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Re: [TowerTalk] Are my tower dreams in the toilet?

To: "'Roger \(K8RI\)'" <>, "'Jim Lux'" <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Are my tower dreams in the toilet?
From: "J. Gordon Beattie, Jr., W2TTT" <>
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2008 00:21:13 -0000
List-post: <">>
I just love your spirit!
God bless you!
Vy 73,
Gordon Beattie, W2TTT

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Roger (K8RI)
Sent: Monday, April 14, 2008 6:01 AM
To: Jim Lux
Cc:;; Dave Harmon
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Are my tower dreams in the toilet?

Jim Lux wrote:
> Dave Harmon wrote:
>> Believe me.....the airport considerations are the LEAST of your potential
>> and likely problems with a tower of any kind if you are in a sub-division
>> 'village' or 'township'.
>> Any location where you must sign your rights away will probably make it
>> impossible to do any HF operating of any quality.
> Nonsense...  You might not be able to use 1940s and 1950s technology 
> (i.e.  a Yagi on a big tower), but from a theoretical standpoint, you 
> should be able to do almost as well from a 50x100x20 foot cube with 
> visually inconspicuous/invisible radiators.
> The challenge to hams is to do "HF operating of quality" within the 
> constraints of modern civilization.
To me the key is "Acceptable constraints".
Every thing I've enjoyed through life seems to be under attack.  The 
neighbors want to close the airport,
Neighbors worry about my tower being a lightning attractor.  I had to 
get a permit for just 100 feet. The Democrats seems to want my guns. The 
airlines want my small plane out of the way when their problems are 

Had I not been able to put up my tower the house would have been for 
sale the next day.
My antennas are visible for  several miles from the East and I have one 
neighbor who took down his "ugly" TV antenna so I'm sure I know what he 
thinks of mine, but "so far" the neighbors have seem the work I do with 
storm chasing, listen to the weather nets which the TV stations give 
credit live while we are out there. It didn't hurt that I spent nearly 
10 minutes on local network TV arguing the case against building a 250 
bed jail about 400 yards from the neighborhood which is full of small 
kids.  And the small kids make regular trips around to see the progress 
on the airplane I'm building, or that we let them ride their bikes and 
scooters around our driveways which are paved and keep the little ones 
out of the road.
When the tornado warnings go out the nets even tell us to stay home, but 
they know I will be out there with my camera so I might as well be 
making reports. Incidentally, even  this far North we've already gone 
through two tornado outbreaks but no real damage.

Yes, I even feel constrained by a 200 X 200 foot lot and a 1000 sq ft 
home, but I can afford what I have. I'd be actively hunting for 4 to 6 
acres to either by with a home or build on were I 20 or even 10 years 

However I see the same attitude of staying put and fitting in,  costing 
thousands of jobs. People complain about the computer system jobs going 
overseas but at the same time I see the industry clamoring for a big 
increase of the (think it's S-1 Visas) because there are literally 
thousands of  very high paying jobs going begging as they can't find 
qualified people to fill them. 
> I'm sure the folks contemplating operation from a suburban lot with a 
> Yagi back in the 40s and 50s were probably told "if you don't have room 
> for a multiwavelength rhombic, you might as well be operating portable 
> on batteries"
I don't remember any one telling us such, but it's a fact of life, the 
better the antenna the easier it is to get out. OTOH I never have liked 
Rhombics. <:-)) If some one wants to, or finds themselves in the 
situation where it's necessary to use limited space, low profile 
antennas and have the desire to build the skills necessary for lower 
power, limited space antennas I think that is great, but it's not for 
me. Yes I believe  in building skills, but not unnecessary  handicaps.  
Fortunately although most of Midland is more "upscale" city it is a ham 
radio friendly city (in most places).  Let's face it, I don't want to be 
low profile.

> And, of course, "nobody will ever use that newfangled sideband stuff"
> I think that the era of "big tower with a 3 element yagi in the 
> backyard" is on its last legs, just like the multi-acre "antenna farm" 
Around here we are seeing more and more larger towers and antennas.

> of yore (e.g. W6AM's installation).   Of course, there will always be 
> folks with the resources to have the field of rhombics or the multi 
I never could figure out whey any one would put up a rhombic when they 
could get nearly the gain and much more flexibility out of a Yagi.
> tower with multi stacks (we can all dream), but the future is in fitting 
> in with other uses, and that means inconspicuous, making use of massive 
> signal processing, etc.
I really thing ham radio should be high profile except in those 
instances where CC&Rs prevent it .
I want the neighbors to know who and what I am.  To do otherwise does 
the Amateur Radio Service a dis-service.

> It's actually an exciting time.  20 years ago, adaptive interference 
> cancellation, adaptive antenna arrays, etc., were all the exclusive 
> province of folks with millions of bucks to spend on development and 
> signal processing hardware.  Today, there's cheap processing hardware, 
> lots of clever software, etc.  To take a concrete example.. today, any 
> amateur can go out and spend under $1000 and get RF measurement 
> equipment that can make measurements that would have required equipment 
> costing over $100K 20 years ago.  (When did the HP 8510 come out?  or 
> the 8573 VNA?  how much did they cost?, etc.)
> You can spend a few thousand bucks today and get hardware that will 
> allow you to build an 8 element phased array with performance that blows 
> away any of the wildest dreams thought of by the authors of the 1980s 
> antenna handbook.
Rigs?Yes, and test equipment, but I think the term hardware is a bit too 
> Pretty much the only theoretical advantage of the tall tower (and it's a 
It's not just theoretical although 60 to 70 feet is plenty for 20 
through  10.  It's kinda short for 40, really short for 75 (I need more 
than that just for half wave slopers.) and minuscule for 160.   Sure you 
can work out fine with much less.  There are QRPers doing  it all the 
time with low power and small antennas.  Many do it for the challenge.  
OTOH for VHF and UHF the taller the better.  However I can't see doing 
it  just  to please the neighbors.
> significant one) is that you can get more radiated power into the far 
> field in a particular direction with a limit on transmitter power, and 
> that's mostly because of the soil properties a few wavelengths away.
And it also works on receive.


Roger (K8RI)
> Jim, W6RMK
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