[AMRadio] Antenna Compromises

Donald Chester k4kyv at charter.net
Wed Jul 9 15:14:15 EDT 2014

-----Original Message-----

>>>>>From: rbethman <rbethman at comcast.net>

I've already gone head to head with Zoning.  They don't seem to understand
that I have NOT moved the house!  However, they were going to make me post a
bond, request a waiver from the city, as THEY informed me that *I* lived in
an "illegal domicile"!  

The "too long employed" head of the department finally looked at the survey.
The very same one that had been surveyed when the house was built, again
when the wife and I bought it, and again when we refinanced it.

Lo and behold, one corner of the foundation is indeed one tenth of a foot

I laughed at her!  She insisted that I wasn't taking it seriously. >>>>>

One tenth of a foot, that's 1.2 inches!  That WOULD BE hard to take
seriously. I'd probably laugh too.

Just take a masonry cutter and shave off 1.2 inches of that corner down to
grade, so that it is bevelled or rounded off a little.  You could probably
do it with a Dremel tool. Then have them come out and measure it again.

>>>>>Time will come when those of you with all this space, will eventually
end up with less space than you have now.>>>>>

I doubt it. Maybe if I end up in a nursing home or one of those "assisted
living" places someday, but by then it probably wouldn't matter, since I
doubt if I'd be able to set up a ham station there anyway, and probably
wouldn't even want to.

>>>>>Sure, few can go all out but most do as best we can.  There are smart
ways to compromise and not so smart.
Smart--bending the wires or letting the ends hang down.  Not so
smart--loading coils, and traps.

Rob K5UJ>>>>

>>>>>Physically small antennas up high suffer losses while full-sized
antennas do not. Full sized antennas down low won't do as well as full sized
antennas up high. Performance suffers even more if physically small antennas
are down low. There is no magic bullet here: the physics is implacable.
Anything else is a compromise, though some are better than others.?

But, I think some interesting points have been raised. When we crow about
how well a compromise antenna works (flag poles, rain gutters, interior
antennas, magnetic loops, heavily loaded antennas, stealth random magnet
wires) there is some possibility that we give the anti-antenna factions
ammunition against our interests. 

Kim N5OP >>>>>

Exactly right. Furthermore, even a well-working compromise antenna at one
location may not be so great at another. Let's take the example of Rob's
inverted L with ground radials in his small city lot. It puts an excellent
signal here on 160, and he is usually outstandingly strong on 75 on whatever
antenna he fits onto the same lot for that band. At the opposite extreme is
Philip, KA4KOE near Savannah . He also uses an inverted L  and as he has
described it, with a pretty fair ground radial system, but the best he has
ever managed to do at my QTH is just barely make it above the background
noise on 75 or 160, try as he might.

But I want to reiterate that we may very well be working against our own
interests when we tout such things as loaded-up rain gutters and attic
dipoles as "acceptable" or anything more than a SERIOUS compromise...  Life
in Alcatraz was a serious compromise, but most of those inmates preferred
that to the death penalty.

When one lives on a postage-stamp lot, one must accept that one has no
choice but for a compromise antenna if one plans to work 160, 80 and often
even 40m. But after looking over some of the amateur radio forums like
QRZ.com and e-Ham, articles in magazines like QST and CQ, as well as
listening to QSOs over the air, what I find quite disturbing is the attitude
that increasingly appears to permeate the amateur radio community: that
antennas should be "stealth" BY DEFAULT, even in the absence of HOAs, deed
restrictions or zoning ordinances that might prevent one from putting up,
out in the clear, whatever no-compromise antenna one might wish for or be
able to afford.

I believe the constant acclaim of stealth antennas and how well their owners
BELIEVE they are working, not only gives the anti-antenna factions
ammunition, but has directly led to this stealth-by-default mentality
becoming so widely accepted throughout the amateur community.

Don k4kyv

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