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The age-old Apartment Antenna Question

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by KD5YTI, Jun 23, 2018.

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  1. KD5YTI

    KD5YTI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been licensed in the US since 2003 but recently relocated to Japan for work. Although I have all the equipment I need to get on the air, I've been stuck trying to figure out my antenna options, primarily for 40 meters.

    Here's the scene: I live on the second floor of a solid concrete, 6-story building. To the west and south, the area is wide open, but unusable for me to erect any structures as the properties aren't mine. I also have not been granted access to the roof. I do have concrete patios/fire escape areas on the east and south sides of my apartment, but I'm surrounded by powerlines in very close proximity.

    I've tried a 55-foot end fed mounted along the concrete balcony and a magnetic loop with zero luck so far. I recently acquired a Diamond BB7V vertical at a super low price in Singapore ($60 USD) and mounted it on the concrete railing, but encroaching upon my upstairs neighbors space, and about 2 inches away from the building.

    Does anyone have any other suggestions? I've seen some antennas online that appear to be nothing more than a fishing pole hanging out a window with some wire dangling off it. Is it really that simple, or is there more to it than that?

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated as I'm not able to find any local elmers, and not sure how much support a temporary foreigner would get any way.

    Please don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or need more info. Thank you!!

  2. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi, I am also HL1ZIX, currently. I bet we can chat a lot. I'm usually 5/9+20db or more into JA, on 15m, 17m, 20m and 40m.

    Look up JR2TTS. He is a friend in JA. I think he uses one of those multiband trapped V-dipoles. Not sure how close your power lines are. But maybe that would encroach on the neighbors?

    Is this your house, or are you behind it? If it is, gosh it would be great to get access to that flat roof, eh? If your balcony is like that, then you might see if you can attach a V-Dipole to it, like JR2TTS does. Or, you can try buying my favorite 12m Spiderbeam fiberglass pole and just erect it when you want to operate. You could lash it to the balcony area and get a wire up high.

  3. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    [​IMG] Here is a pic of JR2TTS's set-up:
  4. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Moderator Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    If there's a leading expert in the area of installing antennas on rooftops in a restricted limited space, Derek, KE0EYJ is definitely going to be the pro you need for the job.

    I'll gracefully bow out now... :)
    KE0EYJ and NH7RO like this.
  6. KD5YTI

    KD5YTI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi! Thanks for replying back so quick! I lived in Korea for a bit too near Jeonju a few years back. Never did get my ham license there, and I've heard it's really difficult for foreigners now.

    This is a picture of my house from the outside. I'm on the second floor right above the parking area. I may try the spider beam idea, but I might still be hitting the ground with the bottom element. I've looked at the rotatable dipoles like your JR friend. It may work, but I'd prefer to try to homebrew something to lower cost.

    Attached Files:

    KE0EYJ likes this.
  7. KD5YTI

    KD5YTI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I should mention my shack and rig info. I have a Yaesu FT-450D and a MFJ-993 tuner. The MFJ has been really finicky lately though. If I could do it all over again, I probably would have gone for an Elecraft KX-2 or KX-3 so I could get out onto the beach or somewhere with less obstructions.
  8. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    You didn't do bad with the 450D, at all. You can still take it portable with a 10Ah or 15Ah Lifepo4 battery at around 13 to 14v. Get that Spiderbeam pole I talked about, and run with this from the beach:

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  9. NH7RO

    NH7RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Me, too (except I will add one comment before I bow out: Go portable!)



    Have LiFePo4; Will Travel
    KC8VWM and KE0EYJ like this.
  10. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Oh. I mentioned the Spiderbeam, but for under 10 dollars, you can get a fiberglass fishing pole that is just over 5m long, and build that out-the-window one. Don't get a carbon pole -- stick with fiberglass.
    NH7RO and KC8VWM like this.

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