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Author Topic: Reality of Restrictions?  (Read 1280 times)
N3OX
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« on: June 11, 2006, 01:12:12 PM »

So I've been working the VHF QSO party from my apartment  I have a 5 element 2m yagi with a 4 element 432 yagi on the nose, and a foot above that on the mast is a six meter moxon.  I've got a rotator and the antennas are about five feet above the roof of my building...

I've very slowly built up to this point, pushing the limits of "stealth".  At the beginning, I just had a magnet wire endfed for HF and nothing that was ever visible.  By this point, I've realized that, well, no one cares enough to call me on it.  I still try to be fairly low profile and not keep the stuff up all the time, but no one seems to be interested in enforcing anything about antennas and the neighbors at least don't have much to say about it.

Leaves me wondering what the distribution of antenna restrictions and enforcement is among those who are restricted.  Do you have a situation like mine where your lease says "no antennas" but for all practical purposes, you can do whatever you want?  I guess the other extreme is you put a J-pole on your railing and someone just loses their mind over it...

What is your experience with ignoring the rules?  

How far do you push it?  

If you're going far beyond high stealth, are you in a more temporary situation like I am where it's not so important to be able to stay on the air?  I've never had as much as a warning.  Got a funny look from a neighbor when I misshot the HF wire and it ended up really low in the tree, crossing directly at eye level in front of his balcony.  I'm only going to be at the current location for an unknown but relatively small number of months.  As such, I've gotten quite bold about what I use.  

Just curious how restrictive your restrictions are...

73,
Dan
N3OX
www.n3ox.net
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
K0JEG
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2006, 06:24:26 PM »

My lease just said no permanent alterations. Since I ran a few cable outlets when I moved in, I just drilled a larger than normal hole for one of them. When I move out, I'll just mount a wall plate on the coax entry point, and seal up the outside well.

Since the antennas are mounted on tripods and weighted down, they are not permanent. I haven't heard any complaints from anyone. In fact, my next door neighbor offered to let me run a longwire over to his place, should the need arise. However, I live out in the sticks, YMMV.
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KF5KWO
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2006, 06:35:54 PM »

In my old townhouse QTH in Maryland, we had the typical restrictions - no exterior antennas, etc.  I flaunted the rules and put up a 40m inverted V anchored under the eaves of my 3rd floor roof.  Very stealthy and hidden.  I did have 60 ft tall evergreens to help me however.  I could barely notice it myself.  No one could see it unless he/she were physically under it.

Here in my new QTH, I've got a home on 1.23 acres.  Same restrictions, but I would think I can put up a Hustler 5BTV or 6BTV in the backyard and not have it seen from the street thanks to the trees.  The HOA does do its monthly patrols, but I think they won't be able to see it from the street, I've been checking the view myself.  Of course I'll be painting it to blend in.  

Of course I still have my MFJ Magnetic Loop that I can put up on the back patio with no concerns at all, as well as the 80m full wave loop under the eaves of the roof.

Restrictions?  Bring 'em on!  Just another way for me to experiment with different antennas/modes/power levels.

73 de Jeff, KF5KWO
Helotes, TX
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2006, 09:45:58 AM »

N3OX, I think you're pretty lucky based on everything I hear about CC&R enforcement.

I don't have any CC&Rs, but I get tons of correspondence about them from people all over the country, and sometimes even outside the country.

Based on that, I'd say the covenants are routinely enforced by most HOAs.  Not all, of course, but most.

The cases where there seems to be no enforcement are also usually cases where there simply isn't any active HOA at all.  No HOA, there's really nobody to enforce covenants.

WB2WIK/6
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N3OX
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2006, 12:39:04 PM »

That's pretty much the situation I'm in.  I'm a renter, lease says no antennas, I put up antennas, no one says anything.  

Certainly I've got the analogous case to HOA lack in a covenant situation (I almost typoed that to convent situation... RF nuns?).

