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Author Topic: antenna recommendations for a city lot  (Read 1317 times)
KC0RDG
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« on: July 25, 2005, 09:10:37 AM »

hi all,

i am seeking your opinions for a ham who lives on a city lot.  all the houses in the neighborhood have power lines running from the alley to the houses.  i cannot put up a tower or a vertical.  i looked at doing the Hy-Gain AV-640 but do not have backyard space for the 12 foot radius for counterpoise.  i was also concerned because if this tipped over in a storm, it would hit powerlines.  i am restricted by the city to nothing more than 15 feet higher than my roof and an antenna no more than 1 m in diameter (your basic tv yagi).

with this all in mind, i have thought about putting up a folder dipole on my roof.  B&W has a 45 foot 7 - 54 Mhz stainless steel folded dipole.  my roof is 35 feet long.  i figured i could run this from end to end and then put a T in the middle and make it a inverted V.  i have read reviews on the antenna and people say it's great for minimizing noise and people have worked DX with it.  i have also read that it has harmonics and will pick up more noise and to use a loop instead.

what do you guys think?
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2005, 09:58:08 AM »

How is a 45' long antenna "smaller than 1 meter in diameter?"  I don't get it.

The AV-640 on the roof isn't a bad choice at all, if you can install it up there.  Of course its little radials are larger than one meter in diameter, but maybe nobody will notice: They're pretty skinny (about 1/8" rod) and you can paint them a dark color to make them almost disappear.

Install it carefully, use small diameter monofilament line to guy it about halfway up so it won't flex in high winds, and it's a winner.

The point of well engineered antenna installations is they don't fail, so fretting about "what if-?" is a time waster.  There isn't any "what if," because the antenna won't fall over if you do it right.  Or, at least it's not any more likely to fall over than the utility poles themselves (carrying the electric wiring), in which case whatever happens, happens.  Good justification for full replacement value homeowner's insurance...

WB2WIK/6
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KC0RDG
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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2005, 11:54:11 AM »

"How is a 45' long antenna "smaller than 1 meter in diameter?" I don't get it."

It isn't.  The City of Minneapolis limits you to a 1 meter in diameter antenna.  A 45 foot long antenna LAYING on the roof (ie. not seen) will work.  Maybe that helps.    I bring up the 1 meter limitation because for instance, a 3 element SteppIR won't work, it's greater than 1 meter in diameter.

"The AV-640 on the roof isn't a bad choice at all, if you can install it up there."

It is a bad choice.  The city also limits you to having an antenna no more than 15 feet off the top of your roof.  The AV-640 is 25 feet tall.  It's over by about 10 feet.

I thought a folded dipole would be best but came across this loop antenna thing now although that doesn't appear to me to be the best choice, maybe I'm wrong.  I need some elmer'ing Smiley
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2005, 12:13:44 PM »

The City of Minneapolis has that restriction?

I work hams using tower and beams in Minneapolis, within the city limits, quite often on HF.  If your statement is true, then these people might have variances, or Conditional Use Permits, meaning they have permission from the City to erect something outside the scope of the ordinance.

Can you find out what that would take to accomplish?  It might be as simple as filing an application for one.

WB2WIK/6
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K5LXP
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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2005, 03:24:15 PM »

Or mount the vertical on a mast near/alongside the house with the base 10' below the roofline.  

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

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AE6Y
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2005, 04:28:27 PM »

You might consider talking to an ARRL Volunteer Counsel on this one.  The restriction you describe doesn't sound like a reasonable accomodation to the needs of amateurs, and thus may violate PRB-1.
  GL, Andy, AE6Y
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KC0RDG
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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2005, 06:17:22 PM »

well i sent a email to the city and got a response.  she had this to say about antennas:

"If they are horizontal to the ground the antennas cannot be wider than 1 meter.  Vertical antennas can extend 15 feet off the roof of your house, but no more."

so then i asked her what about if i wanted to deviate from this, she replied:

"You would have to apply for a conditional use permit which is a public hearing before the City Planning Commission.  I am attaching the Land Use Application to this e-mail in case this is the route you take.  If you do this we should sit down and have a meeting before you get too far into the process.  Thanks."

I asked her if this would cost any money, she replied,

"Meeting with staff does not cost any money.  A Public Hearing before the Planning Commission requires that you pay for the application fees in advance.  Thanks."

Guess how much the fee is for "Administrative reviews of communication towers, antennas, and base units"?

$200!  So I guess I can pay the $200 and meet with them, tell them my variance and then see what they say.  Lame.  $200 for some fee.
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KA0GKT
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« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2005, 09:37:13 PM »

I would keep everything while dealing wit hthe city.  I wonder if the city's ordinance meets the criteria of "Accomodating" Amateur radio in PRB-1.

I guess I'd contact the ARRL and see what can be done.

73 DE KA0GKT/7
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K5LXP
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« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2005, 06:47:18 AM »

Something doesn't sound right here.  I would get myself a copy of the zoning ordinance and see what constitutes permissive vs conditional use.  I would also talk to some other hams in your local area and find out how that ordinance is really interpreted.  I have yet to see one that specifically restricted wire antennas of any kind.  Usually the only place you see those is HOA covenants, not zoning ordinances.  At most they may enforce wires to meet NEC standards, but that's not hard to accomodate.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

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KC0RDG
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« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2005, 09:11:31 AM »

Yeah I am planning on talking to some hams here in Minneapolis.  I emailed her asking how much the fee would be for a ham radio tower and she relied with,

"Without knowing the specifics of your project, you most likely would need to obtain a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) not a variance.  The cost of a CUP depends on the size of the lot.  Lots less than 9,999 square feet in size would cost $450.00."
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2005, 10:31:42 AM »

I agree with Mark K5LXP.

First, don't take anyone's word for anything.  Get a copy of the pertinent city ordinances and read them, for yourself.  I agree it sounds "fishy" that an ordinance would read quite the way the person you're communicating with told you it does.

Second, $200 to $450 for an application is not excessive.  Actually, compared to where I live, it's very cheap.  A CUP application for an antenna in a residential area here in Los Angeles is usually $2000 to $2500; however amateur radio antennas are specifically exempt to a tower height of 45 feet and don't require any CUP unless an applicant is going taller than that.  When I have had to file a CUP application for an antenna, it's always cost in the $2000 range; so, $200 or even $450 isn't so bad.

But before spending anything, I'd get a copy of the ordinance and read it thoroughly.  Also, you might contact some local "DXer" hams in your city, via a local radio club or other method, to see how they were able to install their towers and antennas -- there's nothing as good as "local" advice.

WB2WIK/6
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KC0RDG
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« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2005, 07:17:25 PM »

will do, thanks!
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N3BIF
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« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2005, 09:42:21 AM »

http://library12.municode.com/gateway.dll/MN/minnesota/262?f=templates&fn=default.htm&npusername=11490&nppassword=MCC&npac_credentialspresent=true&vid=default

         type antenna in search box ,  seems your municipal contact is fairly accurate,  but there maybe exclusions which i didnt read far enough to find ,  
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KC8HPS
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« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2005, 06:35:35 PM »

Guys,

just my two cents worth:

how about using PVC pipe say 1" or 1.5" and start lower on the building.. construct an antenna inside of it. (helps eliminate the powerline issue).

you could even consider going the full 15' above the roofline, the thought of useing a 1 meter capacitance hat might be in order if done inside of PVC, with some creativity.
 I'm imaging a Verical modified WINDOM with a capacity hat on the long end above the roof..

food for discussion.


well theres my idea.

Bryan kc8hps
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