Paint a VHF/UHF Vertical?

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by N7BKV, Jan 2, 2019.

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  1. N7BKV

    N7BKV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I ordered a Comet GP-3. It is nearly 6 feet long and will go on top of a 25 foot mast above the roof line of the house. I am not in an antenna restricted area, but would also like to not draw attention to my radio hobby.

    Up the slope behind the house are some tall oak trees. If I give the antenna and mast a sort of cammo paint scheme it should all blend it well with the background.

    Does putting paint on a VHF/UHF antenna create any performance issues?

    Never tried this before.

    Thanks for your help.

    Brian N
  2. K7TRF

    K7TRF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    No problem painting an antenna. I'd go with a flat gray paint like they use on the DirectTV satellite antennas, it blends with a variety of sky conditions from blue sky to overcast.
    KC8VWM, AK5B and N7BKV like this.
  3. AI3V

    AI3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    That antenna is encased in a fiberglass radome.

    You can paint it,


    You have to be sure the paint you choose in transparent to rf.

    The us Navy forbids painting radomes.

    You can test the paint you think might work by painting a styrofoam cup and placing the cup in a microwave oven and turning on the rf.

    If the paint is unaffected you are good to go

    If the paint catches fire, call 911 :)

    KX4O, K3KIC, KK4NSF and 3 others like this.
  4. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Done it many times using various camo paints to blend into the background
    AK5B and N7BKV like this.
  5. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    You would be surprised at how much the neighbors do not see. At my last QTH I had a 50 crank-up tower with a tri-band beam on top. This was effectively about 30-40 feet from my front door. Viewing from the south west, the tower/antenna was blocked by some Palo Verde trees. But from the the north ease it was completely in view. But no one ever noticed it was there, until I pointed it out to them.
    AK5B likes this.
  6. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    Me, too. Rustoleum Camo Paint is one of a ham's best friends. If the antenna is "backed" by foliage then the green shades will work best---otherwise the Dish Network grey is the standard "sky" or "in plain sight" go-to.

    No worries unless you try something crazy like a metallic color, of course.
    KX4O, N8ZL, N7WR and 1 other person like this.
  7. K2CAJ

    K2CAJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You may want to consider placing it in the microwave next to a mug of water, to ensure that there is a load for the microwaves.
    KX4O, WR2E and W6KCS like this.
  8. AI3V

    AI3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    Plus, if it catches fire that will help put it out while the fire department gets there!:rolleyes:

    Just kidding.:p

    Seriously, I was taught that the problem is you can never be sure what was used to color the paint, things like carbon in blacks and grey's, or iron oxide in dull reds. Obviously gold, silver,copper etc might very well be metallic, but I really don't know.

    The microwave test is also good for checking things you expect to be rf insulators, for antennas, parallel line spacers, coil forms, and so on.

    500-1000 watts of 2.4 ghz power, if only you could get a hf killowatt for less than a hundred bucks....

    KX4O, AK5B, K2CAJ and 1 other person like this.
  9. KS2G

    KS2G Subscriber QRZ Page

    Don't bother painting it.
    With all the trees in your area and the considerable separation between the houses, as K7MEM posted, it's doubtful any of your neighbors will even notice it. ;)
  10. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    No need to put your paint in the microwave unless you are painting microwave antennas or unless you are contemplating running 1,500 W, perhaps. Just paint them.
    AK5B and KC8VWM like this.

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