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Author Topic: Need Help With Semi-Stealth Vertical Antenna Selection  (Read 9075 times)
WA2ENM
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Posts: 3




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« on: March 26, 2012, 10:55:34 AM »

I live in a Deed Restricted Community: no antennas no way, nohow, till laws change. However, my lot backs on to a Conservation Area (read forever wild) with tall pines and wall-to-wall saw palmettos. I chose this lot because it has a 50-60 ft. pine at the edge and I knew that someday it was going to hide an antenna of some sort. My current plan is to ground mount a multi-band vertical just behind this tall pine, essentially out of sight. This will be a radial-less installation, or perhaps a few in my lawn on only one side, because of the saw palmettos (for those who don't know this palm, they have razor sharp edged fronds that would need a space suit or body armor to work your way through). I'll have about 53.5 ft of coax buried in the lawn between ant. and the hole in the wall, plus about 5 ft. to the rig.

1) Any suggestions as to a multi-band vertical ant. (10-20, 10-40) that will work w/ these constraints? Used is OK, cheap is better, excellent performance is not a requirement, I'll eat any tree-loss effect (I just want to get back on the air.)

2) The house ground is 18.5 ft. from the hole-in the wall (plus the 5 ft. to the rig). Should I attach to the house ground at this distance or sink a new rod at the hole-in the wall? If the later, am I exposed to a ground loop.

3) Will I be able to work without an antenna tuner?

All suggestions, comments appreciated.
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KQ6Q
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Posts: 991




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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2012, 11:35:31 AM »

consider a remote antenna tuner (icom AH4?) hidden at the base of the tree, with a simple wire running up into the tree.....do what you can for radials, or perhaps a hole with wet salt, and multiple ground rods in the hole....
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WA2ENM
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2012, 12:15:38 PM »

Re the ground: Do you mean the ground at the antenna? There the ground is sandy with the water table within 12 to 18 inches. Still recommend the salt?
Tnx for the help.
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WX7G
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Posts: 6197




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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2012, 03:06:51 PM »

I'd go for a Hustler 4BTV. DX Engineering sells them and they have 12 and 17 meter add on kits.
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K5LXP
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2012, 08:28:49 PM »

perhaps a hole with wet salt, and multiple ground rods in the hole....

Ground rods cannot, nor ever will, under any circumstances, provide an effective RF ground, no matter what.

The real answer to improve efficiency is radials.  If the environment is that unfriendly to distribute them, then it's that much less likely anyone will discover or tamper with them once in place.

I'm fond of butternuts but even the venerable *BTV trapped verticals can perform decently with an adequate radial field, and won't require the expense and inconvenience of dorking with a tuner.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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K7JQ
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Posts: 343




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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2012, 12:22:48 PM »

For REAL stealth operation, may I suggest a ground-mounted motorized screwdriver, with as many radials as possible, of any length and configuration. Top to bottom length, including a 6-foot whip, is about ten feet. If installed properly, no tuner is needed, and maximum SWR would be about 1.4:1 on all bands from 10-80 meters. Recommend the Scorpion Antenna, or Tarheel (much cheaper, but still good). Many will scoff at this idea, but I just worked 1,000 QSOs in the CQ WPX SSB contest with a High Sierra HS-1800/PRO (now out of production). Also have worked over 250 countries with it. Put some power into it (both will take over a KW) and you can do the same. See my qrz.com page for some pictures. Just a possible alternative. Good luck.

73,  Bob, K7JQ
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W8JX
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Posts: 6434




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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2012, 03:48:20 PM »

Why hide it? How about a flag pole in clear sight? Perfect stealth and they are gonna have a hard time preventing you from flying a flag.   If you go with a vertical in tree, a Hustler 5BTV is not very fussy about radials. I have used one for many years. Trees will have little if any effect on 40 meters too.
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ONAIR
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Posts: 1747




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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2012, 12:30:48 PM »

A good quality artificial Christmas tree might just fit the bill!  Wire it up, and stick it right in with the rest of the forest!  Smiley
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W0MAS
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2012, 09:44:54 AM »

You might check out the S9 antennas  many good reviews on here and come in a stealthy green color.   Oh yeah LDG now owns the S9 antenna line.
inexpensive & stealthy !!  Grin
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N4UM
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Posts: 480




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« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2012, 10:04:50 AM »

I went with a flagpole in a similar situation because of the Florida"Flagpole Law."  I suggest you avoid putting anything up in the conservation area in back of your property.  I live in a similar development and our architectural control committee regularly checks out the conservation areas for any signs of encroachment.  Our developer was forced to agree to establish conservation areas when the development was originally platted.  The state can fine the development quite heavily for any violations of the conservation area.  Should this happen to you, your board of directors can pass the fines along to you. Our board has come down on a number of homeowners who have violated the conservation areas with plantings, benches etc.

