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CC&R Survival Series

BILL (W4AN) on January 8, 2001
View comments about this article!

I would like to propose the start of a series of articles from people who are still able to be active hams while living within restrictive covenants. I happen to be one of those people, and I am on the air daily on several bands with good signal reports and long QSOs. I am currently writing an article on an antenna that I am building and hope to have it posted in a week or two.

If you are successfully operating the radio under restrictive covenants and have advice or interesting success stories, please take a few minutes to pass them on the rest of us. If you know someone else who is surviving CC&R's, please drop me a line with their email address and I will contact them about writing an article for us.


Bill Fisher, W4AN

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CC&R Survival Series  
by AD6LR on January 8, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting topic. One item to include with
CCR solutions would be how RF exposure
issues are resolved; for example, it would be
very difficult to have an antenna radiating
1.5 KW (say in the 10 meter band)located in the atic
with an operator located close by and still
meet the FCC RF exposure requirements.

CC&R Survival Series  
Anonymous post on January 8, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I live in a college dorm apt complex, with blanket antenna restrictions. I have (so far) gotten away with a run of magnet wire from my 2nd floor window to some trees about 50 feet away for SWL work, and I put a 2M groundplane on top of a homebrew T shaped PVC assembly with some pipe hangers and hung it off the gutter outside my window. The restrictions in our housing contract are written so broadly, that they could technically ban cordless phones, cell phones, stereos, clock radios, TVs, walkmans, etc.. (of course this was not the intent I'm sure).
RE: CC&R Survival Series  
by W4AN on January 8, 2001 Mail this to a friend!

BTW, I was hoping we could have some articles from you survivors and not just comments posted to this article.

When I was in college, I snuck a piece of coax out the dorm room window up on to the roof. Luckily I was on the top floor. I put up a 40 meter dipole antenna off of the TV antenna mast. Antenna was probably a good 100' off the ground and worked VERY well.

Of course, my buddies with the stereo gear didn't appreciate it. But they were none the wiser of my being a ham. :)

RE: CC&R Survival Series  
by K1IR on January 9, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
A distinction that would be interesting to understand in each situation is whether the operation is OVERT or COVERT. Is your setup known to management and approved, known to management but not approved, or unknown to management? By separating situations into these categories, a variety of interesting strategies can be devised.

I only operated 2fm from my dorm room in college - and my mag-mount 1/4-wave vertical was confiscated more than once. It was an engineering school. We had a nuclear power lab on campus. We had biotech engineers cloning each other. Didn't management have anything better to worry about than my 2m whip? Good thing we had a great ham station and I was eventually the Station Manager.


CC&R Survival Series  
by K3AN on January 9, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I chose, and my wife accepted, a home with trees and undeveloped space close behind the house. If you have such "natural antenna supports" on your property, it makes getting on the air in stealth mode much easier.

The end-fed antenna is 130' of #26 black insulated wire in the trees, worked against a single ground rod. The system is matched using the great SGC-230 remote antenna tuner. By using a wire that's a multiple of a half wave at 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10, the feedpoint impedance is relatively high so ground losses from using just the single ground rod are relatively low.

The SGC is fastened to the "back side" of a tree trunk just above ground level, and disguised by setting some broken limbs alongside it to break up its outline. The coax and 12 volt power cables are buried in a shallow trench to the point where they are routed up a deck support post and into the basement through the sill plate. I laid out and buried the cables one evening when I knew the nearest neighbor was away.

The antenna wire is very difficult to see against the trees, even when you're looking for it. At a previous, rented QTH, I ran this kind of wire from the second story of my townhouse across the parking lot and into a tree. None of the neighbors ever noticed it until one neighbor had a visitor who was a ham. The ham pointed it out, but since my QRP operation hadn't been causing any QRM, the neighbor didn't raise any kind of fuss.

A slingshot with a 1 oz lead sinker can fire 10 lb test line a remarkable distance up and out. I use a fluorescent green line to make finding the far end easier. Cut off the sinker, tie the antenna wire to the line, reel it in from your launch point, and you're well on your way to stealth hamming.

