The Best Receive Antenna System I’ve Ever Had

The KY6R Big Mag Loops – Two Phased 24′ Circumference up 3′ off the ground

Up until recently, the best RX antenna system I have ever had was two Wellbrook ALA1530LNP’s phased through the fabulous DX Engineering NCC-2. That has changed, and changed dramatically. The KY6R Big Mag Loops greatly exceeds the performance.

A classic Cardioid pattern that holds its shape from the AM BCB up through 75M

The pattern holds up through 4 mhz, and changes for 40, 30 and 20M, but this past weekend on the air, I was very pleasantly surprised at how well these performed all the way up through 20M. The bands above were not really open, so I did not test these above 20M.

The Wellbrook ALA100LN preamps have delivered everything and more that I had hoped for – I still think Wellbrook has the best components for building RX antennas. I know there are some that I haven’t tried, but for me, this just works wonders.

The loops always heard as good – and almost always better than the UrbanBeam. Even when they were equal to the UrbanBeam, then it was great fun to use Diversity receive and hear how the signal ping ponged between the two – where both antennas seemed like a perfect match – that was especially on 40M, which is perfect since that is my favorite band. HOWEVER, 20M was the most fun this past weekend during the ARRL CW DX Contest. I worked the Caribbean, OC-PAC, Asia and EU – which is about as good as it gets.

Its been a long time since I had this much fun DXing – so I am starting to look forward to better sunspot conditions as we progress through this year – its something that will get more and more exciting as we get closer to 2021.

This EZNec model is based on the final dimensions of the loops as they were built, so this is the best set of plots to show. The one thing that changed is the gain – its higher since the element thickness is .75″ copper instead of #12 wire. The height off ground changed as well – but that doesn’t seem to matter much since its a couple feet difference.

Not bad – I usually don’t care for the first 6 weeks of the new year – but this year is a big exception – it wasn’t boring at all, and we have had almost eerily dry and sunny weather – which is great for antenna building, but we could use some rain. Usually, these last 6 weeks are some of the rainiest of the year – hence why things were great this year – I was out in the sun doing what might be my favorite part of ham radio – modeling, building and testing antennas.

I also have to praise Win4K3Suite and the K3 – as they are part of this whole “system”. I really love my KX-3 and if it had an RX in and a second receiver – it would be my rig – but when I think about it – the K3 has every port and feature for what I want to do – and I don’t even have the “S” version – this was a used $1800 version and I am getting all the features, ports and performance that I want and need. For me, this combination is a “K4 Killer” – from all the videos I’ve seen about the K4 – it doesn’t offer me anything I don’t already have. I am very happy that Elecraft has a stuffed pipeline of orders – I want them to stay in business and keep designing and building such great rigs – I want that dual receiver and RX in KX-4 – which is a dream.

But for the home shack – this will do just fine.

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