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Author Topic: Getting the Line Our of the House?  (Read 64122 times)

Posts: 46

« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2012, 05:51:02 PM »

I cut a section of garden hose to match the width of my window.  Then I cut slits on two sides of the hose large enough to pass through my ladder line, coax and ground wire.  Closing the window down on the hose creates a nice weather seal and doesn't crimp what's passing through it.  I also added a no-drill 'window pin' for security.  

Posts: 108


« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2012, 09:54:33 AM »

What kind of construction? Attic space?  Basement or crawspace?  on Slab?  Pictures might help a little.

John - A work in progress

Posts: 12

« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2012, 09:42:41 PM »

I have sympathy for your problem. I was in a similar situation back in the early 1990's when I was renting an apartment to live in during the week while I was away from home on a job. Unfortunately, there is no simple solution, but here are some things I tried:
 I had an attic opening in a closet so I put a metal chair up there with a 2 meter magnet mount antenna on it. Worked fine on voice and packet, but the limitations are obvious. No way would I have been able to run an HF antenna up there in the attic.

I tried several indoor HF antennas. A zig-zag of wire on the bedroom ceiling with bulletin board tacks. Worked sorta...

My most spectacular indoor antenna was a helical dipole wound on two 8 foot pieces of 4 inch sewer pipe. I used #14 copper wire for the windings. Hung the monstrosity up on the ceiling using screw hooks. I could get it to load 80-10 meters with a good tuner and alligator clips to vary the attachment points along the antenna (I used ladder line). I could actually run a Kilowatt into this thing but it would set off the smoke detectors every time I keyed up  Cheesy...not to mention it would "corona" in the dark on some frequencies! Shocked (I am not making this up!) I gave up on this one because I figured that qrp only was just too tedious...Your mileage may vary...

Finally, one night I noticed that the building rain gutter (aluminum!) was split into two equal lengths just above my front window. It was about a 40 meter dipole overall in length. So I ran a couple of pieces of enameled magnet wire out the window and attached them to the gutter with sheet metal screws. VOILA! I could close the window and the whole thing was nearly invisible. Of course, I did the installation under the cover of darkness one night...

Now, this was a REAL antenna, and it worked well. I could run several hundred watts into it using a tuner on 80-10 meters. HOWEVER, one night when in QSO with my Elmer back home (running about 300 or so watts) I heard a loud knock on my door and when I opened, there was one of my neighbors asking if I knew of anyone running a "big CB" around in the neighborhood (he had noticed my outbacker HF antenna mounted on my pickup truck). Seems as if someone was wiping out his TV and Phone service. Well, we lived by a major highway, so I stammered that it might be one of the 18 wheelers passing by...

I abandoned that setup as well after that incident...soon after, I found a house out in the country to rent where I could put up a real dipole.

If I had it to do over again today, I would opt for a rig that could be remotely controlled by another rig (such as a Kenwood TS 2000) installed in my vehicle and operated remotely. Good HF antennas are not difficult to come by for mobile use and you could even use a trailer hitch mount or some such that you could remove when needed. OR, you could use a remote base operated from a laptop. I have couple of friends that use just such a setup with great success. Of course, you have to have either a friend with a remote base location to use or arrange to have a facility where you could install a remote base...

Don't get discouraged, you will find a viable solution if you keep turning over possibilities. Actually, I had a lot of fun trying different things in that apartment, so it was a great learning experience.

Dave, WO4V


Posts: 960

« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2013, 01:42:29 PM »

One way is to make a pass-thru at the bottom of a window (MFJ makes a commercial version). When it is removed, everything is back to normal.

Really neat suggestion btw. No holes damage the structure. And maintains security.
Reading your replies seems like the buildings are not going to cooperate to let you get any coax outside. Then you mention that the landlord would probably S&*T a brick if you install anything outside. There's another thread in this Restrictions category that someone has used an indoor antenna that he built. You might want to think about that.

« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 01:49:01 PM by KC4MOP » Logged

Posts: 0

« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2013, 06:50:42 AM »

Easy.     What more could you want?!

Pick up @ Lowes/Home Depot a piece of the foam insulation "tube" used for insulating a water pipe, I use the smallest available. Adjust size as you see fit.

Cut the tube exactly long enough to fit under the window including into the window channel on each side.