CC&R Survival Series  
by WA6KGI on January 9, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Hello Bill,
Sure I will comment. I am currently buying a house in Texas. It has a deed restriction and I think I can beat it. At least I am going to try because the Homeowner's association does not charge any dues. The restriction is poorly worded too. I am going to first speak with attourney buddies to see what I can do about having it removed from the deed (when I get that as I have not yet seen it.) The land size is nice, about an acre and well treed. I think I can easily hide wires in the trees. A tower is the big question.
I will keep you informed.
73 de WA6KGI
CC&R Survival Series  
by KA4JNB on January 10, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
We had our house built in a very restrictive neighborhood. I particularly hate the restriction against growing a vegetable garden. However, the covenant against antennas is vague, reading "no unsightly structures" which eliminates towers of course.

I planned ahead. I selected a lot with dense woods extending over 300' behind the house. Then I borrowed a plane-table, a fairly simple surveying device, and mapped all the significant trees growing there. With this done, I selected trees to support my dipoles, out of sight, and was lucky enough to have a large maple tree, 150 feet back in the forest, with the main truck forming an arch at about forty-five degrees. Throwing a line over this "limb" and clearing all growth underneath, I pulled a full wave two-element Lighting brand quad wired for five bands up off the ground eight feet. I then poured a 24X24 inch pad with a pipe flange secured to its surface with spikes, screwed a 3 foot galvanized pipe into it, mounted a CDE rotor on the pipe, and used a telescoping Radio Shack mast to connect to the boom. The limb holds the weight and the rotor works great. I painted the poly arms green and brown, and you really have to make an effort to see the setup. (we are in the lowest elevation on the subdivision, and I still compete successfully in the pileups, 5BDXCC, 5BWAS, etc. Not as easy as with a tower at a higher elevation of course, but I still enjoy good DXing)
CC&R Survival Series  
by WA4CNG on January 10, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I am still surviving after making Y2K-DXCC in October last year with my Attic Antennas (Article posted here). You and I live less than 15 miles apart in Alpharetta Ga. I have made some changes up there, got rid of the Square Loops, added a 6 meter dipole. Hamshack and shop is now in the Terrace Level, added an Amertron Al-811H amplifier, feeding the antennas with 1/2 inch hardline in the attic via the conduit I had installed by the builder. I am still working on getting 75 meters to work. I am having mixed results, mostly not, from the DX-SA Antenna I installed for 75/20 meters. VHF/UHF is great with the ground elevation of 1140FT, plus 35 feet into the attic. That is nearly 1200 Feet ASL in Atlanta Ga, where the average terrain is 1000 feet, like having a 200 ft tower in the backyard.
CC&R Survival Series  
Anonymous post on January 10, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
My subdivision bans antennas. I am taking a two prong tact: First, I volunteered for the architectural review board and wound up as chairman. This gives me a lot of "inside influence" especially when convincing others that new PRB-1 actually applies to ham antennas in CC&Rs. Second, I applied a loophole that allows "satellite antennas" (intended for tv of-course) and called my 6 meter rotatable dipole a "satellite antenna" who knows, it might pick up a satellite signal! Since we have some trees, I can keep things low profile until I get I put up a MARTIN HOUSE (you know - for Purple Martins) on a 15 foot steel pole. I have a radial system below it on the ground. I dont feed the pole, I have thin black wires attached at the top and coming down to feed point at the bottom (I use a remote switch to change antennas) these form inverted Ls on 160-10 meters. I had to bend the 160 L (more of a W than L)around my small yard a lot. I can run up to 700 watts...never a complaint from neighbors. I work the world on 100 watts including a lot of dx on 160. This stealth stuff is almost as much fun as working dx from a tower/ the WWII resistance/spy novels I liked as a kid.

I'll let you know if I can get more overt.

I,m anonymous because of my insider position!
CC&R Survival Series  
by K0MU on January 13, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
The previous poster mentioned that satellite antennas are allowed. Any HF antenna that covers 10 and 15 meters is a "satellite antenna." RS12 has uplink on 15 and downlink on 10. Therefore any HF antenna / beam should be allowed. The satelite industry did us a favor!!! Is this a loophole?

CC&R Survival Series  
by KD5LJH on January 15, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I appreciate all the posts about the CC&R's..... When i first started reading about it back in like sept-octish, I thought oh whats the big deall..... you know... then I started checking into it more and started understanding why its a big topic. Well, I'm finally getting my first apartment next month, and I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be able to erect anything like an antenna on top of the building for my radio working fun. So, basically I just want to thank you all that have posted on this and it has helped me with ideas and ways to get around this problem. Thanks once again guys.


