By Grey Wolf
I got this idea about writing about my antenna because I had one once in the condo that worked very well down to about 40 meters. First YOU have to use a tuner! Mine was a MFJ "travel tuner". Very simple and the system worked for me.
I ran a open length of coax cable to the aluminum gutter and to a screw at the base, no ground was used as this caused noise on the feed line. It was really resonant at 20 meters and higher. I made my first European contacts on 15 or 17 meters using the gutter antenna.
The whole length was close to 125 feet in an inverted "U-shaped" configuration. Since I could not turn the condo around with a rotator it worked a nice North-South path. It also worked greyline East-West fairly well also making contacts in NM, NV, WA and CA. I also worked quite a few State QSO parties and special event stations with it. Try it if you have a HOA that prohibits outside antennas. It is stealthy but I do not recommend running over 100 watts into it.
Again you really need to tune the thing and I would find the settings that worked best after loading it was 5 watts, writing down the 3 settings for the tuner for each band so I could get to the ballpark quickly.
I am no "gutter expert". I do know if you don't clean them they can be a problem. As far as using them for antennas this has been around a long time. You have to be careful with the tap point not getting rusted as this causes SWR's and other bad business. Take a brillo pad to the feed point tap. Also if you have a Non-aluminum gutter (plastic) you can snake wire inside as well and load that. The point of course is stealth. The links at the end of the article are really good idea joggers.
Of all the things in this hobby antenna design and use is the most fun for me. Nothing beats a good OCF dipole high in the air between trees in your backyard. Some of us though are strapped with condo living or communities where this is not an option. With the gutter antenna you may get some surprising results as I did.
Try it and let me know how it works for you!