I live less than an hour north of you and would welcome a visit if you're interested in seeing how I dealt with a similar situation.  Drop me an e-mail with your telephone enumber if you'd like to talk about it on the phone.

73, Tim - N4UM
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VA2DV
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Posts: 138




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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2012, 11:40:08 AM »

I am using a Cushcraft MA5V vertical for more than 10 years with great success.
14.7 feet tall and no radials.Easy to take down if necessary.
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NQ4A
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Posts: 10




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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2012, 04:57:50 AM »

I wanted a vertical that was all band, no traps, no radials and one that would be competitive. I selected the GAP Brand TitianDX.
I have 6 DXCC's on the wall to attest to it's performance!
I spray painted the antenna with Krylon's paint Stealth Green. It has totally disappeared against the greenery. Further I took the square loop
off the lower section and ran a long wire along the cedar fence. 40 meters is totally flat on 7 Mhz. I also installed the DX Engineering lay over
bracket so I could work on the antenna or lower it in case of storms or winter weather.
Yes, you will need an antenna tuner especially if you are using a solid state linear amp. Bare foot with the tuner in the rig will work fine.
With no traps, the antenna is inherently broadband , which is a good thing.
Feel free to email me if you would like some pix or more information.
73's and good DX.
Jon-NQ4A-Richmond, VA
nq4a@verizon.net
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K3VAT
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Posts: 755




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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2012, 11:17:33 AM »

I'd go for a Hustler 4BTV. DX Engineering sells them and they have 12 and 17 meter add on kits.

I second the recommendation for the Hustler 4BTV.

Ground rods cannot, nor ever will, under any circumstances, provide an effective RF ground, no matter what.
The real answer to improve efficiency is radials.  If the environment is that unfriendly to distribute them, then it's that much less likely anyone will discover or tamper with them once in place.  ... mark K5LXP Albuquerque, NM

K5LXP is correct.  Any vertical you put up has a mirror half, often called the radial system or counterpoise system.  This is were many hams tend to short cut or omit entirely, probably because they can work others, often with good signal reports OR because antenna manufactures claim performance that just isn't there and folks buy these claims.  For decent performance, say on 40M where you'd like to work some DX, to do so with relative ease requires 'something to push against' (quoting antenna guru, Tom, W8JI), so read up on radials and install 'em.  K5LXP summed it up: the real answer to improve efficiency is radials.  The basics of ground radials system is adequately discussed in the ARRL Antenna Book, ON4UN's book on Lowband DX'ing, or simply google 'ground radials' (there is also elevated radials, but that's another thread).

GL, 73, Rich, K3VAT
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K3VAT
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Posts: 755




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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2012, 11:41:52 AM »

I wanted a vertical that was all band, no traps, no radials and one that would be competitive. I selected the GAP Brand TitianDX.
73's and good DX. Jon-NQ4A-Richmond, VA nq4a@verizon.net

Good DX numbers Jon!

Actually, the GAP TitanDX isn't a vertical monopole antenna at all.  It is more akin to an center-fed asymmetrical vertical dipole, but with some additional 'attributes' that enables it to 1) operate multiband, and 2) present a decent match for these bands.  To accomplish this GAP utilizes a complex mechanical and electrical set of 3 groups of tuning rods and a kind of a capacitive hat mounted at the bottom.  So as such it can handle lots of bands, but with compromise performance on all of those bands.  One of it's selling features is that it is relatively a small footprint antenna for multiband operation which attracts lots of buyers.

73, Rich, K3VAT
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1809




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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2012, 12:02:05 PM »

    Same problem at my qth.If you get a chance check out AA5TB web site.I put up a 20m EFHW wire with the homebrew coupler I made out of old transister radio parts.Bottom of wire is about 3 ft.off ground and ground wire going straight down to a 4 ft.ground rod(no radials).Coupler hidden in small birdhouse on top of 3 ft.post which also hides the ground wire.Black antenna wire hardly visible and only if you know it's there.This antenna works very well for me in my location,if I had a taller tree I would put up a 40m EFHW and have 40m-17m coverage.Yes I have to go outside to tune coupler when I change bands,but coupler is premarked for bands,only takes a minute which is no problem for me.Good luck with your choice. Jim
« Last Edit: April 06, 2012, 12:04:14 PM by W1JKA » Logged
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