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Author Topic: Restricted Antenna/Band Realities... what can I expect?  (Read 52432 times)
KD7ORN
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2013, 12:54:30 PM »

Hi Jeepescape,

Welcome to a great Hobby.  I too have had to endure the restrictions of CC&R's and the sometimes HOA Gestapo tactics.  I have been in 3 different restricted communities, and they all had different approaches to antenna restrictions, my current one is the most heinous. I have been here for about 4 years and have already been written up, cited, fined, warned, etc on 7 occasions.

So here is what I do now....  I made a fan dipole similar to this http://www.eham.net/articles/21407 and mount it on a fiberglass push up mast and take it down after each use.  I could probably paint it the same color as the eave of my house and mount it permanently there but having had the HOA take pictures of me to use at their discretion, I prefer to just use the non-permanent 'temporary' solution that my attorney bespoke for me.  I had a flagpole vertical in my previous QTH, but without radials they are pretty deaf and dumb.  The other thing I would point you towards is some kind of a delta loop, they can be stealthy with small gauge wire, are easy to setup, and with an autotuner very adaptable.

Good Luck
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KK6GNP
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Posts: 158




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« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2013, 01:06:48 PM »

Hi Jeepescape,

Welcome to a great Hobby.  I too have had to endure the restrictions of CC&R's and the sometimes HOA Gestapo tactics.  I have been in 3 different restricted communities, and they all had different approaches to antenna restrictions, my current one is the most heinous. I have been here for about 4 years and have already been written up, cited, fined, warned, etc on 7 occasions.

So here is what I do now....  I made a fan dipole similar to this http://www.eham.net/articles/21407 and mount it on a fiberglass push up mast and take it down after each use.  I could probably paint it the same color as the eave of my house and mount it permanently there but having had the HOA take pictures of me to use at their discretion, I prefer to just use the non-permanent 'temporary' solution that my attorney bespoke for me.  I had a flagpole vertical in my previous QTH, but without radials they are pretty deaf and dumb.  The other thing I would point you towards is some kind of a delta loop, they can be stealthy with small gauge wire, are easy to setup, and with an autotuner very adaptable.

Good Luck

I'm sorry you have had to endure that with HOA.  I'll check out the delta loop you mentioned.  It looks the same or similar to the superloop antennas I was looking at this past week.  Thanks for the advice!
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73 ~ Cory (JeepEscape)
KK6GNP
LA9XNA
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Posts: 107




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« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2013, 03:32:09 AM »


  My next door neighbor has a 25' flag pole dead center of their front yard!


There you got your solution.
Put up a flag pole to match your neighbours 25'. Use a fiberglass pole and install e antenna inside.

http://static.dxengineering.com/pdf/flagpole_antenna.pdf
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K5LXP
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« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2013, 09:19:44 AM »

Put up a flag pole to match your neighbours 25'.

No- put up a *bigger* flagpole.   This is America, after all.  :-) 

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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KA4NMA
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Posts: 336




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« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2013, 08:54:50 PM »

Another option is to run a loop of wire around your property and feed it to an SGC autotuner. Depending on the length, you could get all HF bands covered (and depending on the tuner 6m).  For such an antenna you will need a wide range antenna tuner, which means the internal tuner in a radio might not work.  Check out the SGC website (www.sgcworld.com) for more info.  Be sure to check the publication tab also.

For radials for a vertical, I have heard of people using chicken wire or some sort of wire mat for radials.  If you could elevate the vertical, you could use sloping counterpoise wires.

Randy ka4nma
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KK6GNP
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« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2013, 01:23:12 PM »

Below is the Northeast corner of my back yard.  Now that I have my Tech license, and I'm getting General in October at the next test session, I'm starting to scout for locations.

How much will trees interfere with a vertical?  My thinking is that this corner is a great place to put up a decent size vertical, between the trees, and be able to keep it fairly stealth.  As mentioned before, other than putting radials on that block wall, I don't have much room for radials.  I cannot lay them across my concrete deck.



