Update on the magnetic loop project:
1) The coax from DX Engineering was delivered last Friday.
2) The variable capacitor from RFI Parts arrived in the mail on Saturday.
3) I bought the PVC pieces for the frame that I have in mind, weeks ago.
I purchased one of these today:
It's a 6:1 ball bearing planetary reduction drive. It was $18.00 plus shipping from http://www.orenelliottproducts.com. This should make a big difference tuning the antenna, considering I don't have the lightest touch in the world.
All that's left to come up with is a enclosure for the capacitor. The Raritan Valley Radio Club hamfest is this Saturday, maybe I can find something there. The toughest part of this entire project is probably going to be to find suitable time, however. This weekend is the hamfest and Father's Day. Next weekend is Field Day. On the bright side, however, is that the following weekend is the long Independence Day weekend. I'll get this puppy built then, if not sooner.
So far, in parts and shipping, I'm still under the $150 mark. That's less than half the price of most of the commercially available loops. Of course, theirs are pretty much guaranteed to work, out of the box. Mine should, but you never know until you're done. If it does work, I have the satisfaction of knowing that I built it myself - and that I would have no compunction about modifying it to make it better - or perhaps tearing it apart to build a second, better generation.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!