[TowerTalk] Smaller Towers on City Lots

David L. Thompson thompson@mindspring.com
Wed, 22 Oct 1997 13:46:34 -0400 (EDT)

At 08:32 AM 10/22/97 -0500, Lee Buller <k0wa@southwind.net> wrote:
>A couple of years ago, Steve K7LXC, presented a paper at Dayton about
>smaller tower installations (for contesting and DXing) on city lots.
>I have been working on my installation of a 60 foot tower on a lot of 75 by
>150 that will be "somewhat" competitive in various contest.  I wonder if we
>could start a discussion here as to what people are doing with limited
>space, shorter towers, and dense neighborhoods with neighbors and trees.
>I for one, have a fair antenna system, but I am wondering what others are
>doing out there as well.

Lee brings up a point that I think applies to many of us of this reflector.
Steve K7LXC material is a great starting point and although we have
limitations many of us have competed quite well over the years with one
tower and various verts and wires for 160 and 80.  Talking with many of
these stations I find that most have run ins with TVI, telephone RFI, et al.
My wife leaves town as she does not want to receive that phone call.
One guy here had to move as his neighbors just would not stop!

While K7LXC's material and on the air/e-mail buzz has made most aware of the
antennas for 40 to 10...we are short of literature on antennas for the low
bands.  Most of the discussions here and in printed material get into
beverages (where I used to run my N/S beverage is now a subdivision) and the
like and we with small lots must ignore this info as a 1/2 acre or smaller
cannot support beverages. IF you are like me and try to work all bands from
160 to 10 there is not room for EWE's or K9AY's among the ton of wire we
already have up.  I try to have 2 antennas on 160 and 80 (xmit) to give me a
channce at working some of the DX.  My neighbors already come out to look at
the "crazy" amateur put up more antennas.  Every 3 or 4 years I try to
simplify the antennas as I remember the VE3 of 30 years ago who was the top
VE in the ARRL DX because he could switch bands quickly....he ran under
200W.  I remember from history Gen Nathan Bedford Forrest quoted as saying
"the winner got there quickest with mostest".

So what do small lot stations use to be competitive?  I use a modified
Carolina Beam with VERT element for 80 that is a killer to OX, VE8, CE0,
EM1, VP8CTR et al).  K4UEE said I was the loudest station at both CE0Z and
XY0 on 75 SSB.  The vert piece lets me be louder to EU and VL/ZL, but it is
a fight to JA or ZS or 9X0A (null on my modeling program of -5Dbi.)  I still
have the Fritzel FD4 which is usually the equal to EU and Ron heard me 1st
call at 3D2RW.  On 160 I lost both my big loop and big elevated L so use a
MULTEE right out of the handbook made with ladder line. I also have the
little giant Uni-Hat for both 160 and 80/75.  These do alright but lose out
to full size verts on 160.  I have the strap material to make my crank up a
top loaded vert when I finally bring it down to fix or replace the 34XA.

Even harder to do is find a receiving antenna.  I have used a AB0X shielded
loop made from 300' of small RG59 coax (Aug 1989 CQ).  This lays on my roof
and then runs thru my back yard.  Being small and black its hard to see even
when the leaves are off the trees.  I used to run it thru a small tuner and
then a Palomar pre-amp, but Mike AB0X found that the tuner brought in all
sorts of images.  It works much better without the tuner.  The rub is 300'
is too long for 80/75 and its as noisy as the big antennas.  I think 150 to
170' is ideal as AB0X points out in his article.  I tried a loop (a big
expensive commercial one from a firm in Florida) and the Palomar loop
antenna..and they just did not work.  The DX sigs just disappeared.  I use
the Uni-Hat for 75 receive and often the 40 meter beam with the pre-amp.
Even my 12 meter X-Beam hears some Dx sigs with an effective S/N.

Lets hear about a sucessful receiving antenna or a killer xmit antenna.  We
need to know.

BTW: K1ZM has a new book out on 160 and the press release from ARRL seems to
indicate he covers us small stations.

73, Dave K4JRB
Contesting and Dxing on a 1/2 acre lot

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