Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

donate to eham
   Home   Help Search  
Pages: Prev 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7 Next   Go Down
Author Topic: Fined $50  (Read 55122 times)

Posts: 4710

« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2011, 03:53:11 PM »

OTARD as I understand it allows a person to erect a Video Receiving
antenna (I translate this to be a television antenna) exempt from
restrictive covenants, HOA by-laws etc. If that is the case buy your-
self a 40 foot pushup Channel Master or Rohn mast.

The OTARD rules allow *limited* preemption of CC&Rs for certain types of TV and internet antennas. They are *not* a blank check. And they do not apply to amateur radio antennas.

The limited preemption includes limits on the size, height and placement of the antenna and support structure. As WX7G points out, the antenna installation must be the minimum needed for the purpose.

If they question you
about your choice of the LP just tell them you have a favorite station
150 miles away and it takes a monster like that to get a signal that
barely works with the new HDTV stuff.

Sorry, won't work.

For TV, OTARD only applies to satellite and *local* reception. Each TV station has a defined service area, so that stations on the same channel don't interfere with each other. The 150 mile trick won't work if they decide to read the OTARD rules.

73 de Jim N2EY

Posts: 4710

« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2011, 05:02:11 PM »


The following is a philosophical/political discussion of sorts, and drifts rather far from AA1BN's original question. If such discussions offend you, or you're just not interested, please move on to the next post.

As a ham and member of my HOA board, I have a different perspective. HOA's are a necessary evil in my opinion. ....

Don't get me wrong, I am a very conservative person and I do not favor government intervention in our lives.  However, when hundreds of families live literally 10 feet from each other, there needs to be some consistency in the way properties are maintained. 

A couple of points....

I do not agree that HOAs and CC&Rs are a necessary evil, even in high-density housing situations.

Here's why:

I've owned three homes, all where the houses were fairly close together. One was a twin; all had shared driveways. By "fairly close" I mean less than 30 feet between houses. I grew up in similar homes.

In almost all cases the homeowners kept/keep their places in good shape *without* an HOA, restrictive CC&Rs, etc.

They did/do this in part because most people want to be good neighbors, and in part because there were/are ordinances, zoning codes and other *laws* about land use.

The trick is that government (at least where I've lived) operates very differently from an HOA. Enacting or changing a law is a public process, and there are strict limits on what laws can be enacted. There are checks and balances, such as the courts. And all it takes to change a law (in most cases) is a majority vote. At worst, it requires a 2/3 vote.

But HOAs can operate without those checks and balances, because their rules are generally considered contracts and not laws. Different ball game completely.

IMHO one major reason for the rising popularity of HOAs and CC&Rs is, ironically, the mantra of "small government". Rather than go through the time-consuming and expensive process of creating ordinances, zoning, etc., many local governments turn the process over to the developers. The developers put ironclad restrictive boilerplate CC&Rs in the deeds and form an HOA to enforce them.

The end result is that the "small government" idea results in much *more* intrusion into people's lives than any government would try to do, and the people have less options to fight it.

For example, if you don't paint your house when it needs it, the government can't do much to make you unless the lack of painting results in a safety hazard of some sort.

But an HOA can not only require that you paint your house, they can dictate the exact color, brand and type of paint for the job. They can do this even if their are better paints available, because you agreed to abide by their rules up-front.

I would love to have a simple 40' crank-up tower in my backyard but my neighbors don't see it that as such a beautiful thing, just like I don't think a 30 foot RV parked on the street in front of my neighbor's house or a backyard full of dogs and cats and a rooster or two is such a good thing.

I don't understand why any of those things should bother anybody, unless there is a noise issue or the 30 foot RV takes up more of the street than the front of the neighbor's house.

My neighbors on both sides have dogs. They bark once in a while but that's it. If there were ever a problem, there are nuisance ordinances about noise and such.

  Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder and most builders who set up these covenants do not consider external antenna structures beautiful things.  Until those imposing governmental officials we all despise step in and prohibit these things, we are all pretty much stuck with what we have.  That is of course, unless we are willing to make the changes necessary to change things.  That just takes a lot of hard work and persuasion.  These battles are being fought at the legislative level.  Seek out your state folks who are leading this charge, put your money where your mouth is, and send your elected official a $20 campaign donation and let him/her know how you feel about these things.  That's the way to remedy these situations.

That part I agree with 100%! OTARD should apply to amateur radio antennas; PRB-1 should apply to CC&Rs and HOAs.

Simple as that.

If anyone has read this far, they may be wondering why a ham who has never lived in an HOA house is so interested in antenna restrictions.

