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Heathkit Antenna in a rental?
#1
A friend of mine is letting me use his Heathkit system. In all honesty, I know nothing more about this system other than it's name. Big Grin

[Image: a2412ad6-9b89-4fec-9642-c7eaeb6eee60_zps087f413c.jpg]

Can anyone give me any advice on what the best type of antenna I could use in a rental house? I rather not have a external roof mounted system, but rather something more inside the house. Not optimal, but you use what you've got!
Jason Petorak
K7JLP
ARRL Member since 2013
Valley Radio Club Member since 2012
------
Blog: Amateur Radio, K7JLP
Gear:
  • Wouxun KG-UVD1P Dual Band Tranciever
  • Baofeng UV-5R Tranciever
  • Tram 1185 Amateur Dual-Band Magnet Antenna
  • 'K7ELI- Special' jPole (2m/70cm) Thanks Eli!
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#2
Jason,

Wow, that's quite a station! I've... never seen so many Heathkit accessories together in one station! Very impressive! I've always liked those SB series rigs.

Your choice of HF antennas for "in" the house aren't real great. As you're a Tech, there aren't a whole lot of bands available to you that this rig would reach - a small CW part of 80m (3.525 - 3.6 MHz), CW on 40m (7.025 - 7.125), CW on 15m (21.025-21.2), and 10m (CW / Data from 28.0 - 28.3, and upper side band from 28.3 - 28.5).

Simple dipoles for 80 and 40 are likely too long to fit in an attic of a rental... but you can try. 15m and 10m are much more feasible. If you aren't ready for CW, then the phone part of 10m is your only real option, and that's very do-able.

Any simple CB antenna will work for 10m if you trim it a bit. A full-sized dipole for 10 meters isn't going to be any longer than 18 feet long, from end to end - and this is pushing it. It'll more likely be closer to 16.5 - 17 feet. It is easy to put 17-18' of wire in a straight line in your attic or up under the eaves or along the roof line of your house, and those locations will keep the antenna fairly well hidden. If you can get it out away from the house any more, that'd be even better.

There are lots of good web sites for this very issue. Here are a few I quickly found:

http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index....ic=74768.0

http://www.hamuniverse.com/10metertechniciandipole.html

Best of luck! If you can find someone with an antenna analyzer that'd be willing to come visit your house, or loan it to you, that'd make the job MUCH easier!
W0ULF 2011+
ex KF7RJU 2011-2011
ex KC7YNP 1997-2007
Rigs: Heathkit RX-1 Mohawk Receiver and HX-10 Marauder Transmitter, IC-7410 Base HF w/AH-4, IC-2720 Mobile Dual Band, IC-V8000 Go-Bag 2m, IC-2820 base 2m/70cm (That goes to Field Day or goes in the other truck when I'm driving it), Kenwood TH-75A and Icom IC-92AD HTs.
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#3
Thank you for the information.

I am currently studying to get my General Class license and plan on taking the exam here in the next month. Once I get to General, what other options would be most effective?

Update on the hardware:

SB-401 SSB Transmitter
SB-303 Solid State SSB Receiver
SB-600 Communicaitons Speaker
SB-650 Frequency Display
SB-620 Scanalyser
Jason Petorak
K7JLP
ARRL Member since 2013
Valley Radio Club Member since 2012
------
Blog: Amateur Radio, K7JLP
Gear:
  • Wouxun KG-UVD1P Dual Band Tranciever
  • Baofeng UV-5R Tranciever
  • Tram 1185 Amateur Dual-Band Magnet Antenna
  • 'K7ELI- Special' jPole (2m/70cm) Thanks Eli!
Reply
#4
Im jealous!!! I need to get my FT-101B goin!!!!
-Jeff  Cool
-----------------------
K7LND
EX: W7WIL
EX: KF7NXS
GMRS: WQMK940
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#5
After much consideration, I think I am going to setup a 1/4 wave 10m dipole either in the attic or enclosed in PVC pipe laying on the roof. If I enclose the whole thing in PVC, will that effect the ability to tx/rx on the antenna? Or does the wire need to be exposed? Think of a buddy pole without the pole to raise it up higher.
Jason Petorak
K7JLP
ARRL Member since 2013
Valley Radio Club Member since 2012
------
Blog: Amateur Radio, K7JLP
Gear:
  • Wouxun KG-UVD1P Dual Band Tranciever
  • Baofeng UV-5R Tranciever
  • Tram 1185 Amateur Dual-Band Magnet Antenna
  • 'K7ELI- Special' jPole (2m/70cm) Thanks Eli!
Reply
#6
Do you have a balcony? Indoor antennas tend to have RFI problems in my experience. There are lots of little antennas around your house like power cords, speaker cables, network cables and the like that will pick up radiated power out of your indoor antenna. If you have a balcony, you can put the antenna outside where it will protect your indoor equipment from RFI a little better and radiate to your target a little better as well.

