Earlier this year, I bought my Alex Loop from Peter NN9K. I've brought it along to Lake George and have used it both Sunday and today. There was not much going on, on the bands this afternoon, but I did work Anthony KB8BBK who was activating K-1955 Guilford State Park in Ohio.
The purpose of this post is to talk a little bit about the Alex Tune, which I purchased a bit after I got the Alex Loop. It was reviewed in a recent issue of QST, so I'm not going to go into this deeply.
The idea is that the Alex Tune unit clips onto on of the PL-259 connectors of the AlexLoop coax of the main loop. You tune the capacitor for max receive noise and then hit your tune button (or otherwise generate a carrier) and fine tune the capacitor while watching the LED for maximum brightness. When you hit that, you're in like Flynn.
This unit is ideal for QRP radios that do not have an SWR readout as part of their display. For some of the monoband kits, the minimalistic kits, the HB1B and others, the Alex Tune unit is ideal. If you're using an Elecraft radio, like the KX2 or KX3, it is actually easier to tune the capacitor for max noise and then watch the SWR display on the KX2 or KX3 and fine tune for minimum SWR. Yesterday and today, I was able to tune the Alex Loop for a 1:1 or 1.2:1 SWR pretty easily by keeping an eye on my KX3's display.
I don't regret purchasing the unit as it will come in handy when I use something other than my KX3. But if you're radio has a built in SWR meter, and you don't intend to ever use anything else, then you can save some money - use what you already have in your radio.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!