8 thoughts on “John reviews the MLA-30 mag loop antenna

  1. Mark

    Ok it may not work quite as good as a Wellbrook, but it wont work 10 times as bad. Cost-effectivness is still something worth chasing

  2. Armozel

    I think the stink that’s coming out over this amplifier is the fact it’s an old design by a HAM from the UK back in the 1980s which was reintroduced to people via MYA0F’s own webpage. There’s been subsequent improvements to the design but the overall device isn’t comparable to other products due to its high input impedance which isn’t optimal for small loop antennas. It can operate well as a short dipole preamp, though.

  3. Julio Cesar Pereira

    I got an MLA-30 mag loop antenna and its performance is very disappointing. The preamp produces a lot of white noise throghout all bands. The antenna only permormed well on 49m. I had nothing on AM and the other bands it was as disappointing. I don’t recommend it at all.

    1. james raftree

      yes. it is very noisy, i use sdr sharp with mine, there is a filter which removes all noise, sometimes it is good, and at other times really bad

  4. Vince

    >>>Given the “el cheapo” nature of the antenna, one may pair it with something like this

    This is the $8 generic RTL-SDR dongle, modified for direct sampling HF, at 8 bits. The waterfall is a maximum of around 2MHz, before samples are dropped.

    The MSI.SDR appears to be a clone of the legacy 12 bit RSP1, in a metal case, 0.5ppm TCXO, and up to 10MHz waterfall.

    It does have internal filters, unlike the generic 8 bit dongle, and like the legacy RSP1 it’s susceptible to strong MW BCB interference. I added an RTL-SDR Blog MW BCB filter and problem solved.

    P.S. How many reCAPTCHA challenges one has to go thru before posting? I think I had to go thru 10 this time around. It’s very annoying.

  5. Vince

    The reviewer is taking some ‘heat’ from some people. A clear case of no good deed going unpunished.

    I ordered one after reading the review a couple of weeks ago. I have no idea whether it’s a clone/knock off, and I also do not expect it to perform like a Wellbrook.

    It arrived last Friday, but no time to test it yet. One sure mod I’ll make is to use a standard power inserter, and feed it with a 12v linear power supply or battery pack.

    I paid less than the quoted price, after making an offer, and it being accepted by the seller.

    I also received an MSI.SDR dongle last Friday. It was reported to be a clone/knock off of the RSP1. Sure enough, it identified itself as an RSP1. That said, it’s performance appears to be superior than the RSP1. The metal case and TCXO likely heps.

    As crazy as it may sound, I’m using it more than the AirSpy HF+. Once I receive my Cross Country Wireless multicoupler, I’ll be able to run them side by side.

  6. Andrew

    Given the “el cheapo” nature of the antenna, one may pair it with something like this


    and setup an SDR station, sure it won’t offer stellar performances, yet if one wants to run a wideband sdr on a shoestring, the setup may match.

    Seriously, I think that the real point here is the fact that some commercial antennas price went “rocketing up” too much; sure, they may offer good manufacturing, support, quality control and whatever, but then if you look “inside them”, some prices can’t be justified just due to the above “checks” so, while the usual “you get what you pay for” applies, I think that sometimes, when it comes to higher price tags antennas, you may end getting “less” than you’re paying for, even if they work ok

    Also, and since we’re at it; wideband antennas (loops in this case) are ok, but they aren’t “miracle antennas” which will magically drop all the noise and only pass the desired signals, an antenna is an antenna, not some smart/magic device, also, most loops are untuned ones; now, while this is usually ok and avoids the need to retune the loop when scanning over frequencies, when it comes to cheaper SDR receivers it may become a “con”, see, higher end SDR units implement band filters which help cutting off undesired signals, but cheap SDRs don’t have such filters so, having a tuned (loop in this case) antenna may be of help, since in such a case the tuner (and usually preamplifier) will act somewhat like a preselector so allowing to improve a bit the cheap SDR unit performances

    I’ve referred a number of times to the Wenzel’s loopifier antenna, that is


    and I did (and do) it for a reason; not only having built a number of samples of that antenna (in the separate controlbox/preamp version) I can say it works well (no miracles, but it’s a good one, but also since, due to the tuned preamp, it helps quite a bit when it comes to cheaper receivers which don’t implement a preselector


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