I was out for a walk in my city when I found this old 26" bicycle rim in the brushwood close to the rail tracks. I removed all the crusty stuff and added a variable capacitor with around 15-120 pF.
Some time later I was able to work RA3BL in Moscow 2.200 km way on 30m. The efficiency on 10 MHz is only 5% on such a small loop but it worked. I later worked LA9NKA on 12m, K8JDC on 17m, DK3KUD on 60m and highlight was VP8LP in Falkland Islands on 17m who was 12.700 km (7.900 mi) away. Unbelievable.
I like this antenna a lot and can highly recommend it. I try to source some old 24" and 28" rims to compare them. 28" should be the best option there performance-wise but you need a capacitor with a low starting capacity, otherwise you probably lose 10m.
Check out my other, big loop on which I worked hundreds of stations already: Magnetic Loop (Magnetantenne) selber bauen
To calculate your loop you can use a calculator like the one from 66pacific: http://www.66pacific.com/calculators/small-transmitting-loop-antenna-calculator.aspx
The diameter of conductor for such a bicycle rim is around 33 mm, which is a lot compared to RG-213/214 with only around 10mm. With this value known you can calculate the perfect capacitance for your desired frequency.
Here I calculated the values for a 26 inch rim. The metric dimensions are: 55cm diameter = 1,72m antenna circumference.
| MHz ||Tuning Capacitance ||Antenna efficiency|
|3.573||1,014 pF||4% (-14.3 dB below 100%)|
|5.357||451 pF||14% (-8.6 dB below 100%)|
|7.074||259 pF||30% (-5.3 dB below 100%)|
|10.136||126 pF||60% (-2.2 dB below 100%)|
|14.074||65 pF||83% (-0.8 dB below 100%)|
|18.100||40 pF||92% (-0.4 dB below 100%)|
|21.074||29 pF||95% (-0.2 dB below 100%)|
|24.915||21 pF||97% (-0.1 dB below 100%)|
|28.074||16 pF||98% (-0.1 dB below 100%)|
|50.313||5 pF||100% (0.0 dB below 100%)|