There are two reasons:

1) I see anti-antenna CC&Rs and HOAs as a big problem for amateur radio as a whole. I think many prospective hams don't become amateurs because of them, and that many existing hams are inactive or nearly inactive because of them. And amateurs who run afoul of such rules may give amateur radio bad publicity.

2) Someday I may want or need to move again. I do not want to discover that finding an unrestricted home I can afford which meets other criteria is impossible or overly difficult. Nor do I want to discover too late that I've signed onto something I didn't want to.

It is easy to say "just don't buy a restricted house" when you have plenty of time, money, health and flexibility as to where you can live. Doing it when you don't have all those things is another matter.

There's a famous quote by Martin Niemöller which comes to can read it here:

73 de Jim, N2EY

Posts: 9749


« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2011, 07:17:08 PM »

Since no permits or permissions were asked for or granted for
satellite TV or UHF frequency antennas that presently adorn the
roofs of some homes in the subdivision, I found no reason to
petition for permission.

I'd connect the antenna to my TV set, and tell them you are using it for an HDTV antenna and FM radio antenna.

If you use it for a TV antenna, then that is what it is. Just be SURE you connect it to the TV set and/or FM radio most of the time.

73 Tom


Posts: 325

« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2011, 06:23:37 AM »

Hello Jim

Thanks for addressing the limitations.  I realize that OTARD is not a blank check for
the amateur service but if one has Over-The-Air Internet or an Over-The_Air subscription
television service then they likely will be using something around the 2 plus GHz range.
Depending on the height of buildings and other obstacles the height of the supporting
mast will vary. I imagine one can easily make the case for 25 to 35 feet in many cases.
If you use a Rohn mast then that height would require guy wires or some other support
system. At my NC residence I cannot receive the broadcast of one UHF station without
the antenna being up above 30 feet. It is about as local as the big boys (ABC, CBS,
NBC, FOX, RTN etc) 50 miles away. In that case what constitutes local?  There will likely
be about as many different interpretations as there are people involved.

Even if I could only get away with 20 feet it would be better than no mast at all. It would
provide local broadcast reception of the desired station and as a bonus it would also provide
a vertical which with some effort could be forced into service on the HF bands. As for all the
wire buried in the ground, well it is for safety.  What I am trying to say after all this verbage
is: Identify what resources you have, what you can bring into play and then be an engineer. 
Plot a solution.

There is no doubt the solution proposed above will rub some nerves raw, but in all probability
the ones who will get their panties in a wad are those who I would avoid anyway. In Johns case
it is doubtful that his arch nemisis is a drinking bud so my attitude is as long as it is legal, moral,
and ethical then do it. 

Thanks again for the clarification.



Posts: 4710

« Reply #34 on: January 14, 2011, 04:28:05 AM »

Depending on the height of buildings and other obstacles the height of the supporting
mast will vary. I imagine one can easily make the case for 25 to 35 feet in many cases.
If you use a Rohn mast then that height would require guy wires or some other support

All true. But IIRC the FCC addresses height and antenna size covered by OTARD. They also address things such as minimizing visibility, which means if it is possible to support the antenna without guy wires, you put up a self-supporting mast. Etc.

At my NC residence I cannot receive the broadcast of one UHF station without
the antenna being up above 30 feet. It is about as local as the big boys (ABC, CBS,
NBC, FOX, RTN etc) 50 miles away. In that case what constitutes local? 

IIRC, FCC actually defines the service area of each broadcast station, including defining what "local" means. The coverage area is calculated from the antenna height, power, terrain, etc. A high power station on a high tower in the plains may have an enormous "local" area compared to one in hilly country.

There will likely
be about as many different interpretations as there are people involved.

Yes, but it's the FCC's interpretation that matters.

73 de Jim, N2EY

Posts: 1454

« Reply #35 on: January 14, 2011, 06:48:08 AM »

This poor guy has already been fined. Trying to dance around the antenna issue with FCC rules is not going to work. He is going to have to get rid of the President and his Board of minions. They are not, according to his information, following Florida law in their election, rule enforcement and fining process. A simple complaint to the state along with a request to take over the association until it complies with the rules is the easiest, cheapest ($.47 cent stamp) and best way to go. He will not only be doing himself a favor, but the rest of the residents!  Wink

Posts: 325

« Reply #36 on: January 14, 2011, 08:01:46 AM »

NE2Y said:            All true. But IIRC the FCC addresses height
and antenna size covered by OTARD. They also address things
such as minimizing visibility, which means if it is possible to sup-
port the antenna without guy wires, you put up a self-support-
ing mast. Etc.

