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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!

from John Schriener Jr. N2LK on May 18, 2007
View comments about this article!


"Editor's Note: Due to the popularity of some of eHam's older articles, many of which you may not have read, the eHam.net team has decided to rerun some of the best articles that we have received since eHam's inception. These articles will be reprinted to add to the quality of eHam's content and in a show of appreciation to the authors of these articles."

Indoor Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!

I have been an active, albeit casual HAM for 15 years. By casual I mean I spend more time in the Fall/Winter DX'ing and Contesting then the rest of the year due to my sport fishing disease. I have confirmed 202 Countries, have DXCC (and on 3 bands, just need 8 more for 40 meters) and when my wife and kids let me, I can work hundreds of stations in many contests with stations worldwide on numerous modes.

In this time I have played with more wire antenna designs than you can imagine all with the limitation of no real trees or other supports available. The G5RV-Jr (52 foot flat-top) can be quite an effective radiator for 10-40 meters and I have used that and other commercial antenna's as well (Cushcraft R5 for example). All under less then ideal land conditions. They have been strung from my house to ground stakes, buried in tree's only 25 feet high and strung in attics, all bent back on themselves and curved to fit the small space available.

In all this fun of experimentation for us who cant have towers and big beams, I have come to a conclusion that although outside antenna's are nice, my attic dipoles do just as good a job, and don't pick up too much additional electrical noise to warrant me changing them. Now if I had 2-100ft. tall pine tree's on 2 acres of land I would have a full size Carolina Windom up there in a minute, but I don't and having an R5 in the backyard or stringing the shorty G5RV up 25 feet in the backyard does not improve over my attic fan dipole, much to my surprice once again this weekend.

I have a 15/20 meter coax fed fan dipole in the attic which performs well, in fact I took the R5 down since it was perhaps annoying to the neighbors, was a lightning hazard and did not do any better then my attic antenna. I took my G5RV from the attic and made a 25 ft. tall mast out of 2x4's last Fall, 03 and strung it in my backyard. Iworked alot but it never blew my ears away vs. when it was in my attic. I had the left over wire still in the attic for the G5RV, just soldered them to my existing dipole, and with my rig's tuner I had a 40 meter dipole (only 52 feet long and taking multiple bends in the attic). On top of that my HVAC is in the attic and that must add some nice lobes to my radiated patterns! During the CQWW RTTY this past weekend I worked stations throughout EU into Russia, Greece and SA as wel, all on 40 meters and 100 watts. I just keep getting surprised on how well these antenna's can be for working all the bands, not just 10-20 meters.

Bottom line if you live in a community where antennas are frowned upon (amazing such a thing could exist!) then don't give up hope on making solid DX QSO's. Use your attic and you will be just as surprised as me how effective they can be. Don't worry about wire being in straight lines, make what bends you have too to make the length of wire fit, use good coax, a balun and proper safety and you will work the world.

73

N2LK

Member Comments:
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Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by W4LGH on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Attic antennas work. I used one for years, when living in a condo. They are a bit more noisy than an outside antenna, and it can be a challange to get all the RF out of your house, but it can be done.

I used 2 pieces of 450ohm ladder line, 25' long shorted at the far ends. This in effect gave me a 50' wire on each side. I then fed this wire with an SGC auto antenna coupler. This worked out pretty good and of course I only ran a max of 100watts to it. But I was on the air!! I still have this antenna in my attic of my house, used as a back us, if Florida storms/hurricanes take down my outside antennas.

73 de W4LGH - Alan
http://www.w4lgh.com
 
Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by G8UBJ on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Using attic antennas are a bit like living off junk food, you can do it, but you only need to if you live in a city.

I also have a fan dipole in the loft and a G5RV in the back Garden (back yard).

The fan dipole suffers from more noise and its harder to deal with interference issues. That said the signal get out okay.

It may not look so nice but the further away from the house my antenna, the less noise I suffer from and interference I generate.

BTW interestingly, where I live is all buried services. When I go 80M mobile I notice there is now more interference in the country with everything running on poles. Maybe its quieter in the loft?
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by N4LI on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Attic antennas are a compromise, practically by definition. But, they certainly have their place.

A few years ago, I lived in an extremely restrictive neighborhood – no outside antennas, flag poles, etc., allowed. So, everything I had was attic-bound. I must say, though, that I did OK. In just a couple of years, I knocked out DXCC, QRP/DXCC, VUCC/6m, and a few other awards. Power was never above 100W, of course, as not to set the house on fire.

I live in a different house now, and can and do have outdoor antennas. Still, I keep some antennas in my attic. It’s nice to have some back-up for 6m and HF, but, most importantly, I keep VHF/UHF verticals up there. Attic antennas are great for local work during heavy weather, and the like. In fact, anytime I am chatting on local repeaters, the signal is coming out of my attic; I am not going to waste valuable tower space with such pedestrian pursuits.

Peter, N4LI
 
WRONG AGAIN  
by KA4KOE on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
This is a "classic" by N2LK, not Eham.
 
RE: Attic Antennas  
by G0RIF on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!

I have only attic antennas - a bent to fit 20m dipole, a loaded dipole for 40m (total only 15ft long) and a very bent random doublet (as big as would fit). All are fed with pretty short runs of good quality coax. The doublet works well on 40-30-17-15m and will tune on 80m but is very inefficient.

With power limited to 100w in all modes these antennas work very well for me. I understand and acknowledge their limitations and my expectations of what I can achieve are set accordingly. I can't always work what I can hear and I know there's an awful lot of stuff I just don't hear but they keep me on the bands and I'm enjoying ham radio.

73, Dean - G0RIF
 
Attic Antennas -- Think Again!  
by AI2IA on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I strongly suggest that you consider every possible alternative (and there are plenty) before atttempting to install an attic antenna. I worked for a number of years with a man who lost his brother due to electrocution while attempting to install an attic antenna. This is not the only hazard.

You can fall through the ceiling, be overcome by heat, create a fire hazard that you cannot easily see because it is hidden, and subject those in your house to EM radiation exposure needlessly. Get a good book on stealth antennas, or a book on antennas in general and use you imagination.

