A trip into the attic.

Alpha Delta DX-EE with balun.
Hy-gain noise antenna
Being in an antenna restricted community.....now when I say restricted it is in the most extreme way. We have what I call the "condo cops" they do a walk around at least once a month to make sure all is well. If I ever even had a temporary antenna up I would be under their watchful eye!! In a way it's kinda comical it's like these folks on the board have nothing else better to do with their time.....maybe they should get a hobby. Anyway it was time for me to head up to the attic to check on the antenna farm. It has been cool these last few days which makes the attic a bit more bare-able. I have done some reading and it seems the attics in the States have A.C. units, furnaces and even plumbing. Up this way it's great for antennas as there is nothing other than electrical wiring (which can have it's own challenges). I always like to see how the Alpha Delta DX-EE is looking making sure the supports are secure and in good shape. I was good to see the center support rope is in good shape along with the support ropes at each end of the dipole as well.  I did notice one of the 40m traps was sagging a bit......BUT......as they say "if it's not broke don't fix it" Goodness knows if I tightened up that leg (just for my piece of mind only) Murphy could have a hay day with me!!
H-900 active antenna
The antenna looked fantastic other than the sagging I mentioned.....but they say that comes with age!! Anyway I did want to make a minor change for the antenna. I wanted to add a 1:1 balun at the antenna to improve the coax isolation. I have used Balun Designs baluns for all my attic antennas and they are very good quality and super support. Before making any changes I used my trusty MFJ-259B antenna analyzer to check all the bands SWR. I wanted to see if adding the balun changed the SWR at all. I did find that the SWR did go up on some bands and down on other after the balun was in place. It was a very insignificant change in either direction. The other antennas that I have in the attic is an old Hy-gain 18TD portable dipole  that winds in and out like a fishing line and can be set to individual bands. It's similar to  a measuring tape so you can set it for the wave length of the band you want to use. I use this antenna as a "noise" antenna, the MFJ-1026 needs to have a separate noise antenna for the unit to work. The unit does come with it's own telescoping antenna but I did not want to have that antenna extending in my shack. I also have another antenna with is the LF engineering H-900 active antenna. I use this in conjunction with my Elecraft K3, it is the antenna for the sub-receiver. As a side note I just was looking up the Hy-gain 18TD antenna to provide a link......came across someone who sold this antenna on Ebay for almost 500.00!!! Are they going for this much???? If so I can part with it and raise a another noise antenna!
Sagging 40m trap
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

4 Responses to “A trip into the attic.”

  • Richard KWØU:

    Good pictures. I took a length of 8 gauge wire, stripped it, had it center cut and fed into a coax connector, and a coax wire brings it down to the upstairs “shack.” Cost of the wire for this half-wave 20m dipole was $3, not much more for the connector, and the Korean War surplus insulators on the ends were almost free. With it I’ve confirmed 270 countries on 20 phone, and had pretty good luck on 15 too. You don’t need much to get a signal out.

  • Joe KB3PHL:

    You better hope those Nazi condo cop jerks don’t spend alot of time snooping around on the internet & end up finding out about this website. They sound like they would be just anal enough to use that against the tenents & show up at your front door asking questions about your antennas in the attic.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Richard, that is so true and it’s great that you put up an antenna that was very low in cost but very high in contacts!! Also you just don’t have to have a high end antenna there is also QRP and QRPp power and the wonders it will do on the bands for making contacts. Thanks for the comment and input Richard.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Joe, funny thing you mention that and I have thought about that for some time now. So far so good but you know what you can’t live in a shell and centre everything around the condo cops. Besides if they do find me on the web then it’s an antenna in the house…..ham radio has a way of over coming the small challenges in life.
    Joe thanks for taking the time to comment and stopping by the blog.
    Have a good week

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