The following is taken from the OTARD fact sheet:

A restriction impairs if it:
(1) unreasonably delays or prevents use of;
(2) unreasonably increases the cost of; or
(3) precludes a person from receiving or transmitting
an acceptable quality signal from an antenna covered under the rule.

I can certainly erect a Rohn Mast considerably cheaper than buying
a self supporting commercial mast which addresses item two.
If I am subscribing to a service and need a 35 mast to clear obstacles
for line-of-site service then that would in my opinion define the height,
not just an arbitrary plop and drop decision based solely on my need for
62.5 feet of mast to load for 80 meters. One would be prudent to
observe the boundaries of OTARD and then design secondary needs
around the primary installation requirement. Maximize the desired goals
for the secondary use while staying within the legal boundaries.

The Q&A sheet does point out that specific antenna used to obtain distant
stations is not allowed nor does OTARD apply to amateur antennae. However
they say nothing of prohibiting co-utilization of existing  masts when the primary
mandates have been met for the Over-The-Air broadcasts. Obviously the
secondary use of the mast cannot alter the physical installation of the
mast. This is why I stated one would be wise to ask the barrister before
engaging in such an effort. He can best tell you if you are meeting the
letter of the law and provide insight on the level of risk you are incurring
cost wise.

KI4SDY said:   This poor guy has already been fined.
Trying to dance around the antenna issue with FCC
rules is not going to work.

I agree he has been tortured, aggravated, annoyed, vexed, harangued, pestered
and otherwise abused by the schmuck of an HOA president. It may be John does
have a solution partially in the ability to approach Florida regulatory agencies to
enforce statutes relative to the HOA Operation but he will still have the HOA
By-Laws to address along with other governing HOA documents post Schmuck
removal assuming the Schmuck removal effort is successful, thus the reason for
suggesting working out a solution that would allow operation even if not optimal.

As stated earlier, if it is legal, ethical and moral then I have no problem doing it.
When faced with obstacles I can plot a solution using the existing regulatory frame
work or use the approach of badgering the political leaders. Amateur Radio IS NOT a
priority item for politicians in general and in the current mess all the efforts of
the amateur corp is likely to fall on deaf ears in my opinion. I personally would
follow the example of the electron and take the path of least resistance without
abandoning the goal.

Hopefully John will be able to solve several issues with his efforts.



Posts: 56

« Reply #37 on: January 14, 2011, 08:04:31 AM »

For you "legal-eagles" out there, a follow up:

The fine of $50 was paid as of Monday 1-10-11, and rather than
accept the receipt that indicated I had paid $50 toward my HOA
dues, I had the "clerk" sign my receipt that indicated that $50 was
received for the payment of the fine for the "alleged violation"
of HOA procedures.

Now, I am in the process of writing my "apology" for not asking
for "permission" to install an antenna; that I would have not done so
if the bylaws and covenants were more specific. Adding that my
antenna mast did not appear to fit the description of examples of the
types of structural modifications that would require any permission.

The BIG question of course, is if my interpretation of the law is
a valid and correct interpretation. So for those of you so legally
educated...... I have posted PDF files of the actual bylaw and
covenants to the Internet, to allow any interested party to read
and enjoy, and perhaps provide some further input.

Does an antenna mast fit their description of a "structural modification"?
They do provide examples of "structures", and although I can understand
a "Tower" (what they called my extendable, un-guyed mast) as being
a structural device, this was simply an extendable TV antenna mast,
secured at the base and at the roof edge.

Here are the links to the bylaws, and the covenants:,%20Inc..pdf,%20Conditions%20and%20Rest.pdf

And to the Florida statutes that covers HOA rules and policy:

The 2010 Florida Statutes:

720.305: Obligations of members; remedies at law or in equity; levy of fines and suspension of use rights.

Interpretations from those engaged in law, legislation, etc will
be greatly appreciated. I would like to base my letter of "apology"
on as close to factual data as I can. If the mast is considered legally,
to be a "structure", and the legal definition can be provided, I won't
pursue the issue of the terminology, only my misunderstanding of it.

Thanks again for -all- the input from -all- members.

John - aa1bn
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 08:09:43 AM by AA1BN » Logged

Posts: 80

« Reply #38 on: January 14, 2011, 08:41:08 AM »

I have a suggestion for you! Are your gutters metal or vinyl? If they are metal, you got it solved, to some degree. My friend lives in an apartment complex on the basement ground level. He ran a wire to the lower part of the downspout and attached with an alligator clip. He drove in a 4' copper ground rod and ran that wire to his tuner/radio. The gutters are about 80', and BOY does he get out with 100 watts! The gutters load up nicely from 20-80 meters with low swr. No one sees anything. The gnd rod is pounded below the surface of the ground, and the live rf wire is hidden and feeds through a window. What he has is a end fed long wire (Gutter) antenna. Hoa will not have a clue! Also, no rf in the shack either. Believe me this does work! and suprisingly good! Of course a tuner is mandatory. He works EU and S.America and more!

