Backyard Antenna, need some tough love

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by KD9WTF, Oct 13, 2018.

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  1. KD9WTF

    KD9WTF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello all,

    I am looking for some antenna advice, thoughts, tough love etc. I like many am in a HOA, but my neighbors don't mind my occasional use of my spiderbeam 12HD (40ft) mast. In addition to HOA, I have an antenna adverse wife.

    For frame of reference, in the image below the slash in the top left with the green (ah-4 auto tuner) and orange circle (spiderbeam collapsable mast) is a single section of fence that I put up to screen the utilities that sit in the back of the yard. The mast is currently secured to one of the section 4x4s and disappears when I put it down.

    Here are my goals:
    • Ability to use AH-4 to work all bands except 160 (ah-4 wont do 160)
    • I am a general, I would like to do DX SSB with europe etc and feel like a real ham boy
    • If possible I would like a solution that doesn't involve moving the AH-4 or mast, but I'm open to ideas, after breaking my back burying the coax from the shack, I would cry but am open to moving it
    • I would prefer not to move the mast to the middle of the yard. Wife rage would not allow for a permanent install but i'll consider options of last resort.
    Worse case scenario I suppose I could connect a GR5V to a tree that is at the front left side of my house, and use the mast to get the other end at a perfect straight height. This would likely move the AH-4 to the side of the house and require me to pull up the coax and control lines. Tears would be shed, but if its the best option..

    Thanks in advance. I included an empty template below if anyone is feeling artistic. Cheers and 73!

    Antenna 1 - Bastardized DiPole, Inverted L
    So this was the first antenna I built. It is a 450 Ohm ladderline fed dipole. The legs are a maximum 67'5" long, right now I have them at 55'. The mast high with this is around 33' usable before it gets too bendy. Since I can't go to the left into my neighbors hard I follow my fence line. I know this isn't optimal. I've made some QSO on SSB stateside but it hasn't been great. FT8 fares much better, with frequent contacts in europe, africa. I can sometimes get cuba, but futher south is pretty impossible.

    For reference, I am located in Chicago area, top of image is due north, left is west, right is east etc.

    Antenna Mode 2 - Half Ass Vertical Radial Field
    In this mode I am just using a 40' wire up the mast and put down a half ass attempt at a ground radial field with whatever random wire I had laying around. With FT8 that got my my furthest contact in New Zealand going East (Right side of image). I am located in Chicago.

    Base - No Antenna
    AK5B likes this.
  2. AA5CT

    AA5CT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Check my QRZ page - I've got something I use on 630 and 160 thru 40 meters ... and it fits solely, entirely within a 15 ft by 60 ft footprint ...
    KD9WTF and KD6RF like this.
  3. KD6RF

    KD6RF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Jim has done some very interesting work on what I guess you could call "mid-sized" wire loops. Bigger than STL's, but smaller than full-wave behemoths. Years worth of WPA's WSPR data comparisons shows the value of often ignored mid-sized tuned wire loops as effective DX antennas.
    AK5B likes this.
  4. KD6RF

    KD6RF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Another approach I like and use is the 23 ft tall x 22 ft wide Inverted-L for 80 M through 6 M. It gives good low-angle DX performance on the low bands, and nearly the performance of horizontal dipoles at the same height on the high bands. It does of course require a decent radial field for efficiency on the low bands, as well as a tuner.

    If interested, you can see the nice radiation patterns for each band here "
    End/Base-Fed Inverted-L, 45 ft version, Elevation and Azimuth Radiation Plots


    Either one of these schemes (Loop, or my fav Inverted-L) looks like it would fit reasonably well in your footprint. Both are capable of low angle radiation (better than typical low-mounted horizontal antennas) which is good for general DX performance due to a good vertically polarized component on the low bands..
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
    KD9WTF likes this.
  5. KB3FEI

    KB3FEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tough love: move to a non-HOA home; get a new wife, or better, no wife at all. Other than that, you will get good advice here. Cheers
    de kb3fei, dale
    KD0CAC and AK5B like this.
  6. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    Might be easier to bury another run of coax---or bury the wife?:eek:

    I do like your Half Assed Vertical with radial field, FWIW---it's almost as good as a full radial field, believe it or not.

    GL & 73

  7. KD9WTF

    KD9WTF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you! Checking it out now!
  8. KD9WTF

    KD9WTF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow I really appreciate this reply, I have to admit when it comes to modeling my skills are very wanting. With the inverted L, given where my current mast is, would it be better to have the long portion of the L to diagonal towards the back of the house (right bottom side of the image) to give it more coverage by a radial field that I would need to put out (as opposed to having it go along the back fence due east (top right side)?

    Given the space I have to work with, I think if I bought a second spiderbeam I could have a longer leg than 23', what would be the preferred vertical hight? I can get probably 33' up the spiderbeam before bending.. Thanks again.
  9. KD9WTF

    KD9WTF Ham Member QRZ Page

    :) Yeah I know, but back 13+ years ago ham radio wasnt even a sparkle in my eye.. and the old lady has put up with a lot of my hairbrained ideas over the years..
    AK5B and WA4SIX like this.
  10. KD6RF

    KD6RF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I can only guess Stephen that it would be more efficient with the horizontal portion of the Inverted-L over the radial field - and EZNec seems to indicate this.

    However, I do not have the super-duper NEC version of EZNec, so modeling of absolute dB level numbers involving ground are best left to those who use upgraded NEC code to answer.

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