Wednesday, June 25, 2008
More on KU4AB Loops
Sorry I forgot to post the photo of the KU4AB.com 6 Meter loop which is also mounted in my attic. See the photo on the left.
It's mounted on the other side of the house, well away from the "stack". It's fed with Andrews 1/2" hardline which runs about 25 feet down into my shack in the garage.
To make installation of all my antennas easier, I cut a hole in the ceiling drywall, about 2 feet long by 1 foot wide. I then attached some very pretty maple shelving boards in the form of a "box" to route cables from the attic down to below desk level at my station. This makes running even hardline a snap! And it looks great, matches the maple workstations in the garage, and passes the "XYL Test".
The KU4AB loop is connected to my Icom 746 Pro, while the 3 element beam works into the Icom 756 Pro III. The advantage of the loop is that I often hear stations off the back of the beam that I would otherwise miss. I've also worked over 35 grids and many, many states on the loop alone.
I also have a KU4AB 2 Meter loop mounted on my pickup truck. I run a Yaesu FT-857D in the truck, and use it to work weak signal 2M stuff. Again, not a world beater, but very solid, stainless steel construction. Plus the price is nice, and delivery was super fast.
If you're like me, I usually read the product reviews of any amateur equipment at www.eham.net. Take things there with a grain of salt, cause some guys post negative reviews to try to screw up ratings, and some don't really know how to operate the equipment that they buy...but with enough reviews you get a sense of how good the product really is. KU4AB antennas receive good ratings, and I can see why.
I've seen some indoor installations where they stacked or "phased" KU4AB loops to give a bit of gain. Haven't tried it yet, but I may do so on the mobile.
Originally, I didn't think I'd have room for the 3 element Yagi on six meters, and planned to use the loop as my primary antenna. While it won't beat the beam, I have no doubt I could have worked 90% of the DX to date with it. Maybe the really weak double-hop stuff from the West Coast wouldn't have made the trip, but most everything else would have. VUCC would certainly be in range using just this antenna and 100 watts.
See you on the Magic Band!
73 DE N1LF