Wellbrook Loop Antenna - Resources List

I recently purchased a Wellbrook 1530+ loop antenna to receive shortwave and mediumwave (aka AM) radio stations.

The information about this amazing antenna is scattered all over the internet - so I'm compiling a list of resources for people considering buying it.

There are two companies that produce small (one meter diameter) loop antennas that do a great job of rejecting locally produced electronic noise while still receiving desired radio signals.

These companies are Wellbrook Communications and Pixel Technologies. The two newest models from these companies are the Wellbrook 1530S+ and the Pixel RF Pro 1B.

These two products are both around $400-$450. There are two comparisons that show a different winner. My impression is that the jury is out on which is best.

Yahoo Groups
Wellbrook loop
Pixel Loop

Eham.net is a great source for reviews. They have reviews of the Pixel RF Pro and also of the Wellbrook ALA 1530 (a precursor to the 1530+)

Rad Com reivew of the Wellbrook ALA 1530

Comparison of RF Pro-1A and Wellbrook ALA 1530 by Guy Atkins (the Wellbrook wins). These are older models.

Comparison of Pixel Pro-1B to Wellbrook ALA 1530L by Jack Smith who works with Pixel Technologies. The pixel antenna wins, but since then Wellbrook has come out with a new model.

My Setup
I currently have my Wellbrook loop in my backyard positioned as far away from surrounding houses as possible. This is only 20 feet as I'm surrounded by houses. Unfortunately I also have power service lines going through my property and my setup is plagued with power line noise. The Wellbrook makes it bearable.

I based my setup on Reeve Observatory's page. The antenna comes with a short (12 inch) piece of 1/2 emt (metal) conduit. I put three pieces of PVC over it - 3/4, 1, and 1 1/4 inch. These pieces fit nicely together (some more snug than others). Note: if you want to fit things together be sure to check the inner dimension and outer dimension of the pipe. Small standardized PVC will fit together, whereas EMT will not fit as well.

Then I drilled through these four layers and used four screws to tie it together (I used 2 machine screws, but they were too short to go the whole 1.75 inchs so I also used 2 drywall screws that I had).

Unlike Reeve's setup, I haven't used any epoxy (because I had the extra 0.75 inch piece of PVC).

The goal of all this PVC was to get the width to be 1.25 inches which is wide enough to fit into my rotor's clamps.

For the rotor, I bought a NTE U 105 from Stark Electronic for $80 (and also 100 feet of rotor wire - probably any three conductor wire will work). I think this is a clone of the popular Channel Master 9521 which is sold under several names. The rotor gets mixed reviews, but my guess is that people are rotating larger antennas on it (and they claim to support even the largest of TV antennas). It should do a great job for a small loop.

Now the rotor sits on 10 foot 1 1/2 inch wide emt pole ($15). Some people recommend getting galvanized steel as a stronger support ($40).

I pounded the pole about three feet into the ground with a sledge hammer (you can setup a hammer drill to do this a lot faster if you have one).

This setup works well. Next I'll try putting the antenna above my roof as that is the only way to get away from the power lines. My roof is around forty feet high. I plan to attach the antenna support mast to the black sewer gas pipe that is next to/attached to my chimney.

The downside of putting the antenna that high is that you lose sensitivity to low angle (near the horizon) radio signals at higher frequencies (like 10 mhz). The antenna becomes most effective at receiving signals from high angles that are less useful to radio listeners.

Pixel Pro 1b ad

Email me if you have links that I should add!

Loose connector

The Wellbrook antenna connector does get loose and requires regular re-connection. Other people have reported this problem as well. It is probably a greater problem if you have a rotor.

I can tell when my noise level goes up dramatically and the loop can no longer null a local station. I think the ground might be losing its connection to the coaxial shield.