I just happen to have a Palstar MW550P Preamp Tuner for SWL and AM BCB DXing. I figure I would try it with the “anemic” MFJ-1886 loop.
The Wellbrook ALA1530LNP has TWO preamps – one at the antenna (P1) and one in the controller (P2).
I was able to “emulate” the Wellbrook using the MFJ-1886 and the Palstar MW550P. P1 is the MFJ-1886 antenna based preamp, and P2 is the MW550P Tuner / Preamp.
How does it play?
I brought the MFJ-1886 loop up to the same level as the Wellbrook. The great thing about this is that I can now see that the Wellbrook has less noise, but the “kludge” will be “good enough” until I receive my second Wellbrook loop in February. It is way more acceptable than having just the MFJ-1886 alone. With the P3 panadapter, I can clearly see that the MFJ-1886 plus MW550P is about 10 dB noisier, but that indeed it is at the same level – which is really important when you want to phase antennas using the NCC-2. So I do look forward to swapping the MFJ-1886 for the new Wellbrook.
For me, the adventure in DX-ing and ham radio is learning along the way. I get just as much of a “buzz” thinking about solutions to problems and then trying them – both receive and transmit. Constantly striving to improve your station – or just trying new things can keep one interested for many years, if not a lifetime.