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Author Topic: Vertical next to a stucco house  (Read 3120 times)
KF7IPW
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Posts: 47




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« on: March 13, 2012, 08:16:32 AM »

Spring is almost here and I'm trying to put up another antenna in my yard.
My wife HATES my OCFD with wires running the length of our yard.
She really likes my 40 ft. vertical and asked if I could replace my wires with another vertical.

The location my XYL would like is about 4 feet from the corner of our home.
The house is stucco with a pyramidal roof.
The wall next to the antenna would be about 8 ft tall with a metal rain gutter. 
It would be on the corner of the home, so an unobstructed 270 degrees.
The base would be in a flower bed with a cement border that the radials will have to go under.

Does anyone run a vertical near a stucco home?
My other option would be a min-beam, but I operate 99% of the time on 40 and 75 meters at night.
I don't know of any smallish antenna that will work 40 or 75.

Do you see any issue with running the radials under the cement flower border?
Any hints or tricks to getting a bunch of radials under a cement border would be nice.

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Stan

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WX7G
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Posts: 6076




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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2012, 09:06:39 AM »

I have a vertical 12' from my stucco house.
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K3VAT
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Posts: 715




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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2012, 10:10:19 AM »

Spring is almost here and I'm trying to put up another antenna in my yard. ...  I operate 99% of the time on 40 and 75 meters at night.

I think that the key to any antenna selection is your above statement (99% on 40M and 75M).

Yes, verticals close to the house will work as WX7G inferred.  And 270 degs of radials is much more than many other ops, including me, have.

Your choices appear to be a dual-band ground mounted vertical or the possibility of some kind of horizontal loop antenna; the vertical is probably the better choice given all your parameters.

A full quarter wave vertical for 75M is ~ 65' tall.  While not impossible to erect, one needs a guying mechanism (perhaps two levels of guying), so most ops in your situation would go for a loaded vertical that is a compromise height, say, 40' - just like your wife likes  Grin

Radials can cover the full 270 degs; since they will be buried, the length isn't critical, but shoot for several dozen at least 40' long.  (If you have the capability, then my all means lay down 45 radials (15 in each quadrant) and make them long, 65' is about the max length.

The flower bed concrete border (concrete, not cement; cement is a component of concrete) shouldn't pose any problem except the extra work to dig under the boarder.

The rain gutter (or do you mean downspout [the vertical portion]?) may present a problem as it is very close (electrically speaking) when you're talking 40M and 75M.  Lots of folks simply replace the metal downspout with PVC.  The rain gutter (horizontal part) shouldn't be an issue even though it also is fair close.

There are several methods for loading a vertical.  Start by studying up on coil loading at the base and at the center.  Then take a look at what is called a capacitive hat.  See if this is something that you think that you could do.  The right combination of a 40' vertical with loading coil and capacitive hat and good radial field will provide you with many hours of worthwhile operation.

GL 73 Rich K3VAT


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W0FM
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Posts: 2055




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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2012, 12:10:18 PM »

Here's how I run cables under concrete sidewalks.  Take a length of stiff aluminum or copper tubing a bit longer than the width of the concrete. Put a wooden dowel down the center of the pipe.  Dig down around both edges of the concrete.  Pound the pipe with the dowel in it through the soil under the concrete.  (Helps if the soil is damp).  When one end pokes out of the ground on the other side of the concrete, pull the wooded dowel rod out.  Insert the radial wire into the pipe and push it through so you can grab the end when it's visible on the outer side of the concrete.  Feed the proper length through the pipe.  Then pull the pipe free.  Secure the radial wire to the sod with landscaping pins, etc.   Repeat the process as needed.

You might need to put more than one radial through each hole.  If the path under the concrete is not too far from the base of the antenna there should be no problem (better with insulated radials).  If the distance the radials share in the hole is too long, the lenth of your radials may need to be lengthened a bit, but that's nit-picking for me.  Remember, ground-mounted radials don't need to be cut to resonance.