For balcony duty, you have a few interesting choices. Verticals work okay in these environments, and you can get something like a Buddistick (http://www.buddipole.com) to make that happen. If you're on an upper floor, you can drop the counterpoise over the side. If not, you can spread it out into a flower bed or something. There are also loop antennas which can work really well in compact spaces. See something like the AlexLoop (http://www.alexloop.com). No radials or anything either.

You could also do interesting things with stealthy antennas into trees adjacent to your apartment. If you get it up high enough and use thing gauge wire, nobody will notice. An end-fed halfwave might work well in this application. See something like the Par EndFedz (http://www.lnrprecision.com).

Note that although I've provided links to commercial manufacturers for all of this stuff, it can be home brewed if you want.
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#7
Howdy Jason,

PVC is fairly transparent to RF (From what I've heard and seen on the Internet), so it shouldn't cause any issue with being able to transmit or receive on the antenna. The wire does not need to be exposed. It works a TEENSY TINY bit better, but ultimately you'll never be able to discern the difference without some pretty spendy toys (Er, tools. I mean TOOLS. I'm spending money on tools, not toys).

I'm going to assume (This is where it gets dangerous) that you want to put it in PVC either to protect it from the elements or to hide it from view. If your reason is the former... it should do just fine, though at HF frequencies, anything but heavy ice likely won't cause much of an issue in use... unless it is grounding out the antenna, that is. Really, weather won't hurt a wire dipole or its' operation (Again, unless it grounds it out or has such an ice load that the antenna physically is unable to support the weight, then it breaks).

If hiding the antenna from view is your goal... I think people are less likely to see a thin wire antenna on the roof (Especially when the copper changes color) than they are to see 8.5' of white PVC tubing. If you are thinking of painting the PVC... keep in mind that some paints will change the operation and performance of the antenna - especially if they have any metallic additives. Some paints will mess with the RF coming off the antenna and some won't, so be careful with paints. I'm not an expert in this - I'd ask around and see if anyone has any better information than I do. I'd imagine that some paint types (Enamel, acrylic, latex, oil-based, etc) will work better or worse than others from an RF standpoint.

I'm going to agree with Jeremy on the indoor vs. outdoor antenna performance. I've got a random longwire outside my house (Two story house, and it is stapled to the side of the house going all the way around two sides in a horizontal "L" shape at about the middle of the house between the first and second stories). I tune it with an Icom AH-4 tuner and it tunes great on 160 through 6 meters. However, it doesn't work very well. I constantly have a very high noise floor (S9 on 160 through 17 meters whenever the antenna is tuned up - the only exception to this is 30 meters for some reason. Above 17 meters is hit and miss from S9 down to S5 noise). Only when I turn off the main breaker for my entire house does the noise level drop on the lower bands - and I have a feeling it is because of the close proximity to house wiring, which is an excellent noise radiator for 60Hz and the harmonics thereof. Outside DOES work better than inside - the further the better. That being said, I've known people that have the WAS (Worked All States) award and earned it with a simple indoor antenna and a lot of hard work. Indoor antennas can work - outdoor antennas just work better.

