ARRL Suggests FCC May Need to Intervene to Ensure Effective Antenna Rights

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K0IDT, Feb 8, 2018.

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  1. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The problem is clear as day.

    Ham operators can't install antenna's in antenna restricted HOA's

    How big or small the problem is makes no difference whatsoever.

    I suppose we could just say these antenna bans at HOA's negatively impacts the amateur radio service in the United States.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
    AK5B and N2EY like this.
  2. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Unfounded fears and opinions are equally irrelevant in terms of forming a basis for not permitting any reasonable antenna's in HOA's.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
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  3. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just spent the afternoon tinkering with this antenna -- a 1.9' diameter STL, standing in my living room. Just for fun, I took it for a spin in the WPX contest on 20m. Yes, on 20m. It made contacts coast-to-coast, plus Canada and Hawaii. At that point, I went back to my tinkering, because it was obvious that it was perfectly capable of getting anybody on the air from a confined space, and it didn't need to prove itself to me any further.


    That antenna is a little on the small side for 20m, and its efficiency isn't the best. The ARRL equations place it the neighborhood of 20% to 30%, depending on what assumptions you make in the calculations. Adding the air-variable cap that has all those mechanical joints probably places it towards the low end. But even at 20%, a 100W radio can get you a 20W signal. You would be amazed how many full-size outdoor vertical antennas struggle to get 20% efficiency.

    By increasing the size to 5', and switching to a vacuum-variable cap, and placing the loop at roughly the height of the floor of one's attic in a one-story house, an STL can easily approach the 95% efficiency range on 20m. I built one of those too, and it is a great performer, even with a 100W radio.


    In fact, that one worked so well that I built two of them. The one above is the prototype that I keep around "for parts." ;) I have a third loop that is the same size (5') that has capacitors sized for 40m, and it has worked DX all over Europe on CW and digimodes. And its height wasn't any taller than the picture above... just a few feet above ground.

    I have a 3' version that has worked digimode stations all over the US from my living room with 30W, on 20m and 15m.


    An outdoor antenna ban is not a barrier to effective HF communications. I know, because I have done the work to prove it. There is no "CC&R antenna problem." There is only a willingness (or is it stubbornness) problem among a few. If anybody doubts that, feel free to recreate the antennas I have built, and prove me wrong. If you put in the effort to construct them carefully, you will be amazed at the results you get.

    You can work the world (literally) using a small loop antenna in your living room, kitchen, attic, wherever. You just have to be willing to try, and willing to learn how to do it.
    K1OIK, WZ7U and AK5B like this.
  4. W4IOA

    W4IOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I fixed it for you. Plenty of hams have antennas in HOA's. Perhaps no towers but they do have antennas. I have 10m-40m capabilities and dx contacts to Europe and Africa in the short time here. I can join in on 2m nets if I wanted to.
    The HOA is wanted by a far larger group than hams, we don't need outsiders to tell us what to do.
    AK5B and KK5JY like this.
  5. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page

    There’s one more thing you didn’t mention Jim. (Sorry, I snipped out the bulk of your comments purely for brevity)

    There was a change in the laws regarding realtors in Pa, and possibly elsewhere, around 15 years ago or so, inspired in large part because of some of the situations you mentioned.

    Prior to the change, the realtor represented the seller. Not the buyer. Even if the buyer had signed an agreement with them. (The Boss and I got burned a little bit on this when we bought our first house, 20+ years ago, but it only cost us a little money)

    Now (and again, this may not apply in every state, but I KNOW it applies in Pa) the realtor can represent the buyer and act in his/her/their best interests.

    This make a HUGE difference. I won’t bore everyone with paragraphs as to why, but think it through.

    How do I know this? I learned it from the realtor we used when we bought this house almost 12 years ago. Nelson was very thorough (I think he spent over 2 hours going over all the paperwork we signed when we agreed to have us represent us) and explained in detail why this was a good thing.

    And it helped that I didn’t have to explain to him why I wanted no antenna restrictions. He understood. After all, he was, and still is, N3PN.

    (Sorry to tell you, he’s back in the IT field and not presently being a realtor. Pity, he was very good)
    WZ7U, AK5B and N2EY like this.
  6. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    What's mystifying is these people (who don't live in HOAs) seem to think telling us what we need isn't sticking their noses into others' business. And they don't see the irony.

    One recent and frequent participant just described how he thinks it's his role to tell us what is reasonable. Or necessary. But can't describe why...
    AK5B and W4IOA like this.
  7. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sorry, but you're wrong.

    Your antenna designs are great and should be written up for publication. But you're missing some important points.

    1) The stations you worked - what were they running? How many of them were using small indoor loops?

    2) Indoor antennas work well if you live in a building with wood-frame or similar construction. But many homes are built with other materials which act as an effective shield. How well do your indoor loops work in a house with a stucco exterior, when the stucco was applied over metal lath? How about in homes with metal stud or reinforced concrete construction? How about homes with aluminum siding?

    Remember, your claim was that "You can work the world (literally) using a small loop antenna in your living room, kitchen, attic, wherever. ". You didn't qualify it with "if your house is built a certain way".

    3) How much power were you running? How far from the loop does someone have to be to be under the required RF exposure level?

    4) You're in Oklahoma. Canada and the coasts are basically in your back yard on 20 meters. Hawaii is a bit further.
    W2AI and KC8VWM like this.
  8. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Taking rationalization to a new level?
    N7BDY, K1OIK, KK5JY and 1 other person like this.
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Everybody, whether they're a ham or not, needs to have a big tower and a bunch of beams.

    Example is those living in TV fringe reception areas not served by cable, and with a very blocked view to the south so they can't get DBS satellite service to work, either.:)

    Everybody needs a big tower!
    W2AI likes this.
  10. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page


    You’re right. It can be done.

    That does not mean that everyone should be forced to do it that way.

    What would you say if, for example, a Zoning Board or HOA Board informed you that you could ONLY use one HF antenna, one of their choosing, like a 14AVQ? It doesn’t work on some HF bands, you say? Too bad, it works, so that’s good enough.

    Before you say that’s hypothetical and unlikely... it happened circa 1981, pre-PRB-1, to a ham I know. It’s a long story, but there was an inactive ham on the zoning board who believed that a vertical like that was all anyone needed, and personally prevented my friend from getting a permit to put up a tower and beam... or anything other than his favorite vertical.

    It was a sobering lesson in how local politics can work, and how they can stay in the letter of the law while violating the spirit of it (which is why getting the letter of the law right in the first place so important).
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