The SWLing Post Reviews the YouLoop Passive Loop Antenna

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2 Responses

  1. Avatar Gary Tivey says:

    Regardless of what this “Expert” says … it does not work at all on a Sdrplay RSP1A.
    I recommend that viewers watch the following youtube presentation on the Youloop.

    • admin admin says:

      Gary, great point on the RSP1A. I watched this video and it raises some interesting points that go against a lot of the YouLoop hype (there is a lot of hype!). So interesting in fact that I asked Thomas of SWLing Blog for his thoughts and he came back with some sage advice:

      “This comment is correct. The YouLoop doesn’t function well on the RSP1a–it doesn’t have the dynamic range to pull it off (as I’m told, at least). The RSPdx is the only SDRplay SDR I’ve tried that I think has the dynamic range and that is only in the MW bands. It functions ok in the shortwave bands, but not stellar. The Airspy HF+ Discovery, though really sings with that loop.

      In my experience, the YouLoop *only* works well with high dynamic range receivers. I believe when people brag about it when hooked up to a portable shortwave receiver, for example, it’s only because it kills the noise so well, they hear signals.

      There is another point here: the YouLoop is a passive mag loop antenna. It’s not magic or anything. ๐Ÿ™‚ An external doublet or EFHW, or pretty much any efficient wire antenna will almost always out-perform it unless a local noise source is rendering the wire antenna ineffective.

      The loop is really just a better-than-whip portable antenna that’s great when you don’t have the means to deploy something better, or you’re swimming in RFI.

      I have a large horizontal delta loop antenna above my house and a doublet. I also have no meaningful RFI sources being so rural and remote. Both of my external antennas will out-perform the YouLoop hands-down. But, if I’m in a hotel room, a condo/flat, or am just setting up a quick listening post in the field, the Youloop is a great choice. Compromised for sure, but good!”

      And it’s triggered my own interest enough to get hold of a YouLoop and test it here myself. Against my active antenna on HF it has a much lower output level (fairly obvious). I have an AirSpy HF+ Discovery and it does indeed work well with the low output level of the YouLoop. On bands like 40m and 20m the SNR of signals is not that far off but the active antenna is generally better. However down at 160m the YouLoop shows that there are ~30dB SNR signals that I wasn’t even aware of on the active antenna! So it is eradicating a very high level of noise that the active antenna is victim to and the YouLoop is providing some excellent signals for the HF+ Discovery to work with.

      Very interesting indeed, thanks for the post!

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