Oh, I'll also agree with NH6Z on the RFI issue. Antennas and RFI work both ways. Indoor antennas will pick up a lot of noise generated by "things" in the house, and it will also be MUCH more likely to cause interference and RFI ON the "things" in the house. My long wire antenna is really bad for getting into the cheap amplified speakers in the house - computer speakers, TV, anything with a speaker could potentially pick up your transmitted signal. I hate it because I don't want to piss off my room mates, thus I can only operate HF when they're asleep or not at home. I haven't heard from any neighbors yet, but I don't WANT to either.
W0ULF 2011+
ex KF7RJU 2011-2011
ex KC7YNP 1997-2007
Rigs: Heathkit RX-1 Mohawk Receiver and HX-10 Marauder Transmitter, IC-7410 Base HF w/AH-4, IC-2720 Mobile Dual Band, IC-V8000 Go-Bag 2m, IC-2820 base 2m/70cm (That goes to Field Day or goes in the other truck when I'm driving it), Kenwood TH-75A and Icom IC-92AD HTs.
Reply
#8
I've added a photo of my house to make it easier:

[Image: rental.JPG]

The black line will represent the coax running from my rig to the antenna laying on the roof of the porch. My 'shack' will be located in the room directly where the wire line runs too.

I had a few reasons in mind why I went this way. I wanted the setup to be non permanent, while still able to obtain and send quality signals. Since I an in rental, I wanted something that I didn't really need to ask the permission of the landlord to accomplish ( he's a nice guy so I don't ask much of him Big Grin ) and something I could take with me when I move. Since I am non sure of how long it will take me to pass my General, I wanted to start with 10m since I have been itching to learn PSK31 and RTTY which are both available on the 10m band with a Tech License. I have already had to look up things that will be covered in my General class test to get the measurements. I was not worried about anyone seeing it as much as I was wanting something that didn't need to be mounted on the roof. If I can just lay the pvc with weather sealing on all the joints to keep it water free and then if I need to move it ( field day, moving, etc. ) I can just get up there with the ladder and take it with me.

The next question is:

If i want a 10m dipole that will cover all the allowed 10m bands:

28.0 Lowest
29.7 Highest

Avg: 28.85 Mhz


Total length of the dipole will be 16.22 feet
o-------------oo--------------o

Each leg of the dipole will be 8.11 feet
o--------------o

Does this math look correct?
Jason Petorak
K7JLP
ARRL Member since 2013
Valley Radio Club Member since 2012
------
Blog: Amateur Radio, K7JLP
Gear:
  • Wouxun KG-UVD1P Dual Band Tranciever
  • Baofeng UV-5R Tranciever
  • Tram 1185 Amateur Dual-Band Magnet Antenna
  • 'K7ELI- Special' jPole (2m/70cm) Thanks Eli!
Reply
#9
The math looks fine.
Experimenting with antennas can be fun, educational, and even cheap. Build it and try it out.
There will be times when you don't hear much on 10m, but it can get somewhat busy and you can receive the other bands too.
I don't have much digital experience, but drift may be an issue on the Heathkit. A good warmup should help the majority of it.
Have fun with it!
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#10
Good point on the drift issue, Matt. Anything that is controlled by a vacuum tube will need a warm-up time.. which may take up to half an hour. My old Swan 350 is notorious for needing a long warm-up time before the frequency stabilizes.

Mine in particular is bad... so bad, it doesn't work at all! Turning it on gets me a TERRIBLE buzz almost instantly, so I've turned it off. I'm in the process of testing the tubes, one at a time right now. I'll go through the caps on it too before I fire it up again.

Anyway, back to Jason's situation. My suggestion toyou Jason is to start by cutting the antenna LONG. Make it longer than the calculation for the lowest frequency on the band (28.0 MHz), put it all together and put it on the roof, then be ready to trim it down a bit before gluing the PVC together. You don't have to actually trim any wire off the ends... just fold it back onto itself and put a wire clamp or something on it to make the wire appear to be shorter. That way, you can "shorten" it to the frequency you want, then you can adjust it again later on if need be.
W0ULF 2011+
ex KF7RJU 2011-2011
ex KC7YNP 1997-2007
Rigs: Heathkit RX-1 Mohawk Receiver and HX-10 Marauder Transmitter, IC-7410 Base HF w/AH-4, IC-2720 Mobile Dual Band, IC-V8000 Go-Bag 2m, IC-2820 base 2m/70cm (That goes to Field Day or goes in the other truck when I'm driving it), Kenwood TH-75A and Icom IC-92AD HTs.
Reply


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