Note:  Each Fall, my neighbor trims the big tree in the background to almost nothing, and it grows back over the Spring and Summer.  That tree shouldn't be an issue for a good portion of the year.  My palm trees are always there, obviously.

What bands can I realistically work with a 20-25ft vertical in this situation?

Would it be better to try some kind of wire loop around my house as others have suggested?  Unfortunately, a large beam isn't going to happen at this particular location.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 01:32:25 PM by JEEPESCAPE » Logged

73 ~ Cory (JeepEscape)
KK6GNP
K5LXP
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« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2013, 06:27:11 AM »

That patio table looks just like W2FMI's short 40M vertical:



I wouldn't worry about influence from trees (on HF it's negligible at best).  With any vertical you're going to need radials.  Performance is relative though, and if you only had 1 or 2 and it allowed you to make contacts, then than would be "enough".  I see seams/expansion joints on your concrete patio.  Even one radial through those wouldn't hurt.  My opinion is that you start with something, anything, and work your way up from there.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM


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WA8FOZ
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Posts: 190




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« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2013, 09:09:34 PM »

Quote
My next door neighbor has a 25' flag pole dead center of their front yard!


This is another solution. Even if your front yard is not too big, lots of shorter buried radials woulldmake for a good system for 40 m and aboove.
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WB8VLC
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Posts: 120




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« Reply #23 on: September 30, 2013, 11:11:35 PM »

This is america, put up 3 flagpoles and phase them. It looks like there is a second palm to the left, if so then run some 16 foot length of wire that is vertical and spaced out from your palms and  phase them.  You certainly have enough room to get some radialls for a 20 meter phased vertical array.   Your ground radialls don't need to be coming off like the spokes of a wheel either
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 11:14:07 PM by WB8VLC » Logged
W8BCJ
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2013, 10:49:23 AM »

Good afternoon,

My HOA solution in Florida is a Zero-Five 10 to 40 meter multiband ground plane vertical.  It's mounted on a tripod that can be pushed up into position quite easily.  Have to take it down when not operating, but it is not a big problem.  Great antenna, worked the world with 100 watts.  No ground radials are required.  Check out their web site which can be accessed through the eham reviews.  Just bought a K3 and Elecraft 500 watt amp; will be trying them out in a couple of weeks.

The folks at Zero-Five are great to work with.  Highly recommend them.  Good luck.

Ron  W8BCJ
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K5LXP
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« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2013, 02:45:35 PM »

I was previously asking if I could do some radials on the concrete walls themselves, coming from a vertical in that corner I posted before.  I haven't been able to find an answer for that yet.

It would only be as effective as 1 or 2 radials.  Better than none, not as good as a lot.  Good enough?  That depends on your expectations.

Quote
If I have to, I can just put up some kind of portable antenna up on the deck. 

That will "work".  Just like the swing set, patio furniture and barbecue grill I used during a contest one year.  Frankly they sucked big time as antennas but I was going for the novelty factor.   Better than "nothing" but I would only go there after all other options were exhausted.  Wire is cheap.  Put up a wire vertical in the corner and a couple of radials and *prove* it won't work before dismissing it out of hand and spending big money on compromise antennas.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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M6GOM
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Posts: 904




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« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2013, 02:33:26 AM »

A suggestion is a popular antenna here in the UK where we have very little room and council planning officers to contend with.

The G3TPW Cobwebb or the easier to build G3TXQ variant gives 20-17-15-12-10m bands in an antenna 8.5ft x 8.5ft. These are full size dipoles for each of the bands bent into a square. The gain is almost the same as a dipole but the radiation pattern is virtually omnidirectional. It isn't a compromise antenna and has far better performance than a vertical and none of the having to mess about with radials and the like.

It just looks like a large rotary clothes dryer and because it doesn't look anything at all like most people's perception of what an antenna looks like combined with looking very small at 25-30ft high, you don't get the grief from the neighbours. Because of its small size it fits in virtually all attic spaces if you wanted to really go stealth.

