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Old 01-13-2020, 03:26 PM
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Default Antennas on the House



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First, it is important to note that large antennas on a house will be obvious and possibly make it a target. That cannot be helped. In small towns, that would probably be a minor problem, which is why I decided to not worry about that.
I currently have three main antennas on my house.
TV antenna tops out at 68 feet above the ground
Dual Band Ham Radio antenna tops out at 40 feet above the ground.
Citizen Band Radio antenna tops out at 50 feet above the ground.

Without cable TV, I still get 11 channels in this small town/rural area even though I am in a valley between two hills.
With the Ham Radio, I can talk to anyone in town. Hitting the repeater, I can talk all over the world.
The CB radio allows me to talk to someone with a handheld CB radio anywhere in town, including in a back garage with a steel roof, and with truckers on the Interstate past the far side of town.

Next summer, I plan to add some more antennas and perhaps raise the existing ones.
Here is a photo of the current Antennas.
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Last edited by Yehudi; 01-17-2020 at 03:40 PM.. Reason: I now get more stations
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:38 PM
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My T.V. antenna was less than $20, it's mounted head high on the side of the house & I get nearly 30 channels, all the ones available over the air in my area. https://www.amazon.com/Mohu-Paper-th...dp/B00JC9J2NQ/

I don't have any big antenna for comms other than a 2' foldable for my HT's. I do plan on getting something for the comms, but I don't want a huge antenna in the yard or on my house. There are several huge HAM antennas within a few block radius of me & they stick out like a sore thumb. I thought about getting one that I could lay flat & tilt up when needed or even rigging up one with a large weather balloon to lift the antenna at least a bit above rooftop level. I'm also about a block to 1 1/2 blocks from a large commercial antenna that I'm not sure is even in use anymore as the communication company that used to own the building is no longer there. In a longer term SHTF I might be able to find a way to put that to use.

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Old 01-13-2020, 10:20 PM
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In a SHTF grid-down situation the repeater may not be able to get you out worldwide. Being in a valley I don't think HF beams would help unless the towers put them above the tops of the surrounding hills or mountain ranges. Maybe try some dipoles on HF if your license allows. There are also stealth antennas hidden in attics for dipoles if hiding them is a concern. From what I know of them they allow operators in certain areas, like HOAs, to still operate, but they have limited performance capabilities. Local comms are important, but so is long range. If people in California, Oregon, or Washington can alert you in Wyoming that a severe storm is heading your way take it rather than wait to find out on your own. Alert your neighbors and get some vittles in the process.
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Old 01-13-2020, 11:10 PM
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If you've got a large tree close to your house, you can put a lightweight pulley near the top and use it to raise an antenna. The taller the tree, the taller the antenna can be. I put up one for my mom that's made of 1" conduit sleeved over 3/4" conduit that's seventy feet high. The pulley supports most of the weight of the system, and you can rotate the antenna from the ground. One piece of rope is attached to the pole and threaded through the pulley and another piece is tied to the top of the pole to keep the pole under control while you're raising and lowering the antenna.
My mom's neighbors cut down their big trees so they wouldn't have to rake leaves, but now they're paying $100 for cable TV just to get the same channels my mom gets for free. I've got the same setup at my place. Trees are good, they save you money on AC because they shade the house.
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:34 AM
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Trees are also good for dipole wire antennas. I am fortunate to have tall trees on the property so my main antenna is around 100 feet above the ground. Don't forget to properly ground everything - towers, antennas, and equipment. You will not only be safer, but your radios will work better. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yehudi View Post
First, it is important to note that large antennas on a house will be obvious and possibly make it a target.
.
Why and for why? All I could see is people looking to you four answers from out of the local area. I canít imagine anyone wanting to destroy the capability except for some sort of open warfare. TPTB know your address of you have a liscense.
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Old 01-17-2020, 01:12 AM
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Why? They are obvious and different from the norm. Even if the person seeing them doesn't think or know why an antenna may be an issue to them.

