Thoughts on residential antenna installations in Visalia.

Kosmo

Active member
Hey all. Here's in another "feedback" requesting post. Has anyone used one of the "flagpole" type antenna's in the front yard in Visalia? If so, has anyone experience any "negative" feedback from city ordinance types requesting permits etc? Are you happy with the "flagpole" performance? Would you recommend something more overt that might perform much better? Would like to put up a decent antenna but cost is a huge factor for me so trying to do my homework before investing in anything. Etc. Any thoughts?
 

AH2AP

Technology Enthusiast
Are you in the city? Flagpoles are generally verticle antennas and on HF, they are pretty noisy around here. What band are you seeking to use it for? What kind of property do you have? Got a big tree somewhere? Got a flagpole already but wanna use it with an antenna What kind of power requirements will you need?
 

Kosmo

Active member
Are you in the city? Flagpoles are generally verticle antennas and on HF, they are pretty noisy around here. What band are you seeking to use it for? What kind of property do you have? Got a big tree somewhere? Got a flagpole already but wanna use it with an antenna What kind of power requirements will you need?
In Visalia, near Demaree and Ferguson. 2 story single family home on 10K residential lot. No flagpole yet, have a fast growing pine tree against my West fence line on Demaree but 2 story homes impede line of site to the East at its current height. No major power requirements using 991A (100w HF, 50 Watt max otherwise), no plans to upgrade much further in the near future. Intention is to mainly use UHF VHF for now, dabble with nodes, wirex, etc. Mostly hoping to optimize what I deploy and I think I will need to either do something on the roof or the front yard to get good line of site to most repeaters as I am in the North West corner of Visalia.
 

Kosmo

Active member
There are tons of stealth options for those 2 meter / 70cm.
[/ Yeah, I've looked at a few like the balcony pottery with the plastic vines and such. Was just hoping to get an idea of what others are using, what works and what doesn't. I bought a pretty pricey radio before I really did enough homework on it and while I don't have buyers remorse, I do feel I missed the opportunity to maximize my effort by questioning the users from the US versus a Euro group I've been following on Facebook. It didn't occur to me to really get into the "country" specific differences. Lesson learned.
 

AH2AP

Technology Enthusiast
Oh.. Wow..

I hadn't realized how different things can be country to country.

I do like the loop antennas I see in Europe. Especially the ones meant for HF operation.

I too like 2 meters and 70 cm. Particularly would like to venture into SSB with Japan or some far off place. Was looking at some Log Periodic options for that and possibly satellite operation.

Our club periodically offers sessions for building various antennas like j-poles and such. Those are all pretty stealthy comparably.

As far as HF goes, I've relied mostly on wire antennas. I've noticed they are pretty darn hard to spot unless you are already aware of their presence. The one I use is the Ultimax DXtreme.

I saw this one review and thought I'd give it a go. People on HF seem to like it and I know several folks that purchased one because they liked what they were hearing from my station. To be fair, it is normal for me to only transmit with somewhere between 200 and 400 watts. Even so, people noticed.

I'm sure there are a ton of other antennas out there to choose from. Part of the fun is in the hunt for the perfect one and the experiments you'll ultimately conduct.

I guess the best advice I can offer besides my recommendations is the fact that every antenna is a compromise. Every location is different and what works well at one person's house may not work nearly as well anywhere else. With 10ksf lot, you really should consider going horizontal. I have four telephone poles, one at each corner of my lot, and all four sides have a wire or two hanging along with them. It is noisy here. Not uncommon to see s9 on all bands. I have both a verticle and a horizontal wire and the wire definitely and consistently outperforms the verticle.


 

Kosmo

Active member
Oh.. Wow..

I hadn't realized how different things can be country to country.

I do like the loop antennas I see in Europe. Especially the ones meant for HF operation.

I too like 2 meters and 70 cm. Particularly would like to venture into SSB with Japan or some far off place. Was looking at some Log Periodic options for that and possibly satellite operation.

Our club periodically offers sessions for building various antennas like j-poles and such. Those are all pretty stealthy comparably.

As far as HF goes, I've relied mostly on wire antennas. I've noticed they are pretty darn hard to spot unless you are already aware of their presence. The one I use is the Ultimax DXtreme.

I saw this one review and thought I'd give it a go. People on HF seem to like it and I know several folks that purchased one because they liked what they were hearing from my station. To be fair, it is normal for me to only transmit with somewhere between 200 and 400 watts. Even so, people noticed.

I'm sure there are a ton of other antennas out there to choose from. Part of the fun is in the hunt for the perfect one and the experiments you'll ultimately conduct.

I guess the best advice I can offer besides my recommendations is the fact that every antenna is a compromise. Every location is different and what works well at one person's house may not work nearly as well anywhere else. With 10ksf lot, you really should consider going horizontal. I have four telephone poles, one at each corner of my lot, and all four sides have a wire or two hanging along with them. It is noisy here. Not uncommon to see s9 on all bands. I have both a verticle and a horizontal wire and the wire definitely and consistently outperforms the verticle.



