Stealth Antenna Options

Since the ham shack is now mostly packed up in cardboard boxes and plastic totes, the only ham radio activity that I’ve been working on lately is research on antenna options for the new QTH. I’ll have a fairly good-sized lot at the new QTH with tall trees on opposite corners. The problem is that there’s a nice CC&R which restricts any kind of external antenna or wire drop to the house. So if I want to keep my new neighbors on my good side, I had better plan for a stealthy antenna installation to get me started.

Right now I’ve got my options narrowed down to two: an attic antenna or a steath longwire in the tree. There’s a nice, tall oak in the back yard where I could probably get a wire up vertical about 60 feet or so, and let it hang down through the limbs. The biggest problem that I see with this plan is that problem of deploying the antenna. There’s another house very close to the back side of the tree, which means that I stand a good chance of hitting it if I try to shoot a weight with a leader up to the top. And there’s no way that my fat carcass is going to climb up more than 20 feet or so.

The attic antenna option is a bit more appealing for it’s ease of installation, but not so much for the performance factor. I still think it’s what I’m going to try for first, just because it won’t attract any unwanted attention from the neighbors. The house is a typical one-story 70s ranch-style, so the antenna won’t be any higher than about 15 feet I’m guessing. Not very appealing, but it should work OK for local contacts. I’ve been leaning towards the linear loaded dipole, or more specifically a variant called the Cobra Jr. There’s not very much information about this antenna on the Interwebs, but I found a pretty good site by N4SPP. The antenna found on this page is more like a “Cobra Jr. Jr.”, since it seems to be cut for a lowest frequency of 40 meters. I’ve decided to try to lash up a version of this antenna using 450Ω window line with another wire threaded down the middle of the insulation to give three conductors. I’ll give an update when I get a chance to finish the antenna and maybe try it out temporarily here before we move.

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