My commercial LZ1AQ antenna amplifier has arrived. You can read about my experience assembling and using this new system in the weeks ahead.
Over the past 12 months, I have done a lot of experimenting with active loop antennas and, in particular, the LZ1AQ amplifier circuit posted online. Mostly, I have been using a 1 meter diameter loop made from aluminum core PEX. I rolled my own circuit board design for the amplifier and, in general, they worked okay most of the time.
Recently, I decided to take the next step and obtain the commercial LZ1AQ antenna amplifier, shown above. This is an extended version of the basic LZ1AQ design, made in Bulgaria by Chavdar Levkov. Chavdar is around my age and specializes in biomedical and electronic engineering. His hobby and passion is radio.
My commercial LZ1AQ antenna amplifier cost around US$ 135, including shipping. I received it by post in around 3 weeks.
Once I get it up and running, I will compare its performance with my homebrew versions of the basic active antenna amplifier. If the commercial version proves superior, I may buy a second unit for use with diversity reception.
In a few days, I will post an article on un-boxing and assembling the system.
Commercial LZ1AQ Antenna Amplifier – System Design
I find the commercial version, named AAA-1C is much more complex than the basic online design.
AAA-1C contains amplifiers for both active loop and dipole antennas. I can configure the physical loops as both magnetic loops and as the arms of an electrical dipole. My control board will let me switch between various configurations remotely. 100 feet of CAT7 cable makes the connection between the outdoor amplifier and the indoor control board. Power will be provided by a 13.8 VDC linear supply.
As you can see on the product web site, specs look pretty good for bandwidth and dynamic range. Also, there are jumpers to limit the maximum output voltage to prevent front end overload on some newer software defined radios.
I am quite excited about this amplifier and will write about my assembly and experience in the weeks ahead.