Saturday, November 1, 2014

Simple Ham Radio Antennas: A Random Wire Solution for an "interior shack". Post #318.


Here's another great antenna idea for those amateur radio operators limited by HOAs and CC & Rs.  Stan's "stealth antenna" is simple, cheap, and easily deployed for both home and portable use. When I first became a novice licensee back in 1977, I used a similar antenna at a rented home near the Honokaa High School campus. The community was located along the Hamakua Coast of Hawaii Island and had an excellent clear water shot to the mainland United States and Europe. The only difficulty I had in those days was the lack of a decent back yard to support a dipole or a radial system for a vertical antenna. I did have a tall Norfolk Pine Tree in the back yard which I "recruited" to support the end of my random length wire. I used an 85-ft/25.91 meters length of #22 AWG wire for the radiating element and a 17-ft/5.18 meters length of #22 AWG wire for the counterpoise. My crude antenna was a variation of the once popular "Zepp" antenna used on the German dirigibles of the 1930s. I used a 50-ft/15.24 meters length of 450 ohm ladder line for the feeder. One leg was attached to the longer antenna element, while the other leg of the ladder line was attached to the shorter counterpoise. I shot the antenna element over a branch about 30-ft/9.14 meters above ground with a slingshot. A ceramic insulator was tied off at the end of the antenna element and was used as the weight to guide the antenna line over the tree limb. A short length of nylon cord attached to the insulator was used to secure the antenna element to a nearby fence post. The counterpoise was attached to the side of the house. The ladder line was run into a W9INN 4:1 balun, which was attached to my Drake MN-4 antenna transmatch by a 10-ft/3.04 meters length of RG-58 coaxial cable. The coax from the transmatch was attached to my first rig, the old Heathkit HW-101. I had a ball with this antenna, which worked very well on 40 and 15 meters. When I passed my General Class license, the antenna was pressed into service on 20 and 10 meters with good results. I must admit that Stan's random wire antenna is more effective and perhaps more efficient than my original antenna. So, if you want a simple and somewhat stealthy antenna, try Stan's random wire design. It will produce many hours of enjoyment at a modest cost. For the latest in Amateur Radio News and Events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated daily. Until next time, Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).