Snippets from Here and There by Tony Selmes G4KLF

There are often little snippets of information available on chat rooms, magazines, and even passed on during radio contacts.  It seems such a waste that they are often not disseminated to a wider audience who would involve themselves in that activity but were not too sure where to start.  Not everyone has a computer for instance, so I hope to provide a little information as and when I find it.

Some of the newcomers to the hobby are showing an interest in the 80M , contests due to start in February.   The major stumbling block is the size of a simple dipole for 80M.  If I lived in a small area that measured 25ft by 25ft,and I am sure other folks live in such similar areas perhaps a terraced house but still may have successfully erected an antenna for this band that radiates well in the UK would they like to share the details of how they overcame the problem.

Replies :
I live in a terraced house and wish I had a rear yard of 25 X 25 feet. I use the 160 to 40M trap dipole by Moonraker. I have it in the inverted V configuration with the centre feed point at about 38ft, on top of a 23ft pole at the apex of the rear extension. luckily I have good neighbours who let me take the ends over to the corners of their gardens – a little bribery and mounting of TV antennas on the pole with the coax supplied by myself and all testing done to get optimum signals. This works for me on 80M and 40M, but I am having problems with transmit on 160M but I think this is due to the fact I have no ground radials (this years neighbourly project to landscape the gardens!). I will always ask the neighbours first and always sort any problems withTVI. The other benefit to me is when the lads come round for the antenna parties is fact that my neighbours are Asian and we always get a curry made for us at the end of the day.

Reply 2:
If you are able to string across the 35ft diagonal of your 25ft square plot and arrange a central support at a height of 35ft, you could accommodate an inverted V dipole with legs of around 39ft length. What I would be inclined to do is to make legs of 33ft followed by 40m traps and a short resonating wire for 80m. This way you get a pretty fair antenna for 40 & 80m. Alternatively, you could  forget the traps and use twin feeder with an ATU. I used this kind of arrangement once when I had  limited space available. It is surprising just how effective a loaded dipole at a modest height can be. Especially for inter G  working.

Reply 3:
I once lived on the sixth floor of a block of flats on the West Hill in St. Leonards,  I had access to the roof but could not string out a horizontal or inverted Vee for 80m.   The house had ‘breather pipes’ on either side which were plastic and went down to the ground level.  I measured up a full sized dipole (made from insulated covered wire) for 80m and after the insulators I fixed a weight, I then lowered these ends down the ‘breather pipes’ without them touching the bottom of the pipes.  I now had a ‘stealth’ antenna and one that worked very well for inter G communications and a lot of Europe.

Tony Selmes (G4KLF) From Vital Spark Jan 2007.

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