My co-worker never recovered emotionally from the loss of his brother. Don't risk something like that in your family for an antenna that could have been installed successfully in other ways. Have fun, but don't take needless risks.
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Think Again!  
by KX8N on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Although an attic antenna isn't too bad of an idea if you have absolutely no other alternative (though I feel you usually do), this makes me think of the guy who was bragging in here several months ago about all the contacts he had made by running 800 watts to his attic antenna.

If you're going to go with an attic antenna, at least use some common sense.
 
Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by N2RRA on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Attic antenna's are not a practical way, or safe way of operating, but is certainly an alternative.

I have worked many attic operator's for many years with great astonishment. One very recent is a gentlmen by the call W2KRP. Next time you work him ask him what he's using, and you'll be shocked at such a great signal. I've witnessed 5/9 rst from EU.

Love when I hear people say "I can't work HF", but I say you can if you really try and willing. The only people who are mostly excempt are Condo, some apartment, and Co-Op living. Even then it's possible, because I've done it from my Condo.

Gud DX and 73!
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by W2RDD on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I used an indoor end fed antenna for 20 meters in the apartment for a while (20 watts max from the Argonaut V). Ran the entire length. Took it down when I was off the air as it looked like Hades. Worked fairly well, but then had the bright idea of laying it flat on a roof a couple feet below the window near the operating position. Made a small improvement. Right now using a Buddistick with MJF ten-foot whip attached to the window-sill. Twenty-meter counterpoises now laying on that same roof. All up about 16 feet or so. Works pretty good. Run about 90 watts or so.

I operate on 20 meters only as it works best on that band plus it is a real physical challenge removing the Buddistick from the window-sill in order to reach the coil taps for a frequency change.

If you are in a your own home and don't mind RFI into your other electronics the attic antenna can work. If you are in a duplex or condo with attic access, you might want to keep the power at a twenty-watt level as I did in that earlier set-up.



 
Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by N9GC on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Another encouraging word for the have-to-use-attic-antenna crowd. Now in a "detached townhome" - aka house with lots of restrictions. Very small lot, no practical room for anything outdoors. My W9INN (SK - may he rest in peace) shortened 80-10 meter dipole (45 ft.) has given me WAS for the first time in my ham career, all the lower 48 on 40 alone!. Plus numerous DX and special event stations. Among the fun ones:NJ2BB, Battleship New Jersey; CY9SS, St. Paul Island; and OX60AD, USAF special event station in Thule Greenland. All this from the black hole of propogation - Minn.
None of this was done at high power, barefoot 775DSP. 200 w. on SSB, less on CW and RTTY. I use line isolaters at the rig and at the antenna feedpoint and a low-pass filter at the rig. XYL never knows when I am on the air.
VHF/UHF local repeater coverage from an unused Anli dual band mag mount mobile antenna sitting on the attic floor on a discarded computer cabinet cover sheet - only thing in the house that is steel! Covers all the Minneapolis repeaters with 20 to 50 watts.
Hams will always find a way to get on the air.
73, Carl WCØV
 
Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by KA9LEP on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
My first experience with attic antennas (for transmitting) was a carolina windom, with balun and coax to rig's autotuner. This was an RFI disaster! I'd get zapped just touching the knobs on my rig, and with pretty extensive grounding, too.

I then tried balanced feedline and a balanced tuner (same ground), and was amazed at the difference! Virtually NO RFI to speak of -- cheesy computer speakers still required ferrite beads, but that's all.

So currently I run a home brew cobra antenna in the attic, fed with a balanced line and tuner, and can decently work all bands except 160 meters. (Hey, when will we start seeing BALANCED AUTOTUNERS?!)

Yes, you must be careful up in the attic, but hams have also gotten electrocuted on the ground or in trees or towers. Use common sense, note where AC wires lie, proceed slowly and carefully, and if you're not so spry, enlist the help of someone who is.

For multiple trips to the attic, it starts making sense to lay down some 2x8 planks and secure them well, so you have a decent walkway. Also consider battery or standard light fixtures, as good light will certainly help with safety and simplify making a better installation.
 
Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by W7TEA on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
We moved into an antenna restricted neighborhood several years ago and while the house was being constructed I installed a 40m loop in the attic--40ft x 20ft fed in one of the short sides with ladder line. The line came down thru the wall and into the shack to be terminated in a 4:1 current balun. It really worked quite well. I later built a 40m delta loop from #16 copperweld wire outside with the apex up about 20ft connected to the chimney and fed in the lower corner. It was practically invisible and performed equally to the attic loop. Finally, I build an 80m slating delta loop with the apex up 55ft in a fir tree on the corner of the lot. It works much better than either of the other loops and is only noticeable when it's covered with ice during some winter storms. It's been up more than 10 years with virtually no maintenance and no complaints by neighbors. The CCnR's expire in two years!!!
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by KG6WLS on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I've thought about the attic antenna idea many of times. But, as one poster put it: "create a fire hazard that you cannot easily see because it is hidden, and subject those in your house to EM radiation exposure needlessly." I tend to agree. Although I don't work 800 watts either. I'm sure that with good installation practices it can be / and has been done sucessfully in the attic. No argument on that one.

I live in a condo with CC&R's and work HF/VHF/UHF no problem with verticals. The VHF/UHF antennas are small (of course) and are not as obtrusive to the HOA, and that goes for the 6M / 2M loops too. HF with a telescopic alum. vertical and auto coupler w/ radials does well for me.

Stealth operations can be fun if you keep an open mind, think out of the box, and keep it safe.

73
Mike
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by W7AIT on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!

ATTIC ANTENNAS QUESTION AND ANSWER, do attic antennas work?

I have successfully put a 40/30/20/17/15/12/10 antenna dipoles fed with a W2AU balun, RG58 coax in the attic. Although not optimal, they do work. I never tried 80, too big.