I do try to minimize the chances that someone who's official (a manager, so forth) might see them.  They're erected after dark, on weekends, etc, but that's not the real reason I have success.

I don't cause much RFI to my TV, stereo, or computer and no one uses a landline phone anymore, so I expect that helps my situation too.  If my neighbors knew I was transmitting and causing them interference, this might bring me to the attention of those that care, and this may be more or less the entirety of the intent of those rules in the lease, to shut down radio transmitters that are causing a nuisance (often these things get written in more because of high power illegal CBers than hams, but I think it says "no radio transmitters")

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

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
KE4DRN
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2006, 04:29:42 PM »

hi,

I can't get away with a tower but I do use a
temporary mast in the backyard and nobody cares.

We have one guy on the homeowners board that
runs around all the time with his camera and
goes after people if he don't like what he sees.

He went overboard and the homeowner won his court
case (the actions by the board denied him of due process)
so he got $ 300,000 !  This cost the rest of us $ 100,000  
the amount over the insurance policy the board has plus higher premiums.  
They guy sold his house and moved.

You would think they got rid of the camera guy but no,
they changed the rules so now  a complaint needs three homeowners to sign
it before anybody takes action.
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AB2MH
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2006, 08:12:18 PM »

Well well, first of all when I lived in a high rise apartment building in NYC I dropped a wire with a fishing weight alongside the building and operated once using that to attempt a QSO with some friends in Trinidad.  Never again.  

I do some things here that bend the rules but I put away everything when I'm done so management doesn't see anything.  There is a prohibition on pretty much all antennas (except satellite dishes, which are covered by FCC rules).  

I really need to get out of an apartment and into a real QTH where I can set my signal free.
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N0IU
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2006, 11:10:57 PM »

N3OX wrote:

"What is your experience with ignoring the rules?"

"How far do you push it?"

If you fall off that rock and break your leg, don't come running to me!
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2006, 03:48:40 AM »

WB2WIK/6 writes:

"The cases where there seems to be no enforcement are also usually cases where there simply isn't any active HOA at all. No HOA, there's really nobody to enforce covenants."

Unfortunately, those covenants may contain a clause like this:

2. If the parties hereto, or any of their heirs of assigns, shall violate or attempt to violate any of the covenants herein, it shall be lawful for any person owning real property in said subdivision to prosecute any proceeding at law or in equity against the person or persons violating or attempting to violate any such covenant and either to prevent such violation or to recover damages or other due therefore.

Simply put, this means that ANYONE who owns property can sue or otherwise harass you if they get a burr under their saddle.  And, they could get cash, attorney fees and court costs if they win.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2006, 07:55:57 AM »

>2. If the parties hereto, or any of their heirs of assigns, shall violate or attempt to violate any of the covenants herein, it shall be lawful for any person owning real property in said subdivision to prosecute any proceeding at law or in equity against the person or persons violating or attempting to violate any such covenant and either to prevent such violation or to recover damages or other due therefore.<

::Absolutely.  And I've seen similar wording in CC&Rs before.  Fortunately, lacking an enforcement body such as an HOA makes this action much more difficult, as it's one-on-one and a costly excercise for the complainant.  HOAs are more successful in covenant enforcement, since there's nearly always a clause in the by-laws that provides for liens as a way to collect fines and damages,  even without a hearing.  Scary stuff, and a great reason to not buy restricted properties.

WB2WIK/6
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N3OX
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2006, 10:56:35 AM »

Just as a followup, if anyone would care to see the originally mentioned array:

http://www.n3ox.net/projects/antennas/

73,
Dan
N3OX
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
AA4PB
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2006, 01:12:14 PM »

I've heard of some HOAs that will complain if you so much as place a wire dipole in the back yard of your single family residence. Then there are others where nobody enforces the rules.

