Ken Hough's Website
Amateur Radio

Antennas -- Local Constraints

My choice and design of antennas has had to take into account that:

-- ground space is too small to erect full sized antennas for the HF bands
-- exposure and elevation (100m ASL) would require substantial guying/support for tall co-linear vertical antennas
-- I don't want to cause any annoyance to neighbours

AND:

-- I cannot install an effective RF earthing system because ground is rocky and often dry -- or is covered by concrete!

I have therefore limited myself to using only balanced antennas which can be fed via coax cables with the addition of (choke?) baluns at the antenna ends of the cables. In the absence of an effective RF earth or space for a large counterpoise array, end fed antennas are not an option.

So far, I have successfully installed relatively unobtrusive VHF/UHF antennas at roof height, and have "hidden" HF dipole antennas in my loft space. After ensuring that these antennas were optimally tuned, they all work suprisingly well. Details of these antennas are given under the appropriate headings on the main antenna page.

It is my intention to build a substantial mag loop antenna (mainly for use on 80m) that will be situated at the back of my house, This will be close to ground level and so should not cause any annoyance.

I try to use only materials that can be obtained via local DIY stores, amateur radio suppliers, or if necessary, the Internet. With the exceptions of a pillar drill and a small band saw, I have access to only standard DIY hand tools.

No doubt, many other radio amateurs will have similar constraints to those that I have described above. Perhaps some of my experiences and solutions could be relevant to your own situation.

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20/04/13