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05-06-2007, 07:49 PM
I am a newly minted ham (passed my Tech and General May 5) getting ready to set up my station. An ICOM 718 is most likely within my budget range. My main emphasis will be international DXing. My biggest dilemma is antenna selection. I am limited by a superficial grasp of antenna theory and no practical installation experience. My residence is a one story with a moderate pitched roof and a small backyard with large trees. I would like an effective, multi-band DX antenna. Here are my specific problems:

1) Strict neighborhood covenant restrictions preclude a roof mount.

2) Power lines prevent a ground mount vertical longer than 15 feet.

3) The only location for a ground mount vertical is three feet away from a DISH Satellite TV satellite dish (will the hf antenna cause TV interference?).

Are there any commercially available HF multi-band antennas that are not very large or complicated and effective for DX? Is anyone familiar with the Sandpiper MV-10? Please offer suggestions of particular antennas with their respective limitations and benefits.

I guess Im looking for a compact, simple multi-band antenna that works goods for DX. Are my expectations reasonable?
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K4KWH
05-06-2007, 08:01 PM
Homebrew--simple 75 meter dipole fed with tuner and ladder line.
Commercial--G5RV (not *my* favorite) and lots of others listed on the 'web. #And try www.k1jek.com for a commercial antenna that I use and are quite pleased with. I'm sure others will give you additional ideas.

73

N4AUD
05-06-2007, 08:01 PM
If you don't own any antenna books, that would be a good place to start.

Here's a good (maybe the best) website on antennas...
http://www.cebik.com/

Not to sound like a smart-aleck, but a LOT of hams are looking for a compact, simple multi-band antenna that works good for DX! Considering the fact that you have to be stealthy, you are going to be limited in which antenna you can deploy. I'd suggest studying up on antenna theory, then you can make an educated decision. Take a look at that website, and google "stealth antennas" and you'll get some ideas.

K4KWH
05-06-2007, 08:02 PM
Quote[/b] (n4aud @ May 06 2007,13:01)]If you don't own any antenna books, that would be a good place to start.

Here's a good (maybe the best) website on antennas...
http://www.cebik.com/

Not to sound like a smart-aleck, but a LOT of hams are looking for a compact, simple multi-band antenna that works good for DX! #Considering the fact that you have to be stealthy, you are going to be limited in which antenna you can deploy. #I'd suggest studying up on antenna theory, then you can make an educated decision. Take a look at that website, and google "stealth antennas" and you'll get some ideas.
...............and what He said! http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

WJ5O
05-06-2007, 09:45 PM
Congrats on Your new ticket..... I hope that You find many hours of enjoyment in pursuit of this sometimes challenging hobby.
I live in a restricted neighborhood also..... How do I work DX? I use a 4 band trap vertical painted to match the trees in the backyard. ...... a vertical has a lower angle "take off" which permits a greater distance between skip zones...... As previously suggested .. take a good read on what LB Cebik has to say on His antenna page. ANTENNAS ANTENNAS ANTENNAS (http://www.cebik.com/)
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K0CMH
05-07-2007, 01:07 PM
Welcome to the hobby, and I am sure you will have many great hours at your radios.

Quarter wave vertical antennas are about the best choice when a person cannot put up a tower, or construct large center fed dipole antennas. #A quarter wave vertical mounted on the ground has a good low take-off angle that is best for long range (DX) contacts.

Many hams solve the "HMO restriction" problem with a flag pole antenna. #If you do a google search for "flag pole antenna" you will find an number of sites for both "how-to-make-one" and commercially made ones. #However, there are some HMOs that don't even allow flag poles. #

Another option is a center-fed dipole in your attic. #However, it will not be very far off the ground and may not work well for DX contacts, plus attic antennas can cause RF to creap into things like TVs, audio systems, computers, etc.

Good luck and hope this site helps you find a solution for you.

W3DUB
05-07-2007, 02:24 PM
If you have a tree, or a couple.. I'd consider the 5-BTV. Gives you 80/75,40,20,15, and 10. From DX Engineering its only $150.

If those trees are 20-25'.. and you place it right, nobody will even see it. I have mine in a corner of the yard, and the only way you see it is from the street and you're not paying attention to the road ;)

KC7YPJ
05-07-2007, 04:12 PM
many overlook another good source of basic antenna knowledge and design idea's, hamuniverse.com

W9GB
05-07-2007, 04:19 PM
Quote[/b] ]Is anyone familiar with the Sandpiper MV-10? Please offer suggestions of particular antennas with their respective limitations and benefits.
The Sandpiper MV-10 is made in UK
http://www.sandpiperaerials.co.uk/
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/1439

Unless you already have one, with the US Dollar to British Pound -- at a 2:1 exchange rate -- I would save my dollars and purchase from an American manufacturer (parts should also be easier to obtain)!

