MLA-30 a poor man's Wellbrook

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pe1etr
Posts: 1934
Joined: 07 Oct 2014 00:40
Location: Blackpool, UK

MLA-30 a poor man's Wellbrook

Post by pe1etr » 04 Dec 2019 23:05

My MLA-30 magnetic loop antenna arrived today. It isn't quite a Wellbrook, but as it costs about 10% of a Wellbrook, it is good value. It packs up very small, so is ideal for taking on Dxpeditions. I was unsure whether to put this here or under MW LW. I have tried it indoors and hanging out of a window. I have uploaded a few videos. Works well with the Airspy HF+ Discovery.
www.youtube.com/user/pe1etr
They all have MLA-30 in their title.

Peter

Tim Bucknall
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Location: Now stranded in Congleton
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Re: MLA-30 a poor man's Wellbrook

Post by Tim Bucknall » 08 Dec 2019 13:51

your noise floor sounds quiet
is the MLA rejecting everything?
Rx: Burkhardt Reuter RDR54D1, Elad FDM-S2, Airspy HF+ w/ HS Publications 6 Element R3 -R5 Yagi on rooftop rotator V/H polarization options. Pira P275 RDS analyser

pe1etr
Posts: 1934
Joined: 07 Oct 2014 00:40
Location: Blackpool, UK

Re: MLA-30 a poor man's Wellbrook

Post by pe1etr » 08 Dec 2019 14:29

Tim Bucknall wrote:
08 Dec 2019 13:51
your noise floor sounds quiet
is the MLA rejecting everything?
It rejects quite a lot up to about 6MHz. Higher than that the noise wins. A bigger loop is better than the provided loop. I need to experiment with it outside in a lower noise environment. Soon ;)
Peter

AMDXHUN
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Location: Szekesfehervar, Hungary

Re: MLA-30 a poor man's Wellbrook

Post by AMDXHUN » 08 Dec 2019 18:40

Try to replace the PSU module using non-switching 12v adaptor!

pe1etr
Posts: 1934
Joined: 07 Oct 2014 00:40
Location: Blackpool, UK

Re: MLA-30 a poor man's Wellbrook

Post by pe1etr » 08 Dec 2019 18:59

AMDXHUN wrote:
08 Dec 2019 18:40
Try to replace the PSU module using non-switching 12v adaptor!
Why? Have you done that to yours?

chipbutty
Posts: 63
Joined: 02 May 2019 09:42
Location: Sheffield

Re: MLA-30 a poor man's Wellbrook

Post by chipbutty » 10 Dec 2019 11:32

Received mine yesterday. Also have the new Cross Country Wireless loop designed as a rival to the MLA-30, i.e cost effective with decent performance. Yet to set up the CCW. These are my most first loops so I don't know what to expect. The MLA-30 certainly boosts signal levels far beyond my reel antenna and in most cases more than my Degen active loop. Trouble is it seems to bring up the noise floor in equal measure. I found this really disappointing but it's born out by many others using this loop. Unless I can get rid of the noise I'll go back to my Degen loop until I get the CCW setup.

Seems decent on SW. MW seems a tad stronger than the ferrite in my Sangean ATS-909X (a beast on MW) but I struggled tuning in some stations when rotating the loop whereas I could get a perfect signal by orienting my Sangean. LW on the loop is useless.

Peter - I've heard many saying the source of the noise is the power unit supplied. It ups the voltage from 5v to 12v and creates all sorts of noise. I have no idea. This guy doesn't use it and instead powers via his SDR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvXsywLbi9k I don't use an an SDR so I'm unsure how to supply power any differently. Currently I'm using a good quality Anker USB battery bank.

It would be good if folk could offer tips and suggestions on the MLA-30 in this thread.

