Home > Home Brew > 160 metre Sky Loop Antenna Test

160 metre Sky Loop Antenna Test

Yesterday I met with VK4VAP, and he showed me the wire he used for his delta loop. He even lent me the roll to use to make my 160 meter loop. So today I went to work measuring the length of wire, then laying it out on the lawn at the bases of the trees I intended to suspend it from. I then hauled it up using heavy fishing line shot over branches with a slingshot. The height ranges from a low of eight meters at the feed point to about 15 meters. I have been informed that sky loops work well enough at low heights. Even though I cannot operate on 160 meters, I opted for a 160 meter loop for a couple of reasons.

1. Sky loops have a reputation for being cloud warmers on the low freq bands, but I have been lead to believe this is really only true when they are one wavelength at the frequency in use. At two or more wavelengths, I am lead to believe they give better takeoff angles. My NEC modeling disagrees with this, but I am happy for it to be a NVIS antenna on 80 meters, since I tend to use 80 for nets. In any case,  I will use this loop mostly on 80 meters, 40 meters and 15 meters . Many people report skyloops as being effective DX antennas despite high incident angles, so maybe the NEC modeling is missing something. Anyway I opted to make it 160 meters long just to see how it would work on my most used frequencies.

2. I have the room for 160 meters, and I thought it would improve reception to have more wire in the air.

The feed termination is a bit rough yet, with little support against the load, but I wanted to first test the loop at this height before doing too much work. I am just feeding it with coax directly at the lowest corner- no balun, no choke. I couldn’t test it on 160 meters as I cannot operate there, but it is resonant on 80 meters and tunes across all bands I can use.

I tested it on the net this morning and got good reports on 80 meters with noticeable improvements over the G5RV particularly from nearby stations.

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