Trick is:

1. Use a balun. Required!
2. Get the wires off the feed as straight as possible for as long as possible before bending the ends.
3. Ends may be bent all over, even a Z shape, zig zag, just don’t cross over itself.
4. Use insulated wire, helps shorting out issues.
5. Keep wire away from wooden trusses, 2X4’s etc by at least a few inches. Remember wood will detune the antenna / suck up RF, so the better job you do keeping it away from wooden supports the better.
6. Tune with analyzer. It may require extra long wire or it may be extra short, depends. Use cut and try approach so start extra long. Wire stretchers are very expensive devices and hard to use in the attic!
7. Watch out for telephone wires, computer wires, heating equipment wires, metal ducts, metal pipes, metal joists, house wiring, romex, etc. You will couple RF into these things so expect RFI in TV sets, stereo’s, telephones, intercoms, burglar alarms, etc.
8. Don’t fall through the ceiling and hurt yourself. Sheetrock can be patched but injury to yourself not!
9. Performance: I had a ATTIC on 40 for years, worked JA’s, a lot of stateside etc. They do work.
10. I measured 20 db loss in attic dipole in my last attic installation. The tile roof attenuated HF signals by 20 db. This was a contrast / compare measurement using the Buddipole dipole outside and the fixed attic BW40 in the attic. 20 db is a lot! So at that attic installation, it was a very poor performer. Fortunately I moved to a tract where outside antennas allowed soon after and have been having great success. Outside antennas the only way to go unless you can’t put up anything else but attic antennas.
11. Van Gorden engineering makes a line of dipole kits for HF; buy the balun too, they make the antenna work far better than direct feed. Repeat after me “USE A BALUN”!
12. Be sure to run “RF SAFETY EXPOSURE” before running your attic antennas. Make sure you meet or exceed requirements for your transmitter power & installation. Enter results in your log book in case FCC asks to see.
13. 6 meters/ VHF/ UHF – Some of the above applies, though mounting, counterpoise’s, reflectors, are different. Experiment!
14. COMPUTER HASH: Attic or in the room antennas pick up horrible amounts of computer hash. It can be so bad as to make reception useless. Also note, SCR controlled light dimmers are awful noise sources too. Try to position your attic antennas away from computers etc. Some electronic light controllers known to emit 160 khz RFI & also be KEYED ON BY HAM TRANSMITTERS!

 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by WA1RNE on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!

About 9 years ago, I set up a 2 element FIXED 10 meter yagi in my attic. For a "quick and dirty" set-up it worked pretty well. However, this yagi was a bit of a variant from the "norm":

* It had NO boom. Both elements were supported with masonry line suspended from the roof joists.

The elements were the same aluminum ones from my 3 element homebrew yagi. Only the driven element (with gamma match) and director were used here.


Another possibility is a 2 element quad for 6 meters, which depending ont he size of your attic could be rotatable.


...WA1RNE
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by N4LI on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
> Another possibility is a 2 element quad for 6 meters...

I was able to get a 3-element 6 meter Cushcraft beam in my attic (though, I had to take it apart, and reassemble in place, once I got above the 2x4s). It rotated with a RS TV rotator. And, it worked pretty well.

Every attic is different, it seems. Just play around with it.

Peter, N4LI
 
Attic Antennas -- You don't need them.!  
by AI2IA on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
If you live in an apartment or other restricted place, consider operating HF mobile and also operating from field equipment set up outdoors in places of your choosing.

When you operate outdoors, you can pick the best possible places and enjoy the special satisfactions of operating in different environments. You gain skills in setting up and taking down outdoor installations, and you add a new and exciting element to youy amateur operation. You also evade all the aggravation of trying to circumvent operating where various folks for various reasons don't want you to operate. All it takes is a change of mind and a willingness to try a new and better approach.
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- You don't need them.!  
by W6TH on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
.

I tried that new approach this past year and found it very uncomfortable, that is working mobile.

The temperature was at a minus 5 degrees F and five feet of snow. My lips became frozen and just this past week the last of the skin on my lips peeled off.

I think I will stick to a warm ham shack from now on.

.:
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- You don't need them.!  
by KG6WLS on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Hey, Vito! Don't you just miss the California weather?? :-)

Getting back to the topic. I've found that "stationary mobile" on HF works great on top of a hill, or at the bay / coastal. It's nice to get out of the shack once in awhile and the CC&R's. :0)

73
Mike
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by KC6WGN on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I DWELL IN THE AREA OF RESTRICTIONS/HOME OWNERS ASSOCIATION. BUT MY BEAM ANTENNA TH-3 JR., WORKS FINE WITH ME, BEEN THERE 7 SEVEN YEARS STILL USING IT. I WORKED DIFFERENT COUNTRIES. I DID THESE PIECE BY PIECE DURING SPRING TIME TO GET INSIDE THE ATTIC....
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by KC6WGN on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I DWELL IN THE AREA OF RESTRICTIONS/HOME OWNERS ASSOCIATION. BUT MY BEAM ANTENNA TH-3 JR., WORKS FINE WITH ME, BEEN THERE 7 SEVEN YEARS STILL USING IT. I WORKED DIFFERENT COUNTRIES. I DID THESE PIECE BY PIECE DURING SPRING TIME TO GET INSIDE THE ATTIC....
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by W4CNG on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
As the one who runs 800 Watts into my attic antennas, that some have questions about, here's my facts. It seems there are a few doubters (comments already noted KX8N).

1. Been doing Attic antennas since 7/2000, article published here.
2. With the completion of the Terrace Level Ham Shack in 2/2001, I ran the OET-56 Calculations (everyone also has done this for your station if you are exceeding certain power levels), for exposure and have 21 pages of data that show that the uncontrolled near field radiation is within limits for any frequency when you are beyond 6 feet from the antennas, at 800 watts PEP, which is 200watts CW.
3. All antennas are resonant, no tuners are used.
4. Raised the power in 2001 to 800 watts. No issues.
5. Now in 2007 all is Well up stairs in the attic. It is big and it is tall, and there is more than 4 feet clearance to any item (wood or wire).
Having worked in Broadcast Television and worked on High Power TV Transmitters (TT60FH Parallel) and have an original First Class RadioTelephone license, I am very comfortable with what I am doing.
A Man's gotta know his limitations. I have not yet reached mine. Attic Antennas work and when installed in a safe manner, are safe for all concerned. Yes, some folks can mess this up, but they have just exceeded their limitations.
Good Luck to all with your Attic Antennas
Steve W4CNG
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by KC8QFP on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I think the SLINKY makes for a nice attic antenna. You can find some nice ones on Ebay for a reasonable price. The Slinky is prone to corrosion, so it will not rust as easily in the attic. Just be careful what is nearby, the SLINKY can get pretty hot with RF!

