Friday, October 01, 2010

Stealth Antennas

Today sees the publication of a new RSGB book by Steve Nichols, "Stealth Antennas." I haven't seen the book myself, but I was asked by Steve to contribute a description of my own stealth antenna farm as one of the practical examples. It remains to be seen whether this entitles me to receive a free copy. ;) It isn't even in the RSGB Bookshop yet, but hopefully it soon will be.

I think this is an important book which addresses an issue that I believe many new radio amateurs (and many not so new, such as myself) find themselves faced with, that of what to do when circumstances prevent the erection of the kind of antennas so many experts say you need. I hope the book helps to dispel the impression created by many that in order to enjoy the hobby one needs a beam mounted on a huge tower, or at least a full size dipole up high and in the clear. It would be nice if you could have one of these, but it certainly isn't the end of the world if you can't.


VE3WDM said...

One of the things I find that attracts me to a hobby is a personal challenge. As a stealth antenna operator myself, I find the reduced power and attic 20 meter dipole sharpens my operator skills. It's this challenge and the accomplishment from seeing it work that keeps me growing in the hobby. Heck with a huge beam and tower and a kilowatt of power it's just like almost making a phone call.

Theodore said...

After trying many types of standard antennae the one which has given the best DX by far is the vertical.
This simple and ancient antenna which I have fitted with a close coupled wire reflector gives me comparable performance to the "beamers" and is very low impact.
In addition, the wire reflector which is only 800mm away from the vertical at the base, looks just like a string to run the flag up the pole!
Its useless for local contacts, but if DX is your game, just forget all those cloud warming horizontal antennas and put up a vertical.
Fit a remote ATU AT THE BASE - not in the shack where the losses in multiband operation are terrible, and you have a 40m to 6m antenna with a reasonable atu.
No loading coils, traps and all that other junk from a bygone era.

Small magnetic loops are great on receive where their S/N ratio is great, but lousy on transmit.
Put up a flagpole, bury lots of radials or use 3 elevated ones, fit the remote atu and forget all the drama.
You will get good results without compromise.
Just remember to take the flag down at sunset and don't let it touch the ground.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Nice post Julian.
Just this morning I had a great cw qso on 40 meters with Jim K4AXF in Virginia. He lives in an antenna restricted community but he managed to put up a stealth 136' doublet in the trees at the edge of his lot. And he was operating qrp with his IC-703. We had a nice chat for nearly 30 minutes. I meet more and more hams every day on the air who are using low power and non-traditional "stealth" antennas on HF and these guys are having a blast.
73 Mike kd8jhj