Sunday, April 6, 2014

Full Wave Loop Experiment

Well Saturday was a radio experimentation day.  I decided I'd try my hand at building a Full Wave Loop in my back yard.  I decided to go for a 40'  loop, which works out to around 144 feet of wire.  Took a trip to Menard's in the morning and picked up a reel of 500' THHN stranded copper #14 guage wire.  I brought that home and got started.

I measured it out in my living room, which was pretty difficult, and if I do this again, I'm going to see about taking the reel to Menard's or Lowe's and measure it out on one of their measuring stations. It'll be more precise that way anyhow.  I took my now ~144' mass of wire out to the back yard and attempted to get it as high as I could with my bum knee and what little available room I had.  I got it up between a tree, the shed, a garden trellis, and then back to the tree.  The highest spot in the loop is probably 12'.  Not the greatest in the world, considering it should be more like 35' in the air.  But, I figured for a weekend project, that was designed for learning, it would have to do.  I quickly soldered a SO-239 female adapter to the wire, pulled a 50' coax out of the basement and ran all of that in through the port in the wall.

Almost as soon as I turned the radio on, I heard signals on the 40m band.  I autotuned my IC-761, and the signals came in even clearer.  But, alas, it was dinner time.  Went upstairs and ate, knowing that as the sun went down, the band would get better.  Although, conditions weren't great on any of the bands other than 20, 17, and 15.  I did end up making multiple contacts last night, all of which were state-side, and most said I was coming in strong.

In the end, it was a successful project weekend, and I'm happy with the results I had, considering all of the factors that were working against me.  Next, I'd like to try either a 160m or 80m loop, strung up high.  Maybe we can do it as a club project soon and make a Saturday or Sunday of it.  Just waiting on the nice weather.

Matthew, K1BBB

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