Test report of the Delta-11 Loop by Ludwig, DH8SL
We have known Ludwig, DH8SL for many years as a friendly radio amateur and demanding, regional customer, with whom we have done a lot together. Ludwig was looking for a compact antenna for use on the road on his motor home.
In the course of the consultation we came to the conclusion that it would be best to test a certain antenna - the Delta-11 Loop Loop by EAntenna, together with a LDG RT-100 antenna tuner. Here is his test report. Thanks, Ludwig!
On the Air from the RV
Since several years I am doing amateur radio from my camper. Main focus are the bands 10 - 20m in SSB mode. At first with a YAESU FT-897 and now with aYAESU FT-DX10.As antennas we used J-antennas, Upper-And-Outer antennas or the ATAS-120A with WiMo-Radialkit. All these antennas had the disadvantage that the signal-to-noise ratio especially at the YAESU FT-DX10 was in no way satisfying.
Looking for a better solution I found the Delta-11 from EAntenna. Since the SWR according to the manufacturer was 4.2:1 for some bands and the FT-DX10 can only match up to 3:1, a tuner is still needed. The choice fell on the LDG RT-100 Outdoor Tuner.
Let's talk at first about the mounting. The transport length of the antenna is about 1.30m. The assembly instructions are well illustrated - all mounting parts easy to identify.
The actual test took place at the beginning of December 2022. Here 2 horizontal antennas were tested against each other:
- 3 element Ultrabeam on 11m height
- Delta-11 on a 3.5m steel mast and mast tuner LDG RT-100
- The antennas were connected to a LDG switch, so that a comparison could take place very quickly.
The transport length of the antenna is 1.30m. The instructions are well understandable. The scope of delivery includes a 10 and a 13 mm open-end wrench. In addition, a 7 and 8 mm open-end wrench is needed, plus a 2.5mm Allen key.
In some places, the mechanical assembly did not fit 100% - however, this was not a problem. The assembly went smoothly - the whole installation of the antenna was done after 1 hour.
Measuring the antenna
As the description said, the Delta-11 needs a tuner except for 10m and 11m. This was confirmed by testing with my MFJ-259B.
Connection with a 27m RG-58. Mast pushed out to 3m. It is absolutely recommended to ground the tuner at the mast and to use a sheath ripple suppressor. For the tests I tuned the tuner in each band with band center with a full tuning cycle (is exactly described in the manual). After tuning, the standing wave was below 1.7:1 on all bands throughout the range, so there was no need to retune the tuner.
- At distances below 1000km, the Delta-11 was 18-24 db below the Ultra Beam.
- In the rest of the EU traffic the Delta-11 was between 0dB and 18dB weaker than at the correctly aligned Ultra-Beam.
- DX stations - e.g. Thailand - were about 12dB weaker on the Delta-11 than on the Ultra beam, but more intelligible on the Ultra beam.
- Transmit Kuwait on 17m S9+20 on the beam, S7-9 on the delta loop.
- Reception India on 17m S9+10 at the beam S7-8 at the delta loop.
- Transmitting India on 17m S8-9 on beam, S5-6 on delta loop, but too strong QSB
- Reception Greece on 17m S9+30 at beam S9+10 at Delta Loop.
- Greece transmission on 17m S9+10 on beam S8-S9 at the Delta Loop
The Delta-11 in combination with the LDG RT-100 is not a miracle antenna - but a solid and honest combination. Smaller deficiencies in the manufacturing are certainly corrected and can also be compensated with board means.
Remarkable is the quietness of the antenna. The noise without signal is even 1-2 S-stages below the Ultrabeam - compared to earlier tests with the ATS-120 or the J-antennas, one sometimes thinks that the receiver is deaf.
In direct comparison between the Delta-11 and the Ultra-Beam, many observations showed equally strong signals when I turned the Ultra-Beam about 40-50 degrees from the direction of the station.
The tuner works unobtrusively and flawlessly. When using the cladding wave lock directly on the tuner, there was no high SWR at any time. Once the tuner has "learned" all bands the tuning is immediately available. Unfortunately, the specified power of 125 watts prevents the use of a power amplifier, such as the HLA-300V.
With a total price of currently about 550€ for antenna and tuner, the price/performance ratio is good - and definitely better than all combinations tested so far. With a weight of 4kg and a span of 3,6m the antenna is well suited for stand-mobile operation. With me, the antenna is used on the pitches on the motorhome with the mast seen in the picture.
I would like to thank the company WiMo and especially Ekki Plicht (DF4OR) for the fact that I could test the antenna and the tuner extensively.