I also like using loop antennaes either around the parimeter inside the attic, or around the roof raised up on plasic poles (extermally). Most houses can handle even a forty meter loop mounted on the roof. Mount the poles at the four corners, then use some dacron string to go from the pole tops to the four corners of the loop antenna (use dog bones). Elastic bungies with hooks can also be used to connect the poles to the dog bones. Plastic 3/4" conduit seems strong enough if you use like 14 or 16 ga wire for the loop. A delta or triangular loop also can be used in the attic.

I also plan to stretch a HALF SQUARE acrossed my roof this spring, the first time I'll try using it! I also like the inverted VEE on the roof, they work great! I used to have a ten meter inverted VEE in my attic.

Now I have too much junk stroed up there. Someday I will clean out the attic... someday... someday...

73! Don
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by W6TH on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
.
I have been using a 33 foot wire strung in my bedroom at seventeen feet above the ground. Found out that my antenna tuners wouldn't tune the 15, 12, and 10 meter bands, so I designed an antenna tuner of my own that tunes this thirtythree foot wire on all bands from 80 through six meters.

If I use the attic, I can get another nine feet of height and would probably help some, but I have had such wonderful results with this set up that I have not decided to so as yet.

I also tried and ran my Icom 718 at 140 watts output and drawing 20 amps on my Astron RS 20M, which worked very well, but found that this was not really needed so went back to the 100 watts output.

Attic Antennas do Surprise Me! I think I will raise the antenna that nine feet I mentioned and make use of the attic.

W6TH
.:
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- You don't need them.!  
by VE5JCF on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I tried that new approach this past year and found it very uncomfortable, that is working mobile.

The temperature was at a minus 5 degrees F and five feet of snow. My lips became frozen and just this past week the last of the skin on my lips peeled off.

I think I will stick to a warm ham shack from now on.
---------------------------------------------------------

Why not just use the heater in your vehicle when mobile?
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by N7YA on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Im rather surprised at some of the responses to this subject i have been seeing. Im not bragging as ive had more missed opportunities than successes, and im certainly no big gun, and huge egos in ham radio are absolutely ridiculous in my opinion...but i have been running a single wire attic dipole for about a year now, and have reached all over the globe, AF, AN, SA, OC, EU...all of them, with just under 100 watts. before that i was running the loop right inside the house, along the lid line of the ceiling, did that for years and years....i have over 200 countries, and often times i was running the indoor wires with QRP. I can work all over the world with my rig on fone or CW on 80 through 10...i even made a couple of 160 contacts with the above set-up. my rig is an older FT757gx, and my tuner is a 949E.
But the best accessory in my shack is one we should ALL have, a good ear and some patience. sure, i get lots of noise and im certainly not lighting up the sky with my signal, but i can break pileups with this set up and a little skill, and since i am strictly forbidden to have an outdoor antenna, i am happy to have what i have. In the last 10 years of indoor antennas, QRP up to 100 watts...i have 7BWAC, 3BDXCC, WAS, etc...all because its fun to do and i will find a way to make it work. Theres no need to discount your expectations of an indoor antenna, if you can hear them, you at least have a shot at it. I worked South Africa with an indoor loop and 80w...he was QRP! Of course, as with ANY antenna installation, be safe, think of all the variables that can go wrong, and examine every angle of your work....but overall, quit worrying, get on the air and get it done!!

73...Adam, N7YA
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by KX8N on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"As the one who runs 800 Watts into my attic antennas, that some have questions about, here's my facts. It seems there are a few doubters (comments already noted KX8N). "

Sorry, didn't mean to offend if I did. I would just personally be uncomfortable being that close to that much power, but if other's are alright with it, that's fine.
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by WB4QNG on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have an attic full of antennas. I have a slinky that I can use on 10-160 with a tuner. I also have hamsticks that I use on 10, 15 and 20 used with one radial for each of the antennas. I also have my 2 meter and 440 antenna up there plus a 6 meter dipole. Do they work? Sure they do but I was a lot happier with them when I first put them up when the bands were open than I am now. My advice is if you can put them outside do it but if this is the only thing you got put them in your attic. Just be careful when you do it and I never run over a 100 watts.
Terry
WB4QNG
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by W4CNG on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Sounds like we need an article on OET-56 Requirements (near field radiation from antennas on various frequencies 3mhz-1.2Ghz). I'll write one up with "Just the Facts" so all can then make their Opinions Seen. But, you have gotta know your facts and answers to stand on your Turf. Remember that if you are running over a specific power level and any portion of your antenna is too close to a where a Human can reside, you are in Violation of FCC Rules without posting of the Notice. That also translates into " Do you need a Yellow or Red Sign" at the entry point toward your antenna Field, Garden, or Attic??? The article will also give you information on what is a Yellow or Red Antenna sign. Want this info faster, go surf the FCC Web Site and do some research and reading.

Later
Steve W4CNG (No Yellow or Red sign needed)
 
Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by AE6CP on May 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Oh man, the fan dipoles!

I live in a third floor apartment. My antennas are about 40' high in a peaked rooftop. I'm running a Par EndFedz 20 meter dipole, a loaded 40 meter dipole (44 ft) an 80 meter Isotron and a 2m/440 ground plane.

I run a hundred watts and my only limitation is RFI noise. I sometimes have to battle an S7 noise floor. So I don't hear a whole lot but I've always been able to work what I could hear.

Sometimes you just have to improvise, adapt and overcome.

Larry (AD5VM)
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by LA4RT on May 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Well, to be in violation of FCC rules, you also have to be in a country where the FCC has jurisdiction.

