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Author Topic: Vertical Antennas and House Proximity  (Read 994 times)
N8EUI
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Posts: 146




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« on: February 18, 2009, 07:48:57 AM »

I am assembling a Butternut HF9V vertical.  I hope to have it ready to raise when the weather turns warmer.  My question is I would like to locate the antenna close to my brick ranch home thus eliminating a long coax feed run.  Doing so will also place the antenna in a corner of the house making it easier to mow the grass.  Is this practical or will I lose efficiency due to the close proximity between house and antenna?  The roof is also lined with aluminum gutters.  Ideally, I would place the vertical in the middle of the yard.  However, my wife isn't to keen about that so I need a compromise setup.  Does anyone identify with this scenario and how did you overcome it?  
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N3OX
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2009, 08:12:10 AM »

I think it's a big mistake to nestle a vertical up against the house unless that's the only place you can hide it in an actively restricted community.

Wife doesn't like it, lawn mowing,  and a long coax run aren't very compelling reasons.  Something like RG-213 is practically lossless at HF when used with a matched antenna.  It's a little bit of a pain to have one more thing to mow around, but not compared to headaches from RFI to and from all the consumer electronics junk in your house.

And while others will tell you to get a divorce, I'll just try to convince you that your antenna doesn't have to be ugly.

Can't you nestle it up against a tree or something?  Put up a gazebo and nestle it behind that?

Or just use impeccable workmanship putting it up, use direct burial coax buried back to the shack, and put a little garden around the base to pretty it up and make it easy to mow around and let your wife get used to it.  She's probably thinking of it as a lot more visually obtrusive than it actually will be.

It's a *big* mistake to put your antenna next to your house unless you absolutely have to.  

73
Dan

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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
N4KZ
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Posts: 594




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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2009, 08:18:13 AM »

Placing your vertical so close to your brick house with aluminum gutters won't help its radiation pattern one bit. It will still work but not as well as if you placed it out in the clear. You won't be heard as well in the direction of the house as you will in other directions.

Another aspect to consider, one you might or might not want to mention to your wife, is that the closer the antenna is to the house, the greater the chance of RFI issues with home electronics, etc. The best cure for RF overload is to get the antenna away from the structure as much as you can.

73 and GL,
N4KZ
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2009, 08:36:42 AM »

I agree with the others.  The antenna should still work, but not as well and the likelihood for RFI, both going and coming, is much higher when you're right next to the house like that.

Long coax runs are nothing.  My shortest coax run is 165' and the other eight are longer.  Never gave it a second thought.

"The middle of the yard" might be the best place but of course if that means everybody hates it and trips over it, I wouldn't use that spot, either.  Maybe the far end of the yard?  A distant corner?  The middle of the roof of the house?

A roof mount installation almost always works better on the higher bands, e.g., 20-17-15-12-10 meters.  The ground mount installation usually works just as well on 30-40-80 meters (provided you have a good radial system).  In 40+ years of using all sorts of verticals, I've always found this to be the case.

If a ground mount is just plain inconvenient, don't rule out a roof mount.  Not only does it get the antenna out of everybody's way, it often works better.

WB2WIK/6
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WA3SKN
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2009, 08:46:40 AM »

It's not the brick and mortar, but the metal foil on the insulation, the wires, the pipes, the gutters, gabling, etc that can cause problems.  Plus, the groundplane will not be even so the antenna will have some directionality.  And you increase the possibility of RF getting into things.
So if you can avoid this, do so.  But is has been done before.  Sometimes we all have to make compromises!
73s.

-Mike.
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K8KAS
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2009, 08:57:56 AM »

Not a good idea, noise from the house hold toys and ac wires can cause you big trouble, you don't mention what your ground system will be. Remember the radial ground system makes or breaks a vertical antenna IMHO. Marconi knew this a 100 years ago, but hams today forget. 73 Denny
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AA8LL
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2009, 09:12:18 AM »

True Story

My wife was unhappy about impending antenna installation.  One day, while she was shopping, I put up the vertical near the center of the yard, about 10 feet south of the patio edge.  She came home and put out new patio furnature within a few feet of the vertical.  She asked me what I thought of the new umbrella table and I said, "It's too close to the antenna."  She said, "What antenna?"

I have since replaced the vertical with a tower and beam.  YMMV
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N3JBH
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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2009, 09:22:58 AM »

Just put up the vertical. she will stop complaining. If not just remind her that there are more females than males on the earth so chances are you be happiest first....  She will shut up and let you do it.
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DJWHYTE30
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Posts: 29




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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2009, 09:34:37 AM »

For what it's worth!

I have a Butternut HF6V mounted in the ground about 20 feet from my house and the layout of my property allows radials in a 180 degree pattern only. I buried a total of 14 fanned radials in that 180 radius with the shortest being 1/4 wavelength of 10M. The rest were as long as I could get them, staying within my property. I was told that my radiating pattern would be off a little because I didn't have the full 360 degree 'spoke' configuration, but...I am getting signal reports right along with other stations running amplifiers and using beams. So, either I have lucked out with optimum dirt or the pattern isn't as critical as suggested.
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K9WJL
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2009, 10:09:06 AM »

Mines a foot inside the lotline in the back yard, about 70' away from the house.
When we had the whole yard sodded last year, I took the time to lay out 2500' of ground radials in a 180 degree pattern away from the neighbors fence.
There's no RFI in the house even using 1500w, except for a small touch lamp.
My antenna works extremly well.
My very particular XYL said to me that she dosen't think it looks "that bad" Smiley
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N0CGF
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2009, 10:12:09 AM »

At my last QTH I had a very very small lot and had the same problem you are faced with. I put it up anyway Ground Mounted with a high number of Short Radials close to the house, garage, and neighbors houses knowing it would not work that well with the Radiated Signal being Blocked with all that Clutter.  Well I could only make CW contacts with a 100 watts of power, SSB was very poor. At that QTH I had to figure out how to erect a dipole to get Good performance.  That is my experience with verticals being located next to structures. At my new QTH the Vertical Antenna was a great performer when mounted in the clear,,,, 73's  N0CGF
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2009, 12:15:07 PM »

Don't worry about the coax length and move it further away.
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AD7WN
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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2009, 06:46:33 PM »

If you locate the vertical at the corner of the house, it will work, but that should be done only as a last resort.

If you are going to bury the radials, you would lose one quadrant of the radial field.  Undesired coupling to gutters and downspouts and house wiring will make this a less-than-desirable installation.

Sometimes compromises like this have to be made.  If so, I think you should lower your expectations of results, although contacts will certainly be made.

Just my two cents worth :-) 73 de John AD7WN
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2009, 07:13:50 PM »

It's so cool when somebody posts a question and then doesn't return.

We can say anything.

Okay, here's an idea.  If you put up a 200' tower, nobody will notice it because it's so high and nobody goes around looking straight up.

Then, a 40m 3L widespaced Yagi won't look very big and you can really enjoy that.

You're welcome!

:-)

WB2WIK/6
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DJWHYTE30
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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2009, 07:30:45 PM »

Aren't those 'touch lamps' a pain in the ass?!?
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