Topband: "Magnetic Receiving Loop / small loop , brief summary.

Jim Kearman jkearman at
Thu Dec 22 23:58:12 EST 2005

> Apparently some people desperately want to hear: "yes this small so called
> magnetic loop is as good as Tom's phased Beverage's, or John's (K9DX)
> 9-circle", and "yes you can do it all from 1/2 acre, no need for Beverages
> etc etc. "

That's not what I said and that's not what I want to hear. I want to hear more activity on the low bands. Amateur HF activity is declining. Why? What can we do to stimulate activity? I don't think concentrating a major part of a book on Techniques on antennas fewer than 1% of the world's hams can install is the way to go. I'm sorry but it just seems very elitist. The majority of hams fall into the category covered in one chapter, at the end of the book (I have the edition before the current one), that reads more like a sidebar.  
> No, there is NO free lunch in this real world. 

True enough. But at the rate we're going, in another 10 years you may end up having the whole band to yourself because the OTs are dead and the new guys figure it isn't worth trying, since they live in circumstances that preclude best-case antenna installations. You don't have to win contests to have a good time. There is nothing wrong with not being able to make contacts on a nearly dead band. But there is a prevalent attitude among many, many hams that they simply cannot operate on the low bands because they don't have the real estate. Go to hamfests and ask them. I have. 

I would like everyone to be the type of person who tries something even if it looks hopeless, but not everyone is like that. People need encouragement. I built my receiving loop before I discovered it had all but disappeared from your book. There is simply no way I am going to put up and take down a K9AY loop every night -- I'd never have time to get on the air. So I'll never compete with W8JI. But if we want to get more people on the air, we have to push antennas they will try for starters. You aren't going to get someone interested in ham radio by pointing them to Jon Zaimes's Website and telling them that's what they need. You start them out with a dipole and a transceiver. Once the bug bites... Ditto 160. A simple receiving loop may not be as good as a Beverage, but it's probably a better receiving antenna than an inverted L, and it's cheap and easy to build. Once the bug bites... 

> Well, maybe it's time someone new in the game published a book that teaches
> us how to do it properly?

Before we can teach we have to learn to be teachers. Before we can teach them about four squares and Beverages, we have to get them on the bands in the first place, so they will be willing to invest the time, money and effort to be big guns. Or we'll be a shrinking group of old farts who only work each other. That's the direction I see ham radio going. 

> PS: by the way, I never have worked KR1S on 160 or 80, and I have
>  44,000 QSO's on 160 in my log.. Last QSO with KR1S was 1992 on 40m.

Sorry I missed you in CQ WW this year. I operated 80 m on Saturday night local time, and worked several ONs, but not you. Maybe we'll QSO in the ARRL Test in February. It takes some effort for me to get on the air, ( -- OTOH, of the more than 100 hams in my town, I am the only one on the low bands AFAIK; I guess they know you can't succeed on the low bands without big antennas and Beverages) so I try to pick nights when propagation looks very good, and I can stay up all nightr. 


Jim, KR1S 

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