Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by K3RW, Mar 21, 2016.
Sorry, I meant that to be funny.
Around here all the new ones are and many of the older ones are. Had we not had 20' arborvitas I'm sure I would have drawn ire in our old one with CC&Rs from 1978... especially running an amp during RTTY contests. My workaround was low power during the day and a bit more aggressive at night--no one ever complained but I was pretty good at hiding it.
I'm not the OP, but I can offer my $0.02:
The XYL and I are making plans to move later this year to either metro Atlanta or southeastern Alabama. One of the deciding factors about where and when we move will be the availability of ham-friendly (or at least ham-tolerant) property.
When we had been focused on one particular portion of the Atlanta metro area (reflecting where most folks in my profession in the southeast are employed), I was running into a problem of almost all acceptable properties ("acceptable" being driven by price and some mobility issues my wife has) being subject to HOAs. Out of 90-or-so such properties on the market within a one-hour commute of a particular location, I was only finding 0, 1, or maybe 2 unencumbered properties.
Last week, I had my longer-term status as a telecommuter confirmed and the XYL and I decided to expand the search radius and shift our target move date from "some day" to "before next winter, if we can". While the broadened search area means I'm no longer sweating the "ham in an HOA" conundrum....when we're ready to pull the trigger, we aren't going to be cursed with having too many options to choose from.
As of yesterday, in one county in southeast Alabama, there were roughly 200 properties on the market that potentially met our non-ham criteria. Only two of them are outside HOAs and are (as my wife puts it) "not run-down", based on the pictures.
(In the interest of accuracy...a local realtor in that county has the CCRs for most of the HOAs in that area posted on the web. Maybe a third of the HOA-governed properties have CCRs that don't prohibit antennas, but instead only require the blessing of an architectural committee. Some questioning might reveal that stealth antennas would be officially tolerated in some of those communities.)
For the email alerts I'm getting from a real estate search engine, I ended adding a constraint of "built before 2000". It seems to be a reasonably good proxy for avoiding HOAs in our target area, given our other criteria.
Good luck in your search.
Your experience mirrors what I hear from hams here on the Front Range of CO who have looked for a house.
Thanks--that's the same pain we are in... affordability and acceptability. Anything 'new' or 'newer' here has CC&Rs, and they are almost boilerplate copy/paste from everyone. Only a few things seem different between any of them. The city here started Neighborhood Associations a few years ago, for the communities that didn't have HOAs, and voila!--they added in their own CC&Rs--almost straight copy from everyone else.
I'm no lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once... but for those that have HOAs but don't specifically have antenna rules--the board probably can pull some generic rule out of their backside to "keep the general appearance of the community blah blah blah" and try to force a takedown. So as with any of us in this boat, I do need to tread lightly, and asking for forgiveness definitely isn't the right approach. And to some degree, asking too many questions too early almost queues them to say no. Tricky. Some HOAs do give some the architecture committe/exception/etc., options to people, but I'll have to wait until it is turned over to ask around for support.
I'm not declaring defeat but will see where this can go. One problem is the development isn't fully built yet, so I believe the HOA is still builder-controlled until it is finished (total assumption on my part). But should be done in a year, and we're 7-8 months out from moving in, if we do. By then, who knows--the neighbors might support it, if it isn't too intrusive. A backyard vertical that barely clears the roofline is probably easier for them to stomach than a 6EL beam on the house.
I wish I had opted for a shorter vertical. May have to try the screwdriver with radials. There's only a gas fireplace in the middle of the house, so no opportunity to try to stuff it next to a chimney. I won't try to push the vertical too hard--but I would like to have a dipole up higher than the top of a fenceline
Otherwise, anyone want a brand new 6BTV with optional tiltover base, both unopened and new in box?
When you run the MFJ STL--do you need the loop tuner 'right there' or can you put that in the shack? Pictures I've seen of it have people almost right next to both of them outside. I wasn't sure if you were talking about that one particular loop, but there is the mag loop that apparently needs the loop tuner, and I wasn't sure if it had to be closely mounted to it or I could have the tuner in the shack with the feedline running say 30' to the loop outside.
I first used sky-blue paint to disguise my 40-foot fiberglass mast and then adopted the grey for the MFJ loop at the suggestion of another ham. The black fiberglass mast and the black plastic loop housing stuck out like sore thumbs against the skyline and the paint job has greatly reduced their visual impact. I did consider deploying a 3-foot diameter grey bin lid to make the MFJ loop more dish-like, but became concerned about the wind resistance.
The MFJ loop works surprisingly well, but I have observed the deep null for broadside signals on the higher bands (ten through 20 meters) for DX signals. This probably mandates a rotator. For the lower bands and shorter distances where NVIS propagation is more important, the null is not significant.
Working with the MFJ loop has me now planning a larger one for 20-40 meters. I plan to deploy that about one diameter above ground and bury it in one of my low bushes - probably painted green! The MFJ loop is destined for the roof. I'll definitely post some photos when the project is complete.
I am using the MFJ 1786 10- 30 MHz Hi-Q loop with remote tuner. This feeds a capacitor tuning signal down the coax and enables remote operation.
I have done tests with other loops on my patio that need manual tuning (I have an alpha loop for portable operation). It's not as convenient as the remote tuner if you're changing frequencies a lot, but a viable solution if you stay put, for example on a digital mode frequency. I PSK quite a bit on 28.120 and 21.070 and find the manual loops stay on frequency quite nicely.
Obviously, you overestimated the perceptiveness of at least one of your readers...me.
I think you are confusing the MFJ-1786 with the MFJ-935B Loop Tuner or vice-versa---they are two separate types of systems. The 1786 like Mike uses is a self-contained loop with remote tuning via a control box in the shack.
The 935B (or close variants with similar model numbers) are tuning units made especially for either various size small wire loops mounted on top of this box with a small PVC frame OR your own loop made out of whatever thick wire or soft copper tubing (much better) that you provide and attach to the two loop terminals on the box.
The 935B and two or three different length loops of 3/8 or 1/2" soft copper HVAC tubing would be all you would need to get on the air quickly and easily set up on a patio table just outside your shack. It wouldn't be weatherproof so you'd need to take it back inside when done operating but it could be disguised or the loop painted to blend in with your surroundings if that was of concern. They're not very expensive (maybe $200 or thereabouts) and all you need to "plug and play" is some coax and the aforementioned copper.
Yes, you could use it indoors but STLs tend to couple to anything metallic nearby and one will always work better outdoors---but there is no big need for height as with horizontal wires.
If you're not really sure about going to all the expense and trouble of building a STL then an MFJ "Loop Tuner" is probably a great way for you to try one out very quickly. I believe they handle up to 150 watts, too.
If it's not your cup of tea it would be very easy to resell on QRZ Swap Meet or eBay.