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Author Topic: What set-up for a "shut-in"?  (Read 1724 times)
KD0ZGW
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Posts: 716




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« on: September 05, 2017, 11:56:10 AM »

a couple years ago after an accident I spent some time in a rehab facility adjoining an assisted living facility.

While recuperating I met an older ham also in rehab that subsequently moved into the assisted living housing.  I know he'd really like to operate HF but so far at least the management isn't allowing any wall penetrations or exterior antennas (I'm hoping I'll talk them into a wire eventually).

In the meantime I'm wondering what are the antenna options for inside a small apartment?

thx for help; I'd really like to help him get back on the air.

KD0ZGW
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K1HMS
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Posts: 463




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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2017, 12:52:25 PM »

Using websdr.org he would be able to tune the HF bands and some SW BC on real hardware. On course there is no Tx.

From a similar facility that is brick and steel I can hit a 2m repeater with just a whip with a 5w HT. Our 99yo aunt is on the 2nd floor.

A friend in FL makes it up to NH with a good signal a couple of times a year with a current loop in a window on 20m. He is in a steel and concrete HOA building on the 2nd floor. He does make FL and Caribbean contacts and a local net on a regular basis. He is getting a flag pole vertical next to a bench down by the marina. 

He should TX the first few times on a nice days. Setting off the alarms or popping GFIs on a dark rainy night is not as soon forgiven. Also standing right at a loop to look out the window is a bad idea, especially with pace makers, defibs, or insulin pumps.

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KH6AQ
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Posts: 7718




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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2017, 02:06:24 PM »

The MFJ-933 series loops are ok for indoor HF use (I had one). With one loop size they can cover two bands, have narrow bandwidth, but can be usefully efficient. The downside can be high a E-field if it's a couple feet from the operating position. I don't worry about that for amateur transmissions because the TX duty cycle is low. The E-field for the nearby occupants must be checked per FCC rules and the power adjusted down if needed.

The downsides to apartment HF operating these days are RFI from consumer equipment and RFI to that same consumer equipment.
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ONAIR
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Posts: 3525




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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2017, 10:37:52 PM »

I travel often on business,  Inside hotel rooms, I use an Elk 2m/440 portable beam on a broomstick or PVC pole attached to a chair, with very good results!  For HF, I use an Ultimax-100 end fed hung diagonally across the room.  Not the best HF set up, but I am still able to make numerous contacts!!  Smiley
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WA3SKN
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Posts: 6497




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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2017, 08:50:07 AM »

Does he have a window, deck, balcony... etc?  What does he have to work with?

-Mike.
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N4MQ
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Posts: 139




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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2017, 04:43:28 AM »

There are more remote operation capable rigs out there and that would avoid the antenna issue totally and rf exposure, just a thought using the internet !  ?

Enjoy Woody
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ONAIR
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Posts: 3525




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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2017, 11:19:37 AM »

There are more remote operation capable rigs out there and that would avoid the antenna issue totally and rf exposure, just a thought using the internet !  ?

Enjoy Woody
   Good point!  Echolink comes to mind, and one only needs a smartphone!  www.EchoLink.org
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KD0ZGW
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Posts: 716




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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2017, 08:17:40 AM »

He got the OK for a flagpole so now I'm learning about flagpole antennas.  It'll be interesting.  He does HF almost exclusively so getting him on 10 - 40M will be a goal.

I think a big challenge will be figuring out how to bury the feedline with the minimum possible disruption of the lawn.  The lawn is professionally maintained so I have to assume it gets aereated or "cored" which means I need a min depth of about 4".

Other comments or suggestions are welcomed.


KD0ZGW

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K8AXW
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Posts: 6312




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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2017, 10:40:33 AM »

How about another tact?  Since the operators of these facilities are usually looking for ways to make their residents more comfortable and happy, approach management with the suggestion of converting an unused broom closet or some such place for a small ham shack with a method of getting an outside antenna?

I had the happy experience of using the ham shack that was set up by a few doctors at the very top of the Washington Hospital Center.  It certainly made my 15 day stay in that facility much more tolerable while waiting for my father-in-law to recover from by-pass surgery......over 30 years ago.
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