Tuesday, July 17, 2012
This is a post from almost a year ago, never got published...
I recently purchased the Alexloop Walkham antenna. Between the weather not cooperating among others, I did not have much time to spend outdoors, playing radio. So I am not going to call this a review of the product, b ut more a bunch of comments by an occasional user.
I got this antenna as I wanted to have a portable antenna that is easy to set up and needs little tweaking between band changes etc. The Alexloop filled those two requirements quite well. Putting it together is a breeze, an untrained monkey could do that. No small parts to lose or fiddle with, no tools required, nothing to measure, no counterpoise wires. It is up in a few seconds and has nothing my dogs or grandchildren will get tangled into.
Being a high-Q antenna, you need to re-tune it between changes in frequency/bands, but turning one knob to the highest reception level, then fine tuning it takes maybe five seconds... I can live with that, especially since the knob is at arm's length from my chair.
The next requirement from an antenna is that it would be a good receiving antenna. Simply, if you can't hear'em, you can't work'em. Well, tha Alexloop Walkham is an excellent receiving antenna. Can I say it is better than a SteppIr on a huge Luso tower? I can't as I have neither of those available, but I can hear stations and hear more of them than I can work. Not only that, with its null, I can cancel noise that otherwise would drown some stations out.
Now my last sentence might sound as it the Alexloop has problems in transmitting. Not so, but there, we have many extra and uncontrolled variables coming into play. Suffice to say that a fellow with that SteppIr, Luso tower and legal limit amplifier will send my 5 watts into smithereens. Not the antenna's fault... And many times the local operator (me) has not tweaked the SWR well enough, or remembered to switch the power back up, so my minimum power transmissions are really minimal thus not making it.
OTOH, I've made quite a few contacts in the US, sitting on my deck with the Alexloop. And yesterday, I made my first contact across the Atlantic, to a station in Italy. Not yet the 1000 miles per watt transmission but getting closer to it! Yes, with QRP you need to be lucky and I was as this guy had just started calling CQ so I did not have to break into a pile-up.
I'm happy with the Alexloop Walkham.