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Author Topic: Apartment Antenna Ideas?  (Read 888 times)
N9WIV
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Posts: 13




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« on: June 12, 2003, 01:32:35 AM »

Hi everyone!!  I'm a college student looking for helpful apartment antenna ideas.  I actually am living in a building where an antenna isn't an issue, but putting up something that works is my problem.  My rigs include a beautiful Kenwood TS-940S/AT with just about every imaginable option (still looking for the SO-1 TCXO option) and also a set of the Kenwood 599D twins.  My problem is that despite having a decent (I think!) dipole hanging out back, I cannot get a soul to respond to my CQs.  Another friend in our college club has a beam and aimed it directly at me, and wasn't having much luck across town.  Now I know that the skip paths on HF aren't exactly great for such a short distance, but overall my performance isn't good.

Dipole is cut for 20m, no balun.  At the club we have an Icom 781 and a simple 80m dipole which I have talked all over the world on.  I know I'm missing something, but I can't seem to figure out what is happening!  Any suggestions would be appreciated for other good antennas to hang behind a building, or otherwise use in a similar manner.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2003, 11:32:58 AM »

Are you sure your 20m dipole is actually connected?  How's it load up (SWR vs. frequency plot)?

You're not trying to use it on a different band (other than 20m), are you?

WB2WIK/6
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N9WIV
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Posts: 13




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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2003, 08:55:23 PM »

SWR is about 3:1 on the very low edge of the band and about 1.5:1 on the high edge without the tuner.  I suppose that could be part of the problem.  I've been mainly trying to use it on 20.  However we do have that 80m dipole at the club station and I've used that on 80, 40, 20, 15 with the auto tuner and have had good results.  I'm definitely aware that I won't get jack squat for performance above 20 with this 20m dipole.  Any suggestions for a better antenna, or should this work decently for me?  Also, behind the building there is a large hill.  That is east.  Looking west I am higher up than what's out in that direction.

73,
Chris
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KG6AMW
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Posts: 616




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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2003, 09:52:50 AM »

As you noted, working somebody cross town on twenty meters doesn't guarantee a contact. By contacts, I'll assume you mean DX. Twenty meters has been up and down alot this spring, maybe you called when it was down.  How about your mic gain, is it set properly?  

KG6AMW
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WB4QNG
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Posts: 362




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« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2003, 05:45:33 PM »

I agree if you know antenna is hooked up and your radio is working then you should be making some contacts somewhere.  The band had to me dead.  I have never had a rig with an internal but using my old Dentron tuner I have loaded a 20 meter hamstick on 40 and 80 and made contacts. Try loading it on 40 and see what you get.
Good Luck
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W3IJD
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Posts: 27




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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2003, 12:29:47 AM »

I'm currently testing the MFJ Apartment Antenna.  Have tried it indoors and have reached Seattle (from San Diego) twice on 40 meter CW with reports of 339 with the antenna entirely indoors.  Outdoors I've gotten to Roanoke, Va. with 579.  Generally satisfied since I'm limited in what I can use.  Tunes well with an antenna tuner.
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KE1MB
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Posts: 65




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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2003, 10:45:58 AM »

Check to see what kind of clearence you have around your dipole. you don't want it too close to metal objects or stone. If you have to use your internal tuner then re-adjust your ant. that tuner is there to protect the finals, it is not going to help you any as far as making the dipole preform any better.

 
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K1CJS
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Posts: 5994




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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2003, 11:09:00 PM »

Nobody has yet mentioned the co-ax.  Have the connections AT BOTH ENDS been verified?  Sometimes a weak connection will read out good on a meter but will not be when actually transmitting.  Is the co-ax crushed or kinked anywhere along its length and has it gone unnoticed?  Was an end melted when the connector soldered on?  The end at the dipole--has the strain relief given away?

There are so many things to check it really isn't funny, but I wish you luck.  73
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NJ6F
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Posts: 9




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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2003, 04:50:17 AM »

Try a Spider dipole antenna.  I did a write up under portable antennas.  It is 8 feet in length total but really gets out nice.. on 6 - 75 meters with all the end loaded coils. I use it when I travel.  Go for a dipole...not a vertical so you won't get into peoples radios or TV's as easy.... Good luck- Rich
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KC8VWM
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Posts: 3124




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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2003, 08:14:39 PM »

Some Antenna Ideas

Since a person may erect a TV antenna, I am thinking about buying a TV antenna and trimming it to work on either 70cm, 2m, or 6m. Perhaps it could even work on all bands.

You can also buy one of those TV antennas that mount directly over the sattelite dish. I suppose that it could be trimmed to resonate frequency too.

PVC vents on roofs are also an excellent way to make a multiband 1/4 wave antennas. "White" lamp cord that resembles the color of the PVC works best.

How about putting up a fake "vent"?
Hardware stores usually sell these vents pretty cheap. Cut to approx. 19.5" and your vent will make an excellent radiator on 2 meters.

The vent should be located as high a possible, for adequate ventilation of course.

I was thinking about a 6 meter beam in the attic, but it might be easier to construct a 6m horizonal beam out of wire that closely resembles the color of the roof shingles.

You can string up a nice and long wire dipole by tucking it under that plastic PVC siding used on most of these newer homes.

My favorite antenna stealth trick is to purposely install what may appear to be cable TV wire along the side of your house or building. Make it appear professionally installed by the cable guy himself!

Be sure it looks like it runs from one destination to another. Construct the wire using official "cable guy" tiedowns and the whole nine yards.

Be sure it bends around window frames, doorways, and try to make it as long as possible for HF. Heck, you could even put one of those yellow colored "utility tags" on your new long wire to show everyone one in your neighborhood that your newly installed HF antenna was even certified, dated, and initialed by the cable company.

If you think the newly added wire might raise suspicions, you could simply say something like, "Yeah, got tired of that slow dial up internet access. They had a great deal on cable internet access. they installed that extra cable for my new broadband cable modem. I will never go back to dial up again!"


Good DX'ing

Charles Bushell

KC8VWM

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