Verticals, look at Hustler, Bencher/Butternut, Cushcraft.
A 1/4 wave requires a radial field - while the 1/2 wave -- can be used without a radial field, but likley have counterpoises.

Photos of a ground mounted Hustler 5-BTV
http://www.ad5th.com/5-BTV.html

KA4DPO
05-07-2007, 05:14 PM
I understand HOA covenants, I had to put my antenna in the attic.

Aside from an attic antenna you might try running a loop just under the eaves of the roof using a small guage wire like #28 and some small insulators. Keep it 3 or four inches away from the facing and the house. Feed it at any convenient point (doesn't matter where) with 300 ohm ladder line and run it in through the window of your shack to a tuner with a balanced line input. This should load up on 75 through 10 meters without any trouble.

The loop is preferable to going inside the attic but if you must go inside a loop or dipole will work as long as you keep it a few inches away from things in the attic. Be sure to use insulators, nylon tie wraps work well indoors.

WB2WIK
05-07-2007, 05:25 PM
I didn't see anyone else comment on the "no verticals higher than 15 feet" stipulation, due to power lines.

Something doesn't make sense, there. There aren't any high tension lines at 15 feet, they have to be up at least fifty feet; so, you must be referring to your residential overhead power drop, which can be at any height.

There's no reason that a power drop should restrict your antenna choices. In most places, it isn't even any kind of Building & Safety (zoning) requirement that structures, antennas or anything else be placed any minimum distance away from these drops, simply because they present no hazard.

I'd avoid putting up a vertical that will hit the power drop line while tilting it up or tilting it down -- and that's mostly because these drops have a strong messenger cable that is usually large gauge stranded steel wire and much stronger than any kind of amateur antenna -- if you hit the line with your antenna, your antenna is likely to buckle and break, and then you'll be without the antenna. But "safety," other than snagging the line and having it pull you off your feet, isn't a real issue.

If you can actually install a vertical in your yard and are only worried about the power drop, place the vertical somewhere it won't hit the drop as you're installing it. Usually, that's anywhere in the yard except directly under the drop!

WB2WIK/6

KI6ADA
05-07-2007, 08:54 PM
Well, the vote seems to be vertical. I agree with others regarding drop line. If your yard is wider than 25 feet, put vertical in opposite corner.

I am running a compromised antenna on the side of my townhouse. I can put a vertical on my patio (I already have a small Diamond vhf/uhf at 25 feet). I was thinking about an HF vertical except I do not have a large enough patio to run efficient ground radials.

I am limiting myself with 20 meter dipole. I have worked 22 states, Asia, Europe and Russia from my small foot print. I am running 100 watts. I have been transmitting on HF since March 30, 2007.

Like I said earlier " I am compromising my antenna situation, however I am still getting my call sign on the air and exchanging QSL's around the world".

Get the ARRL antenna handbook or Google stealth antenna. My antenna's cannot be viewed from street and do not cause RFI.

Have fun and welcome to "Ham Radio".

73, Steve http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

KE5FRY
05-07-2007, 09:10 PM
Got any trees? You can really hide an inverted "V" in a tree. Fed with ladder line it can be an effective multiband HF antenna. I'm using one now.

05-07-2007, 10:56 PM
Thanks for all the help! #I am leaning to the Cushcraft MA5V 14 ft verticle because of its size. #I will probably have to ground mount it 3 feet off ground, adjacent to a wooden fence, 3-4 feet from #my 1 story brick house. #under those circumstances, what would be reasonable DX expectations 20 meter voice?

If anyone has used this antenna I am curious about assembly and tuning. #How long are the radials? #How was performance?

I am brand new to amatuer radio. #Notwithstanding using a UHF in a police car, the last time I used a radio was humping a PRC-25 in the Marine Corps almost 30 years ago. #The new stuff is pretty overwhelming.

K4MSM
05-07-2007, 11:45 PM
MA5V Reviews (http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/1901)

KB7XU
05-09-2007, 11:06 PM
One of the antennas I own is a Force 12 Sigma 5GT. #It's a heavier-duty version of the Sigma 5 and I am quite happy with it. #These are half-wave vertical dipoles. #They are low profile (9' tall, 18" Base Post, NO Radials) and they work well. #There are reviews in QST magazine and on eHam as well.
Here's the URL for the Sigma 5:
http://force12inc.com/sigma5info-003.htm

The Sigma 5GT can be seen at http://force12inc.com/sigmasv5gt5info-002.htm

Good luck!

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