LHS Episode #176: Lowering Property Values
We're back with another episode of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, we discuss House Resolution 1301 (again), which has finally made it's way through that half of Congress. We also tackle a military-amateur crossover event, lunar satellites, text editors, office suites, Richard Stallman's brain, fancy Linux distributions and a completely made up scoring system for distro ham readiness. Thanks as always for tuning in. We hope you enjoy.
73 de The LHS Crew
First I’ll say that HOAs are bullshit. But, if you’re dumb enough or don’t have the balls to man up to the XYL and move to an HOA community, don’t expect me to support more government intervention to our lives than they already do. Plant your 8′ mobile whip in your wife’s flower pot (if she’ll let you) and go work DX.
I totally agree with my good friend KaPMC, and I could not have said it better.
Basically, this is written for those new to Amateur Radio. I thoroughly agree with both the above comments concerning HOAs as well as Covenants and Zoning Restrictions. In my humble opinion, when you buy a property, and you pay the bills, you should be able to control your property within reason. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with us, and some regulation is necessary for obvious reasons, but government and some people are more than a little overzealous when it comes to how much control is necessary, and it is even more unfortunate that money talks and BS walks!
When contemplating a move to a new residence, if you are a ham, and if you intend to maximize your enjoyment of the hobby, and if you have an understanding and loving spouse, here is a basic check list that I recommend for those wishing to seriously enjoy working HF:
1. Check around the area for property by first looking at county zoning restrictions. If they are tolerable, try to find a place outside the city or the metro area. Look for at least 40 acres if you can afford it, as 40 acres seems to be a magic number for being able to do nearly anything in a county you want to do in the way of antennas. 160 acres is much better, but much harder to keep the grass and weeds mowed. You might even want to check the soil quality and resistance.
2. Failing to find the magic 40 acres, try for an estate size. A 200 by 400 foot lot, favoring your desired direction of radiation, works well on 160 meters.
3. Look up. Look at your horizon. Do you see any high voltage transmission lines? How close is the house to them? Are there any other objectionable objects such as elevation, trees, commercial towers, or industrial operations? A quiet area is good for DX.
4. If you must be within the city limits, then check all the items that are important to you such as various special interest living areas like “gated communities,” junk yards, hospitals, schools, or personal preferences as to who lives near you if it matters to you – – are they your kind of people? Most are usually pretty nice, but some may be quite snooty or want to actually “control” your personal activities, which can be a real problem. Parents can be judged by the actions of their children sometimes, and also the other way around, but not always, so look and ask around. Check the city zoning regulations concerning antennas and any other activity you may desire to implement. Double check any HOAs; some of them are actually hazardous to your health, particularly concerning wood roofs. Your good health and happiness depends not only on your ham desires, but with your internal family relations as well as family relations with your neighbors. It is a balancing act. Remember, in the USA we have quite a large number of people who make a pretty good living by suing others over trivial crap, which will always cost you money even if you are innocent of any wrongdoing; it’s a lawyers game, and even if you win, you lose!
5. Now see if you like any of the properties in the chosen area. Check for HOAs (which are rarely ham friendly), and any deed or property covenants, BEFORE YOU BUY. Check these CLOSELY! Once you sign on the dotted line, you’re stuck with it! Check the size of the lot concerning the antennas you desire, including any setback or height requirement codes the antenna will need, then recheck the applicable zoning and other Mickey Mouse requirements your neighbors may have for their ideas on “esthetics!” In other words, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
6. Decide whether all these things pass your required needs and wants.
7. If you actually find a place that you like, your wife likes, your kids like, and that passes all the basic requirements you will be extremely lucky and you had better buy it before someone changes their mind.
Your diligence will pay you dividends, but I doubt you will get through this procedure without some compromise. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and some beholders have a terrible view of a beam antenna and a tower even though you think it looks great. Once in a while you can convert a neighbor to your cause by explaining ham radio involvement in emergency operations. You may have to negotiate, or even resort to stealth technology to make your antenna system work, and in general free space, elevation, and antenna height must be compromised. One can have the greatest electronics equipment in the country and run the full legal limit of power, but without a decent antenna it will seriously impair your ability to make contacts with the world. An underground dipole makes an excellent dummy load. Don’t be afraid to ask an Elmer or two for advice, as they may have some ideas or experience that will help you get everything up and running smoothly. I hope this helps someone realize their dream of working the world! Good luck.