Re: Antenna Question #antennas #v3

Terry L. Morris

All is not lost if you can run an antenna inside unless you live in a faraday cage. Stow the half wave dipole until your living situation changes to a more opportunistic location or use it for portable outings. Assumption is your apartment is on ground floor since don't indicate otherwise. Tacking a wire at the top of a wall and the edge of the ceiling or across the ceiling would be good. With a long drill you may be able to drill a small hole through the headers above doorways to continue your run of wire without having to bend it down through the doorway and up to the ceiling on the opposite side of the doorway.You may be able to build a balanced dipole for the higher bands, e.g. 10m, 12m, and 15m. It depends where your station is placed regarding your antenna feed. The close it is to the end of an endfed the better. Be sure to use an unun balun and ATU for endfed antennas. 18 awg to 22 awg has worked well for my ranch, single floor duplex. Not my primary antenna but I had to try it. It does work. Not optimally but surprisingly at times.

If you have access to the attic or a crawl space you may gain another foot or two of height. Of course, if your apartment is located in a multi-floor building the higher your apartment above ground the better. Another option is building a magnetic loop. It can be mounted on a short pole or camera tripod inside your apartment, preferably near an open window. You need to know how the walls of your apartment are constructed. My apartment walls have solid foam insulation with aluminum foil on both faces. No RF will penetrate the walls. Therefore my antenna needed to be at the top of the wall or higher.

Whatever your selection is may work some of the time. It will never be ideal. Sometimes you will be surprised from the contact if it is a DX QSO. You may only be able to work NVIS contacts but you will be able to work. Until you change your living condition you may have to take your equipment mobile/portable for ideal antenna deployment.

Best 72, KB8AMZ, Terry

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