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Author Topic: Shortwave Antenna in an apartment  (Read 8590 times)

Offline K5MOW

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Shortwave Antenna in an apartment
« on: July 30, 2013, 1924 UTC »
This is the antena I orderd for listting to shortwave. I live in an apartment and would like to put this antena outside on my deck but I will need to rap it around my deck becouse I dont have very much room. I am goting to tack it up on the outsid deck. What do all of you think of this antena.

Thanks Roger

http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/sw_ant/5155.html


The Princeton SkyWire is a 66 foot, off center fed SWL dipole with 22 feet on one side and 44 feet on the other. It is designed to provide excellent receive performance from the medium wave broadcast band to 30 MHz. While its rugged construction is well suited for the harshest environments, it is equally at home indoors in an attic or overhead space. The wire can be bent, zig-zaged or other wise routed to accommodate limited space installations. SO-239 input.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 0515 UTC by Lex »

Offline hsmith61

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Re: Smortwave Antena in an apartment
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2013, 2006 UTC »
I have this antenna in my attic . i use it as my main antenna because every time i put up a outside antenna the storm gods take it down  i receive just about everything  others hear . Last week i heard 2 euros with it a rarity for me because of my location. This antenna is well construted and a good value . Id say you should be pleased it this antenna. Have fun
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Offline BDM

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Re: Smortwave Antena in an apartment
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2013, 2031 UTC »
In this situation a good loop would serve you well. Just MHO.
Radios -- Perseus SDR // Icom IC-7410 // Tecsun PL-660 // Panasonic RF-5000A --Antennas-- Pixel Pro 1B loop - 82' fan-dipole at 40' - tuned MW/BCB 40" loop and 100' receive only dipole
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Offline K5MOW

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Re: Smortwave Antena in an apartment
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2013, 2056 UTC »
Great thanks so much for the comments. I am a ham radio operator and when I operate HF I go to a park and operate portable.  But when I am home at the apartment I want to use my HF radio for shortwave reserve.

Roger

Offline Beerus Maximus

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Re: Smortwave Antena in an apartment
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2013, 2207 UTC »
How high off the ground is your deck? This is a pretty basic offset dipole antenna. Up in the air between two trees, it would work great. Hidden on your deck will be a compromise, but it will be an improvement, probably, over most indoor antennas.

If you are inclined to build a little bit, the suggestion above to build a loop would be great. Nobody needs to know it's an antenna. Tell them it's a hummingbird migratory aid.
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Offline Lex

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Re: Shortwave Antenna in an apartment
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2013, 0553 UTC »
Apartment antennas are a crapshoot.  You won't know what works until you try one... or two, or a dozen.  Eventually you'll tire of the high RFI level and look for something quieter.  I shoot for keeping the usual suburban RFI down to S1.  No point in an antenna that transmits local RFI at S9 because any weaker broadcasts will be buried in the noise anyway.

For a few years I used homebrewed passive fugly loops made from TV coax.  I just experimented with the diameter and number of wraps until I got good results in the vicinity of the 40m band.  The most successful variation was two wraps around a closet door.  It wasn't directional for HF signals, but was directional for MW and for nulling out local RFI.  Just swinging the closet door was enough to minimize the main source of RFI, a parking lot light.  I finally took down that antenna a few months ago, intending to rebuild it with a tuning capacitor.  A project for this fall or winter.

A better looking version of the same principle is the KR1ST loop.  I know of several folks who've built these and reported good results for shortwave listening.

Meanwhile I'm using this doodad strung along the ceiling diagonally.  Works fine indoors for now because the adjacent apartments are vacant.  When those apartments were occupied, especially upstairs, I picked up too much RFI.  To minimize noise from my own computer and other devices I coil up the coax feedline and snap on ferrite chokes.  Works about as well as the homebrewed passive loop.

For outdoor use, mostly for holidays and special occasions when there's likely to be a lot of activity, I occasionally string up some magnet wire as a sloper.  It'll get torn down by the maintenance crew eventually, so cheaper is better.  I'll just string up around 30' of magnet wire out the window, fed directly to the Hi-Z input on the Palstar.  I don't have a proper ground but another length of magnet wire, via the ground input, and strung along the ground or baseboard helps a bit as a counterpoise.  If left alone by the maintenance crew these magnet wire antennas will last several weeks, sometimes months, before tension and the breeze fatigue the metal enough to break.  I keep a close eye on these because they can foul the outdoor A/C units.

To sling the wire up a tree I use small white HDPE pill bottles filled with coffee grounds, and some heavy duty fishing line.  I just sling the bottle as high as possible over the nearest tree, which is only the height of a utility pole.  If I miss, no big deal - the bottle is soft plastic and won't break anything, and the whole sling is non-conductive in case it hits the electric line (which hasn't happened yet - I'm pretty careful).  I tie the magnet wire to the end of the fishing line and pull it up the tree.  corq used a similar trick for her Squirreltennas, but I think she used a slingshot to get better height into the taller trees in her area.  Our trees are pretty short, only 30-40', tops.
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Offline redhat

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Re: Shortwave Antenna in an apartment
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2013, 0048 UTC »
If you have attic access, I wouldn't hesitate to put something up there.  I was fortunate enough to have a building with a relatively high peaked roof, large enough I could fit a full size dipole made of electric fence wire and insulators.  I had to put it in at night by cutting a lock off the attic access panel and then quietly crawl over people's units without making too much noise.  I had the coax drop down a wall and run into the laundry room through a BNC decora plate.  It was quite stealthy and worked pretty well.  Our area was prone to lightning hits, so something inside was preferred, despite all the noise that an apartment building has.

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Offline K5MOW

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Re: Shortwave Antenna in an apartment
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2013, 1244 UTC »
If you have attic access, I wouldn't hesitate to put something up there.  I was fortunate enough to have a building with a relatively high peaked roof, large enough I could fit a full size dipole made of electric fence wire and insulators.  I had to put it in at night by cutting a lock off the attic access panel and then quietly crawl over people's units without making too much noise.  I had the coax drop down a wall and run into the laundry room through a BNC decora plate.  It was quite stealthy and worked pretty well.  Our area was prone to lightning hits, so something inside was preferred, despite all the noise that an apartment building has.

+-RH

Wow this is so very cool. I don't think I could do this.

Roger

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: Shortwave Antenna in an apartment
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2013, 0614 UTC »
Type "Broomstick Antenna" into your browser. They perform well and they're very easy to make.