Mon. Jan 22nd, 2024

HF Antenna Sites

My amateur radio hobby has to live with antenna building limitations at my family home QTH.

As a consequence, I’m using

  • my home QTH for temporary antenna installations only,
  • our off-grid garden area outside town for more elaborate antenna installations and experiments,
  • and various spots “flora & fauna” for real portable operation with wild antennas that have to build-up quickly and work as good as possible

Of course, the less civilization, the wilder the antenna installations can be!

In general I don’t spend much money on wire and rather use cheap electrician wire for all my antennas, Typical wires I use are isolated 0.8mm plain installation wire, or isolated braid wire (more copper, more isolation, more rugged and easier to handle, but heavier) and enamelled copper wire. Below mage provides an overview.


Common to all my HF conductors is that they are not really capable of providing a center or off-center feeder with the attached coax cable (if the antenna is installed hanging freely). Wire would get stretched and lengthen and probably the antenna would not last for long.
In order to get along I use a support string along with the antenna wire. The string carries the weight, the wire is for the current.

My choice of strings boiled down to two types of string: parcel cord and clothes line.

Parcel Cord is just fine for portable operation where an antenna has to last for a few hours or days. The material is cheap, amazingly robust, and it survives well when being run and pulled over ground, through trees and whatever you may think of. And (important!) it’s really a cheap choice!

Clothes Line from the hardware store is great. It comes in all lengths, it’s made to be weather resistant, and it’s even more robust compared to parcel cord. It runs well from spools, through pulleys (if needed) and it doesn’t cost a fortune, too. I use this for quick installations at my home QTH where reliability during operation is more vital than is when working outdoors.


Temporary Antenna Installation at Home QTH

Living in a rented row house, there would theoretically be space upwards to have vertical antenna solutions. However, that’s difficult for low frequencies, and it would require messing around with my land-lord, which is not my first choice.

Fortunately, there is open space straight forward from the attic of our home, and a tree on the opposite side of the street, so whenever I have need for “ham radio@home”, an antenna links both spots. In order to do this quickly, I have a string resting in the tree on the other side of the street, and another string on a spool running down from the attic (actually the chimney) to attach one end of the antenna.

More Permanent Antenna Installation at Garden QTH


Portable Antenna Operation