CC&R Survival Series  
Anonymous post on January 16, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe I'm nuts, but if I saw a development that actually had a CC&R against a VEGETABLE GARDEN, I'd go look somehwere else. Antennas or no antennas.
CC&R Survival Series  
by W6WO on January 16, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
It is most important to be on good terms with the HOA Board, join it if you can. I obtained approval by writing a letter to the Board explaining the benefits from emergency communications that I can provide the community in times of emergency. I mentioned in my letter that one such antenna could be treated as a special case in any community without creating a precedent for others. I compared the profile of my R6000 vertical in sq ft to a DBS dish. I stated that I would assist any homeowner who encountered problems but stopped short of saying that I would fix any problem.

They asked questions about RF health and I responded by saying my power was controlled by my FCC licence and is about the same as a lightbulb. They also asked questions about the installation and I explained my method of attachment to the apex of my roof and could quote the EIA requirements for grounding.
RE: CC&R Survival Series  
by KC0EAO on January 16, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Jonathan (KD5LJH):

I'm an apartment dweller and have lived in several apartments. I think the most important thing you can do is *ask your landlord* about antennas *before* you put them up. If you explain the purpose of the antennas and amateur communication, the proposed installation procedure, and the safety measures in place regarding the antennas you might be surprised how willing they are to work with you. I have an A99 (17' tall) and a Diamond X50A (6' tall, on a 15' mast) both mounted on my balcony and the landlord doesn't have a problem with them because I asked first and did not damage the apartment installing them. 73

RE: CC&R Survival Series  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on January 16, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
At one time, I had a wife who was adamant about NO ugly towers, and No ugly antennas on the house. Our house was on 1 arce with many trees in the back, where the majority of land was. One day while she was a way, I put up a 1/4 wave GP for 40 meters made out of brown wire and a SO239 (I didn't know then that a delta loop would have been better. I used a pine tree to pull the fishing line up to hold the verticle wire, and fishing line to tie the radials to other trees. The radials were 6 feet off the ground, along with the feed point. The verticle portion wasn't totally verticle, it sloped front the feed point that was about 5 feet away from the pine tree. About 18 months later, we were on the back porch watchin a sunset through and over the trees in the back, and my wife wondered what that shiny thing was hanging in the air about 30 feet away from the house (my SO239) I had tons of fun with that antenna and a SB220 amplifier. And, yes, the antenna stayed up, after the shiny "free floating" thing was observed. You had to look very carefull in the winter time when there weren't leaves on the trees to find the antenna.

I remember one time when I was single and in a crowded housing development, my neighbor asked me why I had a brick and an arrow hanging from a tree in my front yard He didn't see the brown verticle wire from the top of the tree to the ground). The arrow and brick got caught in the tree when they were thrown or shot over the tree and the fishing line got caught in the tree. I explained I had used them, and they got caught in the tree, to pull a thin wire in the tree to use for my nightly SWL.
CC&R Survival Series  
by AB7RG on January 17, 2001 Mail this to a friend!

Hmm... Looks like I'll have to start on the one I was working on doing back in early October of last year after I arrived out here in Chicago. I've had to be pretty creative, but so far things are working very well. I will however be very happy to return to sunny & warm Arizona where I have much less restrictions, actually there are some where I currently live out there, but I did get around them... :^)

Anyway Bill look for an article submission by me in a few weeks. I've been so busy with computer consulting and my business on the 'net that I haven't had time to do any free-lance writing (for anyone), in the past four months. I think that I still have the framework for that article on my HD and a few of the pictures that I took of a couple of my antenna setups as well. It's not much, but it works. I'm betting that we can really learn from one another on this subject...

"Where there's a ham there's a way!" 73 Clinton AB7RG/9

RE: CC&R Survival Series  
Anonymous post on January 17, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I am in a college dorm at an engineering school. Due to the fact that my dorm has a "grounded" chicken wire network in all the walls under the plaster and I cannot remove the screen at all, there is little hope of a signal getting out. I use a twin-lead J-pole (I know it isn't the best, but no where to put a mag mount) in the window frame itself. I am able to get into the close, local repeaters and on packet (2m FM) without too much trouble, but since I am chief op at the local Ham Club, I can use that equipment if necessary with all the outdoor antennas. All in all, I live in a pandora's box that eats signals and am just lucky that I can get anything out at all. The neighbors don't like the intermod through the computer speakers though, hihi. If I was able to remove the screen and get an antenna out into the tree outside of my antenna, I would have get better signal reports and my pbbs wouldn't time everyone out.

