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I've narrowed down my antenna options to fit a small urban garden. It's tough, space is tight and a neighbour three doors down reports everything I do to the council so I'm routinely inspected for planning compliance. Either way I will need to pay the £250 planning fee. I think I'd be happy just getting onto the 20m band.

What are your opinions and views on my following options, I've shown them all on the satellite image which you can click to view in full:

  1. Antenna on my chimney, ~10m above ground, planning permission would probably restrict it to 5m or less, obviously no radials possible.
  2. Wire dipole, 10m long. But would only be 2.5m above ground as it would need to attach to the steel gate.
  3. Vertical, max 5m height, I could put in some radials but only covering 180 degrees projecting into my garden. Would be within 3m of the carport which has a steel frame. Would be next to a 3m tall bush.
  4. Vertical, max 5m height. I could put in many radials over 360 degrees, they would project into the neighbours parking area which isn't a big deal and she's agreed to this if they are 1cm under the ground. Ground is compacted hardcore. Would be away from houses, but long 45m cable, next to parked cars, and within 15m of railway line.

I greatly appreciate the help and comments from this group.

Satellite view of house with proposed HAM antenna locations

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    $\begingroup$ If your car port has a steel roof (or you can attach steel mesh to the steel frame in or under the car port ceiling, then that would likely make an even better ground plane than lots and lots of buried radials. $\endgroup$
    – hotpaw2
    Dec 20, 2021 at 2:10
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    $\begingroup$ Can you put a counterpoise on your roof or hidden in your attic next to the chimney? If your patio is fenced, have you considered a magnetic loop antenna that you can position below the fence top? $\endgroup$
    – hotpaw2
    Dec 20, 2021 at 2:12
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    $\begingroup$ It’s not on your list but thought I’d mention I’ve used a small remotely tuned loop, the MFJ 1788, for over ten years as my only antenna. You won’t win any contests with it but it works well enough for a lot of fun. $\endgroup$
    – pidloop
    Dec 22, 2021 at 0:51
  • $\begingroup$ £250 planning fee, ouch! $\endgroup$
    – rclocher3
    Dec 22, 2021 at 14:36
  • $\begingroup$ Can you put up two antennas? I strongly suggest that. Depending on propagation, distance to the other stations, time of day and season, there will be many times when you will need to switch between a vertical and a dipole to work a given station. $\endgroup$
    – Mike Waters
    Dec 26, 2021 at 23:19

3 Answers 3

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Below is a possible choice for location 3, based on the description/limits provided in the opening post. "Average" Earth conductivity was assumed.

The affect of the steel frame of the garage near Location 3 could be added to this analysis if its mechanical/geometric details are available, including its connection points to Earth ground (if any exist).

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, that visual is very helpful. The earth is clay, pure clay with virtually no top soil, so I think above average conductivity. The carport frame sits on concrete piles and could be easily isolated from the earth. $\endgroup$
    – rcx935
    Dec 26, 2021 at 9:03
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My current antenna situation is even more restricted than yours! No antennas of any kind allowed.

I am using an end-fed "random wire", just under 10 meters long, running along my living room ceiling. The counterpoise is another 10 meter wire running the opposite way along the base boards. I run 5 watts max and manage to work the eastern half of the US on 40m when conditions are right. Im using an MFJ 971 tuner and can tune up on all bands 40 and above.

Maybe you could run a wire straight out from your shack over the extension, back lawn and garage to an upright on the carport. Use thin wire with string at the end thru a pulley so you could lower it when not in use.

Using a tuner and wire makes for an inexpensive way to experiment with antennas. Just tinker around till you find a setup that works for you. 22 or 24 guage wire in a medium grey color gets pretty hard to see once you're 10 meters away!

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  • $\begingroup$ Its great to hear you were able to get onto the air under such restrictions. The wire option you mention is similar to option (2) I listed, but you've suggested running the wire to a mast whereas I was thinking of just attaching it to my tall gate. I decided to do this option for now just to get onto the air and may experiment with the verticals later. $\endgroup$
    – rcx935
    Dec 22, 2021 at 11:33
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Have you considered a delta loop of 30 meters where the triangle is point down, make the delta loop that big if you want to be able to work 40 m, 30m, 20m and higher HF bands. I used to have such an aerial but I have changed to a 10 x 10 m square loop.

With the 30 m wire loop I could get from Sweden into China, north Africa and the USA.

This aerial is driven by a balenced transmission line, it requires no radials, I like loops as they tend to pick up less noise than simple verticals.

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean something like this? dxzone.com/thb-31569.jpg I just can't imagine getting planning permission for it in a semi urban environment. A vertical or wire dipole is all I'm likely to get. $\endgroup$
    – rcx935
    Dec 27, 2021 at 19:31

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