Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

donate to eham
   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 3 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Radials and counterpoise for very small yard area  (Read 3398 times)
KF7ZFC
Member

Posts: 214




Ignore
« on: March 25, 2019, 02:10:33 PM »

I live in an HOA community. My daughter bought a house that has a separate 2 bedroom apartment for my wife and I. With that we have a decent size side yard. Of that I have 20 feet by 14.5 feet for my antenna system. Originally I was going to go with the MFJ mag loops but the initial cost and some of the negative reviews ended that. I have gone with 4 hamsticks for 40, 20, 17 and 10.

The problem is that I really don't have room for 1/4 wave radials or even 0.15 wave radials as N6LF talks about.

What if I covered this 20 x 14.5 area completely with aluminum roof flashing or perhaps chicken fence wire (to lower cost),

Would this give me something that would work acceptably rather than trying to put down 16 sets of radials that will be on top of each other?

My wife will not let me use elevated radials she still wants the yard to look like a yard. The flashing and chicken fencing would be hidden under the small stones that make up many yards here in Arizona desert
Logged
K5LXP
Member

Posts: 6165


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2019, 04:11:52 PM »

You wouldn't put down 16 sets of radials, because ground radials become untuned.  You would just put down as many as you can, as long as you can.

That's a pretty small spot as far as HF is concerned.  You can't extend those bounds with the idea radials would be buried/concealed?

A hamstick is a pretty poor performer on 40.  You can't go any longer than this?  Maybe a 5BTV?

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
 
Logged
AC2RY
Member

Posts: 756




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2019, 04:13:20 PM »

I live in an HOA community. My daughter bought a house that has a separate 2 bedroom apartment for my wife and I. With that we have a decent size side yard. Of that I have 20 feet by 14.5 feet for my antenna system. Originally I was going to go with the MFJ mag loops but the initial cost and some of the negative reviews ended that. I have gone with 4 hamsticks for 40, 20, 17 and 10.

The problem is that I really don't have room for 1/4 wave radials or even 0.15 wave radials as N6LF talks about.

What if I covered this 20 x 14.5 area completely with aluminum roof flashing or perhaps chicken fence wire (to lower cost),

Would this give me something that would work acceptably rather than trying to put down 16 sets of radials that will be on top of each other?

My wife will not let me use elevated radials she still wants the yard to look like a yard. The flashing and chicken fencing would be hidden under the small stones that make up many yards here in Arizona desert

Is the whole yard bigger than 20x14 ? You can use remaining area - just hid radials under ground. They are not required to be straight wires also and can follow walkway, fence etc. If you provide google map location with satellite view, people here may give you some ideas.
Logged
KF7ZFC
Member

Posts: 214




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2019, 06:44:50 PM »

HOA would not like a tall vertical.

The visible part of my hamsticks  appears to be a plant trellis
Logged
W1BR
Member

Posts: 4196




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2019, 06:32:44 AM »

You do not need a solid conductive surface.  Your plan to use chicken wire has a lot of merit.  Check out this web page:

 http://www.sherweng.com/documents/GroundScreen-sm.pdf

Personally, I would opt for a different radiator system, if possible.  How much vertical wire can you run?  There are remote antenna tuners that can handle the matching--not the cheapest solution, I know.

Pete
Logged
W1VT
Member

Posts: 3397




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2019, 07:07:05 AM »

The digital mode FT8 or CW can allow many  hams to make contacts with an inefficient antenna, even though voice contacts are too frustrating to be fun.
The second day of a phone contest like the CQ WPX contest is also a good time for a highly compromised station to make a few voice contacts.

https://www.cqwpx.com/
CQ WPX Contest Dates
SSB: March 30 - 31, 2019
« Last Edit: March 26, 2019, 07:09:52 AM by W1VT » Logged
KF7ZFC
Member

Posts: 214




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2019, 08:25:08 AM »

Pete

Finances limit my choices at the moment. This is a new HOA and there are only 2 trees  my yard and they are about 7-8 feet tall

Thanks for the link

Steve
Logged
K5LXP
Member

Posts: 6165


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2019, 04:55:23 PM »

 
You're welcome to try it.  But I wouldn't go through any extraordinary effort to install it because frankly, at best it's going to suck.  Better than nothing for sure, but not by much. 

Guessing there's a house associated with this yard that the hamshack is in.  I'd be working the angle of putting an antenna somewhere on the house if the yard idea is a bust.  An elevated doublet or loop would be far more effective and efficient than a ground mounted hamstick over a compromise radial field.

I've lived under far greater restrictions than this, and that's what I've done.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
 
Logged
KF7ZFC
Member

Posts: 214




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2019, 06:18:53 PM »

Mark

An elevated doublet would not be allowed. The HOA is very aggressive in making sure the covenants are kept. A non-ham put up a flagpole with an American flag that was higher than the rules and he was forced to reduce the height.

