[TowerTalk] Planning First Beam and Installation - Comments Please

Kevin der Kinderen kkinderen at gmail.com
Wed May 10 17:44:33 EDT 2006

I knew I came to the right place with my questions. I've already received
some good answers that have made me sit back and think a little more about
my situation. Some of the points that were made I probably should have
thought through before - but I've never had anything other than wire
antennas and was pretty excited when the landlord said a beam would be OK.

Here's a quick summary of what I heard:

* The tin roof is going to be a problem with any beam. I can't get far
enough above it or away from it to make it a non-issue.

* Liability issues - I have to be more concerned with protecting my landlord
and myself from any damages caused by the installation. I didn't even think
about adding this expense into the cost.

* I'll have to investigate if there's anything I need to do with the town
before putting an antenna on the roof. I knew it would be an issue with a
tower, but I guess it might also be an issue with a roof mounted antenna.

* The tin roof (it is peaked, not flat) may make a better platform for a
vertical - the tin actually being an advantage. I guess the advantages here
would include 1) a choice of antennas vertical vs. doublet 2) lower angle of
radiation for DX (I'll have to check the book to see how the sloped roof
will affect this). Disadvantages are 1) verticals are more susceptible to
man made noise 2) no directional discrimination and 3) I only had one
vertical in the past and I never made a contact on it! Bad install - again,
compromised by small space at an apartment.

* Length of time in the apartment. A beam installation is probably more
suited to a long-term use based on the installation requirements. Living
in apartments, I don't expect to be in one place more than 3-5 years.

There were also a number of recommendations on alternatives to the MA5B.
That Hexbeam has always looked interesting to me but is beyond my means at
the moment.

So, back to the drawing board. I'll do a little research on vertical
options, read some reviews and installation practices and see if this might
make a better choice for my situation.

Thanks to all for your comments and suggestions. Half the fun of any project
is the search for the solution.

Kevin - K4VD

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