Topband: Using shielded CAT5 data cable as feedline foractive antenna; benefits of multi-turn K9AY loop/SAL/etc?

чавдар левков lz1aq at
Thu Jan 7 09:35:13 EST 2016

 to everybody,
My name is Chavdar Levkov
 LZ1AQ and I am new in this forum as a writer.
 As a reader I have followed it for a long time. 
I have some comments about the discussed topics. It is a long post
 so excuse me for that.


 small loops are working almost in short circuit mode – they are loaded with amplifier with very low input resistance e.g. 6 ohm.
 In order to increase the
 short circuit current we must reduce the loop impedance preserving the loop area. Fat conductor or paralleling loops is the obvious solution. Crossed parallel connection of coplanar loops
 is the most effective way to do that. To reach the same low inductance you must use very fat conductor which is not practical. This method does not have any advantages when normal impedance matching is used or in the case of tuned loops.


 The crossed small
 loops have the same radiation pattern as a single small loop with one very important exception – the limitation of 0.1 wavelength perimeter is no longer valid for crossed loop.

 This can be easily checked with NEC model.
 So we can use the small loop properties in much wider frequency range. 


The effective height
 of the wideband
 loop (working in short circuit mode) is determined
 by the Area/L
 You will not find any difference in reception between crossed and single loops if this ratio is the same. 


I do not recommend to use multi-turn loops – single turn loop has the highest efficiency.
 I do mean
 loops winded as inductor. I do not assume crossed coplanar
 loop connection as a multi-turn loop and I do not use this term to
 avoid misinterpretations.


The main problem in
 active wideband loops is that there is no impedance matching in its classical form. The induced current is very small and often the system is noise limited by the internal noise of the amplifier.
 Using crossed coplanar loops is a way to avoid this problem.
 My experience is that two crossed circular loops with diameter larger than 1 m
 with alum. tubing of 14 mm diam.

 have sufficient current
 and the noise floor
 limited by the external noise (using common base amplifier as described in my article). At least up to 10 MHz.
 On higher frequencies, in quiet rural locations,
 the external noise might become sometimes very low and in this case the system becomes noise limited by the internal noise. 


The closely spaced
 phased array
 I build with small active loops or dipoles
 is actually 2 element array.
 3 antennas are used
 in order to have 4 directions. Its RDF is as any other 2 element
 array with active dipoles(verticals)
 and slightly higher RDF for loops. 


There is a
 difference in polarization sensitivity between
 arrays with vertical loops and vertical dipoles. The loop array is highly directional for vertically polarized (VP)
 waves (better RDF than dipole array and is
 almost as 4-square for 2el array). This array has zero sensitivity in main direction for horizontally polarized (HP) waves but
 has two HP
 side lobes at
 +- 45 deg to the main direction.
 The dipole array has zero sensitivity for HP waves at all directions. It is a pure VP antenna. The take-off angle of the dipole array is lower compared
 loop array.
 Practical consequences are that the loop array directivity is different compared to dipole array.
 Very often
 with one array I have
 high F/B ratio while with the other array it might be low
 and vice versa – it depends very much from the propagation. When we have nearly
 HP waves
 the directivity is minimal for both arrays. 


The phased array with active loops has one
 advantage compared to
 active vertical dipole (or GP) array . In a small yard usually there are too many parasitic non-resonance conducting objects. A dipole array (with high input impedance amplifiers)
 often loses its directivity probably
 due to capacitive interactions with these close
 objects . The loops are much more stable.
 Both arrays are influenced from nearby resonant antennas
 measures to de-tune TX antennas must be taken
 if the space between
 antennas is small. 


For those who have an experience with small single loops it must be mentioned
 that the loop array is much more quiet compared to a single loop apart from directivity benefits.
 The reason is that a single vertically placed
 loop has in its pattern a lobe toward zenith which is eliminated in phased connection.


 cable -You do not need to measure it
 - the specifications are widely available. As a balanced line it has certain advantages which will benefit the noise immunity of the receiving system.
 The only questionable parameter is the delay (which is important when building phased arrays). I have measured the difference in the signal delay between two 30 m
 from the same manufacturer. Using the same colored pairs, the difference is below
 1 -2 ns. The accuracy was limited by my measuring equipment.
 Usually these cables are marked in factory at each meter and
 for the experiment were cut precisely at the corresponding

For more details you can read my page at
 , also in

 There you can find also
 links to other pages with similar topics . 
Happy New year to everybody,
73 Chavdar LZ1AQ
 lz1aq at

 This message was delayed almost 3 days
 since I was
 not aware that I must subscribe to this forum in order to write messages.

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