the
receiver employing this same method. But as that is for antenna
systems of broader Q's, their the additional noise is useful for
emphasizing the resonant peak. Your Loop comes with an advantage
(more Q) in that regard.

73's
Richard Clark, KB7QHC

Roger Adam
November 10th 03, 12:19 AM
Mike,

to celebrate the change in my license conditions which allowed me to access
HF freqs this year (no code experience), I decided to put up a long wire
transmitting antenna (30metres long).

This was connected via an Icom ATU connected to the Icom IC 725 rig. I also
decided to have a go at building a Magloop as an alternative, to experience
the trial and tribulations of getting it to work at minimum cost. I could
also gain experience as to the ability for the loop to "null" out
interference.

Having no experience of operating on the HF bands, I was not sure what range
of frequencies this antenna should be designed for.

Initially, using freeware software, I could see the efficiency rapidly
changing for the worse, as the operating frequency went lower, for a given
size of loop. Having decided to choose a square loop of 1.33mtrs sides,
using 22mm copper pipe for practical reasons, I set about making a piston
capacitor. This consisted of approx 2x300mm of insulated 15mm pipe, fitted
within 22mm outer tubes, being part of the main loop at the top.

I had hoped to cover the 20metre to 40 metre bands. It actually did this,
but the piston caps were either fully in or fully out and tuning at these
extremes was very, very touchy.

I discarded the piston idea and bought a single vacuum variable cap
(5-100pf), a 12v geared motor, insulated coupling spindle and built a pulse
width modulator kit from Vellerman to drive the motor.

It was at this time that I decided that the way forward for me was to make
this a monoband antenna (20M) with a reasonably high efficiency (The 40metre
band seemed so busy at the time).
I used some external 3 core copper cable (pyro) for the gamma match and
using a MFJ 259 analyzer via 3mtrs of feed coax set about setting it up. A
very obvious VSWR dip was found at an indicated resistance of 50 ohm, around
14 MHz. The analyzer could track the changing frequency when volts were
applied to the motor. The antenna was tested in open space, but at ground
level + 1 metre.

This system is now installed at the top of the garden and via its connecting
cables can be tuned from the shack. In operation, I usually find a
reasonable station around 14.250 on the long wire, connect the MFJ and set
it to the chosen freq, connect the magloop feed to the analyzer and adjust
the PWM up and down to find best VSWR. Then switch the magloop to the rig
and wait for the opportunity for a "break". It's fair to say that the
received signal appears a few "s points" down compared to the long wire.

The predicted spec of the antenna is as follows:-

Circumference=5.33mtrs
Conductor dia=22mm
Band =20m (around 14 MHz)
Bandwidth=44.1kHz
Cap value 15.4pF
Cap voltage=3.6kV
Efficiency=87.3%
Inductance=-4.325uH
Inductive reactance=390ohms
Loop area=5.8mtrs
Loop dia=1.3mtrs
Loop Q value=325.2Qres
Radiation resistance=0.524 ohms
Resistance loss=0.076 ohms

So from my experience, you should see a tuning dip when using the MFJ
Analyzer. I'm getting around 1.2:1 at around 50 ohms at the chosen freq. But
I will say that when coming away from that freq, the VSWR rockets skywards
very suddenly. As REG points out, the Q is extremely high and the bandwidth
very narrow

In the early days, if I attempted to transmit without getting the magloops'
vswr down to a reasonable level, the Icom IC725 would go into protection
mode and then it was impossible to determine in which direction the variable
cap should be adjusted. I have never tried using the receiver to tune the
loop.

Well that was a long "over" from me, maybe some of it may help.

The icing on the cake would be if we establish contact via the loops on 20
metres!!

regards,

Roger G7JAQ

Mike Coslo
November 11th 03, 02:01 AM
Roger Adam wrote:

<a bunch of good info snipped>

Thanks for all that Roger.

> The icing on the cake would be if we establish contact via the loops on 20
> metres!!

That would be great, Roger! I'm in the middle of Pennsylvania, and I
take it you're in Great Britain. The path should be good in my
afternoon/your evening.

I'm taking Reg's suggestion and skipping the Farady loop, and going to
plain wire. My coax just keeps getting shorter... and shorter, so I'll
switch before I have to buy new!

- Mike KB3EIA -

Roger Adam
November 11th 03, 11:49 AM
Mike,

I sure you're right in thinking that the coupling system is the cause of
your problems.

As far as the ability to "null" out any unwanted sigs, I have fitted a Yaesu
rotator (which when bought was fully rusted up inside!) to the vertical
drainpipe support of the loop, but haven't yet tried it out. Thanks to TAM
WB2TT for help on the Yaesu.

Friends have said why don't I position the loop horizontal and do away with
the rotator. I may post a request asking for REG's advice on that!

I was working on the principal that with the long wire being horizontal,
then the loop should be vertical to give me a different polorisation.

However, after looking through the books and 'net, It appears that the
initial polorisation becomes changed within a short distance of being
launched and that there is little point in spending a lot of time on this
aspect.

As far as a possible future QSO is concerned, I'll be monitoring around
14.325MHz from 20.00hrs UTC most evenings.

That will most probably put you under pressure to get the loop up and
running!

By the way, my QTH is Surrey, 10 miles south of London.

Good luck,

Roger G7JAQ

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