Posts: 325

« Reply #39 on: January 14, 2011, 10:10:56 AM »


Out of the gate let me make it perfectly clear before
getting others in a lather "I am NOT a lawyer", my
comments are my interpretation and any comment
I make should be verified by licensed legal counsel
before using it in any engagement of your Board
or other parties involved or interested.

I have briefly read the By-Laws. Will dig in deeper later
and see if anything  else really sticks out.  On initial read
the one thing that caught my eye was Article 9, Section
1, paragraph (a). Hopefully the Declaration, Articles of
Incorporation or State Statutes provide for more restrictive
boundaries on your Board. than what appears there.

Also rather than comment here if you will please provide
an e-mail address I can use to contact you helping cir-
cumvent a flame war. It is not my intent to fan fires. You can
use a hotmail or yahoo account rather than publish your
main e-mail account here, alternatively I can call if you
have a public number.  The reason for this is that when
I butted heads with the HOA in the community I previously
lived in, I discovered a number of faux pas they committed
and was able to undo a couple of restrictions they had
imposed  directly affecting me. It turns out what they did
is quite commonplace but rarely identified procedural errors
which as it turned out had some pretty nasty problems
associated with them. It was pure serendipity I stumbled
into those errors and discovered the ramifications for
the HOA. In my case it involved extension of a privacy
fence on my lot to address  health, safety and liability
issues which would block a foot path being used by individuals
who littered the place as they left an adjacent convenience
store. It took about nine months to accomplish everything
and there was a lot of trial and error on my part. The final
result was the board reversed their initial decision and refused
to either approve or deny the request. The initial request was
turned down by a vote of 5 and 0. So sometimes doing battle
with an HOA works in favor of the petitioning resident.




Posts: 1209


« Reply #40 on: January 14, 2011, 11:16:34 AM »

Fined $50

My mast is extendable to 30', but only extended to 20'. There is a
BB3 screwdriver antenna at the top of the mast. The mast is mounted
with it's base on the ground, and one support at the edge of the roof.
It's location is directly behind a roof mounted satellite dish.

My question would be "If you're fined every 6th of the month for having the current antenna, would the fine be the same for a larger antenna?" If it is the same $50, I'd put up the biggest antenna I could SAFELY install and pay the $50 each month. $50 is like a dinner for 4 out 1 time during the month. What sort of association benefits are you going to lose access to that is going to ruin your life? Fight fire with fire, have an antenna and enjoy your radios. Let them fine you but you'll have an antenna that is useful.

If they try to change the rules to make it tougher on you after they have been fining you and you pay those fines, I would think that you should be exempt from changes as you had a pre-existing installation, but then I don't live where anyone can tell me how to live on property that I OWN!  Angry

Good Luck, I think you gonna need it Sad

Gene W5DQ

Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp

Posts: 1454

« Reply #41 on: January 15, 2011, 07:17:33 AM »

If you don't file a complaint with the state about them not following the Florida statutes concerning elections, rule violation notifications and fining, and ask the state to take over the Association until it complies with the law, trying to find legal arguments for antennas is useless. They will just fine you again. You are wasting your time with that.

Good luck with running around in a circle!  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 05:30:02 AM by KI4SDY » Logged

Posts: 55

« Reply #42 on: January 15, 2011, 12:30:05 PM »

I know exactly what you mean. I HATE THAT. It discriminates against Hams, while allowing TV and Internet antennas to be visible. And Hams provide emergency communication!!!

What I would do is put up a BIG TV antenna on a mast, and use the guy wires as antennas.


Posts: 55

« Reply #43 on: January 15, 2011, 03:53:09 PM »

Hello Again,

I am going to try an "end fed dipole" going up a tree. It would be a good vertical antenna, and NOBODY would notice it.

Once again, considering the fact that Hams provide free emergency communication in a disaster at their own cost, I cannot understand why the FCC allows satelite and TV dishes, but not ham radio antennas.  I don't think this is right.

Anyway, Good Luck!!!

Mike  WB0UQD

Posts: 14491

« Reply #44 on: January 15, 2011, 04:04:43 PM »

Easy, Hams don't have a lobby that makes big contributions to congressional campaigns.

Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA
Pages: Prev 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7 Next   Go Up
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!