CC&R Survival Series  
by W6OPO on January 20, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I bought my house about 6 years ago in a now 20 year old neighborhood (San Jose CA). CC&R's are clear and legal. No antennas, no basketball hoops no, can't work on cars in driveway, keep garage doors closed.... Then there is reality.

When I was considering the the house I plotted. Seeing the conditions in the neighborhood I could see the CC&R's were not being enforced, no gross violations but RVs are here etc.

My house is next to the end of culdesac and backs on to a freeway. That means no backyard neighbors. With a streetlight on my curb first up was a 133' dipole from the streetlight to the backyard. Used phylistrand and no insulator on the street end. It is almost invisible. That was good for 40 & 80 now what about a beam?

I bought a 40' tubular tower (used) with the rotor at the base. That with a Force12 C3-S (12' boom no traps no rotor at the top) made for the lowest profile cleanest installation one could think of. The tower went up about 2 years after the dipole and been up exactly a year and the folks are peaceful.

CC&R Survival Series  
by K7LA on January 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Our current QTH does not have CC&R's which was a major factor in our decision to purchase the property. Our previous residence was a gated community with strict CC&R's and an overly-nosey property management firm. One easy way to beat restrictions is to operate MOBILE from your vehicle. I used to sit out in the driveway operating HF with a screwdriver-type antenna while the jerk manager just stood there raising his blood pressure. It's a great feeling knowing there's nothing they can do about it.
CC&R Survival Series  
by N9PSR on February 3, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
My family and I live in graduate and family housing at Western Illinois University (WIU)and any outside antennas are strictly prohibited. So I go to my wife's minivan and operate mobile (stationary). For some silly reason the state of Illinois is very reluctant to grant a driver's license to a legally blind individual. hi hi. I usually run 100 watts from my Icom 706MkII through a hustler mobile antenna. So far I've worked 7 foreign countries and about half of the states on 40m. Since Sequoia my Leader Dog is usually with me I can get away with saying "we" while operating.hi hi. although for the most part I try to avoid using hambabble on the air. One of these days I'll get up to courage to "run with the big dogs" and operate CW. A friend from my former hometown loaned me a non J-38 antique straight key- it had been used in World War two by the Army.
Some of the reasons I like working mobile (stationary)are:
1.) My five year old daughter isn't being exposed to RF.
2.) My wife can't complain about wires being run all over the apartment.
3.) Fellow hams seem to be more willing to talk to a "Mobile" station... hi hi hi
Wayne M. Scace & Leader Dog Sequoia
CC&R Survival Series  
by N5UOA on November 16, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Her is one for the books as to Deeds and restrictions here where I live, Maybe we can get something done as to this fracture I have found.

IN my meighborhood there are SIX(6) differant deed systems which ALL but ONE doesnt allow antennas.

I live at the end of the street,4th house form the corner NOW the side streets, and house's behind me behind my back yard can HAVE antennas but no higher than 10 feet above the roofline. HOWEVER my street for a quarter of a block is in the DEEDED company that doesnt allow for any antennas.

When I first moved in The antenna could be spotted and got a notice to take it down which I did, and then put up another one that couldnt be seen from the front of the house.

SO FAR in 10 yrs I have not gotten a notice, to take it down. I have a six element antenna and going to get a smaller one 3 element, beam. I have been lucky im a disabled person and this is what I do to stay active as a Disabled Veteran is be a ham and help during flods and disasters. About 2 yrs ago on all the houses here on my block I have spotted satelitte antennas, and everyone I have talked to said they could put them up, SO I DONT KNOW if this blows out the ALL NO ANTENNA DEED RESTRICTION-- since they have let in one type of antenna. ALSO to my DISBELIEF is everyone has BEEN HIJACKED as to TV here, due to not being able to put up a tv antenna, we have to have cable tv installed, which to me takes away my rights to Television and putting up a antenna, WISH we could get these B******S as to HIJACKING rights.

