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Author Topic: Antenna height on a shoestring budget  (Read 4298 times)

Posts: 2527

« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2008, 02:46:16 PM »

The best antenna is one that will stay up during New England ice storms, and occasional hurricane winds.

I suspect that raising your antenna past 10-12 feet won't gain you much in hitting more repeaters.

I've never had much of a problem climbing around on roofs, even with snow on them.  But I know, like climbing towers, its not for everyone.

Enjoy your new antenna.


Posts: 6

« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2008, 04:58:11 PM »

Thanks guys!  I guess then I have decided what I will do.  I did some searching online, and found I can get mounts for the side of the house for under $10.  Now I just need to find a good mast.  I assume that if I got two 10 foot sections, they could be attached together?  If the antenna goes up to 30 feet, there will be no way of reaching it at that height.  It would be much easier to attach the upper part of the mast with the antenna already on it.  If I can get it up to that height, that could be a good place to mount the anemometer for the weather station too, which is currently below the roof line as well.

Mike, yep, Spring is coming.  I have plenty of antenna projects planned.  I have this one, then there is my first HF antenna.  Though I'm still a tech, and financially I'm a long time from getting an HF rig, I can practice putting my homebrew antenna up between trees, and see how well it does with my shortwave radio.  By the time I finally get my rig, I'll probably replace it with a G5RV jr.

Lon, no problems.  I won't be placing it on the chimney.  I may end up placing my old coat hanger antenna up there.  It still works right now, and I can run a feedline down to my Kitchen to use with my VX-2 in place of the twinlead J-Pole hung off the rafters.

Bob, I think the antenna I'm getting from my friend will survive New England weather.  I think this is the one I'm getting:

Getting it an extra 10 feet up may not make all that much difference in distance, but it will get it over the roof, and that I think will help.

And I do have a problem climbing on my roof.  It's just too steep for my preference.  I put up a hugh Christmas display every year, (one of my other hobbies) and I'd love to put lights on the roof.  But I just can't get myself up there.

Thanks again everyone!

Posts: 9930

« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2008, 05:22:51 PM »

you can get a couple lengths of 1/2 inch conduit and use the coupler to mate a couple sections together, or bug a friend with a pickup.  I have sever small towers in the yard I am having trouble giving away for free.. so ask around,

go to  ARRL.ORG and in the upper left click on exams, type in your zip code and hit enter. this will bring up a list of ham tests in your local area.  most of these are sponsered by a ham club. they all have a contact person and phone number. call and ask about  the next meeting, for an elmer , how do I ....

Posts: 14

« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2008, 10:02:46 PM »


This topic actually addresses one of my DOWN-THE-ROAD items for when I get a base unit set up.

Currently I have my eye on a Yaesu VX-7R handheld, just to get moving and be able to transmit to all the local repeaters here (thanks to WA3SKN for the website with a TON of data!)

While I do that, the gears in my head are turning as to how I want to set up my base unit. One question I had with all the solutions for Brian was how would you electrically ground these various solutions, especially the ones for tree towers? I have a 100 foot tree in my yard, I own the home, and that would be a magnificent way to go. But lightning-strike potential would scare the bejeebers out of me and I would like to ensure that doesnt happen.

Another idea I had on my own was to set up a PVC pipe either as the mast itself or to run  antenna inside it like a conduit to an antenna at the top, with guy leads and a pipe in the ground to stick it in. Creates a potential for easy removal if necessary, and the PVC pipe is also pretty cheap.

Brian I hope you get some ideas from that, and if anyone has feedback on the PVC and tree ground, that would be cool too.


Posts: 3189

« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2008, 06:16:44 AM »

Check on galvanized fence rail.


I think they changed the tensile strength of this fence rail more recently.

I used to love using it for antenna projects but now it seems to bend over like a Raggedy Anne spaghetti legged rag doll.

Case in point: I was recently pushing up 20 feet of it (2 x 10ft sections) with a modest and rather lightweight (5 lb) VHF antenna on top. Basically while raising the mast, the entire thing folded over causing the antenna to crash to the ground in short order.

I later started thinking this happened because they used to have domestic steel mills here producing this stuff to much better specifications however in more recent years it seems everything is being outsourced and/or made and imported from China.

At least this is what I later discovered the UPC label had printed on it after I started picking up the pieces.

In addition, when purchasing the rail at the builder supply store I thought for a subliminal moment to myself that it was somewhat unusual that they oiled the pipe to prevent rust from occuring during shipping to the store even though it's supposed to be highly rust resistant galvanized steel.

Something to brew over the next time you decide you want to use China steel fence rail for your next antenna project.

73 de Charles - KC8VWM

Posts: 5639

« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2008, 10:36:46 AM »


I'n really NOT trying to throw cold water on your plans, but ...

<< I did some searching online, and found I can get mounts for the side of the house for under $10.>>

Those mounts are for TV antenna  with a maximum of a 5' mast. They are nowhere near strong enough to support 20 or 30 feet of mast. The lateral forces will rip them right out of the side of the house, eve or where ever you have it mounted.


Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut

A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
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