Thursday 28 November 2013

AlexLoop Walkham Arrives

After 5 months of inactivity I decided I needed an HF antenna that fitted on the apartment Balcony which I could use on Transmit. I had looked at the Buddipole but it was too large. I saw the Alexloop a while ago which covers 7 to 30MHz, but shipping from Brazil was prohibitive. Recently it was reviewed in QST from which I learnt there were 2 USA distributers. Problem solved. I ordered the Alexloop Walkham from Gigaparts (as shipping was free) on Oct 16. Enquiring Nov1 I was told that they were on backorder but I should get it by Thanksgiving. Nov 11 I went chasing the order and was told it was delivered by UPS on Nov 12. After some detective work I discovered that it was in the Apartment complex management office, locked away securely, so I recovered it.

It came well packed in a box inside which is a laptop sized fabric case with all the parts held firmly in place.

The central mast comes in 3 sections which push together. The loop is plugged into the two connectors. The coax and coupling loop are integrated into the mast. It assembled in under 2 minutes. Alex suggest standing and holding the loop, allowing ease of retuning and operating with the other hand. Didnt sound much fun to me! A visit to the local hardware store produced a length of half inch of plastic pipe which was cable tied to the balcony railings and supported the antenna:-

I had a listen during CQWW CW and heard lots of stations including 10m Europeans.  Changing bands is not easy, as i have to go out on the balcony and tweak the tuning capacitor while watching the swr meter 10m away. The knob is not calibrated ! The rig is fed by 10m of RG174 thin coax as it is the only cable that will fit under the balcony door jamb

Today I left it transmitting on 30m DFCW QRSS. Even at 3mW it was visible in Florida at the W4HBK grabber

My ww2r signal is at the bottom

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