IT is a shame that in all the areas around me people have antennas outside and this one small quarter of a blovk who is under HOUSING PROPERTY MANAGENT wont let any antennas be had and everyone else does.

LOVE DISCRIMINATION here as to what I have to live with. About a year ago I wrote a long letter to the ARRL< about how this is here to see if in the future the FCC who has NO BACKBONE anymore full of POLITICINS turn their backs on the very HAMS who might be the only communications due to terrorism today in the US.

Thanks for reading

Mark N5UOA
CC&R Survival Series  
by N0VJC on February 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I decided to follow the rules and apply for the antennas through normal channels. I was turned down at first and went before the board to state my case. After some muscle flexing by the board and some ego stroking by me, they approved the installation of my Hustler 4-BTV. I also use a Webster Bandspanner mounted on the ground, but this one is short enough that it doesn’t fall under the rules. For two meters, I have an Isopole 144 mounted to the back of the chimney. Since it is not visible for anyplace but my backyard, it is not a problem either.
In my case, an unexpected ally turned out to be the manager of the Management Company. She explained to the board that during times of disaster, having a ham in the neighborhood is invaluable. I cannot wait for some legislation to assist hams with their antenna issues, but in the interim, I would advise hams to at least try to follow the rules and be reasonable in their request. I have no doubt that they would have turned me down completely if I had asked for “forgiveness” instead of “permission”. I want to mention though, that I was going to use my 4-BTV even if I had been turned down. A wing nut at the bottom would have made it easy to remove from the ground mount, so that I could have taken it down when I wasn’t using it. A pain in the neck, but better than nothing and not against the rules. Unfortunately not everyone’s antennas lend themselves to this type of solution.
-Steve Weidman N0VJC
CC&R Survival Series  
by N2CTZ on April 13, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
how about we just refuse to buy houses where there are c&r and hoa-i just found an older house on one acre no c&rs no hoa i can have antennaes ,poultry and horses!

tell all your friends not to buy houses with c&rs!
RE: CC&R Survival Series  
by KC4UAI on August 4, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Not Buying a house with CCNR's is becoming more and more difficult. Most newer homes will have CCNRs, and the remaining older homes are either too expensive, or are in undesireable locations.

I checked in my local area and found that about 90% of the houses that I could afford had CCNRs. I suspect that this percentage would be less in a more rural area, but one has to live where they can earn a living.

I was wondering... Has anybody conducted a formal study to determine the % of houses that have CCNRs, verses the % that don't. Would not the same argument that the FCC used to justify state and local preemption, be valid for CCNR's if the percentage of homes availble was very small?

I would suspect that the % of available houses w/o CCNRs has been drasticly reduced since the PRB-1 rules where put into effect, and I sometimes wonder if the FCC would listen to that argument. I suppose it's wishful thinking, so we can hope that the CCNR bill makes it through congress..

-= KC4UAI =-
RE: CC&R Survival Series  
by KC0LTV on July 14, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
No HOA or CC&R where I live, just very tolerant parents.

There are few HOAs or CC&R's in the Duluth, Minnesota area, except perhaps at condominiums. However, this isn't exactly the most hopping area for jobs, and the climate is very cold.
CC&R Survival Series  
by AC6C on June 7, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Everyone:

I have enjoyed all your postings. I live in a small condo, only 16 units. We are self-managed. I am not on the Board due to a very aggressive Board member who threatens to sue others over this and that.

The building was built in the 70s when they had radiant heating in the ceiling. SO there is chicken wire above me. I am concerned an inside antenan would not radiate out of the bldg. very well and may cause RF exposure.

I have power line 6 feet from my windows. If I drop an "invisible" small guage wire the unit below me will see it as well as people on the walkway.

I cant get on the roof. I lack a ladder. When a new owner put up an satellite dish without permission the installer climbed on the roof and someone called the cops. For the new owners did not bother to get permission to go on the roof and the installer wa not expected.

I dont even get out very well on 2Ms on simplex a few miles away using my HT with a 5/8 mag mount near the window. I do ok on repeaters nearer to me.

I am wondering what the folks on this list think about strategy on how I can deal with the HOA and the technical problems?

Cliff, KI6CM
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