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Author Topic: Antenna suggestions for small lot QTH  (Read 5307 times)
KJ6TJX
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Posts: 35




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« on: March 22, 2012, 10:41:38 AM »

Ok then, ready to put big toe in the HF waters (new ham) with an IC-718.  Would like to have as many band options possible (80m - 20m) with limited space available.  A tower is not an option.  Not opposed to more than one antenna either.

QTH specs as follows:
Northern Cal, on south end of Delta (Discovery Bay)
no trees
lot is 55' wide, 2-story house is 45' wide
house height to eve about 20', to ridges about 28'
distance from back of house to back of lot 30'
distance from front sidewalk to back of lot 100'
width of lot oriented north-south, front to back east-west
backyard is mostly concrete deck and pool with 3-4 feet of planter around back edge

I'm going to build a patio cover about 35' wide by 12' deep, so could make corner posts 20 feet high (even though patio roof will be about Cool.  I could string/fold a wire between these posts.  Could also put up a 20' flag pole out front but would have to string a wire down side of house as it wouldn't clear the ridges.  Distance to house next door is about 15 feet. 

Is that enough info to throw out some ideas?  I've looked at so many antenna posts they all just blur together.  I'm constrained by height, length and proximity to the house.  The only situation that's likely worse is a condo/apartment... feel for you all.  So confused...  Undecided

Thanks,
Jon - KJ6TJX

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N3JBH
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Posts: 2358




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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2012, 10:48:56 AM »

Hustler 6 BVT make a good choice and you can add 17/12 and 60 meters to it as well. So there you have one antenna that cover all bands from 80 to 10 meter's And would not take up much room at all.   Jeff
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K1ZJH
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Posts: 1097




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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2012, 11:41:12 AM »

Maybe a Cushcraft R7 or R8 up on a mast about 10 or more feet in the air, or higher if you can manage to do so. My
friend uses a R7 and it compares quite well to his open-wire  fed dipole and antenna tuner.
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K3VAT
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Posts: 747




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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2012, 02:53:10 PM »

...  Would like to have as many band options possible (80m - 20m) with limited space available. 
Jon - KJ6TJX

How about the 4 bands from 10M to 20M ??  They're the ones that are hot (good propagation so even 100 watts on mobile antennas can bring you a KH6 or even a JA or two)  The two lower bands (40M and 80M) are going to be difficult unless you OK with working mostly NA stuff.

Have you consider a good screwdriver mobile antenna like the http://tarheelantennas.com/ or http://www.hiqantennas.com/  They're very low profile, will provide multiband coverage and will certainly fit on one of those wooden posts that you're planning on installing.  Yes, they're a bit pricely, but that would be my recommendation.

73, GL, Rich, K3VAT
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VK2WF
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Posts: 5




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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2012, 03:00:42 PM »


I see this question so many times on so many forums.
Along with it I also see does this antenna work, is this one better than that one.
The most overdone question.
Answer is look on the net for information or get a book and TRY IT.
Dont buy it, gain some skills and build one. Angry

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K3VAT
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Posts: 747




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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2012, 03:19:37 PM »

While archive-searching and delving into antenna books has their place, there's nothing wrong with soliciting members of this forum for their current recommendations.

Three or four years ago I wouldn't have recommended investing in the higher HF freqs (10M thru 15M and perhaps even 17M), but now where we are in the current sunspot cycles I can work the VK2s and the rest of the Aussies on at least one of these bands almost on a daily basis.  This trend should continue (but it isn't guaranteed) for at least the next 3 to 5 years.

I found several dozen photographs of base station installations using the screwdriver antenna at http://tarheelantennas.com/base_installation_photos - something for you to look at - pictures are sometimes really worth a thousand words.

73, Rich, K3VAT
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K7KBN
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Posts: 2817




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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2012, 03:42:12 PM »

I see this question so many times on so many forums.
Along with it I also see does this antenna work, is this one better than that one.
The most overdone question.
Answer is look on the net for information or get a book and TRY IT.
Dont buy it, gain some skills and build one. Angry

Agreed and more.  It's a wonder there's radio at all today.  What if Marconi, et. al. had wondered if such and such an antenna would work but were unwilling to learn and experiment?  That, more than anything else, is what your ham license gives you:  freedom to EXPERIMENT.

Learn and do.
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
WB4LCN
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Posts: 134


WWW

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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2012, 03:43:32 PM »

Have you considered building a remote station? I am is the same situation as you, but I found a place out of town with a tower in the backyard. The Ham husband died several years ago and the widow allowed me to refurbish the tower and set up a remote station in the shack next to the tower. I control it be the Internet and with no perceptible latency.

