In a perfect world


So for work here in the US and some of the places we are in the Middle East, we will be ordering the “HF/VHF head unit only” and adding our own “wire” or “tubing” or “antenna” ourselves once the Head arrives .


Our main purpose is to monitor worldwide SW stations using our SDRPlay radio.


Our question is - In a perfect world – what would you recommend as being the best “antenna” element we should use with the Head? Do you suggest Bicycle rim, copper tubing, thick coaxial wire, etc??


Also – a follow on question would be – can you be specific on exact length of wire and gauge you recommend OR what size for the Bicycle rim (if that’s the best choice), or length and size of copper tubing, or coaxial wire, etc etc  that you recommend as the best solution would you recommend we purchase>??. 

We will be putting the antenna up 10 meters in the air on an TV Rotator. 


Thanks in advance.   

Chris Moulding

The HF/VHF Loop Antenna Amplifier head unit is more tolerant of loop type and size than the original VLF/HF unit.

If you are mounting it at height on a rotator then the physical strength and looks of the loop are probably more important. For that I would recommend an alloy 28 inch (US) or 700C (French) bicycle wheel rim converted into an antenna loop with a saw cut. Another good alternative for rotator use would be a copper pipe loop but that may be too heavy if you are transporting it around.

If in the Middle East signals are weak and you really need to hear them you could try using a wire up to 15m long with the amplifier on the mast at the top of the triangle and the other two corners of the triangle tied down with paracord or similar to make a large triangular loop. This would work really well with the HF/VHF amplifier head unit not the earlier VLF/HF version but may overload the receiver if there are any strong local stations.

If you want a quick portable set-up you can always use the 3m length of wire that comes with the amplifier. In the workshop I've got one supported by two cup hooks on a shelf to form an inverted triangle. I'm planning to make a video on different ways to use the 3m wire. One of the tricks I want to show is just supporting one corner of the inverted triangle with a tree, fence post or other support and holding the other corner with a finger to quickly rotate the loop and find the best position. Very handy if you want to check the best orientation of the antenna before erecting a mast and rotator.