Loop Antennas

Good thing there are a lot of books that have already been written about antennas.  So, I won't try to write another one here.  But what I will write about are my experiences with some simple wire antennas that seem to work well for me, are fun and inexpensive to build.  Also, keep in mind that I am not an electrical engineer.  I am an operator.  I like to hunt DX and work the several DX contests that are run by both the ARRL and CQ.  So if you know something about how to measure wire lengths, can use a calculator and are

not otherwise brain dead, then this next section is for you.  Also, the designs I am going to show are for HF use in the 17 to 10 meter bands.

Like most new generals, I started with a simple G5RV dipole antenna.  These are wonderful first antennas.  They'll get you on almost all the bands (if you have them high up enough) and work fine.  They are also noisy and not too efficient.  But if the dipole is your first and only antenna, then read on.

I was first introduced to the loop antenna by W5DBG, Dino, in Oklahoma.  He recommended that I simply add enough wire to the ends of my dipole for 40 meters and close the circuit.  Rather than producing heat and problems, RF short resonant short circuits radiate.  So, using the simple formula:


I calculated the center frequency for 80 meters (3.925 for generals) I got a length of 256 feet.  Since my G5RV was 102' long, I just added 154 feet.  I bought 500 feet of stranded, double insulated #12 housewire from HomeDepot ($20), cut a 154 foot piece and using wire nuts tied it to the ends of the dipole and just strung the wire around a few trees and such and presto--an 80 meter loop!  I left the feed point unchanged...just added the wire to the two ends closing the circuit.  The antenna was basically horizontal, but not level or symmetrical or round or square.  The XYL said it looked like a circus tent.

Immediately I noticed a distinct drop in background noise and a large increase in performance...both receive and transmit.  It was amazing.  Now, I know there is an old belief that new antennas perform better than older antennas (just as I know that RF travels faster downhill than up...which is why Alaskan stations are always so strong).  But after a few days I noticed that the performance really was substantially better, especially during favorite DX time of day.

So, the links at the left of this page describe my "HamLoop" antennas, as I call them.