I would wager a guess that one of the first things a new Technician does after getting their ticket is to build an antenna. Probably something like a 1/4 wl ground plane. I know it was the first one I made!
When I was a newly licensed Technician, I knew that living in an HOA would present some challenges regarding putting up an antenna or 4 that wouldn't get me in trouble with the Karens and Chads of the neighborhood. Especially when it came to HF antennas. Those challenges have let me to work on some very fun projects. My project list soon turned out to be a list of what antennas I could build that would not only be hidden in plain sight, but actually work. And work well. Below are some of the funkier ones I have built and had good success with.
2m / 70cm Dipole
Nothing too terribly fancy about a dipole. Whether it's made from stranded wire, brazing rod, or copper pipe the concept is the same; 1/2 wavelength overall, coax center connected to one leg, coax shield connected to the other, oriented vertically for AM/FM, and horizontally for SSB. This one is well hidden behind the deck stairs, and easily hits all of the local repeaters and a
3-Dimensional Folded Loop.
This was one of the funner ones to build, and probably the biggest PITA to tune! It is essentially a full wave 2m loop that is folded in three dimensions. Painted the same color as the deck using Krylon Fusion (no metallic products in this paint), it is simply not visible even from my own back yard below. It does seem to have some directionality with the major lobe bei
One of the funner ones to try to explain to people, the 70cm Slot antenna! These have been used for years in their simplest forms on airplanes, and in more complex forms as a waveguide antennas as radar antennas on ships and television broadcasting antennas.
The slot is cut to a 1/2 wavelength, and then just a touch longer for tuning. The 50 Ohms impedance match is found closer to t
Vent Pipe Slip-over Antenna
Similar to the "slot antenna", this could be considered a "staggered slot" antenna. Using a 3" piece of PVC pipe, the slots are made from carefully sized pieces of self-adhesive aluminum tape.
This antenna can easily slip over an existing roof vent. Or, you could put a cap on it, fashion a 90° elbow off the side of the house, and run the coax through the wall. Either
6m Squalo Antenna
I have a simple 6m wire dipole under the rear deck that works well, but I always wanted to build one of these. Plans for these are readily available by doing a search for "Squalo". These are quite popular 2m antennas as well.
There are 3 antennas in this picture. Can you find them all? Read on for their description and locations.
Antenna #1: The tall flower is the Ed Fong dual band j-pole antenna. :) The antenna is designed to be housed inside a piece of 200 psi PVC pipe, and is therefore a bit shorter than a standard dual band j-pole made from 300 Ohms TV lead. A trip to the nearby Dollar Tree store and I was arme