Just like radio, the Internet is global. :-)
 
Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by K1RRR on May 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I use the Alpha Delta DXEE antenna for 10-40M (43 feet), The Isotron 80 for 75M and the Par Omni for 6 Meters. I use the LDG Pro 200 tuner to tune on HF and I have no problem working around the world with 100 watts on either my Icom 718 or my 751A. I can work any station on SSB that I can receive without any problems. I do not miss my 3el beam and no more rotor to fuss with anymore.
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by KC8QFP on May 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I like to have multiple TUNED antennaes instead of a multi-band variety. This is where the attic comes in handy. It's a great place for a 10-15 meter inverted VEE or something simular. A multi-position coax switch is far cheaper than a transmatch. And I am a fan of wire antennas instead of the plumber's specials (pipe/tubing). Building antennaes is half the fun for me, and climbing around in the attic is far safer than climbing towers, treez, or around a rooftop. You can make it much safer by taking some 3/4" plywood or old planks of lumber acrossed the ceiling rafters to walk on. I like using 2'x4'x3/4" pieces of plywood placed around where antenna work is usually done. I simply hang the balun at the peak, then stretch the legs down the slope and attach the ends to the framing using bungie cords with plastic hooks. You can easily get two VEEz in an attic, and the coax run to the rig can usually follow the chimney down to the basement if need be. If you have heating ductwork, that is another place to get from top to bottom. I want a 40m HALFSQUARE and 80m dipole strung from the houst to some treez, the long wire antennaes are best outside. And I have the outside of the roof for a 20m loop. I have an older rig, so I don't use the WARC bands. I've toyed around with the idea of using a "slinky" specially made for 160m???

Beams are for towers and rotors, and that is too much $$$ for me. I like to keep it cheap and make do with what I have. KISS, and I have had little trouble with wire antennaes. And they are easy to fix if they come down. Wires usually keep a stable match if installed well. I am getting rid of my Hustler 5BTV this year, it's match has gone bonkers this past winter, and I had to use the MFJ tuner (YUK) with it??? Attic antennaes are great for cheapskates like me! Spending big bucks to talk on a radio is for the fuss-butts and contesters. Been there and done that, buy my horsetrading and buying too much junk days are long over with. Now I enjoy the simple pleasures of ham radio - and the attic is a simple place to put some neat antenners, plus they are easy to change or experiment with since it only takes a few moments to get to the antenna without having to drag out a bunch of equiptment. Someday, I'm gonna have to clean out that attic again... someday... someday... (but my antenna seems to work OK with all that junk up there)!
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by KC8QFP on May 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
You probably get more radiation from your confuser monitor or from our Mr Sun than you do from an antenna up in the attic (I don't use/like linears). If it were up in the microwave freqs, you'd probably use some kind of beams. And your cellery fone probably puts more RF into your brain than a SHF antenna - which should not be in an attic anyhow. I get a kick out of those that worry about RF exposure, that have a five-watt UHF+ HT transmitting through a rubber duckie next to their eyes and head!!! Beams are for UHF and above, and beams belong up as high as possible. As for HF and below, RF exposure is a simple matter... keep out of the reach of children, even if us "children" are 20 plus years old!
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by KC8QFP on May 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
<<< As the one who runs 800 Watts into my attic antennas, that some have questions about, here's my facts. It seems there are a few doubters (comments already noted KX8N). >>>
=================================================

I feel that RF exposure from the antenna is far less of a risk than RF hazards in the shack (stray RF floating around do to some improper hookup or mal-function)! This is why I do not like the transmatch and linears, they can be very risky, and I feel the higher the power, the more likely something will go wrong, even if it were installed properly! And running that kind of power in an attic could increase the risks of FIRE! So I feel there are greater risks than RF exposure IF you use an attic antenna with a matchbox and linear. Keep the killerwatts outside!
 
Close to your antenna? Keep your tx short.  
by AI2IA on May 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
We all recognize that good operating practice is to keep the transmitting power to the minimum needed for a clear communication. Good practice also means eliminating the "ahhhs" and "ummmms" from our key down transmissions, and making our messages concise. If you put all of this together, I think that we spend a minimum amount of time radiating out of our antennas. This is a great help to keeping our exposure down.

I like to rag chew at times, but the art of rag chewing consists in saying things efficiently. A rag chewer does not want to be a hog. Good habits are developed in DXing and can carry over to rag chewing, and most importantly to those times when emergency communication has to pass through your very own microphone or key!
 
RE: Close to your antenna? Keep your tx short.  
by W6TH on May 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
.
I believe this threat of RF exposure is just another way for a group of scientists to ask the government for a loan to start to investigate something that does not exist.

I have been around RF for a good many years along with many RCA and Press Wireless transmitters running from 2 1/2 Kw to 40 Kw output along with Rhombic antenna.

I now believe that my long age of 85 is given credit for the use of RF and the high power.

...I had a good feeling when I was standing beneath the Rhombics at the full 40 Kw output and I never felt better. My fright was when I combed my hair and how my hair stood on end, but RF never did that to me.

W6TH, June I will be licensed 69 years and going strong as long as I get my daily RF fix.

.:
 
RE: Close to your antenna? Keep your tx short.  
by KQ9J on May 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
W6TH

"I believe this threat of RF exposure is just another way for a group of scientists to ask the government for a loan to start to investigate something that does not exist."

I couldn't agree more. Nonionizing radation has never particularly scared me. I have been around broadcast and two-way transmitters since I was 14 years old. The list of health scares perpetuated by greedy researchers over the years is long and growing. Science has been prostituted time and time again. The sad thing is the propaganda has so many people running scared, looking to the "authorities" to protect them from all these things that are soooooo bad!

Time to crack open a beer, light up a smoke, and quit worrying about insignificant crap. You won't get out of life alive, no matter what.
 
RE: Close to your antenna? Keep your tx short.  
by KC2MJT on May 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I like to rag chew at times, but the art of rag chewing consists in saying things efficiently. A rag chewer does not want to be a hog. Good habits a
re developed in DXing and can carry over to rag chewing, "

First of all, Rag Chewing is not saying things efficiently. Secondly, I'd like to know what 'good habits' developed in DXing should carry over to rag chewing. A Rag Chewer, by definition, is thankfully not efficient. A Rag Chewer generally is more interested in the person behind the radio than the radio. Radio is great, but some people find it a means to an end, rather than the end.

If you're more interested in efficiency, fine, but I've had great 1 hour cw rag chews with people on the other end of attic antennas that are just trying to expand their horisons a bit beyond the neighborhood in which a live - a neighborhood that may be the extent of their physical world.


