If you have priced a commercially made MLA you'll see prices start at $400 and keep going up, and up. If they cost so much you would think they must be difficult to build or use expensive parts, right? Well, it is certainly possible to spend more and get a higher quality MLA but a low cost MLA will still work very well.
For the purposes of this article we'll assume that you want to build a loop to cover the 20-10M bands. I'll run through the calculations required to build the MLA.
The required information for the MLA calculator is:
- Length of the loop
- The conductor diameter
- Frequency/s of operation
- Input power to the antenna
- We don't really know the best length of the loop at the moment so I'll pick 9 feet circumference as a starting point (It'll still fit in the trunk of my car)
- Since we seem to be having better luck with sunspots now I'd like to try 10M so we'll start with 29 Mhz as the highest frequency we'll use.
- I have some copper pipe left over from an ice-maker install, it is 1/4 (0.25) inch in diameter.
- Input power to the loop will be 100W.