Some good information on this loop over at https://groups.io/g/loopantennas Needless to say they rip it to shreds :D But for the £25 delivered it will teach me a few things and a new learning experience.
Sangean ATS-909X, Roberts R861, Xhdata D-808, Tecsun PL-660, Tecsun R9700DX, Tecsun PL-310ET, Grundig City Boy 700, Grundig Yacht Boy 400, Philips D1835, Radiwow R-108, Realistic DX-360, Panasonic RF-3500, Sony XDR-P1DBP.

pe1etr
Posts: 1934
Joined: 07 Oct 2014 00:40
Location: Blackpool, UK

Re: MLA-30 a poor man's Wellbrook

Post by pe1etr » 10 Dec 2019 12:39

chipbutty wrote:
10 Dec 2019 11:32
Received mine yesterday. Also have the new Cross Country Wireless loop designed as a rival to the MLA-30, i.e cost effective with decent performance. Yet to set up the CCW. These are my most first loops so I don't know what to expect. The MLA-30 certainly boosts signal levels far beyond my reel antenna and in most cases more than my Degen active loop. Trouble is it seems to bring up the noise floor in equal measure.

Seems decent on SW. MW seems a tad stronger than the ferrite in my Sangean ATS-909X but I struggled tuning in some stations when rotating the loop whereas I could get a perfect signal by orienting my Sangean. LW on the loop is useless.

Peter - I've heard many saying the source of the noise is the power unit supplied. I have no idea. This guy doesn't use it and instead powers via his SDR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvXsywLbi9k I don't use an an SDR so I'm unsure how to supply power any differently. Currently I'm using a good quality Anker USB battery bank.

It would be good if folk could offer tips and suggestions on the MLA-30 in this thread.

Some good information on this loop over at https://groups.io/g/loopantennas Needless to say they rip it to shreds :D
There is no power supply provided. There is a 'Biasing Tee' which converts a 5V input to a 12V output, and is a switch mode device, but it does something else as well, it is not just a voltage provider, so replacing it for a 12V linear power supply probably does help.
I tried running mine direct from the bias-T of my Funcube Dongle Pro+ but the loop amplifier didn't work so probably the FCD Pro+ 4.5V bias-T is not powerful enough to drive the amp.

There is a lot of 'helpful' advice on the internet on how to improve a device that the writer doesn't have. Most reviews have Americans slagging it off because it is made in China. I'd like them to name American made, from American component devices 😉

chipbutty
Posts: 63
Joined: 02 May 2019 09:42
Location: Sheffield

Re: MLA-30 a poor man's Wellbrook

Post by chipbutty » 10 Dec 2019 12:51

Yes sorry. It's not a power supply. My mistake. I need to get this CCW up at some point but waiting on cables and a suitable way of putting up the loop.
Sangean ATS-909X, Roberts R861, Xhdata D-808, Tecsun PL-660, Tecsun R9700DX, Tecsun PL-310ET, Grundig City Boy 700, Grundig Yacht Boy 400, Philips D1835, Radiwow R-108, Realistic DX-360, Panasonic RF-3500, Sony XDR-P1DBP.

pe1etr
Posts: 1934
Joined: 07 Oct 2014 00:40
Location: Blackpool, UK

Re: MLA-30 a poor man's Wellbrook

Post by pe1etr » 10 Dec 2019 13:30

chipbutty wrote:
10 Dec 2019 12:51
Yes sorry. It's not a power supply. My mistake. I need to get this CCW up at some point but waiting on cables and a suitable way of putting up the loop.
There is a comparison on YouTube which shows that the MLA-30 is better than the CCW device. I was considering the CCW loop as it is a lot cheaper and more portable than a Wellbrook, but the MLA-30 is less than half price of the CCW loop!

chipbutty
Posts: 63
Joined: 02 May 2019 09:42
Location: Sheffield

Re: MLA-30 a poor man's Wellbrook

Post by chipbutty » 10 Dec 2019 14:00

Yes I must say I'm a bit disappointed at those findings. I have a feeling I'll regret getting the CCW.
Sangean ATS-909X, Roberts R861, Xhdata D-808, Tecsun PL-660, Tecsun R9700DX, Tecsun PL-310ET, Grundig City Boy 700, Grundig Yacht Boy 400, Philips D1835, Radiwow R-108, Realistic DX-360, Panasonic RF-3500, Sony XDR-P1DBP.

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