I use the RemoteRig.com solution. I'm able to control a rotator to turn an old KLM KT-34A tri-band beam and use an auto-antenna tuner with a Kenwood TS-480HX. Works like the rig is on my desk. You might find it an attractive alternative.

dave Smiley
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First, make it work, then make it pretty.
Yaesu Rigs: Kenwood TS-480HX, FT-8900R, FTM-350AR (Bluetooth motorcycle mobile), VX-8DR, SB-102 boat anchor (built one as a kid)

Moderate Spock: "Live for a reasonable amount of time and scrape by."
WX7G
Member

Posts: 6146




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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2012, 05:00:35 PM »

There are many antennas that will fit in your space and work well. Some ideas:

A 40 meter dipole fed with 300 ohm TV twin lead to a manual antenna tuner. The apex is at the eves at the back of the house. The antenna ends go to the fence. The distance is 43' and the antenna is 34' per side. With this you give up 80 meters.

The concrete backyard rules out radials for a ground mounted vertical. As K1ZJH suggests the Cushcraft R8 is good but again you give up 80 meters.

The GAP Titan is will get you on 10-80 meters with no radials.

An MFJ-1786 remotely tuned loop is quite small and will get you on 10-30 MHz. Or get the MFJ-1788 and you will get 40-15 meters.

A flagpole antenna in the front yard with an autotuner at the base.

A screwdriver antenna in the front yard hidden inside a 4" x 4" hollow vinyl fence post. See the Tarheel website for a picture.

For your situation I would go for the GAP Titan.

What do I use for a similar situation? I use a Tarheel 200HP mounted in a 25 x 50 ft. backyard. Fortunately it is a grass yard which I've filled with radials (90 of them). I DX on 80-10 meters using a 6' whip and 600 watts. For a bigger signal I use a 24' whip on 40 and 80 meters. This also allows it to work on 160 meters. When I run the 1200 watt amp on 80 meters I put out a BIG signal.





« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 05:03:03 PM by WX7G » Logged
KJ6TJX
Member

Posts: 35




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« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2012, 01:26:02 PM »

I'll do more antenna building, electronics projects AND even re-learn code when I'm old and grumpy in retirement.

Here's the benefit of this forum with contributors rather than ranters, it got me thinking in terms other than wire antenna variants.  The remote station is a clever solution.  It seems the vertical antennas without radials are a good fit based on my circumstances.  WX7G had a thoughtful reply and K3VAT likes the screwdriver application; both got me outside the wire antenna box... so thank you.

I could mount the GAP Titan on the patio roof, HOWEVER the bottom 15 feet would be about 7 feet away from the second story house exterior wall (which has a synthetic stucco finish).  Generally this is applied over a fiberglass mesh (not metal) so will being this close to the wall be a problem?  I've got to think that even being close to the house it would outperform a mag loop.

I could use a GAP Challanger, requiring only a few (3) "counterpoise" wires, mounted in the back corner as it doesn't have the rigid counterpoise footprint of the Titan.  There isn't any ground space for the typical radial network of most vertical antennas so those are out unless I did a front yard flag pole and filled the small lawn (15x20) with radials.     

I do have the pool bonding mat available.  (The gunite rebar and pool deck mat are all tied to ground.)  Is this a good, bad or no-effect idea? 

Thanks again.

Jon


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WX7G
Member

Posts: 6146




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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2012, 01:37:14 PM »

My screwdriver antenna is mounted 12' from my stucco house and I detect no effect.

I once grounded a vertical to a swimming pool and it made a huge improvement. If you do that the Hustler 5BTV is a great option.
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EI4GMB
Member

Posts: 166




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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2012, 02:40:32 PM »

Hi Jon,

A G5RV Jr.(51ft) might suit your situation. This is a cheap and effective limited space antenna.
When used with a tuner it performs well on 10m,20m & 40m!
Best of luck! Wink

Fred EI4GMB
« Last Edit: March 23, 2012, 02:45:51 PM by EI4GMB » Logged

'You can never plan the future by the past'

'Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.'

Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
KE7ZOI
Member

Posts: 6




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« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2012, 08:47:56 AM »

 Grin why not use the peak of your house and use A 20 meter mystry dipole loads up with A tuner from 80 to 6 meters no problems. A friend of mine is doing this with a g5rv across his peak using the full length of his lot. just two or three feet above the roof, your golden. Grin
 you can make these antennas alot cheaper than buying them.
 73 hope this helps.
 dave
 KE7ZOI
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N9TLU
Member

Posts: 35




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« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2012, 04:58:08 PM »

Jon,

Remember ONE thing.  The ONLY stupid question is the one you don't ask.  These forums are here to help everyone. 

I see you have gotten a few really good ideas.  The screwdriver antenna really is a GREAT solution. Also, go with the best one you can afford.  If money is tight, try a tuner and some scrap wire. Improvise!

Have fun no matter what you do!!

73,
Scott
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KJ6TSX
Member

Posts: 116




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« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2012, 07:54:48 PM »

I have a similar sizes house yard, the solution I came up with was to create a dipole antenna on my fence. The wire was nailed to the top of my fence board. Started near the house ran about 65 feet, installed a bauln then another 65 feet then trimmed the ends in till I got a good swr.
This is not a great antenna but works fairly well..... better than the cobra Jr on the roof. Wire is cheap and if it doesn't work you can use it to hang plants Roll Eyes
I have had more fun trying different things
George
KJ6TSX
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