Monthly Archives: October 2009

Going stealth

Decided to move antennas (well, at least HF antennas) up into the attic. Climbed up there this past weekend and started installing the thinwall 15m dipole as an inverted vee.

When I was outside on the porch testing the dipole install, my new neighbor was outside and thought I was about to install a privacy curtain between our houses! I guess he thought the dipole was the curtain mounting hardware. I assured him it was nothing like that, just an amateur radio antenna. He thought it was pretty cool.
So, the two legs are now mounted to the rafters. I’ve ordered some coax and a low-power balun. Once those arrive I’ll be back on the air. There is room for other antennas, but it’s tricky moving around since there are no floor boards.
If nothing else, the antenna is mounted 10 feet higher. Can’t wait to see if this improves things.

15m antenna project

I’ve been looking for a suitable low-band antenna to mount outdoors in
limited space I decided to construct a modified version of Lew
McCoy’s “one-element” 15m dipole. His antenna is intended to be
rotated, but I’m not quite ready for that yet.

So in the meantime I’m building a fixed version that will mount near
the roof-line of my second-storey porch.

This is a very low-cost project which will end up costing under $20
(not including a balun and RG-8X feedline).

The photo shows the main components:
– Thin-wall electrical conduit
– #12 solid copper wire
– 3/4 inch dia. PVC “T” connectors

The primary advantage with this antenna: its low profile. But I’m
adding a significant modification because I need to make the design
even more low-profile by making it possible to reduce the length of
each leg by half so it becomes almost invisible from the street.

The idea is to be able to remove 5′ of each leg when not using the
antenna (for me that means daytime).

I’ll add photos once I get it mounted. Still need coax and not sure if
I’ll build or buy the balun.

New antenna material

Stopped in at Lowe’s in Spokane on Sunday and picked up 4, 10 ft lengths of thin-wall electrical conduit for constructing new antennas. So cheap! I plan to make a 20m resonant dipole and a 2m beam or dipole. Need a few more tools to make it possible, like a vise to flatten the ends of the conduit so I can drill holes to connect the coax.

May need to add a small inductor to cancel capacitance created by connecting the feed-line to the conduit.

I may be able to mount these outdoors on the second floor porch. That would be a welcome change from the current indoor antennas. More later.