You could build one for under $100. Get it up 25ft or more and it really sings.
Beware that some of the plans on the internet have the wrong figures.

http://www.g3tpw.co.uk/ for the original...

The easier to build variant. Instead of using twin core wire and figuring out where to short it to create a gamma T, the point of which varies depending on the gauge of wire and the dielectric coefficient of the insulation, the G3TXQ variant uses single core wire and a 4:1 balun to raise the feedpoint impedance to near 50 Ohms.

http://www.karinya.net/g3txq/cobweb/

With 100W you will easily work the world on this.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2013, 02:37:16 AM by M6GOM » Logged
N0NZG
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Posts: 122




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« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2013, 06:33:57 PM »

I  have about the same area to work with as you do. I would say to hide a 5BTV in around the palm trees and put as many radials on the ground under the gravel as you can. Radial on the ground don’t need to be and specific length. The general rule is longer is better, anyware from 10 to 40 feet will be better than none. Even 2 10 foot radials is better than none. You will be better served with more short radials than a few long ones. In my situation I have a 5BTV tucked in next to an oak tree and painted camo colors to match the tree, with  32 radials about 30 foot long. The radials were stapled to the ground and I let the lawn grow over them. In your case white #14 wire  under the gravel and no one will ever know. That will get you 5 bands. If you want an NVIS dipole for local rag chew or nets on 75 meters then any dipole that is high enough that you don’t run into it will be fine. If you need to have it shorter than a half wavelength you can also but loading coils into a convenient spot.  Make your dipole as long and symmetrical as you can then install a loading coil equally spaced from the feed point any ware from 3 feet from the feed point out to the half way point in each leg.  Then all you have to do is tap the loading coil for the lowest swr at your favorite frequency.  For NVIS use it can be between 5 and 20 feet off the ground with fair results. I have an invisible dipole made from magnet wire for use on 75 meters as well as the 5BTV.  From the power point of view, first of all if you are on good terms with the neighbors then tell them you are a ham and let them know that you will start transmitting soon and if they have any RFI issues to let you know. Next DO NOT TRANSMIT for at least a couple of weeks or even connect your antenna. Then if you get any RFI complements you can be sure they have nothing to do with you and let them know your station is not operational yet. This is what I did in my condo. I run 100 watts all the time with zero RFI issues. I am fanatical about grounding and decoupling the feed line at the antenna as and at the entrance to the condo with chokes and baluns. I work 2nd shift and from midnight till 4am I have no problems running 1kw on 40 and 80 meters. I do have RFI with touch lamps, every time I TX with more than 20 watts the turn on every touch lamp in my house and the problem must be happening to the neighbors because I started to see a lot of those lamps in the trash when I got the amp up and running.   
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WA2ONH
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Posts: 253




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« Reply #28 on: October 15, 2013, 06:23:08 AM »

How much will trees interfere with a vertical?  

Each Fall, my neighbor trims the big tree in the background to almost nothing, and it grows back over the Spring and Summer.  That tree shouldn't be an issue for a good portion of the year.  My palm trees are always there.

From K9LA's Propagation Web Site, for HF operation trees won't be a problem.

See write up at: http://k9la.us/Low_Band_Antennas_and_Trees.pdf
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73 de WA2ONH dit dit    ...Charlie
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"No time is ever wasted that is spent LEARNING something!"
WA8FOZ
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Posts: 190




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« Reply #29 on: October 15, 2013, 07:03:47 PM »

Quote
  My next door neighbor has a 25' flag pole dead center of their front yard!

Well! Do you have room for a flagpole? If so, there are many options, such as a flagoile antenna (look at Zero-5 or Force 12) fed with a tuner at the base hidden under landscaping, or a trap vertical placed inside a fiberglass pole. Lots of radials hidden in the lawn. With many short ones you would do OK.

Get some experienced hams over to set eyes on your QTH. You'll come up with some ideas. And trying different things will add to the fun!
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