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eHam Forums => Antenna Restrictions => Topic started by: W2ECK on January 01, 2013, 05:56:56 PM



Title: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: W2ECK on January 01, 2013, 05:56:56 PM
Would like to hear from anyone living in covenant or restricted neighborhood situations, small lot, etc about your experiences/successes or problems with Hexagonal Beams. I am am considering installing one on my roof at about 35 feet and painting with flat black/green.

73 Paul kc2nyu


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: KH6AQ on January 01, 2013, 06:40:42 PM
That does not sound stealthy at all.


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: VE3PP on January 02, 2013, 05:46:31 AM
Not sure how you figure how stealthy that setup would be. An antenna that looks like a huge outdoor clothes line mounted 35 feet in the air would not be very stealthy! Doesn't matter what color you paint it.  ;D

I have a 2 element Hy-Gain TH2 at 33 feet and that is not a stealth antenna. So that Hex sure would not be stealthy.

If you want stealth use thin wires for dipoles. Or mount a Screwdriver type antenna on a tripod so it is hidden by a fence or shed. Then run a long counterpoise wire. Covers all bands from 160-10.


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: WB2WIK on January 02, 2013, 11:02:09 AM
Paint it with Invisible Ink. :)



Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: M0TTB on January 02, 2013, 11:26:00 AM
Depends what the viewing public have as a backdrop when viewing your hexbeam... if it's tree's, then great.


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: VE3PP on January 02, 2013, 12:21:15 PM
Paint it with Invisible Ink. :)



And don't forget to wax it with Low Gloss Antenna Wax as that will make it perform better. Keeps the moisture off the wires!  ;D

That invisible ink is not available in Canada Steve. Banned.


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: W2ECK on January 02, 2013, 01:29:48 PM
Thanks guys - those comments are really helpful. Maybe next time I will just go to the comedy channel for advice.

73 Paul kc2nyu


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: WB5PGX on January 02, 2013, 06:01:52 PM
I don't have a hex beam but have done some research. I think that one of the advantages of the hex beam for stealth is the ability of this antenna to work well at a low height. If you didn't mount it on the roof but mounted on a 20 to 25 ft mast behind your house it should still work ok and not be very noticeable.


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: N4FBW on January 02, 2013, 07:24:58 PM
A Spiderbeam is a larger antenna but it is flatter than the Hexbeam. However, the Spiderbeam still looks like a clothesline to me :). I'd also suggest painting the spreaders to blend in with the surroundings.


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: VE3PP on January 03, 2013, 03:48:56 AM
Thanks guys - those comments are really helpful. Maybe next time I will just go to the comedy channel for advice.

73 Paul kc2nyu

Well Paul you walked into it. Asking if a Hex Beam would be stealthy at 35 feet? That's like trying to hide a bull in a phone booth, isn't going to happen. Plus Steve and I are just having a little fun. If you can't have fun you might as well be dead.

Mounting below your roof line will keep it out of sight from the road. But if you have restrictions your neighbors are going to see it from their back yards. You did not explain what your exact restrictions are. That might have helped.

Painting it really is not going to help, that is a lot of antenna and it will still be visible at 35 feet no matter what color you paint it.


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: M0TTB on January 03, 2013, 07:58:05 AM
Thanks guys - those comments are really helpful. Maybe next time I will just go to the comedy channel for advice.

73 Paul kc2nyu

Well Paul you walked into it. Asking if a Hex Beam would be stealthy at 35 feet? That's like trying to hide a bull in a phone booth, isn't going to happen. Plus Steve and I are just having a little fun. If you can't have fun you might as well be dead.

Mounting below your roof line will keep it out of sight from the road. But if you have restrictions your neighbors are going to see it from their back yards. You did not explain what your exact restrictions are. That might have helped.

Painting it really is not going to help, that is a lot of antenna and it will still be visible at 35 feet no matter what color you paint it.

