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House Loop Antenna

by Adam Gott

While searching for the perfect shortwave antenna while using the limitations forced upon myself I have finally come up with a good all around performer that is easy to construct and requires no yard space. Yes, the 'House Loop' (or 'Apartment Loop', as it fits in my case) is here. And boy does it perform like a champ!

I originally heard about the idea in Monitoring Times about a year or so ago. I have refined the idea and have installed my own 'house loop' and must say that I was highly impressed with the initial installation. I think that you will find this a most adequate antenna for all around shortwave performance if you have been limited by space considerations in the past.


Installing the antenna is easy. Use any type of wire (or types of wire). You will need about 50-150 feet of wire, depending on your own set-up. Start the wire at (or near) your shortwave receiver and route it around the entire perimeter of your house/apartment. Try to keep it as far apart from itself as possible. Your objective will be to make a square (or rectangle) with the wire around your house. Here is a simple illustration to help you out.

                  X++++++++++++++     D   D         ++++++++X
                  X+                  D   D                +X
                  X+                  X   X                +X
                  X+                  X   X                +X
                  X+                  X   X                +X
                  X+++++++            X   X                +W
                  XXXXXXXDDXXXXXXXXXXXX   X                +W+
                        X+            X   XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX+
    WWW=Window          X+            X                    +W+
    XXX=Wall            XDDXXXXXXXXXXXX                    +X
    DDD=Door            X+                                 +X
    +++=Antenna         XSW                                +X
     SW=Receiver        X+                                 +D
                        X+                                 +D

Use windows to your advantage whenever possible. If you have the choice from one point to the next, use windows. The more of your antenna that you get outside, the better. If you (or your landlord) are worried about outside wires, try using magnet wire for the antenna. Magnet wire is extremely thin and relatively invisible from a distance.

Your antenna can either be low or high. I have mine thumbtacked next to the ceiling and this seems to work better for me. But I have heard of others using the floor with equally pleasing results. Some experimentation may be necessary to determine the setup that gives you the best results.

After you have completed your loop, use a small lenth of coax (if available) to connect your antenna to your receiver. Connect one lead of the antenna to the braid and one lead to the center conductor of the coax.


I also use an antenna tuner which helps a lot in attenuating the MW interference that I experience in my area. But the antenna still provides excellent reception without the tuner.

You may also want to experiment with the antenna connection to the receiver. The last leg of my antenna runs outside for about 40 feet, so I connected that lead to the center conductor of the coax. You may also want to leave one lead disconnected from the ground of the coax, it all depends on your situation.

I have heard of some people using 5 conductor antenna rotator cable for this antenna with excellent results so you may want to try this venue. I had to use magnet wire due to my requirements for an almost invisible antenna, but you may not have that restriction.


My antenna seems to cover from about 5 Mhz to 21 Mhz fairly well with reception being peaked at around 7-11 Mhz. But again, your results will vary depending on your installation. My antenna is also about 150 feet long.

For a receiver, I use a Sony ICF 2001D... and as the famous active antenna ad goes ('works almost as good as longwires 100's of feet long) I would have to say the same about this one. And it only costed me $1.00 for the wire!

If you have the chance, I seriously recommend trying out this solution to your antenna woes. It should only take about 30 minutes to construct, and won't cost you hardly anything should it now work for you.

Origin: Adam Gott, 1990, The CatWalk BBS Davie, Fl 305-370-3528 ZyXel 16.8K V.32 (1:369/8)

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