Thanks for the info. I am browsing the options now. As far as the lot size, I lost some to the Demaree brick wall easement when they built Ashely Grove so the back yard is in the shadow of the house most of the day then blocked by the trees along Demaree. To me, it seems like a vertical would do best but that's why I ask the question, I just need more information. I put up an Atas25 in the driveway on a tripod and hit a GMRS repeater at 90 feet in Farmersville which was just amazing to me with such low output but with the same deployment I can't get anything from the back yard along the wall. Since then I've been kind of zeroing in on a vertical either in the front yard (ala flagpole) or on the roof, facing East. That said, I'm going to take your advise and experiment with some different options in the back or side yard and see what I can get. I cannot believe how many antenna I have invested in putting GMRS and HAMs in 3 of our cars and home. Feels like a complete waste to me to buy the flavor of the week.
 

KM6IOE Calvin

Active member
Let me say you have received some good suggestions here. I have a vertical in my back yard and I love it. I have talked to many places out side of the U.S. at 100 watts and have received good reports. I have an old CushCraft R7 and I would recommend something similar for your space. I also have a wire antenna cut for 40 meters and I just put up a loop antenna at 15 feet around the my property at over 200 feet long. This works well with a tuner.
 

Kosmo

Active member
How high up is your vertical? The next is three parts. 1: If I were to roll with a dipole could i mount it in the attic space and run the wires along the rafters while mounting the hardware at the peaks on either end and have a respectable solution as compared to an external dipole mounted underneath the fascia board (completely out of view) on my eave? 2: Would a magnetic loop in the attic provide as good as or better performance than the aforementioned attic dipole? How much better would an outdoor under eave mounted dipole work versus the mag loop or the attic dipole? 3. Given your experience in our general area (Visalia) at what height might a vertical provide similar performance to the dipole options? Let me finish with this. I recognize antenna are subjective to particular environmental influences, costs and accessibility factors so please think of the questions as "if you were building your first permanent install antenna on a two story home with the "shack" on the 2nd floor- so grounding an issue, what antenna system would you opt to invest in first? Keeping in mind you suspect your neighbors would complain about a 200 foot tower topped with a jolly roger?" One last quick question: would a larger magnetic loop antenna in the attic cause any magnetic issues with visitors with pace makers?
 

AH2AP

Technology Enthusiast
would a larger magnetic loop antenna in the attic cause any magnetic issues with visitors with pace makers?
That would depend on power and distance. They are compact and fantastic if you are qrp in a highrise, but the consensus I got from reading about them almost obsessively is that they are very much a compromise antenna on the tx side. If you have a lot of power going into them, you'll need to give them space to be safe. Never seen one personally but I'm always hunting for a gem of a vacuum capacitor to build a 160-80 meter mag loop.

Second story eh? You've got loads of options. Just about anything that doesn't look like a tower is pretty stealthy right?

Are you sure you couldn't pass a hexbeam for a clothes line? lol
 

Kosmo

Active member
I'm willing to try to hoist up anything one time but I figure I get one chance to get it right else I'm on my neighbors hit list. I had a bad experience with a neighbor and DirecTV from back in the day so I'm sure whatever antenna I put up is gonna get his feather all ruffled. Thanks for the Magloop info. I'd like to test one out some day and see how they work. I've been leaning towards a mast on the roof or off the eave or an attic dipole if I can swing it because it seems easier to get the coax to my second floor than running it up from the back yard but. I welded a bracket the other day to hang a vertical from an upstairs window by grappling the indoor side of the sill. I figure I can use this until I test and decide on a permanent antenna. I read one design that turned the attic rafters into a multi-band yagi which all seems like voodoo so far. Here is the dipole I was thinking about at some point. Hexbeam eh? Hmmm yet another antenna I need to research. Way too many options!
attic_terminated_dipole.jpg
 

Kosmo

Active member
hahah oh heck no on the hex beam. My wife would end that immediately. Josh from HRCC was selling one a little while back and I showed the picture to my wife and explained I needed one of these so we could talk to her brother in Japan over the radio. She said heck no, she will call and suffer the phone bill instead.
 

AH2AP

Technology Enthusiast
That looks fantastic! I would definitely experiment with that. If it works out, it'll be the stealthiest of all antennas ever!.

If your still into mag loops, I just got this pdf from the mag loop groups.io site.

Some highlights from a lecture. Still... Very informative.

I'm really interested in what you end up with.
 

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AH2AP

Technology Enthusiast
hahah oh heck no on the hex beam. My wife would end that immediately. Josh from HRCC was selling one a little while back and I showed the picture to my wife and explained I needed one of these so we could talk to her brother in Japan over the radio. She said heck no, she will call and suffer the phone bill instead.
Hahaha.. Too funny.. My wife feels the same way!
 

Kosmo

Active member
That looks fantastic! I would definitely experiment with that. If it works out, it'll be the healthiest of all antennas ever!.

If your still into mag loops, I just got this pdf from the mag loop groups.io site.

Some highlights from a lecture. Still... Very informative.

I'm really interested in what you end up with.
Thank you for the PDF. consuming it now!
 
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