His qth looks to be amongst quite a few tall trees.... hexbeam spreaders in matt dark green disappear into foliage, mine is all but invisible from many angles. All depends upon where the most likely complainants view from.


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: W2ECK on January 03, 2013, 07:10:07 PM
I think with the surroundings I have at my house, lots of tall trees, that the Hex - painted with flat black and green will blend into the trees-- certainly not invisible - but my best chance at a directional antenna with some gain. Have gotten lots of pics of Hex installations from current owners that provide good support for Hex being used in difficult QTH situations.

-- thanks to all for the inputs and advice.


73 Paul


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: W1JKA on January 04, 2013, 03:36:15 AM
Re:KC2NYU
                 Just a suggestion:Before painting all your mast and spreaders just experiment with one spreader and a short section of mast,stick the mast in the ground and and temporarily tie the horizontal spreader to to the top then step back to the street side and see how it blends in with your tree backdrop.Your lot sounds like mine.I have pine,spruce,cedars up to 60 ft. high on 3 sides,street open.I first used green/black combo paint but ended up with medium gray/and two tone green combo and bottom 6 ft. of mast/support a brown color to match my 6ft.wood stockade fence in background.In short only my next door neighbor knows its there only because he saw me erecting it,no comments in 6 months from anybody else except my xyl.


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: W2ECK on January 04, 2013, 05:37:29 PM
James- thanks for the tips and glad the hex has worked out for you. I think it will here too. will post some follow up, once I get up and operating.

73
Paul


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: LA9XNA on January 05, 2013, 04:43:08 AM
If you got trees on your property why don't you make an wire vertical or a randome wire in-between the trees.
Another option is a randome wire or loop around your house.
Feed the above antennas with a auto tuner like the AH-3 or similar and you will have a all band antenna if the wire is long enough.
Another option is a magnetic loop with a diameter of about 1m or 3 feet it will cover 10m-30m. There is a lot of information about this antenna on the net.


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: W1JKA on January 05, 2013, 08:26:37 AM
Re: Paul KC2NYU

         If you do decide on a hex beam and have not already considered homebrewing one,they are easy,inexpensive and fun to make.My 1st one cost me nothing(parts on hand)and is my semi portable unit,my 2nd one cost me about $93.00.Both are 20m mono band only.GL with your final choice.  Anchors aweigh  Jim             


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: N7TEE on January 11, 2013, 04:10:08 PM
If you have a blue spruce in the back yard be sure to paint the mast/tower Rustolium Hunter Green.  It seems to disapear from sight.   I had one up for eight years and the neighbors did not even know it.

Dave  N7TEE


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: W2ECK on January 12, 2013, 02:11:18 PM
Thanks guys for the excellent recommendations. I plan to put up the K4KIO Hex up in  a few months after the leaves are back on the trees.

73 Paul kc2nyu


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: KA5N on January 13, 2013, 04:43:27 AM
If the hex is mounted with the hub below the roof line it is pretty much unnoticable
from the street side.  However the next door neighbors will have a good view.  Moral
is to be a good neighbor as that will help eleminate complaints. 

Allen KA5N


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: KC4MOP on January 13, 2013, 04:49:58 AM
The NA4RR copy of the HEX is about $400.
http://na4rr.com/
The pictures are interesting...and light enough for a push-up mast and rotor.

I do not know if you feel like wrestling with a push-up mast, but that would help to make your installation a little less visible. It would be a waste of your time to start painting anything. At 30 or so feet high, and ??? feet from the nearest neighbor, it should not be an eye-sore. How strict is your HOA?? Or are you testing for neighbor reaction that you are a Ham op?
Remember the fear of RFI that neighbors automatically have when they see an antenna in the air. They know that most folks are using cable TV or Sat TV these days.
If you go with a HEX and push-up mast,,,,do not even connect it to your station...Leave the coax and the connector coiled outside your shack for a few weeks and see what happens.
Fred


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: KG7FIU on December 03, 2014, 11:38:03 PM
Was thinking about one way to make a hexbeam antenna a bit more "stealthy" for those living in an HOA community [with a little catch of course].