73
 
Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by N0FIB on May 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
A ham friend of mine W0SWY SK who also got me into ham radio had the best antenna in attic one could find. It was 4 Slinkys back to back in a V Configuration like this > < with the hot side to one v and ground to other v. He was able to work all 50 states 3 times and also work over 75 counties on dx on 10 - 40 meters with 40 meters being his favorite band.
I was able to see this antenna and work on it one time when there was a cold solder connection. He only run a Drake tr-4 with around 75 watts out.


N0FIB Gary
 
Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by WD9IDV on May 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I live in a restricted subdivision.

Installed a Cushcraft MA5B Mini beam in attic, 5 feet of attic floor a few years back. (8 foot boom, longest element 16 feet).

Took some time to install....and of course it does not rotate, but first QSO was 59 into Philippines on 17M!
Works great on all bands...10 - 20 meters.
Does pick up more noise than outside antennas though.

As a side note, I have received permission and have installed another MA5B on the outside....rotating ...of course. Also, I have installed 2 Hustler 6BTV ground mounted verticals.

I still use the attic MA5B on my second HF radio.

In closing, I have enjoyed much DX with my attic antenna.

Robert WD9IDV
 
Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by AI2IA on May 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
This is getting off the subject, but attic antennas or not, understanding is needed here:
KC2MJT says: "First of all, Rag Chewing is not saying things efficiently. Secondly, I'd like to know what 'good habits' developed in DXing should carry over to rag chewing. A Rag Chewer, by definition, is thankfully not efficient. A Rag Chewer generally is more interested in the person behind the radio than the radio. Radio is great, but some people find it a means to an end, rather than the end."

A radio operator, amateur or professional, communicates efficiently, if he is worth the title of radio operator. An efficient communicator whether in rag chewing or otherwise, gets his points across clearly and concisely and moves on. Such a person is not a rambler. If you take an hour to rag chew and do so clearly and concisely and with good manners toward others who may want to use that frequency, then you are an efficient communicator. If you hem and haw, if you say in thirty words what can be said in five, if you repeat yourself needlessly, if you act like you own the frequency, you are a poor example of a radio operator. Operating Efficiency is not a characteristic of time. It is a quality of mental agility. Either you have it, or you don't. Strive to be greater than you seem.
 
Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by AI2IA on May 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Attic antennas and RF Energy - To those who think they enjoy walking around in RF Energy fields, think again. A wise person will not expose themselves or anyone else to any more RF Energy than is needed to do the task at hand. Standards of RF exposure are generally based upon the concept of body heating by RF. RF can probably do a heck of a lot more than just heat a living cell. Value life. Respect it. Use all forms of energy sparingly. In other words, don't be an idiot.
 
Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by K4YJ on May 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have an attic antenna. It consists of the driven element of an old HQ-1 mini-quad. Basically it is a really short dipole for 20,15,10, and 6 meters. I only have a supplemental random wire that goes up the side of the house to the peak, and is the same color as the house. I used it for 40 and 80. It might be 25 feet total length. with this setup, I have been able to get my 5bdxcc, and am currently at 286 confirmed. if you want to work dx with an attic antenna, you can!
k4yj
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by N3OX on May 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"RF can probably do a heck of a lot more than just heat a living cell."

You got some references to back up that statement?
 
Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by N0CTI on May 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Sometimes you just have to do what you can. When I was a kid back in Brooklyn in 1958 my brother was a technician class and I was a novice class. We lived in a fourth floor apartment with our bedroom window facing south (we could see Coney Island.) He had a halo for six meters at the window and I had a wire dipole for 15m strung around the bedroom ceiling. He regularly worked dx. I made frequent qso's to New Jersey. In that primitive era we did not worry about RF exposure; seemed to have survived. Had a great time. I thought of New Jersey as dx since I couldn't get there on the subway.
 
RE: Close to your antenna? Keep your tx short.  
by KC8QFP on May 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
What's all this "efficiancy" crap about rag chewing? Some ratchet jaws do tend to get long winded and bla bla bla on and on before lettin up on the PTT. But this is not really rag chewing. Rag chewing is simply having a CONVERSATION with other hams. It is voice communications that go beyond the "wham bam thankyou ham" ten second contacts as in contesting. It is a broad term, and thus has a broad definition, meaning that every ham is an individual. Some are shy, whilst others are very friendly. Some are really smart, and some are ordinary folks. Sone are silly, and others are very serious. We all have differant interests, so rag chewing is simply a matter of what people feel like talking about at the moment. I really don't see how you can put a rag chewer into your mold of what you think he should be, it too broad a catagory for you to decide how it is supposed to be done "efficiantly". It's merely yakkin on a radio, no biggie. (That is unless you read some kind of ARRL book that you feel you must conform to)!
73! Don
 
Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by AI2IA on May 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"RF can probably do a heck of a lot more than just heat a living cell."

You got some references to back up that statement?

Sure! I have references to back up that statement, but why should I give them to lazy knuckleheads without an ounce of common sense?

An autopsy on someone like you might yield even further evidence, but that would be a waste of time and labor.
 
Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by AI2IA on May 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"What's all this "efficiancy" [sic] crap about rag chewing? "

Yes, Dorothy, it is true! Even in the lowly practice of rag chewing there is such a thing as quality.

If you can't stomach the word efficiency, try "economy of words." Oh, excuse me! I forgot! This is eHam.net. Just forget it.
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by THERAGE on May 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
An autopsy on someone like you might yield even further evidence, but that would be a waste of time and labor.


HA HA!!!

 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by KQ9J on May 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Sure! I have references to back up that statement, but why should I give them to lazy knuckleheads without an ounce of common sense?

An autopsy on someone like you might yield even further evidence, but that would be a waste of time and labor."

Common sense once said the earth was flat. People like you make me damn glad I have a government job.
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by KB3NOV on May 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Hi,
CQ CQ CQ W6TH. Question..could you give details on your 80-6 meter random wire tuner. I'm intrested, and maybe others reading.

Thanks and 73,

Jennifer
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by KC8QFP on May 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"economy of words."

===============================

So you like to keep it short and sweet! Goodie for youie! Perhaps you can say what you want in a few minutes, and I can go on poetic in details for hours - on my soapbox - no biggie! I am always amazed at people who criticise others that aren't like themselves. Ever sit in front of the boob tube and watch the bla bla bla talking that goes on? Now there is where you'll find the real bullshit! Like in the Mel Brooks movie, "HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART ONE", I consider myself a standup philosipher (Bee Arthur and Mel Brooks scene in Rome)! "It's good to be the king"!!!

