K0GKJ – Just Another Ham
The New QTH – A Floating Shack

Angry Villagers Rise Up!

Ever wonder what Dr. Frankenstein felt when only HE thought his creation was a thing of beauty, and angry villagers stormed his castle with smokey torches and dirty pitch forks?

Some of my wonderful condo neighbors were encouragingly very supportive of my big beautiful hex beam antenna. Some harbored unspoken consternation but remained supportive in spite of their trepidation (thanks, my friends!).

Others, however, became incensed to the point of inciting an altercation at the December home owner’s board meeting. I guess I overestimated the fervor I had hoped that all my neighbors would share over this wonderful measure of both disaster preparedness and the potential for reaching out to our soldiers in the field (MARS, etc.).

Clearly, not only beauty, but patriotism and the importance of emergency planning, even in hurricane country, out here at the end of the road, truly are in the eye of the beholder.

After spending four years and thousands of dollars to make my CCR-constrained HF QTH a hard-won reality, this was a crushing blow.

So… back to stealth. 

I’m hoping to retain the conduit that carries my feedline(s) from roof to apartment (unfortunately, this is NOT simply a vertical drop as our units are staggered and stacked) and fall back to a flat top (horizontal wire) dipole somewhere closer to the (orange & silver metal in the pic below) roof line. (top of our metal mansard roof – as close as undesirable capacitative coupling with the wall will allow):

I was encouraged by a key lesson learned from the installation of this (wire) hex beam. With the bottom of the antenna just four feet above the roof line, I was experiencing decent (not ideal) SWRs on all (four) bands, hence plan B = a dipole (simply a straight horizontal wire for those of you (non-hams) who don’t know what a dipole is).

Plus I’m a balanced antenna bigot, especially this far (3+ stories) off the ground and no ground or ‘floating rooftop’ radials possible) with a coupler is the way to go. I also don’t want to risk RFI in the shack commonly associated with unbalanced antennas.

Too bad, as I was really becoming a ‘hex nut’.

I guess I now have a great field day antenna and will resort to using it for portable ops on the beach down the road! I’m already wondering how I can break down the HB and mast sections to fit into (onto) the kayak for paddling out to one of the islands nearby, getting me even closer to a great saltwater ‘counterpoise’!

Ever positive (mostly),

73 de K0GKJ

dit dit

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