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How I Deal With Stucco...

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by WJ6F, Mar 26, 2017.

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  1. WJ6F

    WJ6F Ham Member QRZ Page

    Two of the of the biggest issues I face in trying to make contacts are HOA's and that I am surrounded by one of the most un-amateur radio friendly building materials on the planet. That material is stucco. Stucco is probably the most popular building material here in Southern California. For those not too familiar with stucco here is a quick explanation of it and what makes it so bad. Stucco is a plaster that is used for coating exterior walls. What makes it so bad is that under the plaster the entire structure is wrapped in "chicken" wire.




    A close up of stucco!
    Stucco 1.jpg
     
    AF6LJ and WA5JAV like this.
  2. KD5PUR

    KD5PUR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am also dealing with a Stucco house with an added bonus, a corrugated steel roof. All I have room to get up is a G5RV fed with 450 ohm line to a 4:1 balun and coax to the FT950. Matching device is the MFJ-986 and as soon as I locate the box with the AT-600 and unpack it I will swap it for the MFJ. QTH is La Grange Tx.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2017
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  3. KD6VXI

    KD6VXI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I run ladder and open wire line.

    I live in southern California.

    I have a stucco home and garage.

    I've no idea what your talking about.

    Two pieces of all thread and a BIC pen taken apart as an insulator, couple washers nuts and a wing nut, I have insulated and bushed feed through.

    Even on rentals. A couple dabs of mud or tooth paste and the interior is taken care of. As I brought the OWL into the top of the wall, outside a bit of RTV in the holes and color match from home Depot.

    I'm failing to see a problem here.

    --Shane
    KD6VXI
     
  4. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I was first licensed in Manhattan Beach, CA, where all the houses within a mile of the beach were stucco. Fortunately we owner our house, so I had no problems putting an array of dipoles on the roof. Worked the world with that. Where there's a will, there's a way. :)
     
  5. NU4R

    NU4R Ham Member QRZ Page

    I imagine this post simply HAS to be a "California Thing." We-uns in Florida don't seem to have a problem with stucco.

    As for HOA's and the obstacles they present to amateur radio operators, we circumvent that flaming crappola...BY NOT MOVING INTO A DEED RESTRICTED COMMUNITY IN THE FIRST PLACE,THEREBY, NOT SPENDING THE NEXT TWO DECADES 6ITCHIN', MOANING AND WHINING AND CRYING ABOUT THE CC&R's THAT YOU AGREED TO WHEN YOU BOUGHT INTO YOUR CHOSEN CONCENTRATION CAMP!

    Sorry. Outside voice. My apologies. I'm just staying in practice for when the next round of some "parity act" comes around. And, so is my Senator, Bill Nelson.
     
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  6. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    CC&R issues aside, I didn't realize that stucco construction used a wire mesh. Interesting.
     
    K3RW likes this.
  7. NC5P

    NC5P Ham Member QRZ Page

    Most homes in New Mexico and Arizona also are built with stucco. To add to that, in Arizona they almost always tint the windows as well with a metallic film. That makes an almost RF tight house. You have to go outside just to talk on a repeater 5 miles away. The metal roofs are getting very popular in New Mexico though a lot of homes have flat roofs. IF you don't have metal roof then putting it in the attic may work. I think the tiles absorb a lot of RF, depending on their composition and the frequency.
     
  8. AA8TA

    AA8TA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm not sure that foil-backed insulation is much better.
     
  9. K8KJG

    K8KJG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Stucco isn't the same everywhere. Thus, there are many ways to apply a stucco exterior. For those who might have a stucco exterior, or even an old plaster/lath interior, you may or not have any issues.

    Southern California and Florida face totally different building requirements. Buildings in Florida are built to standards that must include hurricanes. I'm guessing that buildings in California are built to standards based on earthquakes. There are a lot of different building codes in between, especially, if you a make an arc up through the Great Lakes regions.

    For a number of years, many places in the non-extremes, and even some of the extremes, use something called EIFS (exterior insulation and finish system). It is an acrylic-polymer coat sprayed or applied onto a base of fiberglass mesh and foam board insulation. In some parts of the country (Northern Texas/Oklahoma, etc.) where it is neither earthquakes nor hurricanes, stucco is often times applied to old brick structures to give them a new and refreshed look.

    A metal roof can also make a good ground plane/counterpoise. Think nearly invisible wire for an Inverted-L from one edge of those metal roofs.

    So, caveat emptor.

    Ken
    K8KJG
     
    KK6JKC, KI4FSZ, W7GST and 1 other person like this.
  10. N0TZU

    N0TZU Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Very popular in CO also. My house has real, heavy thick stucco with wire, no styrofoam. Windows are low-e so there is a metal coating. Outdoors is definitely much better for RF. Composition roof, fortunately. Metal roofs can really mess with cell phone reception.
     

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