Cut a slit in the top about one fourth through the tube (when squeezed flat) for each coax/wire. Lay tube under window squeezing ends flat to fit in channel on each side with slits facing up. Insert coax/wire into slits. Close window on top of everything firmly. At this point in my case I'm finished. However:

1) If you need a better seal between your top & bottom sash where they lap over each other, cut another appropriate length of the insulation tube & press it in place to seal any leaks.

2) If security is a concern, cut a piece of PVC pipe to a length that it plus some end caps can be "gently forced" between the upper frame of the window & the bottom sash. Of course any old "stick" would do, but the PVC might be a little more appealing, especially if painted to match.

At this point you'll have a tightly sealed, secure window with coax,etc. in the house plus a relatively "stealthy" appearance.  Geoff S.

Posts: 14

« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2013, 09:01:15 AM »

Thanks Geoff --

My windows are horizontally sliding, and have screens installed (all recently replaced with brand-new) which I am not allowed to remove.

I am considering your suggestions, though, with the thought of coming up with some small modifications that might allow these ideas to work here.

I appreciate all the interest and offerings that have come up in this thread. (Hard to believe they're still coming after all this time.)


Posts: 169

« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2013, 06:41:15 PM »

I am sure that others have suggested an indoors antenna, not the best solution but perhaps the only one.

Posts: 5900


« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2013, 06:31:04 AM »

I appreciate all the interest and offerings that have come up in this thread. (Hard to believe they're still coming after all this time.)

Even more surprising is that after all this time you haven't tried one or more of them and reported back your success.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

Posts: 2841


« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2013, 01:31:53 PM »

Are the screens removable? Perhaps you could find a replacement screen that you can then do with as you please (and store theirs).. then you can go through the window.

In one of the apartments I lived in, I had a wood panel that covered the access hole to the attic. I simply stored that one and bought a similar sized piece of plywood that I drilled holes for my coax, ladderline, rotator line, etc.

Do you have trees outside? I used magnet wire and heavy fishing line in another apartment to make a long wire antenna. I was able to slip it around the screen and it was never seen. The drawback is that it's much weaker so you may have to replace it now and then.

Posts: 127

« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2013, 07:44:43 PM »

I have no idea what issue ,but I seam to recall a QST article about a guy that wanted to operate his Ham radio while working aboard a ship and was not allowed to make any holes to get an antenna outside.  His solution was to use the window glass of the port hole as the dielectric in a physically very large capacitor. He cut some aluminum foil I am guessing a sq foot or 2 and secured it to each side of the glass. The rig and tuner are connected on the inside foil and the antenna is connected to the foil on the outside. 

A good ground might be critical to this kind of setup.

73, Jeremy Engbrock

Posts: 18057

« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2013, 08:53:45 AM »

Quote from: N0NZG

...His solution was to use the window glass of the port hole as the dielectric in a physically very large capacitor. He cut some aluminum foil I am guessing a sq foot or 2 and secured it to each side of the glass.

Doesn't even need that much size if the antenna is at a relatively high
impedance.  That's because glass significantly increases the capacitance
of the plates over an air dielectric.  (The added capacitance can be tuned
out by the tuner.)  You may even be able to put two such capacitors
on a single window and connect them to ladder line.

However, it really only works well with single-pane glass.  Dual-pane windows
with a layer of air in the middle require much more surface area for the same

Posts: 177

« Reply #26 on: May 23, 2013, 11:36:58 AM »

Easy, install the antenna, no coax at all, see how it goes with management. If they say OK, as there was no rule agaisnt it, then run coax later only when operating under your door. Remove when done. So when they initially see it, there is no holes in your building.

ARRL Life Member|QRZ Life Member

Posts: 2099

« Reply #27 on: May 23, 2013, 02:26:09 PM »

Or you can check out the COMET flat coax window pass through jumper,no window retro fitting needed but only good for 100 watts.

Posts: 17

« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2013, 09:37:11 PM »

There should already be a few outlets for the rg6 cable into your apt already. If you are using some kind of dipole, the ohms should be near the same as rg6. I would try to use the pre existing rg6 as your feedline. Wish I coukd help you out. I install sat dishes for a living. I'm sure I could make this happen.

Posts: 493

« Reply #29 on: September 20, 2013, 12:28:48 PM »

One way is to make a pass-thru at the bottom of a window (MFJ makes a commercial version). When it is removed, everything is back to normal.

Easy. A piece of 1x4, some sheet aluminum and coax fittings.  Shouldn't take more than an hour to make.

« Last Edit: September 20, 2013, 12:30:53 PM by K6CPO » Logged
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