Since they were on sale before New Year’s at HRO @$450, I thought I might give it a try to see how it might work with my SteppIR MonstIR
I must admit to being quite skeptical about small antennas particularly when mounted in the vertical plane when HF is usually horizontally polarized. Further it’s a magnetic loop so it receives at 90 degrees to the Electrical Field. The receive lobes are end to end on the loop rather than broadside as you would expect from an electric field antenna. The loop only weights 3 lbs and is 1meter in Diameter. The loop has a preamp at its base and uses RG-6Quad to carry both power to the Preamp and signal back to the radio.
I finally had some time today (@Burt I am far to busy experimenting to rag chew) so I built a 5’ antenna base
in the backyard out of 1 1⁄2” PVC, installed a small TV rotor and the mounted the
loop onto a 5’ piece of 1 1⁄4” EMT galvanized pipe as a temporary test
stand. The loop was 10’ from the ground albeit the backyard hill rises
50’ vertical right near where the stand was installed.
First Impression.. it actually hears things.
More important it actually hears very different signals than the MonstIR. Noise spikes that was quite dominant on the MonstIR were absent on the Pixel Loop. Noise spikes that were heard on the Pixel Loop were not present on the MonstIR. They are clearly hearing very different things.
Surprise, surprise.. a few signals were actually much louder (10-20 dBm) on the Pixel Loop @10’ than on the 4 Element MonstIR @85’ even when both were oriented for maximum signal.
Diversity was quite interesting.
1. In some cases, it made no difference.
2. In some cases it made things much worse as one or the other antenna was not hearing the signal.
3. However in many cases, the diversity reception was significantly more intelligible than the non-diversity by either antenna.
The 2 SCU's on the 6700 made it very easy to test different configurations for diversity.
I have not spent any time making detailed measurements yet... but I could see in dBm on DDUTIL (I really wish the S Meter in SSDR read out in dBm) that there were significant differences in relative received signals for each of the 3 different cases.
I must admit to being rather surprised that the Pixel loop actually worked and especially since it was only at 10’.
A few months ago we removed the top 30’ of a tree on the backyard hillside. But we left the bottom 20’ of the tree trunk..
So I now have a perfect natural antenna tower which should not need a building permit for the pixel loop and which once installed on the tree, the loop should clear the hillside.
I will report back once it’s at planned height with proper measurements