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published: Sunday 24 April 2016
modified: Sunday 24 April 2016
author: Hales
markup: textile

Selectable turns AM loop antenna

I've made a couple of AM loop antennas before, but I have never been sure of how many turns to wind and the results (when connected to my radio) have been lacklustre. Today's job was to make another but with a variable number of turns.


I started by cutting and marking out a sheet of plywood to mount and wind the antenna on. The circle was made using a stick with two holes, a nail and a pencil. The other lines were for centre and square-line finding:

I drilled out 16 holes around the perimeter of the circle and hammered in wooden pegs. Despite the saying, square pegs do fit into round holes (nice and snugly):

Nothing fancy on the backside:

I then struck ten nails in at the bottom of the loop and used these as taps for my windings. I wound each loop of the antenna with a seperate piece of wire and terminated each end on the nail farm:

In the picture above you can also see a few other features:


It works wonderfully! Different parts of the AM band work better with a different number of turns selected on the antenna. At certain ranges I found that 7 turns picked up something nasty that sounded (by ear) a good 10 or 20 more dB louder than everything else. At other ranges it provided the loudest/clearest.

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