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Pro's help and opinion needed!

A place to ask questions about base setups.

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BigX
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Pro's help and opinion needed!

Post by BigX » Thursday, 07 May 2015, 6:28 AM

I need some help guys, and your opinions as to what might work best that’s even if it will at all. Just moved into an apartment that doesn’t have outdoor or balcony access. There is no way for me to put up an antenna so the only route I think I can go is Dipole. So I made one from the power extension cord but haven’t set it up yet to tune. The thing is the place is concrete and steel beams, being that it was an old tea factory. I am high up on the 11th floor but there is also a building close to me. So what do I do? Is there anything I can hang out the window at night or should I try hanging the Dipole right by the window? I know talking local won’t be that great but maybe I will be able to pick up some skip. What would you do if you were in this situation?


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Re: Pro's help and opinion needed!

Post by MDYoungblood » Thursday, 07 May 2015, 6:57 AM

Using a dipole inside is a start, placing it at a clear view window in the inverted V fashion might work semi-okay. Receive is going to be better then transmit. I would "Google" HF Antennas for Apartments", it will come up with loads of homemade ideas/plans antennas and some to purchase. You can have a lot of fun experimenting.

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Re: Pro's help and opinion needed!

Post by Tweetybird » Thursday, 07 May 2015, 9:58 AM

I believe Maco makes a 1/2 wave dipole model BA-1 intended for balcony use. This may fit your needs BigX..

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Re: Pro's help and opinion needed!

Post by BigX » Thursday, 07 May 2015, 10:56 AM

Would be nice but I dont have a balcony just windows I can open that are metal frame.

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Re: Pro's help and opinion needed!

Post by Tweetybird » Thursday, 07 May 2015, 15:30 PM

Opps, guess I did not read your post close enough..sorry


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Re: Pro's help and opinion needed!

Post by Slim Pickins » Thursday, 07 May 2015, 18:22 PM

You could always try an end fed dipole and stick it out the window with a long fiberglass pole. Then you could try it horizontal or vertical. Or you might try a full wave loop suspended at the ceiling.
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Re: Pro's help and opinion needed!

Post by drdx » Sunday, 10 May 2015, 5:28 AM

You could also explore using an antenna tuner and trying to load up the window frame or other existing metal just outside the window. Is there any metal just outside the window you could run a single wire to? The arrangement would be something to the effect of having the radio run into the tuner, then from there out you could run a single wire out to the metal. For a ground you would run what is called a tuned counterpoise consisting of a simple 9 foot piece of insulated wire hooked to the tuner ground. Don't connect the other end of that wire to anything and tape off the end. If you have no metal outside then you may be able to try just dropping a wire out the window and using the tuner to make the radio happy swr wise. Vary the lengths and what you try for an antenna. Surely with a little imagination and that height you can get something going. The only other obvious solution that comes to mind would be the same arrangement I mentioned above but using a fiberglass mobile antenna that you just put out when in use, or maybe a v dipole from mobile antennas on the window frame.

Tuners are not expensive. Find an old mfj or the like for cheap and give it a try.

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Re: Pro's help and opinion needed!

Post by Buzzweiser » Sunday, 10 May 2015, 20:17 PM

How is your apartment heated and cooled? How many more floors are above you? I had a friend many years ago that lived in a converted office building that had the same issues you are having. He bought one of the old white fiberglass 96" mobile antenna's and a mirror mount. He also bought 2 very large suction cups with 8" standoffs and 2 smaller suction cups. He used the larger cups to mount the antenna to his glass window, one just above the mount and then the other as high up the antenna as he could reach with zip ties. The standoffs were made of plastic. he then fashioned 2 ground planes out of light wire and stuck them on the edges of his windows at a slight angle. The antenna itself was mounted right in the center of the window.(It was a very large and wide window set) Later he made friends with the chic that was living on the top floor and she allowed him to mount his antenna on her window. He added another healthy size suction cup to take the weight of the coax and antenna at the mounting point for added security. This set-up never fell off in two years. Later he made friends with the maintenance guy who allowed him to mount that same antenna to a billboard on top the roof and run his coax down through the chaseway for his AC lines. He got out really well and even shot decent dx with a Cobra 142 and a little 100watt mobile amp. His building was only 5 floors. The billboard mount gave him an extra 25 feet to boot and the steel framework worked well as a counterpoise. I've also seen a similar setup that worked well with a 102" whip and a triple mag mount on top a rooftop AC unit. If your apartment uses a PTAC unit for heating and cooling there are a few ways to mount an antenna to the outside of the case. That all depends on how much of the case sticks out. You just have to look around and see what all you got and be inventive. It's kinda fun and very informative to boot. You can be amazed at what you can come up with and even how well you can make your radio get out with some crazy set-ups. I once ran a 5/8 wave ground plane in an attic almost laying horizontal with only one ground plane on it and that even worked really well considering.
Good Luck!!
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Re: Pro's help and opinion needed!

Post by ogdoa » Monday, 11 May 2015, 3:31 AM

Could you just make a mount that would fit in your window frame? Something that you can take in and out or that the window would close down on?
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Re: Pro's help and opinion needed!

Post by DuckSoupe » Monday, 11 May 2015, 3:41 AM

I did not want a antenna on my roof. I bought a professionally cut dipole for 11 meter. I put it up horizontally with a balun. It is great on DX and seems directional to the north and south of me. locally I only want 5 miles. There is less ground noise. My match is perfect. Dipole antenna's are nice if you make them right or buy a professional one cut to where you want.

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Re: Pro's help and opinion needed!

Post by BigX » Monday, 11 May 2015, 8:00 AM

Thanks for the info guys. The heating and cooling is all electric and is inside so no air conditioner hanging outside. The window frames are aluminum is seems and are big due to the large windows. I might be able to try the suction cup trick and see how that goes. Or just string up a dipole across the window and hope it doesn’t interfere with the window frames. I’m on the 11th floor so I know that would help and there is only one more floor above me but my ceiling are high about 13 feet.

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Re: Pro's help and opinion needed!

Post by Buzzweiser » Monday, 11 May 2015, 9:58 AM

That's a high ceiling. Not sure what direction your window faces but a dipole does sound like a good start. You can try variations with it horizontal and inverted V for different kinds of talking, horizontal for DX and inverted V for any local chatter. Meanwhile you can work on a different set-up to improve your TX/RX if you like. With that high of ceiling a Moxon might work for you. Just kind of hang it from the ceiling about 10 feet from the window and point it out the window. It will be directional but they work really well. Do you have any pics of your window? Might be able to come up with an exterior mount if we could see what you are working with.
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