MFJ-1886, Wellbrook ALA1530LNP and DXE NCC-2

The MFJ-1886 is an “entry level” amplified receiving loop that offers an amazing bang for the buck.

The build quality is simply outstanding. It is even beefier and I think better than the Wellbrook ALA1530LNP in this regard.

The amplifier is very respectable. Its certainly low noise and really makes a big difference. At $200 on an open box never been used sale – this was a big score. FUN.

But the amplifier on the Wellbrook ALA1530LNP is its “secret sauce”. The signal level on the Wellbrook is about twice the MFJ, but I will say, both have a very low noise floor. I am extremely impressed with both loops – and for different reasons:

  • Wellbrook ALA-1530LNP – engineering par excellence in the amplifier (big amplification whilst maintaining a super low noise floor), the loop build quality is just good
  • MFJ-1886 – the loop build quality is outstanding and the amplifier is very good and low noise, just not at the higher amplification levels as the Wellbrook

I’d love to have the MFJ loop with the Wellbrook amp – that would be Nirvana . . .

OK, NOW I Finally have the NCC-2 living up to its hype (and I think pretty darn high price).

With the Wellbrook ALA1530LNP and MFJ-1886 as receive only mode inputs into the NCC-2, serious magic finally happened. I need to mention that having each RX loop on a rotator is a YUGE deal. I can completely switch between the Oakland Airports TSA 10 watt radio station to a high powered ESPN AM station in San Diego on 1.7 mhz. This is even better than a K9AY loop for sure – and is at least as good as a SAL Array, probably better.

One of the things I did was put the MFJ-1886 up higher and above the roof than the Wellbrook – which is next to a creek and not near anything man made for at least 30′. The combinations of XY and Z are mind boggling. This is such a great RX solution for the low bands, I am very surprised that others haven’t crowed about this. It really is a way to get near beverage performance on a small lot – and where you can use a couple simple antennas with rotators to electrically and physically steer the nulls and signal. The NCC-2 gives you the phase angle you need depending on the direction the DX is.

I just checked the EZNec model, and the RDF is just a tiny bit better – from 8.8 dB to 9 dB. I don’t know if this means anything, but the model for a loop up as high as the MFJ is does add 1 dB gain over the Wellbrook that is just above ground by 3′ or so.

 

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