73! Don
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by N7YA on May 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
How did this topic about attic antennas among fellow hams, adults no less, turn negative. Now dont get me wrong, i understand this is an internet forum and these things always turn negative...but its just disheartening to me how seriously we take ourselves, and how safe we feel when we arent face to face...these things dont turn negative at meetings or swapmeets.

My 12 year old son wants to be a ham on his own accord, he just thinks its cool, and you can bet i will be telling him to avoid the online forums...i really dont care about your petty arguments, they mean absolutely NOTHING to the big picture. i will tell him to steer clear of these things because for all the good points many of you make, all this negative garbage is what usually sticks the most...just ask any news agency.

Why am i even telling you any of this? i dont know, just venting like you are i guess, and like your little "arguments", my point is useless too...and my little rant wont stop the infighting, but it looks like ill have to let my son know the negatives of ham radio FIRST, that way he will expect them, THEN i will push all the positives so he will see that the joy of ham radio supercedes petty nonsense because, unfortunately, ham radio has changed...become more self important and pompous, and im at a loss to explain this since the rest of the world and technology seems to have forgotten us...so carry on gentlemen, prove your points or whatever it is you think you are getting done, but just remember kids are reading this stuff...if you dont care about that, then you should reexamine who you really are and why you are doing this...maybe even what ham radio means to you since i see a lot of unhappiness here in these forums. i swear it must be the annonymous internet "you arent my mom you cant tell me what to do" mentality...who knows. flame away because you dont care what kids and civilians read on here and i dont care about how mad you guys are at eachother...all i care about is the fact that infighting will kill ham radio, not NCT's, not changes in modes...its infighting and division. divide and conquer, and our bands are nothing more than real estate to the federal government. we had better pull it together or we all lose.

73...Adam, N7YA
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by KB2FCV on May 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Since I currently (and hopefully not for long) live in a townhouse I have no choice but an attic antenna. It's a step up from my previous living situation on the ground floor of an apartment building in which I only had the option of indoor antennas. I'll say this:

They work.

You may not be the strongest on the band but when they are built right they certainly work alright. I only run QRP CW and Digital modes here and I have worked into Africa, Europe and South America with relative ease.

I have a simple loop stapled to the rafters fed by 300 ohm ladder line and using a 4:1 balun. If attic is your only option, it is by no means the end of the world. You can still get on the air and have fun.
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by WB2TQC on May 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"How did this topic about attic antennas among fellow hams, adults no less, turn negative."

Adam,
I think the problem starts when posters forget that they are just voicing THEIR opinion when they post. They forget that other people have their OWN opinion regarding the topic at hand. When you issue your opinion as a challenge than you are inviting dissent. In face to face conversations this is usually handled with some degree of civility. On an Internet forum it's generally a teeth barred, knock down, drag out. I, too, dislike confrontational postings but that is only MY opinion. There are many people on this forum who thrive on it.

I have used indoor antennas and right now I am using an antenna that may as well be an attic antenna as it lays along the peak of my roof for 80 feet and is only 5 or 6 feet above my head. In these instances I run fairly low power. Currently I am running 20 watts. The reason for this is because I believe that RF exposure can be dangerous. I don't exactly know that for a fact but several People, whose electronic knowledge & experience I respect, have told me that it is. Is it really? I don't know and personally I just don't have the desire to find out. I err on the side of caution and leave it at that. If someone asks me, I give them my opinion and then tell them to make a determination for themselves. I wish I could put up a Dipole at 35 or 40 feet and run 100 watts again but I can't.

By the way if your son already has exposure to the internet than he has already seen his share of confrontational postings. It comes with the territory. IMO let him dive right in. He might handle it better than you think.

73,
John WB2TQC
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by KC8QFP on May 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"How did this topic about attic antennas among fellow hams, adults no less, turn negative."
=============================================

It's Ohm's law... EMF - AC turns pos and neg in cycles, this keeps the electricity flowing, thus the BS keeps moving!

73! Don
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by WR8D on May 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I had a dear old friend N8ENR that owned a multi appartment condo. He used attic antennas all the time. He'd put on a respirator and crawl around in the attic space tweaking on them and the people living in the other parts of the condo never knew or suspected there was a crazy old ham crawling around in the fiberglass above their heads.

He'd joke with me sometimes saying..."what would they think if i fell through the ceiling on them". Hi Hi...i'd just say heck Larry, you own the place so who cares...

Many a good memory and years a friendship. Thanks for the thread guys it brought up very fond memories of that old crankster. He was very wealthy, had a shack full of the latest top of the line and high dollar rigs of the period....but only had an attic antenna...heck, that's all he wanted too. His heyday was in the kenwood 940 and yaesu ft 1000d days when they first came out with those rigs.

Well, thanks again for this thread and the memories it's sparked.

Have a great weekend all....Give that old buddy that's passed on a thought and a grin this weekend.

73 John WR8D

 
Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by KK0JIM on May 25, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Been in attics all my life. Just be careful and watch where you're going!
One time I put my leg through the ceiling--lucky my family wasn't home and I had time to clean up the mess!
My XYL said "I've always wanted an attic fan--let's put it there!" So that was my next job.
My attic antenna works pretty well, but I haven't been able to stretch my legs with it (so to speak). I'm just getting started.
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by KC8QFP on May 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I propose that we give attic antennaes some new names...
Instead of the fan dipole, for the attic we can call it the ""spider"". Instead of the inverted vee, let's call it the ""rafter"". Randumb wire can be called ""romex"" or ""attic coathanger"". And the slinky can be called the ""roof springer"". The Loop can be the ""attic square"", or the delta would be the ""attic traingle"". A dipole could be the ""clothesline"".

I used to have some old metal bedsprings in my attic, thought about loading them up with a matchbox. Too bad, they ended up scrapped. What kind of atic antenner would get the name ""bedsprings""?

The Attic can be a good place to use a remote auto tuner with randumb wire for the transmatch fans.

Hams have great jargon, I hope to see some good attic slang on here folks!