One could turn the hexbeam upside-down and mount it on a mast.  Then cover it with some type of cloth/canvas.  So it looked like a typical patio "umbrella".    Maybe even place a little patio table and some chairs around the bottom where the mast touches the ground.

Now of course one couldn't raise the antenna up too high, or it would look disingenuous.   People would know something was fishy.
And perhaps by turning the antenna upside-down the RF radiation pattern would be a changed a bit.   But one could model it with EZNEC or something to find out...

Just a thought...
-j


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: KH6DC on December 04, 2014, 05:36:40 PM
Paint it with Invisible Ink. :)



Lemon Juice  ;D  Seriously, paint it flat black but it'll still be visible.


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: KQ0C on December 29, 2014, 06:32:18 PM
I get away with a hex beam on a crank up (military surplus ) tower that I can leave at 8 feet when not in use. I have everything painted green and located in a visually complex area. My neighbors can see it but no one has complained. If I needed to be more stealthy I would use a rotatable dipole on a push up, tilt over mast. That would strongly reduce the visibility. The hex beam only has about 3-4 dB gain on the rotatable dipole... 1/2 an S-unit.


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: KG7FIU on January 03, 2015, 12:40:35 AM
Quote
I get away with a hex beam on a crank up (military surplus ) tower that I can leave at 8 feet when not in use.

Sounds interesting.  Where did you get this "military surplus" crank up tower, and how expensive is it?
Could you post a couple pictures of your system?
Just curious.


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: WD4ELG on January 05, 2015, 08:06:15 PM
The goal is not to make it invisible.  The goal is to make it unobtrusive.  Flat black has worked well for me.  Esp because I have trees behind it.  Not invisible, but it does not pull the eye to it like reflective copper or white.


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: WI8P on January 07, 2015, 08:30:50 AM
For an idea what size this is going to be, here's a picture or mine on a 40' tower:

(http://i328.photobucket.com/albums/l337/tstr14/_K5_2761s.jpg) (http://s328.photobucket.com/user/tstr14/media/_K5_2761s.jpg.html)


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: KH6AQ on January 08, 2015, 05:08:31 AM
Paul, you might not think our comments are helpful but what we're saying is an antenna like you want is not going to pass anyHOA inspection. So be prepared to take down your expensive new antenna. You might install a cheap mock antenna at that height and see what happens.

I put a vertical on my roof and within 24 hours I was contacted by the HOA to remove it. I ended up with a stealthy ground mounted screwdriver antenna with the 5' base assembly disguised as a birdhouse support. Various whips were attached depending on the band and time of day. Even that was not completely stealthy and the neighbors knew what it was but the HOA folks who patrol monthly looking for violation did not recognize it for what it was. By the way, it worked great on 80-10 meters with a radiation efficiency of a healthy 50% on 80 meters and nearly 100% on 40-10 meters. It even worked on 160 meters where I worked all continents with it.


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: KC8VWM on February 15, 2015, 10:06:41 PM
The goal is not to make it invisible.  The goal is to make it unobtrusive.  Flat black has worked well for me.  Esp because I have trees behind it.  Not invisible, but it does not pull the eye to it like reflective copper or white.

Sorry to give you the bad news but there is absolutely nothing "stealthy" about putting up a giant rotary clothesline sticking up in the air with a bunch of wires hanging on it as far as your neighbors are concerned. Regardless what color it's painted, its still going to be there.
  


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: N0YXB on February 16, 2015, 08:07:31 AM
If I lived in an HOA neighborhood I'd try homebrewing a wire vertical hidden in the trees, or perhaps try the DX Engineering DXE-ATSA-1 - DX Engineering Auto-Tuned Multi-Band HF Stealth Antenna System. 


