digital red circuit lines technology background design


Tonight I’ll be running an overnight WSPR test of an indoor F-Loop (magloop) antenna. The test will be on 30 meters, at 10 minute intervals, with North East – South West orientation from KP25. 

I have been testing over the past week but one night, I received a strange reception report from VP8ALJ, who is in the Falkland Islands 9185.6 miles (14782.7 km) from me. I found this difficult to believe at best. At worst, I want to replicate this reception report once again.

Other than that, I would like to confirm the effectiveness of an indoor magloop, as a compromise antenna, where long wires, or other traditional antenna arrays are not acceptable or desired.


Today I had the chance to start testing the Chameleon Antenna CHA F-Loop antenna. For any of you who follow me on google+, you would know that I had some concerns about some of the marketing language of that antenna. Well, perhaps after this test, its time to say “Oops”.

Before I tell you about the test, I have to tell you that Chameleon antenna has been pretty cool about the doubts and concerns I had about the antenna. In fact, they called me out and invited me to give my honest opinion (whatever that might be) about the functionality and performance of this antenna. Fair enough!

Today I really had a chance to sit down and try the antenna. Not having had experience with Magnetic loop antennas in the past, I decided to actually read their instruction manual. To my surprise that was a very wise and helpful decision. Had I not done so, I would have been pointing the Loop in the wrong direction, and blaming the antenna for my own ignorance.

To keep this story brief, I can tell you that the image at the top of this post is exactly how the station was setup at the time of the back to back QSO’s. The F-Loop antenna was inside my workshop, with my little FT-817 on the desk. To be honest, I was expecting this to be a fail, but it was nothing like that.

I heard M0WGI coming into teh radio. I adjusted the direction of the antenna to bring him up to 58. When he completed his QSO, I called him, and he immediately returned my call. Our QSO went on for a few minutes. He gave me a report of 55 in London near Heathrow airport. 


Recently I have spent more and more time outdoors, and in the field using my comms gear. On an expedition last autumn, I quickly found out how painful all those extra grams can be.


A pulk (from the Finnish word pulkka) is a Nordic short, low-slung small toboggan used to transport gear or people. It can be pulled by a dog or a skier, or in Lapland pulled by reindeer.

The sled can be used to carry supplies such as a tent, communications gear, food, or transport a child or other person.

A larger pulk, designed for transporting larger amounts of goods, is called ahkio in Finnish. This word is also used by the US Army for a human-drawn snow sled.

As you may already know, SlowFood Survivalist has been helping me put together this JR27 Skipulk for some field communications expeditions out on the sea ice. Ok actually, he has done all the work, and I have video documented the progress. if you have not already subscribed to his YouTube channel please do so.

This JR27 Finnish Skipulk (Sled) will help me get myself and my gear out onto the pack ice for some pretty cool field communications in February, when the ice should be thick and safe enough for amateur radio micro-expeditions.

Although I live extremely close to the sea, one thing I have never embraced, was adventures out on the ice. I would rather go close combat with a pack of wolves than fall through the ice, but its time to put my fears to rest.


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