Note: The views and opinions expressed here are just that. I am no expert with antennas but I do have a good working knowledge of the basics. I have installed beams, and verticals, built the basic G5RV now and then. My first antenna was a make shift fan dipole with multiple band elements. From there I graduated to various verticals and wire antennas. I have never owned a tower or a beam.
Why I have Antenna Restrictions
Antenna restrictions prevent me from having any sort of outdoor antenna. After 6 years off the air I came up an indoor antenna that got me back on the HF bands.
In 2001, I gave up home ownership and moved into an apartment. I was lost when it came to HF operation, as there was no way, I could “get away” with an outdoor antenna.
I am right in the middle of the complex on the second floor within view of the office. I am also surrounded with nothing but windows from the other buildings so anything I do would be in plain sight. I tried putting up a dipole for 15 meters in the spare room but it did not work well, probably because I was using the radios internal tuner. I had so much RFI that the touch-sense lamp in the living room cycled with every CW character I sent. That was not going to work so I packed the radio up and gave up on the idea of operating HF. I did leave the antenna up as a short wave receiving antenna.
» What I Did
Christmas day of 2006, I found myself tuning around on a short wave radio and I checked 40 meters CW. There was some kind of contest going on and I had to try again. I dug my rig out of storage and this time I used my versa tuner. I removed the balun at the antenna and replaced it with a section of ladder line long enough to go from the tuner on a stand, to the wire at the ceiling. I pre-tuned the tuner using my SWR analyzer for the center of the 40-meter CW band and then I ran coax to the kitchen table where the rig was set up. It was the Canada Day CW contest and I had a blast. See information about my indoor hf stealth antenna.
» So Where Am I Today?
Well here, it is 2009 and I have finally submitted my application for my first DXCC award. I never spent a lot of time QSL’ing prior to now and I found that many of the DX contacts I had prior to 2000 were no longer any good. I sent QSL cards and requests to almost all and unfortunately, they did not maintain logs back that far. I received many “not in the log” or “no logs back that far” responses. Best advice is if you worked them and you need them, QSL them!