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Author Topic: USENET: Review of Pixel Pro 1B receiving antenna  (Read 1208 times)

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USENET: Review of Pixel Pro 1B receiving antenna
« on: July 15, 2014, 0140 UTC »
Copied from rec.radio.shortwave:

I got my Pixel loop about 2 months ago. I have it mounted in my back yard about  10 feet up to the bottom of the loop on an inexpensive rotor.  There was an initial problem. The power supply was generating a birdie in the middle of 40 meters. Pixel  immediately sent me a new power supply as soon as I phoned them. They sent me a prepaid label to return the bad supply.

I installed an A-B switch for my receiver to make instant comparisons between my full size 75 meter horizontal loop and the Pixel Loop.
Now to the performance. Be aware throughout this little missive that I am comparing the Pixel Loop to a 75 meter full size horizontal loop about 35 feet off the ground. I live in a small town about 3 blocks from city centre. I have had serious noise problem when using a dipole. The full size loop did a whole lot to lessen my noise from nearby residential homes and small businesses. My full size loop crosses my metal roof with about 5 feet to spare on the two ends of my home. I am on a 100 X 120 lot.

First I will note that using the Pixel loop to null noise from a storm works pretty well. My full size loop will work better on 75 meters in almost all conditions than the Pixel Loop. The only exception is at night when the storm noise is coming from just one direction and I can null it with the Pixel Loop.  So it kinda makes sense from a simply gut feeling that a full size loop fed with open wire line is going to work better than the Pixel Loop. I find this gut feeling to be true in fact.
Now, I have no antenna for transmitting on 160 meters so I will not say much except that the Pixel loop will receive better than my 75 meter loop.  When working on 40 meters and reception conditions are marginal, I find myself switching to the Pixel. The signal strength is down but I can just hear the other station better. These situations involve stations that are not even moving  my S meter. I cannot give measured S/N ration readings. I am just going by what I can hear. This is also true on 20 and 17 meters.

On 15 and 10 there is a very different story. Switching to the Pixel will show an increase in my S meter reading and a significant increase in S/N ratio. An average example on 10 meters where this antenna works best for me would be hearing a station showing an S 1 signal strength on my 75 meter loop. Switching the Pixel would bring up the strength to S3 or even 4. This is also with less noise.

It took me some time to test and get a feel for this antenna. My initial feeling after hooking up this antenna was disappointment. I expected my 75 meter loop to out perform the Pixel on 75, but I did not expect the S meter reading to drop several points on 40 meters. I thought I had wasted my money. However, after operating with this antenna for a couple of months, I kept finding myself switching to the Pixel when reception started getting dicey. This is true on 40, 20, an 17. On 15 and 10, it is obviously showing stronger S meter readings and much better S/N. I no longer have a dipole to compare performance. I suspect however, that this Pixel would run rings around a dipole when operated in an urban environment.  I believe that for those who live in a city with a lot of QRN around them, that this antenna mated with a dipole or loop makes a very good antenna system.  For most who only have room for a dipole and are at the mercy of surrounding plasma tvs,  I would think that they would find this antenna to be a very welcome relief from the noise.  I also use a DSP audio ADAPTIVE noise reduction module. I have become very spoiled now. I expect that most of my QSOs will sound like FM.

Again, I think that this is a pretty good investment for those who live in an urban environment. You could spend thousands more on a Cadillac transceiver and still be plagued by a noisy received signal.