Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pondering Antennas for the HOA Restricted Home

30" Magnetic Loop Under Construction
As the list of major projects at our new home is starting to get shorter, I have been pondering an antenna installation that is more permanent than my Portable QRP Antenna that I strap to the deck railing when I want to operate.

The portable vertical I use, which is nice and quiet at the park, is VERY noisy at the home QTH which is full of all sorts of man made electrical noise.

First thought was to put a 66' doublet in the attic and feed it with ladder line.  I have no doubt this would work, but I have to invest in ladder line to make it happen.

I have a 30" square magnetic loop that I have built from 1" copper pipe before we found out we were moving.  It is all soldered up, just sitting in my garage waiting for a tuning capacitor and feed loop to be installed.  I am leaning towards this being my first antenna install here at the QTH.

Why a magnetic loop?

You can read all about the good and bad of loops online, but one of the biggest drivers is that they are supposed to be very quiet.  Many hams that report S5+ noise on their dipoles are reporting S1-S2 noise on the loop.

The other reason is that it is almost done - probably a couple hours of work max and I could have it on the air.  Additionally I can hang this in my garage, or put it in the attic, so that I can keep in good graces with the ever watchful HOA observers!

So that is what I am going to do.  At first the tuning capacitor will be done with a coax stub tuned to a fixed frequency.  I will do this centered around 14.060.  This will give me a narrow little spot to play.

Then I am going to build a home brew butterfly capacitor - which I will document here.

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