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Five years after introduction by the U.K.'s Graham Maynard the Ferrite Sleeve Loop antenna suddenly got a new design mission-- shrink down in size and weight to become the ultimate overseas traveling companion. As such, the ocean cliff-dwelling gain monsters suddenly fell out of favor, and a new breed of compact, TSA-friendly beach thrillers was launched.
A relentless A/B testing program has continued for 3 years, trying every possible trick to make the "Frequent Flyers" more sensitive, lightweight and compact. Last summer at the Rockwork cliff Craig Barnes played a major part in this effort by informing me that his 5" Bar FSL had apparently accumulated a few too many air travel miles, and couldn't tune down to 531 kHz. This resulted in an all-out search for a variable cap replacement-- ending up with the much more effective "384P" component from Oren Elliot Products (and Mike's Electronic Parts).
Augmented by the new, razor-sharp tuning variable cap, Craig's 5" FSL was running circles around my own models in detailed A/B testing here in Puyallup. The obvious choice was to replace the variable caps in all the 5" Bar Frequent Flyer FSL's-- including one which would go to Poipu, Hawaii in November. The transformation changed the tiny FSL into a compact DXing firecracker, which ended up tracking down MW-DX from Oman, Egypt, Iran, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia, Bonaire and many other exotic locations on the Poipu beach.
But what about the ferrite rod "Frequent Flyers?" What would the new "384P" variable caps do for them? It turns out that the transformation has been just as thrilling, and has resulted in a new, compact 3 inch "Baby FSL" design, which packs a huge amount of performance into the smallest, most lightweight "Frequent Flyer" antenna yet.
The plan is to thoroughly demonstrate the new 3 inch "Baby FSL" model at the IRCA convention this September, along with the new 4 inch Bar FSL antenna (using 17 of the Russian surplus 100mm x 20mm x 3mm bars) and various "supercharged" Ultralights (and several XHDATA D-808's). See you there!