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: K5MF on February 17, 2015, 08:28:43 AM
Hex beams work, they are relatively inexpensive, and can easily be home brewed.  However, IMO, that is where they stop.  They are not stealthy in any sense of the word unless you are hiding it behind a building.  I think in a small multiband yagi looks better than a hex beam.  If you think you can get away with hex, then a yagi should be easy.  Some camo paint and it will be better than an similarly painted hex.


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: VE3PP on February 17, 2015, 11:21:34 AM
Paul, you might not think our comments are helpful but what we're saying is an antenna like you want is not going to pass anyHOA inspection. So be prepared to take down your expensive new antenna. You might install a cheap mock antenna at that height and see what happens.

I put a vertical on my roof and within 24 hours I was contacted by the HOA to remove it. I ended up with a stealthy ground mounted screwdriver antenna with the 5' base assembly disguised as a birdhouse support. Various whips were attached depending on the band and time of day. Even that was not completely stealthy and the neighbors knew what it was but the HOA folks who patrol monthly looking for violation did not recognize it for what it was. By the way, it worked great on 80-10 meters with a radiation efficiency of a healthy 50% on 80 meters and nearly 100% on 40-10 meters. It even worked on 160 meters where I worked all continents with it.

I know a guy who mounted his home made screwdriver near the ground and ran a 260 foot counterpoise wire. Worked like gangbusters. He was not in an HOA area, he just wanted to see how well it would work.

I agree with others, there is nothing stealthy about a hex beam, no matter what color you paint it! Once it is above the roof line it is going to be visible by someone and it only takes one person to spot it and complain. There goes $400-500 down the drain.

He'd be further ahead to do what you did with the screw driver. But hey he is not spending my cash, so he can do want he warns. But don't say he wasn't warned  ;)


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: WS4E on February 17, 2015, 11:18:47 PM
Wire antennas are the most stealthy.   Even full size 80m or 160m onese. 

People just don't pay attention to wires running between trees.   Without a tower and lots of aluminum pointy things they just dont thing "antenna".

Most people doing the "stealth" thing in HOA areas have good success with wire antennas.


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: K5LXP on February 18, 2015, 06:06:44 AM

Forgiveness is always easier than permission.

Put the thing up.  Let the neighbors complain.  They don't get a say unless they're paying your rent or mortgage.  I wouldn't take it down unless there was formal legal action taken against me.  After a few months no one will notice it or care anymore.  Don't over analyze this, it's just an antenna. 


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: KK4GGL on February 18, 2015, 06:56:02 AM

Forgiveness is always easier than permission.

Put the thing up.  Let the neighbors complain.  They don't get a say unless they're paying your rent or mortgage.  I wouldn't take it down unless there was formal legal action taken against me.  After a few months no one will notice it or care anymore.  Don't over analyze this, it's just an antenna. 


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

Once legal action is taken there will probably be legal costs to be paid, and probably fines.


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: N0YXB on February 18, 2015, 07:30:19 AM

Once legal action is taken there will probably be legal costs to be paid, and probably fines.

True. In a situation like this I'd start with a stealthy antenna rather than anger the HOA apparatus and the scrutiny that follows.


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: W0MT on February 18, 2015, 09:50:43 AM

Forgiveness is always easier than permission.

Put the thing up.  Let the neighbors complain.  They don't get a say unless they're paying your rent or mortgage.  I wouldn't take it down unless there was formal legal action taken against me.  After a few months no one will notice it or care anymore.  Don't over analyze this, it's just an antenna. 


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
I have seen CC&Rs that say if the HOA takes legal action to enforce, loser pays the legal fees of the HOA. It wouldn't be too hard to write CC&Rs that assess any legal fees of the HOA to the person in violation unless it goes to court and the HOA loses. In other words, the HOA sees an antenna, it has its attorney write a letter, and the person is given the attorney's bill for writing the letter. Attorney writing a letter could easily be $200-300 or more.


Title: RE: Hex Beam Stealthy Experience ?
Post by: K5LXP on February 18, 2015, 10:09:44 AM

The OP made no mention of an HOA.  Not even a persnickety XYL to deal with. 


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM