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Author Topic: Hustler mobile as a Ground mounted Vertical  (Read 3423 times)
KD4SBY
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Posts: 223




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« on: March 16, 2010, 12:12:24 PM »

I live in a restricted community, where antennas of any kind are prohibited. I live in a regular house on my own property, abeit with very close neighbors.
To be able to operate I thought of using a portable antenna in the form of a good sturdy metal tripod that I still have from my days that I had a photography hobby, on which I mount a Hustler RM-type Mobile antenna.
In this way I thought I can set it up and connect it to my rig on the back porch whenever I wanted to operate. (Living in Florida helps in the winter!)
The question is, would that work and how do I tune it? How about any radials? Has anybody any expierence with such a setup? Any comments/suggestions?
It would be nice to get something like that working.
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AF6WI
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2010, 12:35:55 PM »

Some links for you:
http://www.eham.net/forums/Towertalk/16103
http://www.eham.net/articles/2621
http://www.k7su.com/hsdipole.html
http://ka8vit.com/stick/default.htm
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WB5JEO
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Posts: 805




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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2010, 02:04:23 PM »

The Hustler mobiles are just short loaded verticals and are subject to the same practices as other verticals. Obviously, performance will not be up to that of a larger antenna, but a lot will depend on what you do for it. A tripod is probably not the best mounting, unless it's a really tall tripod, and you're willing to put out and take in elevated radials. I think I'd be more inclined to sew a good number of wires into the sod, connected to a mount for the antenna that would let you conveniently attach and detach it as needed. Nothing obvious showing when it's not there. If you want to try such a thing for pretty cheap, the Hamstick type mobile antennas are real cheap, and with any mobile antennas, you can use the 3/8" quick release adapters and leave the base permanently in the ground. It won't be all that bad an antenna, if you do the radials. Narrow bandwidth, but that's the story with short antennas. If it works out nice, you can maybe one day replace it with a screwdriver.

Usual advice for radials, 30 or more is nice, as long as you can run them. Fewer will also work. Any old wire. Small wire is good if you're trying to sew it under the grass with a "needle" made from a piece of stiff wire.

My problem with the Hamstick type dipoles is that most folks who need to do that can't put them very high, which cripples and already badly compromised antenna. At least with the mobile vertical, you've got a significantly compromised vertical antenna, but you can make the most out of it with a good ground system at low cost. But probably forget the tripod. At least do not attempt to drop a ground wire to a ground radial system. That will make a mess of an antenna. The height won't make a bit of difference. You only get two options with quarter wave verticals: well elevated with tuned elevated radials, or ground mounted with non-tuned radials on or just under the ground.
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WX7G
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2010, 03:07:22 PM »

Yes I have used the Hustler resonators on short masts on a tripod for CC&R neighborhood operation.

The length from the ground system up counts as antenna length.

Eight radials 15' long works for me. I lay them on the ground connected to a bolt pushed into the ground. Walk outside, set the tripod over the ground bolt, and attach a wire/aligator clip.

Between the roughly 20 ohm ground loss resistance and the Hustler resonator losses (they are made to be lossy) you will have an input resistance of 30 ohms or more at resonance. A low enough VSWR for most radios.

For higher performance on the low bands connect Hustler masts together to make a longer antenna. For 160 meters I have placed an RM80S with a top hat onto a mast. Total height is 12'. Radiation efficiency is 3% and it has worked well enough.

To make up for these small yet inefficient antennas get an amplifer.
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N3LCW
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Posts: 150




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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2010, 08:45:50 PM »

Take a look at DXEngineering's Garden antenna.  I bought this a few years ago before I began using magnetic loop antennas.

http://www.dxengineering.com/Sections.asp?ID=115&DeptID=22#Top

I already had their capacitance top hat kit for my Hustler mobile antenna and the Garden Antenna let me use what I already had.  The Garden Antenna comes with instructions on using various Hustler coils with their capacitive hats.  The mast is only 96 inches long and the top hats will let you increase the efficiency significantly.  Lay down 8 - 16 15 ft radials on the ground and you will be impressed with the performance.  You can always add more to the mast to increase the length and efficiency.  The top hats let me use the higher band coils on the lower bands (ie 30M coil on 80M) and this will increase your efficiency.  The best thing is the antenna is very low profile.  Paint the loading coil and mast black as I did and it literally disappears.

I agree with Dave WX7G and use an amp to compensate for the losses.  It will make a big difference!

Andrew
N3LCW
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WX7G
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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2010, 05:28:14 AM »

Great plan using the garden antenna. If you don't want to paint, wrap black electrical tape.

These things do work well. I am now running a kW to a similar antenna and have an easy time working plenty of DX on 40 and 80 meter CW. Even 160 meters.
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KD4SBY
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Posts: 223




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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2010, 06:27:28 AM »

Thanks for the ideas. I got some good, usable information here.
Unfortunately, I live in a an community with VERY strict regulations. You can get a citation for having the wrong furniture on your front porch, the wrong bush planted or do ANYTHING to the house or garden that is different from a week ago. And they walk around to check on this on a regular basis.
That, and in addition any number of neighbors can see what you are doing or have in your front or back yard, (which are wide open) makes it impossible for me to have anything else than a completely removable antenna installation.(Such as a tripod mounted one as I proposed)
I like the Garden Antenna, but for the reasons above, the idea from WX7G whereby I have to bury radials and connect it the antenna with a clip to it is the best I can do, despite the rather limited performance of the setup. I think I will try that just so that I can get on the air. I am mainly interested in the 40, 20 and 15M bands for now. Limited funds prohibts me from using an amplifier just yet, but that is a good idea for the future.
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K4JC
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« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2010, 07:12:02 AM »

Sounds to me like it's time to move...
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N3LCW
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Posts: 150




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« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2010, 08:22:22 AM »

Give the Garden Antenna a try.  The base has a quick disconnect mount for easy removal, so you can put it up at night and take it down by day.  I used it on 80-10M, the best results were 40M and higher.  I didn't have the amplifier back then but I still worked DX on 40M and above.  

Can you plant bamboo around the perimeter of your yard for privacy?  There are several types of bamboo that look quite good, are acceptable by most HOA's, and will hide a 20-30ft vertical very nicely.  

You can make the antenna part of the landscaping.  A fellow planted short bamboo around his garden antenna and it disguised it pefectly!  He mad a little circular garden of bamboo right in the center of his yard, stone trimming around the perimeter, with the garden antenna right in the center of all the bamboo.  Talk about hiding in plain sight!

There are countless ways of hiding an effective HF antenna in almost any situation.

Andrew
N3LCW
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KD4SBY
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Posts: 223




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« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2010, 11:56:21 AM »

K4JC "Sounds to me like it's time to move..."
The YL does not like it at all here and we have been ready to do so a year after we moved in here! The original developer is in control of the HOA until 80% is sold, and he is nowhere near that. In the mean time he is changing the rules every year, and if you protest he points out a clause in the contract stating that he is allowed to do so. Auwch! :{
Unfortunately the housing market is in our area one of  the worst in the state, so we are stuck for the time being.
But one of these days.... Smiley
In the mean time, I have to just try to find a solution for an antenna.
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AF6WI
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« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2010, 12:17:46 PM »

Check out Transworld Antennas here on eham.net.
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/6869
http://www.transworldantennas.com/

There are more versions than the one I link to here on eham.net, so look at the portable HF antenna section for the others. You put the antenna on a tripod in your yard while you use it.
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KG6WLS
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Posts: 507




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« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2010, 01:50:22 PM »

"The question is, would that work and how do I tune it? How about any radials? Has anybody any expierence with such a setup? Any comments/suggestions?
It would be nice to get something like that working."


Been there, done that. If that's the best you can do, go for it. It doesn't bust the pile-ups, but will gain you contacts. Try a loop under the eaves. Once living in a restrictive community myself sucks, I know, but where there is a will there is usually a way.

I don't live in an eviroment like that anymore, but I can understand your situation.

Good luck & 73
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K3ANG
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Posts: 178




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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2010, 09:35:10 PM »

Build a wire dipole or loop antenna and operate with the antenna LAYING FLAT ON THE GROUND.  Yes, it will work.  Not like a traditionally mounted dipole or vertical, but it will work.  
How many of us have had antennas (particularly dipoles) fall down or collapse in the middle of QSO, when a supporting rope broke (or worse) and still hold the contact?  I have.  And still held the QSO.
I didn't know the dipole fell until I went outside.
I recommend #26 wire in a black jacket.  It's flexible and hard to see.  Even in the air.
GL & 73
de K3ANG
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K3ANG
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Posts: 178




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« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2010, 09:42:26 PM »

Check this out for inspiration.
http://users.erols.com/k3mt/graswire/graswire.htm
I haven't built it, but it's worth a look.
73 AGN.
de K3ANG
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WA9AFM
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Posts: 208




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« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2010, 12:32:28 PM »

While stationed in Iceland, I mounted a Hustler mobile mast w/ 20m coil on an abandon oil tank next to the VOQ.  The tank was about 6' in diamter(high) and about 20' long.  It has a ladder and work platform.  I mounted the Hustler on the hand rail.  It was so stealthy, the civil engineers came by twice to inspect it but 'couldn't find it'.  When I pointed it out to them, they admitted they saw it but thought it 'was a lightning rod'.  The Hustler wasn't a beam a 50', but I could work into Europe and the Med on any given day.  Being a '/TF3' didn't hurt either.
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