I'm not a lawyer but I don't think the HOA can sue you without first giving you notice to remove the antenna. If they give you notice and you refuse to remove it then you'll probably wind up paying the price.
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N0XMZ
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« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2006, 12:21:37 PM »

Interesting topic. My apartment lease says I may have 1 outdoor antenna or dish if I pay a deposit. It says that if it's an antenna, it may not be the kind used for "transmitting only". I guess they're talking about beacons because I listen a lot more than I transmit! I use a hamstick clone in dipole configuration on the balcony and it works great.

The lease never mentioned the attic, so my 2 meter j-pole is up there. UHF antennas hang from the ceiling. I may move them to the attic, but for now I keep them close to counter the lossly feedline.

See pics at www.scottbomb.com/n0xmz
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KW4N
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« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2006, 04:13:51 AM »

I'm on the Board of a Homeowner's Assoc. We have to deal with most of the same issues as other Boards.  Violations of C's and R's is our most difficult task because it requires confrontation, often with people we know. Most board members don't want to compromise their relationships in the neighborhood so become "reluctant participants."  This is to the advantage of the homeowner unless the violation is blatant.
Many, many, H.O. Assoc. hire outside management to be their bulldog in enforcing C's and R's to relieve the board of this duty. If you have this situation, look out because he's paid to get after you. And he will.
It is a rare case that a HOA will file suit against one of their own unless everyone is raising a real stink. This you would deserve because you haven't done the necessary things to get a 'pass.'  Here's what you can do:
1. Be stealthy. Put you antenna up at night showing at least some considerations for your neighbors. But not too sneaky.  If they see you sneaking around they will feel your insulting their intelligence.
2. If you are accused of creating interference, and you will whether you are or not, totally deny it.  In a nice way.  Then go back to your QTH and make sure your NOT creating a problem.
3. Cut back on your power if you need to.  You don't need a kw to talk across town or to China if the band is open.
4. Get on the air other than T.V. prime time.
5. Get on the good side of your neighbors.  Reach out to them when they need a helping hand.  If you want good neighbors, you have to be a good neighbor...first.
Scratch their back and they'll scratch yours.
6. "Stay close to your friends, but closer to your enemies."
7. Get yourself elected to the bd.

Most boards that I know of are dominated by women for some reason or other.  Women are big into relationships. Do the same.  You'd be surprised at the mileage you get out of a little charm.  
If you decide to put up a tower, ignore items 1 thru 7.

73's Dave,KW4N
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KG4GXI
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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2006, 10:11:46 AM »

Have a current overly active board. They send letters about mildew on driveways, bird poop on mailboxes, chips in the paint of the mailbox post...they have pushed the management to be so anal that the company is quitting after the contract expires.

I had a twin lead J-pole hanging 35 ft up in a oak tree. The feed line ran across the pool cage an then hung out in the open, running up to a overhanging branch. Storms have brought it down a few times and I haven't put it back up yet. Its hard to hit the sweet spot with the line.

About a year ago I mounted a RS 5 ft TV mast to the eave of the house for a wind gage. The gage was later moved to a 3/4 pipe attached to the back of the pool cage. painted black, the pipe blends in well with the trees. - The TV mast sat there waiting to see if anyone complained, nothing. I recently replaced the 5ft mast with a 30 ft push up pole. Home Depot has camo spray paint in khaki, green and brown. I painted the bottom 12ft of the mast khaki to match the house and roof shingles and painted the top part green to blend in with the trees. That paint is the bomb, ultra non-reflective. The pole has the wind gage on it at about 20ft up and no one can really see it, much less complain. I plan to wait a while longer and put up a jpole on the tip. It will be painted to match the trees that provide the backdrop while looking from the front.

BTW, while on the board myself, a group pushed for clarification of some rules. Since they brought up the antenna rule wanting to include dish location, I took the opportunity to include an O-T-A-R-D exclusion. It states that a TV antenna can be installed to the rear and up to 10 ft above the roofline. Now if anyone complains, its a TV antenna. Smiley
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