73! Don
 
Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by RADIOWEENIE on May 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I used a tri-band dipole in the attic for years in the house of my girlfriend. And I must say that this particular attic antenna certainly did surprise ME! The radio was an NGC Tri-bander [40m,15m, and 6m]. The attic antenna was a dipole for 40m, 15m, & 6m. Although the radio was only 25W, I worked all over the country with it. Now i am in my own house and have a good attic. Yet I balk at using an attic antenna for 4 reasons: A) I want to use 80m (thereby requiring an electrical length of 132' nominal feet), B) I am not limited by CC&Rs, C) I have approx 106 ft of linear depth along the property line, and D) I would hate to have these advantages and not use them. I have just erected a 2½ m (8½') triband antenna (440, 2m, & 6m) on the roof for the VHF side of the world, and now am looking to select a configuration that will give the best practical application of the Low Band side of the world. Before nailing down the antenna decision of how to do this, i would like to know HOW MUCH in the way of dB i can expect to lose by going to an attic dipole (or Carolina Windom) compared to a dipole (or Carolina Windom) mounted outside. If the loss is on the order of 1 dB or so, I will probably opt for the attic antenna. Can anyone help with this?
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by W4LGH on May 28, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Attic antennas do work. If one keeps their power to 100watts or less, properly installs it with insulated wire, keeping it away from all structures possible, there is very little chance of fire. They will have their limitations, be inherently noisey but all in all
you can get on the air. As someone else pointed out, I too keep VHF/UHF verticals in my attic as well. They work great for repeater work, and are a tad more protected from lightning, although a strong lightning discharge close by can still generate enough energy to blow your radio. I lost 2 SGC autotuners to strong discharges of close lightning. I then went to work on trying to protect it as best as possible. I found that killing the power to it during a storm helped the most, but I also put MOV's on all the lines, power and control, and have since not lost one. Of course I don't use it that often anymore since all my main antennas are outside.

Diamond and Comet both make a nice dual-band antenna that is only 4' tall and makes a great U/V attic antenna. The Arrow dualband J-Pole is another good one. A pair of 20meter hamsticks also makes a great emergency attic dipole, or the band of your choice. They can be hung from the center beam on fishing line, away from everything.

73 de W4LGH - Alan
http://www.w4lgh.com
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by W4DBV on May 28, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have never had a problem with any configuration of loop or doublet in the attic. I use insulated stranded wire, twinlead, a cheapo tuner with a balun and run up to 100w. My most exciting qso was with a VK4 on 20M running my Century 22 at 20w out. My QTH is in a ravine, not on a hilltop.
 
Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by NJ6F on May 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Try a AEA tunable Isoloop for 10-30 meters, sharp and low noise... or MFJ loop version. For 40, 75, 160 make a home brew Isotron. My homebrew isotron pictures on qrz.com. They take a full 1500 watts no problem using #12 wire on 4inch PVC.
For any man made noise definitely try a MFJ 1025 or 1026 and cancel the noise with a second small antenna and can use to bring in vertical and horzontal polorization simultaneouly. It will take a 60 over noise level down to zero...with no Noise Blanker distortion. You can run the loops horz or vertical depending on height.
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by KC8QFP on May 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I don't know... the AEA/MFJ isoloop type of antenners reminds me of those six meters jobbies from about forty years ago with a remote matching device added to them??? You may as well save a lot of money and use a randumb wire with a remote auto-tuner. For that matter, use a transmatch and your old TV yagi that is up in the attic! HIHI! I suppose that anything will make a contact, and goes to show you what a GOOD receiver will do even if you use some old bed springs as the antenna. If both sides of the QSO have rabbit ears and a great receiver, the antenna could be jsut about anything. On the other hand, if we used a ""Realistic/Optimus"" transceiver with a super-dee-dooper antenna, no one would make any contacts. I wonder when Radio Shack will come out with their HF rig for the new guys? Don't be surprized if it looks a little like a modified Uniden CB! Just keep in mind that it's a great RECEIVER, and not so much the antenner.

73! Don
 
Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by NG9D on May 31, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
My 20m attic antenna provided enough ERP so that my little 20m qrp transmitter at 0.75 watt reached the east coast. I still remember the fun of hearing the reply after describing that antenna and rig: Ramsey transmitter and Radio Shack DX-390 receiver.

Of course, that particular combination of equipment requires good conditions (and some patience).

73 NG9D
 
RE: Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by KC8QFP on June 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I guess you could get your WAN award (worked all neighbors), or get QSL's in the form of complaints to the local councel. If you have RFI troubles, I would not condemn tha attic antenna first, if it is installed half ways decent and has a fairly good match. In cities and apartments whereas you are in close quarters, it is more likely their crappy receivers that are suseptical to RFI, regardless of your attic antenna. It seems high impedence devices (such as PA systems, guitar amps, etc.) are more prone to RFI gettin' into their stuff. And we know about cheapo coax and bad connections with TVI. Usually satellite and cable companies do a pretty good job installing to prevent TVI. But the DIY guy with his Rad Shaft wire is gonna have problems. And many cheapo phones (ala WalMart) are prone to RFI. But it is much easier to blame the guy with the meekrofone or beeper thingy when the TV flashes or if he hears ""ten fer"" over his cordless phone. We know who it is when our TV flashed code, HA! (for me it was the ham on the next street about twenty houses away, I know his fast code). Of course my TVI was HIS fault! HIHI!

73! Don
 
Attic Antennas -- Always Surprise Me!  
by W9NPI on June 4, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The first thing I have done after moving into a house (I've been through 5 of them) is to install an attic antenna. Since 1967, I've found the most effective one for me is a 20-meter 8JK end-fire array, fed with ladder line. It has exhibited wonderful gain and bandwidth (It's useful on 30 through 10 meters with a balanced-line transmatch), and I can trace the classic 4 major radiation lobes from my logging program. My attic allows about 30 feet of length, so I tacked up 2 lengths of wire, 32 feet long (splayed the ends evenly), spaced them 8 feet apart, linked the centers with 450 ohm ladder line (remember to make a twist for phasing), and fed the center of that with more ladder line. Hardest part was finding where to drill a hole in the studs to snake the feedline through to the shack wall.
 
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