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Posted: 4/16/2014 4:04:14 PM EDT

Got this today... Guess I need to make up my mind about what to do as far as an antenna. It's going to need to be fairly low profile. I can do something along the lines of a dipole in the yard between the trees, but there's going to be some major resistance to anything interesting... Suggestions? Inexpensive ones preferably. What's a good place to shop for DIY materials?
Link Posted: 4/16/2014 5:14:52 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/16/2014 5:19:16 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/16/2014 5:42:38 PM EDT
1: 135 ft OCFD 90/45 split
2: 30m half-wave dipole (good on 30 and 60)
Link Posted: 4/18/2014 3:27:02 PM EDT
I think I've got a plan together....

1. Hit the local county club meeting in May. Find an Elmer.
2. Coax. In my attempts to stay under the landlord and the wife's radars, I'm going to get some RG-8x. Max run would be 75yds or less; probably 50yds though.
3. Try the rain gutters. Got a 25'up by 34' long. Easy access, and easy ground. See what happens.

I'm in a semi-tight suburb. Landlord is a pretty good guy since I handle most of his issues. The attic is a TIGHT squeeze. They must have buttoned up the original access, so I'd need to empty daughter's closet and squeeze between the footers. A/C and heating has been plumbed in after original construction and half the ceiling has been raised a little bit so I'm expecting the attic will be be a less than ideal. 34' of run there.

The next option would be along the back fence. I can get maybe 70' there. Out front I have some widely spaced birches which will be tough to run a wire through and they'd stick out pretty well.
Link Posted: 4/19/2014 1:09:03 PM EDT
Congrats on your new radio.
Do you have space for a ground mounted vertical?
Link Posted: 4/26/2014 2:43:32 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Gyprat:
Congrats on your new radio.
Do you have space for a ground mounted vertical?
View Quote

I could do that, but it'd take some $$$. All the real outdoor antenna options are pretty daunting. The tree situation isn't looking good--got plenty, but I'm skeptical that I can get both ends up in the air with the amount of branches.

So I learned to solder (well, maybe "learned" is too strong a word). I've figured out I probably should have gotten some more coax and just bought one of the commercial dipole center insulators. Ah well.... I'll place another order next month.

In the meantime, I am tied into my raingutter downspout on the center wire and the shield is tied to the window bunker immediately next to it. I figured it'd hear alright, but I wasn't sure about transmitting; RFI and all (the gutter is strapped to my aluminum siding). Well, color me surprised. I'm not busting through any pileups with authority, but I've made DX contacts on 40/20/17! And the TS-480SAT internal tuner dials right out with a single click. Works better when I water the lawn (sandy soil).

It takes a bit to get used to all the accents and all the variable phonetic spellings. The My 5 letter callsign is hopelessly long. That alone is motivation to go for extra and get an equally crappy, but shorter call.

I'd be curious to hear someone else's rig with a good antenna.
Link Posted: 4/26/2014 5:39:59 PM EDT
Branches you say?


This will punch right through them. Don't know how your neighbors will react though.
If you are going to string up a dipole between tress, use a pulley/counterweight on one end to compensate for tree sway.
Commercial insulators are fine, but heavy. Then add the PL-259 connector weight. That will take a lot of tension to support. Using a small square of plexiglass and some zip ties as your center insulator keeps the weight down as well as the cost. Home Depot standard copper wire will work, it will just stretch over time. Proper antenna wire can be had at Wireman.
PVC pipe can be used for end insulators too.
Link Posted: 4/26/2014 5:51:13 PM EDT
since you dont have an antenna for that rig you can send it to me........ I would go with a fan dipole for the house and they are also pretty easy for field type use.
Link Posted: 4/26/2014 7:16:26 PM EDT
If you're in or near Putnam County, I can get you set up with an elmer. I have some contacts on Long Island too.
Link Posted: 4/27/2014 12:18:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/27/2014 2:55:50 PM EDT by 30Caliber]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By KB7DX:
Branches you say?
http://youtu.be/FGWs0tUXO0g

This will punch right through them. Don't know how your neighbors will react though.
If you are going to string up a dipole between tress, use a pulley/counterweight on one end to compensate for tree sway.
Commercial insulators are fine, but heavy. Then add the PL-259 connector weight. That will take a lot of tension to support. Using a small square of plexiglass and some zip ties as your center insulator keeps the weight down as well as the cost. Home Depot standard copper wire will work, it will just stretch over time. Proper antenna wire can be had at Wireman.
PVC pipe can be used for end insulators too.
View Quote

Thanks for the motivation. I ended up hucking the big metal spoon I use for moving coals in the grill over the fence and into the neighbor's yard. Besides that, I got a 40m dipole about 25' up without much struggle. I don't have an antenna analyzer so I turned off the internal tuner, and put 5w CW out watching the SWR meter across the band. I'm 1:1 across 40m and between 2.5-3 (tunable) at 15m. It 2-3db better at 40m and 1db at 15m than the rain gutter.

The shack has retreated again into the basement where I have a rock solid ground and can get both the dipole and the gutter plugged in. Dark down here.

ETA: OMG, so much better! Added 20m to the capability, and we're bangin!
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