If the counterpoise/ground screen only gives me marginal operation, then I will need to put aside money and get an MFJ loop or build my own loop.
Logged
KL7CW
Member

Posts: 604




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2019, 07:23:52 PM »

There are 4 things which are working against your hamstick idea.  First is the compromise radial situation.  Second is the hamsticks are too short for any reasonable efficiency, especially the 40 meter one. The third factor is in most typical situations like yours, you are surrounded by structures such as brick fences, stucco over wire house walls, and other obstacles. The fourth is your limited finances.  I have operated when I visit friends and relatives in the SW desert areas and it is possible.  Usually I do not operate from their home, but walk to a park, toss a wire into a tree and have a good time with my little QRP CW rig, usually on 20 or 40 meters.  However I have had some success at their homes and other areas.  I know your finances are tight, but if you could buy a remote antenna tuner (cost probably a few hundred dollars) you could load even rather short wires and have performance much better than the even shorter ham sticks.  Just one example a SGC 237 will load something as short as 7 feet on 3.5 MHz or above.  Now for sure this would not work too good on 3.5 or 7 mHz, but something like a 20 or 25 foot wire would probably work (OK) on 40, 30, and 20 meters.  If no room for the wire, I have looped something like a 17 foot wire over probably a 10 foot high tree.  Go up 10 feet, then over the top of the tree perhaps 2 feet, then drop down the opposite side of the tree to perhaps 5 feet above ground.  The remote tuner would be right at the bottom of the vertical wire.  Hook up the best counterpoise you can to the tuner ground.  Use small insulated wire...something like 24 ga (perhaps green, brown or gray ?).  This antenna will still "suck" but I have had some success with similar antennas on 40, 30, and 20 meters.  Have not tried this idea on a 7 foot tree, but if you could obtain something like a 10 or 12 foot tree (and it will grow taller).  A U shaped antenna may work nearly as good as a vertical, especially if you do not bring the far end of the antenna down too far toward the ground.  Before purchasing a tuner, you could just drape something like a 17 foot wire over your 7 foot tree and feed it with coax and hook up the counterpoise to the shield, then trim the length for resonance on 20 meters.  This would at least give you an idea if the concept is worth improving upon.  The ARRL and RSGB and I think VK3YE and others have books on stealth antennas.  I have even had some success loading up umbrella tables, rain gutters, and other miscellaneous objects, but usually need a tuner.   Good Luck   Rick  KL7CW
Logged
KF7ZFC
Member

Posts: 214




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2019, 08:03:49 PM »

Thanks Rick
Logged
K5LXP
Member

Posts: 6165


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2019, 08:59:55 PM »

An elevated doublet would not be allowed.

Invisible ones are.

Quote
I will need to put aside money and get an MFJ loop or build my own loop.

The efficiency of a loop is nothing to write home about either, plus are finicky to tune. 

It doesn't sound like you have a lot of experience on HF.  Not a criticism, just an observation.  Your post is like many before on the forums seeking the most expedient solution to reduced space or restricted operations.  I'm here to say that compounding compromise solutions on top of each other is a formula for failure.  You'll put a bit of effort into making it stealth/aesthetically palatable, discover that it's a PITA to get/keep tuned, you'll become disenchanted with the result, then lacking any direct advice or turnkey solution will throw in the towel proclaiming HF is impossible from your location.

But if you view it from the perspective from others like myself that have been there and done that, while not ideal there is no doubt in my mind there is a more efficient and effective antenna solution than a hamstick in the yard.  It will take the form of some kind of wire antenna, strung in a way and place that will escape the scrutiny of the HOA.  This could be under the eaves, along the roof ridge, or strung in a stealth way between structures or trees.  There can be feed challenges to random wires but you work with what you have and there is always a way.  I have put HF antennas everywhere I've lived including apartments, military barracks and a house on the national historic register.  It can be done.

Another solution is much more straightforward.  Deploy temporary full size antennas right in the middle of the yard when you want to operate, and take it down when you're done.  An extension of this idea is something like a multiband vertical on a tilt base you set up to operate, and lay down to store. 

You're welcome to go down the snake oil antenna path and see if that works for you.  But just be aware there are better and easier options that are very budget friendly.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
 
Logged
KF7ZFC
Member

Posts: 214




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2019, 09:27:28 AM »

Mark

My location on the side of the house is forward near the street. Stringing a small diameter wire between my 2 Olliander trees is visible. I used 18 gauge copper wire I have on hand

The home is typical AZ stucco construction. I can run a 10 foot wire vertically up the wall and then 7 feet under the eaves. Would this be better than the hamsticks in spite of the chicken wire grid used with the stucco construction?

Steve
KF7ZFC
Logged
VE3PP
Member

Posts: 169


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2019, 09:37:40 AM »

How about the old stand by, the Hustler 4BTV inside white PVC pipe with a flag mounted to the pipe?

Lay down as many radials are you can in the space you have, they don't have to be straight line radials.

Surely the HOA would not make you take down your "Flagpole" ?

http://www.hamuniverse.com/kx9dk4btvflagpole.html

https://flagpoleantenna.com/collections/dx-flagpole-antenna

https://zerofive-antennas.com/product-category/flagpole-antennas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Grc2aaY32ZA

http://static.dxengineering.com/pdf/flagpole_antenna.pdf

« Last Edit: March 27, 2019, 09:45:48 AM by VE3PP » Logged
WW7KE
Member

Posts: 949




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2019, 09:43:25 AM »

My house is of the same construction.  I found that I have to keep my antenna or any portable radio at least 10 feet away from the house in order to prevent reception of all those noise-making devices inside.  This is despite the chicken-wire being a 20-40 db attenuator, depending on frequency.  The noise still gets through if the antenna is too close to the house.

Indoor antennas absolutely will not work with this kind of construction.  Don't even think about them.  And that includes any form of antenna, from AM broadcast to the ham bands to UHF-TV.
Logged

He speaks fluent PSK31, in FT8...  One QSO with him earns you 5BDXCC...  His Wouff Hong has two Wouffs... Hiram Percy Maxim called HIM "The Old Man..."  He is... The Most Interesting Ham In The World!
Pages: [1] 2 3 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!