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Author Topic: No Antennas Allowed  (Read 1047 times)
WB2WIK
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« on: January 13, 2006, 03:32:05 PM »

The F-12 Flagpole Antenna does work pretty good for its size, but of course that depends entirely on the radial system you install.  It comes with some radial wire as a "radial starter kit" to give you an idea.  In reality, it needs a *LOT* of radials before it starts working pretty good.

The F-12 Flagpole Antenna starts out life at 16' tall, but 4' extensions are available to make it taller, which will also make it more efficient.  The taller it is, the longer the radials should be used.

And of course the base *must* be anchored in concrete, which requires a starting hole about 3' deep by 10" or so in diameter (can be made with a post hole digger pretty easily).  No concrete, no antenna -- it will fall over almost immediately.

So, although the Flagpole Antenna does have merit, be aware that there *is* an installation process required, and your "flagpole" will for some reason need a bunch of wire radials installed all around it, in order to actually work.  The radials can be buried, of course, so once they're in, nobody needs to see them.

WB2WIK/6
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WB0UQD
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Posts: 44




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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2006, 10:35:05 AM »

Hello. I love to work HF, but all the new houses have covenants that prohibit outside antennas. I know that hams are trying to change this. What are the chances that it will change? Thanks!
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N4RLL
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Posts: 34


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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2006, 11:25:46 AM »

Unfortunately, the chances of that happening are slim.  The good news is that there are a thousand different ways to get around the covenant by keeping the antenna stealthy.

I once used RG-58 cable to feed a 40M dipole made from #26 brass wire, with 3/8" Lucite rod end insulators, 100lb test monofilament fishing line leads weighed down by 20 oz. fishing weights.  The coax and Lexan center insulator ran up the backside of a tree, and each leg ran off to other trees, with the entire system up about 30 feet high.  It wasn't perfect, but it got out really well and was virtually invisible from the ground - I had a hard time finding it sometimes, and I knew where it was.  

Hopefully you'll be pointed in the right direction for a few different types of stealth antennas.  AC6V's website has a pretty healthy selection of links to websites with stealth antennas, as well as info on antenna restrictions too.

Hope it helps - 73.  

-- Jason N4RLL

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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20666




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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2006, 11:27:30 AM »

Probably pretty slim.  The FCC passed a ruling a few years ago that supercedes antenna covenants for antennas used for broadcast reception of television signals, and this covers 18" DBS satellite dish antennas as well.  This is called the OTARD rule.

The ARRL sought FCC's action to issue another ruling for amateur radio antennas, and it was turned down.  A Congressional Order could supercede restrictive covenants, and there are a couple hams in Congress who are behind this, but it's not making much progress and the required legislation seems to be stalled, at least for now.

Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) are deed restrictions entered into as a private agreement between property buyer and seller and government doesn't really want to become involved with this, although it could happen.  I wouldn't hold my breath waiting.

There are *always* properties available for purchase that are covenant-free, in every single part of America.  The trick is to find them.  A lot of "new construction" housing has restrictive covenants.  A lot of more mature housing does not.  They became much more pervasive in the 1970s and 1980s, and not too many CC&Rs pre-date that -- although I've seen some that go back to the 1920s, in some areas.

It's always good to buy a home from another ham who already had antennas and towers in place...

WB2WIK/6

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K5DVW
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Posts: 2193




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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2006, 12:01:17 PM »

I feel your pain! I'm in the market for a new house since I moved to a new city. Fortunately I'm renting and can spend time looking, but what I've found so far isnt pretty. Almost anything in the median price range built in the last 20 to 30 years will have covenants restricting antenna towers. Older houses often don't and if you're lucky it will be located in a decent part of town and the surroundings are reasonable.

Seems if you want a mansion, a farm, a long commute, or an inner city shack, you are free from HOA restrictions nearly always. If you want a median priced home near a city, restrictions are the rule.

One best bet is to get the largest lot you can, preferably with trees. On a restricted city lot I've had HF verticals, low dipoles, inverted V in a tree, and VHF beams (they look a lot like TV antennas, so are acceptable). Get creative!

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KA4P
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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2006, 12:53:39 PM »

Life is too short for no antennas. Live in the country and commute if you have to. You can always work mobile during the commute.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2006, 01:16:05 PM »

Even living "in the country" doesn't assure escaping CC&Rs, unless you're careful.  True, if you buy a 1000-acre farm, there's not much chance you'll have any antenna restrictions; but I've looked at "country" properties that were recently developed -- large homes on 4-5-6 acre lots -- that had very restrictive covenants, just as bad as those on small city homes.

The trick, as always, is to know what you're doing.

There was a pretty good article on this subject, right here on eHam.net, years ago.  Oh yeah, here it is:

http://www.eham.net/articles/3517

Gives some advice about what to look for when house hunting.

WB2WIK/6
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9927




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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2006, 01:32:34 PM »

check with the local building permits office in each town , like here you can go to 38 feet with no permit, and the next town  you can do 40 feet but all antennas must be in a box 18 feet on a side .. so ask the permits guy first, then check with cc&rs with the real estate guy, and the best place to find specific rules is the title company..
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W1SF
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Posts: 30




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« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2006, 02:40:25 PM »

So how come no one mentioned the Force 12 flag pole antenna? That is what I will use in a couple of months when I move into my restricted over 55 community. They allow flag poles. Steve mentioned to me that that they work pretty good.
Stu w1sf
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K4SAV
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Posts: 1851




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« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2006, 07:32:43 PM »

If you live in a deed restricted area and have some trees, stealth antennas shouldn't be too difficult. The best one I ever had was a 50 ft vertical going up to the top of a pine tree.  One strand of #12 copperweld with lots of buried radials. This was located in my front yard in plain view of everyone (because that's where that nice tree was).  The trick was it was just plain hard to see. The tree hides most of it.  It was there for 15 years and I don't think anyone ever noticed it. I had a switched matching network at the bottom (hidden by some bushes). I used it on 80, 40, and 30 meters.  It was a very good antenna.

Oh - the radial problem.  Because this was in my front yard, I couldn't dig up the yard and I couldn't leave the wires on top of the ground.  So I took a metal rod with a small hook on the end and sewed the radials into the grass, getting them down to the ground level and under enough grass roots to hold them in place.  This was a considerable amount of work, but the payoff was big, especially when you live in a restricted area and don't have a lot of choices.

Jerry, K4SAV
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WW5AA
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Posts: 2086




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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2006, 11:07:32 AM »

Michael,

If you meet the conditions you can use a TV antenna and mast as a top hat for say a  wire verticul or what ever you can come up with. I see this restriction stuff on the forums all the time and most times the Federal law will get you around the restrictions.

73, de Lindy
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K6AER
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Posts: 3535




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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2006, 09:07:23 AM »

I lived in West Lake Village, California which I might add was the original home to CC&R’s in 1964. We had a group of little old ladies who roomed the streets looking for violators.  The solution was to hide the antenna in plane sight. A number 26 gage Teflon white wire was attached to a box kit and flown into a pine tree. The end of the wire was attached to a ball of string located next to a plastic rock with a SGC tuner underneath.  

When the sharp eyed CC&R ladies said I had a kite in the tree I said that was right. They wanted to know when the kite was going to be removed and I told them I don’t climb trees and they could remove it if they like. I left Westlake Village in 1997 after the kite had been in the tree for 6 years. Last year I visited some friends in Westlake Village and the kite was still up in the tree.
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N4HRA
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Posts: 282




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« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2006, 01:03:55 PM »

Bond you gutters and down spouts, connect a ATU to the Down Spout with a real good ground and their you go. I have used this and worked DX

My 2 cents
Lew
N4HRA
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KB4QAA
Member

Posts: 2488




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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2006, 09:49:37 AM »

Don't assume that because the realtor tells you that a community doesn't allow antennas that you can't put work ham radio.

A buddy recently built a new house in a "no antenna" community.   When we looked at the covenants, it actually stated "No TV antennas or satellite dishes visible from the street".  

So he has every right to put up any Ham antenna he wants to.  However, he is being smart by putting up unobtrusive antennas so as not to upset people.

So what can you do?  Attic antennas, a wire loop under your eaves circling the house, a wire vertical pulled up a tree with ground radials stapled across the yard, and my favorite: any stealthy wire dipole.

So, read the covenants for the houses you are interested in before you despair and give up hope.

Good luck,
Bill
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