AMA Magnetic Loops Design DK5CZ 'Käferlein'
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The magnetic loop antennas by OM C. Käferlein (DK5CZ, Darmstadt) are well known and popular not only in Germany. The production was later continued by Funktechnik Beese (Darmstadt). In 2016 WiMo acquired the right to the name and all design documents of these fine antennas.
AMA Magnetic Loops - Principle of construction
The main feature of a magnetic loop is it's comparably small size in relation to the wavelength. This makes this type of antenna very attractive to many radio amateurs with little space for aerials. The tuning is done with a high voltage capacitor in the loop, which is made from aluminium tubing. For best convenience the capacitor is tuned remotely by an electric motor.
Due to the physical principle of the loop antennas, these antennas have a very low radiation resistance. To achieve a good efficiency the losses in the antenna must be reduced as much as possible. This leads to the following construction requirements for AMA magnetic loop antennas:
- A magnetic loop antenna must be weatherproof for operation outside a building. The selection of materials and construction of the joints are of high importance. By many practical experiments the best suitable materials have been selected.
- The tube of the loop and the tuning capacitor must be constructed very robust, to avoid fluctuations of the inductivity and capacity and therefore fluctuations of the resonant frequency. Besides the mechanical stability the tuning capacitor must be built with thick plates, a solid axle and large electrical contacts to prevent heating from the high electrical currents. The also keeps losses at a minimum.
- For a precise tuning an accurate and continues mechanical drive, free of play, should be used. This mechanical drive must work reliably under all weather influences.
- The magnetic loop antenna should withstand excess power without permanent damage. This requires that the insulating material of the capacitor is resistive against high voltages, leak currents and arcing. When the antenna is accidentially overloaded there will only be a flash arc between the capacitor plates, but the antenna itself will not be damaged.
For best radiation symmetry we will use a symmetric coupling with a secondary loop.
From July 2017 on, all antennas with a loop diameter larger than 1.2m are shipped with a support tube. This support tube varies in size and material (aluminium, steel) depending on the size of the antenna. It runs vertically through the antenna. The support is fixed to the antenna mount at the bottom, and to the protective cover of the capacitor at the top. It relieves the loop from strong side loads at high windspeeds.
The tube visible at smaller loops just serves to guide and protect the cable and is not designed to support the loop structurally, such an additional support is usually not required for these models.
The models of the AMA Loop Antennas
|Max. Wind Velocity ||120||120||120||120||120||120||120||120||120||120||120||km/h|
(VSWR 2:1) 
: Theoretical values by Ch. Käferlein DK5CZ, based on Magnetic Loop calculations DL2FA
: empirical mean value
: Max. allowed windspeed 120 km/h, with momentary gusts up to 160 km/h.
For operation of the AMA loop antennas a DC voltage of 13.5V, max. 250mA is required, a supply cable is included in the shipment, but no power supply. Further a two wire control cable is required, a wire gauge of 0.75mm² is sufficient. See below. The control cable connector is supplied. For HF a PL socket is used.
- Included in shipment of the AMA magnetic loop antennas
- Mast mount for vertical installation, max. 60 mm mast diameter
- DC cable for controller
- Connector for control cable (Hirschmann STAS200 to the antenna, 3.5 mm mono phone plug to the controller)
- Printed instructions
AMA loop-antennas are partially manufactured after order. The current delivery time can be found in the listing below.
Download: AMA brochure (PDF, DE, 1.8MB)
The AMA combinations consist of one 1.7m AMA and one 0.8m AMA which can be mounted on a mast.
With the AMA combinations the 0.8m AMA has a modified mounting which makes a parallel mounting on a mast possible. If desired the combinations can be shipped with a modified controller. This controller contails an antenna switch. The tuning is the same as with a single antenna. Alternatively the two standard controllers can also be used.
Caution: Two antennas may never be tuned to the same band! The entire combinations is mounted with the 1.7m AMA's mast clamp. A 55mm steel mast is recommended.
The total weight of an AMA combi is ca. 20kg and the wind load for 120km/h is ca. 415N.
Suitable and tested combinations:
- .82+21(DH) (probably the best combi)
The combi 82+41 is neither recommended or tested.
Too many bands are mingling which may cause influences. The frequency range is also changed - the AMA41 might no longer be able to cover all bands.