Skip to main content

Simple Antennas for the Amateur Radio Operator--a continuing series

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

Post #182

Stealth and hidden antennas

One of my favorite interests within the Amateur Radio hobby is hidden, disguised, and "stealth" antennas.  I'm amazed at the creative ways amateur radio operators stay on the air despite severe space limitations, restrictive housing regulations, and proximity to power lines.  I'm one of the lucky ones--I do have a backyard.  It's small, but it does allow me to keep most of my HF and VHF antennas outside.  I'm always a little uneasy about using indoor antennas.  There are interference and rf exposure issues indoors which are sometime difficult to solve.

Whenever I feel the need to design a concealed antenna, I often refer to the work of Simone, IW5EDI, an Italian ham residing in the beautiful city of Florence.  Ham radio aside, Florence is a true wonder of the world.  I was in that city many years ago and was impressed with its cultural and historical background, parks, and natural surroundings.  Simone has writen a series of articles on stealth antennas that may give you some ideas on how to get on the air without annoying neighbors or homeowner associations (HOAs).

Simone lives in a third floor apartment which leaves him little room to erect a full-sized antenna for 40 meters.  However, by using an AEA magnetic loop antenna (MFJ sells a similar model) and a ham stick vertical with a tuned counterpoise, Simone is able to pursue his amateur radio interests without drawing attention to his station.  In a series of photographs, Simone shows how well the magnetic loop blends in with the furniture of his patio.  His 40-meter hamstick antenna is bundled with a bunch of fishing poles in the corner of his patio, with a counterpoise wire running through his apartment.  He tunes the ham stick with a wire tuner.  From the street below, one can't tell there are two HF antennas in his apartment.

Although my space problems are not as bad as Simone's, I've lived in places where the backyard is virtually non-existant and the neighbor's apartments are just a few feet away.  I'm blessed with good neighbors who don't seem to mind my homebrew vertical and delta loop in the backyard.  When I'm not operating, these antennas are nested to the ground, both for reducing the environmental footprint and for lessening the chance of a lightning strike.

Apparently, Simone has made antenna concealment an art.  He has submitted several articles to the "dxZone" website describing several vertical, loop, and dipole antennas he has designed and built.  In the use of stealth antennas, Simone says it's best to keep quiet about your antenna projects because "you can get blammed for every TVI, RFI, (and) interference incident in the neighborhood...'loose lips sink ships.'".

For more articles by IW5EDI, visit http://www.iw5edi.com.

That's all for now from this side of the Central Pacific.  Have an excellent day!

Aloha es 73 de KH6JRM--BK29jx15

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

G5RV Multi Band HF Dipole Antenna. Post #1555.

If you can't see the video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeNHIQ_j4Dk This well-produced and richly illustrated tutorial on the classic G5RV HF Dipole Antenna was presented to the Brandon Amateur Radio Society in Brandon, Florida in 2017 by Bernie Huth (W4BGH).  Bernie does an excellent job of  explaining the pros and cons of this popular HF antenna from the late Louis Varney (G5RV).  Although Varney envisioned his design primarily as a 3/2 wavelength antenna for the 20 meter Amateur Radio band, radio amateurs have used the antenna for multiband use.  The G5RV is an excellent choice for the 20 meter band.  Performance on other HF Amateur Radio bands is good enough to qualify as stand alone HF antenna if you can only erect one HF antenna. For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please visit these websites: http://www.HawaiiARRL.info. http://www.arrl.org. http://www.arrl.org/arrl-audio-news (a wee

Amateur Radio Bicycle Mobile Setup. Post #1554.

If you can't see the video, please insert this title URL into your browser search box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zWb-KnkGdY. Here's a way to use Amatuer/Ham Radio while you work on shedding a few pounds in useful exercise.  Why not equip your bicycle for 2 meter/70 cm mobile operation? In this short, well-made video, "taverned" shows us how he used a mag mount antenna, a simple C clamp, and a basic ground system to convert his mountain bike into a mobile station.  The project is straight forward, simple, and gives you emergency communications while you peddle down the road. For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please visit these websites: http://www.HawaiiARRL.info. http://www.arrl.org. http://www.arrl.org/arrl-audio-news (a weekly podcast which is updated each Friday afternoon). https://hamradiohawaii.wordpress.com. https://bigislandarrlnews.com. https://amateurradionewsinformation.com (Amateur Radio News & Information).

An 80-Meter Vertical Helix

Like many amateur radio operators, I live on a small lot surrounded by neighbors, utility lines, and civic-minded citizens concerned about the "attractiveness" of my community.  Whether by design or outright fear, I've adopted the "stealth" approach to ham radio antennas.  It's the old "out of sight, out of mind" idea applied to amateur radio antennas. The amateur radio press is full of articles describing the struggle of amateur radio operators to pursue their hobby under the burdensome regulations of CC & Rs, HOAs, and other civic minded citizens who object to antenna farms.  So far, my modest verticals, loops, and inverted vees have blended well with the vegetation and trees bordering my small backyard.  Vertical antennas have always been a problem because of the limited space for a radial system.  There are times, however, where a shortened vertical for the lower HF bands (such as 80/75 meters) is necessary where horizontal space is lack