HF Antenna Advice Requested

by Joe Chmelik KK6JUN
(San Diego, California.)

I need some advice on what kind of HF antenna to purchase.

This is where I want to install my first HF all band antenna. Can someone recommend a good match for this kind of area restriction? The front of the house faces West, so I would only have East, North and South signal paths.

My thought was to install a wire antenna in the front of the house to use for getting west stations and using a antenna switch, then using the back antenna for hitting the other directions. I was also considering putting in a splitter off the back antenna, to use in case my radio room gets too warm and just bring my rig onto the deck about 15 feet from the antenna. Would that be a good idea?

Attached are pictures of the steel vent pipe being used for my washing machine.

Email me at mrmultimediaman at yahoo.com



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RF Feedback...
by: Anonymous

I did add a 6-40 meter wire with a 4:1 balun stretching across my backyard to a 17 foot pole that was designated for a Hex Beam I built. My landlord (next door) didn't like how big the 6-40 meter hex was, and didn't want to be liable for any damage if the antenna fell. Even though I was using a flat roof satellite antenna base with 80 Lbs of cinder blocks on the base. He still didn't like how "big" it looked while I was setting it up on the bucket in the yard. The wire antenna is a nice temporary replacement as it seems the signals are much quieter. But, I am experiencing alot of RFI that is turning off my ICOM IC-7300 when I transmit or even tune up @ 100W. I am forced to keep my output below 100W to prevent the 7300 from turning off.

Editorial Comments from VE2DPE:

I used to experience RF feedback when I first began to use a homemade OCFD for 80m-6m, in spite of the fact that I was feeding it with open wire line through a 9:1 RF choke balun.

I cured the RF feedback completely by - first making sure that I had a good ground for RF - second, by eliminating any ground loops (one common grounding point for all equipment) - third, by carefully installing ferrite chokes on just about every equipement cable interconnection in the shack, including the AC power cables. I used Palomar Engineers' "Icom IC-7300 Transceiver RFI (5 ferrite) Kit" and another general purpose (12) ferrite kit for the rest of my equipment. Palomar's online tutorials are excellent and a must read. Other companies, such as Fair-Rite, KF7P Metalwerks also make good RF chokes.

HF Antenna Options
by: Anonymous

I would think you have several options for an HF antenna, vertical or wire. Getting it above the roof would be nice! But, it's not strictly necessary at all. Your home will attenuate a signal but not block it entirely, don't worry about it.

With wire antennas, the lower the frequency of use the longer they get (unless 'loaded'). They do NOT have to be strung up in a straight line. Just don't bend them more than 90 degrees at a time (per bend).

All verticals benefit from having a good 'ground system', no matter what the advertising says. Bunch of ways to do that ground -system-. Those ground wires/radials also don't have to be in straight lines. The more area they cover the better.

Maybe the best advice anyone can give you is to try it, see what happens. Every installation is different...

by: Joe Chmelik KK6JUN

I went with a 18 foot, 6-80 meter vertical dipole, 400 watts Max with my Yaesu FT-990. I did put the splitter in and have the coax (LMR400) to run around the house and feed into my computer room. I have another line running to the deck so I can just work HF in the cool night air. Those stations I have QSO'd with have reported that I have a great signal as far as Pennsylvania on only 100 watts. I got the antenna from an English Company and paid just over $200 for it.

HF Antenna Compromises
by: VE2DPE

Can anyone help Joe? I can't. I would have to have a good look around the house before recommending an antenna. A ham living in the San Diego area would be in a better position to help than I.

With the little information Joe supplied here, I would be inclined to recommend a multi-band HF trap vertical with a quarter-wave radial for each band at the base.

On the other hand, Joe might want a (stealthier) less visible antenna! That's where things can get tricky because Joe wants to be able to operate on all HF bands.

In that case, a wire antenna with a L-network tuner and a good station ground would be a potentially viable solution. With such an antenna, Joe would likely have to forget about controlled directivity (too close to the house and surrounding buildings, as well as too close to ground on 40M and 80M.

This looks like a situation for the good old "trial and error" method, starting with as much wire as one can get out there.

Might I remind here that Joe would have to work "barefoot", preferably with a maximum DC output of 100 Watts. Transmitting with more than that would be asking for trouble in the form of RFI - both at home and on the surrounding neighbors.

A wonderful source of stealth HF antenna ideas can be found in the book by Al Brogdon W1AB titled "Low Profile Amateur Radio" (published by ARRL).

73 de VE2DPE, Claude

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73 de VE2DPE
Claude Jollet
7, Rue de la Rive, Notre-Dame-des-Prairies, Québec, Canada J6E 1M9

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