This is a "home-brew" installation process that I made up as I went along and used twice.  There are many other ways to pull this off, so others may have alternative (and easier) methods.  Just tossing it out there for consideration. 

73,

Terry, WØFM
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N4JTE
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Posts: 1156




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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2012, 05:12:10 PM »

No hints on radials but the wire lathe under the stucco will definetly affect pattern and tuning, hopefully not in the direcions you are working.
Bob
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KF7IPW
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Posts: 47




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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2012, 07:50:50 PM »

Thanks for the help guys.

I would hate to wate my time and money on an antenna that wouldn't
be at least equal to what I have.  I think I'll lay out the radials and just
prop up the antenna up and see how she flys.  I already have a pole cemented
into the ground that is supporting my posh up mast.
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W4VR
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WWW

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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2012, 08:06:45 AM »

Do you mind if I ask, "who is the boss in your household?"
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KC7YE
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Posts: 97




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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2012, 08:57:57 AM »

Spoken like a true ham, Stan ! Put it up and see what happens.
Jack KC7YE
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KF7IPW
Member

Posts: 47




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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2012, 10:08:05 AM »

Do you mind if I ask, "who is the boss in your household?"

Making her happy brings me the greatest joy in life.
I would throw all my antennas, radios, tuners and amps in the trash if she asked me to.
I guess she's the boss..... LOL

My beautiful wife of 10 years allows me to buy any ham equiptment I want.
In the past 2 years I've probably spent $10,000 and she thinks it's great.
Given the choice of a great antenna location or a happy wife, I'll take the happy wife.

Stan
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K1WJ
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Posts: 455




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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2012, 02:56:12 PM »

Yep, 10ft away from house in AZ HOA - see pic, top right, QRZ.com under call K1WJ - 73 dc Cool
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K3VAT
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Posts: 715




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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2012, 10:42:33 AM »

Thanks for the help guys.  I would hate to waste my time and money on an antenna that wouldn't be at least equal to what I have.  I think I'll lay out the radials and just prop up the antenna up and see how she flys.  ...

So, as my earlier posting mentioned, if you're operating 99% of the time on 40M and 75M, then I think that you'd be happier with a dual-band vertical.  I personally recommend the Butternut HF2V (http://www.bencher.com/ham/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=4&zenid=fc2b1eff561e8acdbb8e82f182cd02fc - It has a very good rating (4.6) on eham.net product reviews and has been mentioned many times in this forum and in the Elmers forum as an excellent choice for 40M and 80M.  Modelling shows that this dual bander is more efficient (don't have exact db comparison figures) than most, if not all, of the commercial multiband versions, even those where H=43 feet high.  It should provide you will good DX capability if you're into that.

The radial advice that others have provided is very good.  GL, 73, Rich, K3VAT

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WX7G
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Posts: 6076




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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2012, 04:22:14 PM »

For 80 and 40 meters only the MFJ-1792 looks to be the best antenna and it is $190. It has an 80 meter 2:1 VSWR bandwidth of 80 kHz.

Another suitable antenna is the Hustler 5BTV. The 80 meter 2:1 VSWR bandwidth is 50 kHz. $159 at DX Engineering.

And as K3VAT mentioned there is the Butternut HF2V. It is not as efficient on 80 meters as the MFJ and it has a 2:1 VSWR bandwidth of 90 kHz. $315.
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KF7IPW
Member

Posts: 47




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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2012, 06:34:08 PM »

Thanks for the feedback!

Man... the antenna to choose is a whole huge subject that I still haven't had the time
to reconnoiter.  I do use 40/80 most of the time when doing SSB

BUT....
I've been doing CW lately and so I'm also perusing the 60/30/20/15/10 meter bands.
Just got my first 30 meter CW contact the other night.

If I could find a good multi-band vertical I'd probably go that way.  I do realize the wider
range verticals will probably be less efficient.  Isn't that the quandary of this hobby for those
of us with limited resources?  Finding the best "compromise" for your situation.

Thanks again.

Stan

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