My Experience with Antenna Restrictions

Just because you live in an apartment doesn't mean you can't get on the air!

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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

Apartment Life

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

Kitchen ShackChristmas 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?

My Shack TodayWell 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!

73’s
Scott, K2ZS

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About the Author

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I’ve been licensed since 1982 when I passed my Novice exam and was given the call KA2QOZ.

My interests lean towards chasing DX and operating CW. I operate mobile HF with my Yaesu FT-100 when I can. Take a moment to browse through my site.

73 from Scott, K2ZS

Contact

If you're in Rochester, NY I can usually be found on:

 - 144.220Mhz USB
 - 145.11/144.51 WR2AHL Repeater

Otherwise, I can be found in the lower portions of the CW bands on HF.