Apartment Living and Antenna's

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by N8GBU, Jun 12, 2021.

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  1. N8GBU

    N8GBU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I live in a Senior's / Disabilities apartment complex where no outside antennas are permitted. Nothing can be attached to the building and no attics. The plumbing is all PVC and I'm trying to figure out a way of getting on HF. Any help or idea's would be appreciated. I was hoping maybe to be able to get on 20 and 40 meters some how.

  2. WA7ARK

    WA7ARK Ham Member QRZ Page

    N4FZ and WB5THT like this.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    An STL (small transmitting loop) can often work, especially if you can sit it in a window, next to a window, or on a porch, balcony or patio.

    There are several commercial products that cover 40m and 20m and are only about 3' in diameter, some can handle 100W okay and there's even one model that handles a kilowatt although it's very expensive.
    AK5B, N8YQM, WA8FOZ and 3 others like this.
  4. SWL37632

    SWL37632 QRZ Member

    Both ARK and WIK have provided very good options.

    As far as a STL, a tuned STL can be built that can handle 100 watts fairly easily using 3/8 inch OD copper tubing from Home Depot and an air variable capacitor.

    A few years ago I tested my 6 foot diameter tuned STL from So. Cal (DM03) at ground level outside the house and got some decent 20m RBN returns into Canada and the US east coast.

    Granted your limitations, as WIK has suggested, placing the STL near a window/porch etc. will certainly help.

    There are many hams around the world that have the same limitations and they are still able to use these STL's to QSO.
    AK5B and KK4NSF like this.
  5. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Light weight gage wire 20-22AWG thumbtacked to the ceiling around the walls.
    Make it for 40m in dipole or even a loop.
    Feed it with TV Twinlead or window line a balun or a balanced antenna tuner...
  6. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use a 5' square tuned loop with excellent results on 40 &20m..... and a 3ft loop that is good on 40m, and excellent on 20m. Small loops can be far better than some folks will lead you to believe. Mine are hand-built, using air variable caps with 100w. Such an antenna is not very expensive to build, and quite popular in heavily urban areas.

    For higher powers, a vacuum variable is the best way to go, but that does add to the cost.
    AK5B, KC7JNJ and K8XG like this.
  7. W9KEY

    W9KEY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    While certainly not "real" HF - you might see if there is a 2m or 70 cm Yaesu System Fusion repeater with Wires-X capability nearby. There are thousands of Wires-X connected repeaters / networks around the world that can be accessed via a properly configured Yaesu HT that would allow you to make enjoyable DX QSO's.

    If you don't have a local repeater, I believe the same type of capability is available with an HT and internet connected "hotspot". I don't have a hotspot, but plenty of VHF/UHF hams have them and you should be able to find someone familiar with them hanging around on a Fusion repeater. Obviously, the internet is involved, but at least part of the link is actual RF.
  8. K8XG

    K8XG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    In an exercise, I was in a hotel room in Indiana and worked stations on JS8 in OK , TX, and Kansas on an FT-817 at 5 watts using the Alpha 100 watt loop with the extra option loop added to it for 80 that made 40 work better...
    AK5B, KK4NSF and W7UUU like this.
  9. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have used plastic map tacks as little standoffs. I have seen a few videos as of late on the MFJ-9232 loop tuner. It says it handles 25watts. (though I have not tried one yet).

    Dont give up! You can get on the air and still have fun. You just have to be creative....
    KK4NSF likes this.
  10. N8TGQ

    N8TGQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I also live in an apartment with no antennas allowed.
    I tried loops and wires on the ceiling and multi-band whips clamped on the window sill. If I wasnt setting off fire alarms and messing up neighbors digital tvs, I couldnt hear anything because of the electrical noise conming from my neighbors.

    I finally gave up and went QRP portable. I found a quiet picnic table at the ballfields about 2 blocks away. A perfect dead branch in the tree nearby and power pole used for the field lights supply my antenna needs. The place is very quiet electrically. Even my little Pixie kit radio has no buzzes or squeals!
    The only bad thing is not much operating in the winter but Im burned out on radio by then and have lots of other hobbies.
    Look around and see what may be available.
    Mobile operation may be an option also.

    Have fun!
    KA6IBM, AK5B, K8XG and 2 others like this.

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