My radio wings are unfortunately rather clipped in my current location of being in an apartment. A good friend of mine, retired electrical engineer Peter G4NTA, offered to lend me his magnetic loop to see if that would get me back on the air from home QTH.
Peter built his loop from a design in Radcom in November 2010 by Tom Haylock M0ZSA. Tom’s design is based on an earlier one by John Hays G3BDQ published in November 2003’s Radcom. It’s best described as a slinky toy wrapped around a hula-hoop (approx 60cm / 2-feet diameter) with a 120pF variable cap in parallel to either end. Your antenna coax braid is connected to one end of the slinky and the inner conductor is on a wander lead connected to the slinky part-way around to form a gamma-match.
The Mid Sussex group have a description of Tom’s slinky antenna project on pages 6-7
N4SPP has an interesting page on his magnetic loop projects
Having set this up in my apartment we were a bit disheartened to find the bands noisy and weak due to a geo-magnetic storm but we will see how this gets on and will update later…
40m seems to have been best so far with these two contacts… OM3TN Tom, NW of Brussles, and TM2F, a YL in Dept 2 France running a WW2 special event station. Reports were down but just about workable. Tom was also using a small loop it seems!
A Greek station also responded to me on 17m but couldn’t copy my full callsign.
The bands have generally been poor when I’ve listened so I’m hoping for better conditions as yet.
Jan 2015 Update
I’ve been busy with work for many weeks which has limited activity considerably, however I was determined to have another go now we’re into January.
40m continues to prove difficult on reception here with very high local noise levels however I was pleased to work MM1JWF, Jim in Erskinbridge near Glasgow who gave me a 59 mid-afternoon on 6th Jan 2015. I was running 30w with the loop broadside to north-south; he has a dipole at 67 feet which was doing most of the work I’m sure.