Also anyone half smart looking to infiltrate the area after a major event would see antennas and realise you have a communications capability that may be used to inform the surrounding area of activity.
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Old 01-17-2020, 01:22 AM
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Why and for why? All I could see is people looking to you four answers from out of the local area. I canít imagine anyone wanting to destroy the capability except for some sort of open warfare. TPTB know your address of you have a liscense.
I agree, but so many don't think with logic. Especially in times of panic. During Katrina people were stealing shoes. I hope their kids found them tasty.
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:14 AM
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The thing is there is certain reputation around ham operators of being people who are also prepared. It's exactly the kind of thing I think would be targeted in SHTF.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:01 AM
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I suppose it all depends on what kind of a location you live in - who your neighbors are, etc.,, etc., etc.

For those of us living in very rural environs, I suspect it would be less of an issue - our neighbors are as prepared as we are, or more so. The ability to share news (local and outside) is important - the ability to help provide information for my neighbors could be life saving.

Like in real estate, location, location, location....
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:07 AM
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I have a G5RV horizontal wire antenna in a yard with trees. Even if you know it’s there, it’s hard to see because the copper color blends in so well with the brown tree trunks. We have a 25 foot tall two meter vertical antenna that also blends well with the 55 foot tall trees. There are natural ways to deal with these problems.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:13 AM
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As a ham I would agree that amateur radio and other kinds of prepping are somewhat correlated. It was the last of seven areas of prepping I addressed. People newer to prepping may be concentrating on areas such as shelter, security, replenishable water, or replenishable food.
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:18 PM
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If you have your general ticket a wire antenna dipole or end fed , inverted v work great and don't stick out like advertising (especially if done covertly) Most people never notice mine and it's 10 meter to 160 meter and works very well.
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:36 PM
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Why and for why? All I could see is people looking to you four answers from out of the local area. I canít imagine anyone wanting to destroy the capability except for some sort of open warfare. TPTB know your address of you have a liscense.
In normal times, large and/or multiple antennas on your house would indicate you probably have some expensive radio equipment, making your house a target for thieves to steal and sell or pawn.
After TSHTF, those who are dishonest or desperate may want that equipment to use for themselves. There will always be thieves.
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:53 PM
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I put up the original TV antenna up at 68 feet because my house is down between to large hills, hoping to get stations besides those on the local TV repeater. Since it is a low gain antenna, it didnít help. I can get the repeater channels from about 20 feet up. Next summer I plan to bring the whole rig back down, put a very high gain antenna on top, and extend the top to about 80 feet, which is about 15 ft shorter than the nearby tree tops. I also put it up there just to do something a little outrageous. I designed, built, and erected that antenna by myself, no assistance. That included doing all the calculations to get all twelve of the pre-attached guy wires and the erecting stop rope the right length. It was flawless.
I later added the dual band ham antenna, which I also designed and built.
Then I put up the CB antenna just before the snows hit. It was made in Italy.
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Old 01-17-2020, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yehudi View Post
In normal times, large and/or multiple antennas on your house would indicate you probably have some expensive radio equipment, making your house a target for thieves to steal and sell or pawn.
After TSHTF, those who are dishonest or desperate may want that equipment to use for themselves. There will always be thieves.
Maybe, but I doubt many pawn shops buy ham equipment.

I don’t see gangs wanting to set up their own com system. Now if you had visible solar panels, that would make far more sense. Ditto for rotating a yagi, or having light leak out at night.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:35 PM
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Over 100 HD channels on wabbit ears, even with a metal roof. Being on top of a mountain at 7000í helps.
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:38 PM
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Maybe, but I doubt many pawn shops buy ham equipment.
Two pawn shops in this town, both buy and/or pawn Ham gear. I have even seen Ham radio equipment on Pawn Shop Ebay sales.
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I donít see gangs wanting to set up their own com system. Now if you had visible solar panels, that would make far more sense. Ditto for rotating a yagi, or having light leak out at night.
I do. That would give then a huge advantage over other gangs. It would also give them the ability to have outlying lookouts, barter with bunkers or fortified towns without showing themselves first, listen in on other groups, all sorts of advantages.
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