Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike Ladd, who shares the following video by Rick King who compares four mag loop antennas: the MLA-30, Cross Country Wireless, Bonito ML200, and the Wellbrook 1530LN.
Although we’ve previously posted reviews and comments about the MLA30, I’m quite impressed that it gave the venerable Wellbrook a run for its money. I’m not surprised the Bonito ML200 was the winner here–Bonito quality is second to none.
While browsing Universal’s used list this morning, I noticed the two Bonito antennas. Both are listed in “good” condition and Universal Radio backs their used equipment with a 60 day limited warranty. The Boni-Whip price is $119.95 and the Mega-Loop $285.95.
I was mighty tempted to purchase this used Boni-Whip, but I’ve been so busy on the road lately, I haven’t even had an opportunity to put Steve Yothment’s homebrewed mini-whip antenna on the air and I’ve had it since early March!
The Megaloop ML200 is a very portable magnetic loop antenna. I’ve used one on a couple of occasions and really appreciated the noise rejection. It’s much easier to pack than a loop with a rigid antenna element.
$295.95 is a great price for the ML200 which typically sells for 369 EUR via Bonito in Germany.
Autonomous power supply of our active antennas via USB and power bank
It is getting to be more and more difficult to procure reasonably priced analogue external plug-in power supplies because just like old light bulbs they are no longer allowed to be produced due to power consumption restrictions. We are spending a lot of time to find and buy remaining stock so that we can offer our customers noise-free external power supplies. But for years, there has been an alternative.
Our MegaLoop ML200, ML052, the MegActiv MA305 as well as the GigActiv GA3005 can be operated internally with as little as 5V and so can be powered by the supplied CPI1000DP / CPI3000DP bias tee via a USB cable. In light of the annoying switching power supplies, PowerLAN and heightened mobility of listeners, this is a very practical alternative and offers much more flexibility for the customer. Unfortunately, this fact is not well known and that is why I would like to shed some light on this subject.[…]
I should note that there are a multitude of 5 VDC powerblocks on the market. I have two made by Eton Corp (see above) that even have hand-crank power generation. I recently used one to power my Raspberry Pi (Raspberry Pirate!) for several hours.
As Dennis states, using a DC source certainly cuts down on interference from noisy power supplies.
MegaLoop ML200: The MegaLoop is a 5 meter active stainless steel loop antenna that can be used outdoors. The MegaLoop ML200 ships with a Dual Power power supply (including the ability to power via USB).
Bonito notes that the Megaloop ML200 is currently available for a special price of 279,00€ (incl. 19% VAT) at HamradioShop.net.
The MegActiv 305
MegActiv 305: The MegActiv 305 is a compact antenna designed for low-noise reception between 9 kHz and 300 MHz. It has a radiating element of 18cm and can be powered with 5-15 VDC (max.120mA) or with the supplied Dual Power unit CPI 1000DP via USB.
The MegActiv 305 will be available for purchase end of April for an introductory offer of 174,99€ (incl. 19% VAT).
OVP1000 Over Voltage Protector: The OVP1000 is an in-line over voltage protector for your receiver. It’s designed to dissipate current pulses caused by nearby thunderstorms. The OVP 1000 protects against high power surges in three ways:
A gas discharge tube with 60V firing voltage, max. pulse leakage current 1kA (8/20µs)
An ultra-fast ESD diode (30KV; max. pulse power 350W (8/20µs)
Blocking DC voltages (up to max. 100V) at the input and output.