ALEXLOOP & IC-705 INITIAL LOOK
For the last couple of years I've been quite happy to use my SotaBeams 20/40 Linked Dipole with my LowePro Tahoe BP-150 backpack and 7M telescopic mast, but more recently I've grown increasingly interested in using a Magnetic Loop because of their compact dimensions and ease of erection.
Please just remember that I'm an M7 Foundation License holder and have no real technical knowledge or training. The following is just my interpretation of things.
The Sotabeams Dipole needs to be used (for maximum efficiency) in an inverted-vee format using a 7M extending pole. The pole takes a little time to erect and guy off and the whole thing is very obtrusive. This setup also has quite a large footprint, so if you erect it in a public place like a park, you're gonna stand out like a sore thumb. And let's not even talk about the trip-hazards.
The AlexLoop is very well known and highly regarded by amateur and professional reviewers. The quality of materials and construction is second to none and according to everything I've read, so too is the performance of this "magic" antenna.
The standard AlexLoop (aka WalkHam) has a small plastic tuning box with a tuning dial at the bottom at the case. The newer and updated version has a much better tuning arrangement with a very clearly marked dial located on the front face of the tuning box and a helpful tuning LED.
The only trouble is, you have to buy the "AlexLoop HamPack" to get the new tuning box which means you might be buying a backpack when you don't really want or need to, at a total cost of almost £600. My trusty LowePro BP-150 has been great for me, but I've no choice but to accept the backpack which comes with the updated loop.
With the latest dial, there's a kind of "slow motion" which makes it super easy to use. To tune the loop, you initially rotate the dial to the desired band marking and fine-tune by listening out for the loudest reception on your radio and the brightest illumination of the LED. With the best audible signal received, you can then complete the fine-tuning by transmitting a carrier and making adjustments for the very best SWR. It's very simple!
|Guy-Lines in old Pencil Case|