Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Untuned Loop

Here is a gadget I have seen scarcely covered
elsewhere: the

AM DXers are all familiar with the tuned loops
you can use to boost range. But we are all familiar
also with the constant tweaking and tuning of the loop.

A few years ago, I make an untuned loop and had a good
time tuning it day and night times, up in the mountains
of Maine. So this time, I brought my plain Sony ICF-S10MK2
pocket AM/FM radio, and parts for the loop. you make one: you make a big rough single loop
of wire (clipped to itself at the end) on a dining table, hanging
to the floor. You wrap a coupling loop (3-4in. diameter)
around a hand and twist-tie it together. Then you slip
it beret-style over the top side of the radio, and tune away.

Results were a fair boost at night, and a big gain in qty.
of stations in daytime. Going bigger gives major improvement
though. In order to do that, you need a loop "top frame" bigger
than a dining table. Two 4-ft dowels lashed helps. Going from
5 feet to 8 feet, and 13 feet total wire to 20 feet, really brings
the signal in. An excellent untuned loop would be an X-shape
with maybe 4-foot spokes stuck in a drilled block, and wire
taped or eye-hooked out at the ends.

The untuned loop is a little combersome, but I love not
having to fiddle and tune it.

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