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Antenna help for a ground floor flat please (3 replies and 3 comments)

Kevin C
4 weeks ago
Kevin C 4 weeks ago

Hi

I am disabled and housebound. I live in a 5 storey block, ground floor flat and I cant get permission for a roof aerial. We are surrounded by other tall buildings. No garden, so i am needing suggestions for a suitable antenna. I am only interested in listening to VHF/UHF at the mo - that may change once I pass my Foundation Licence when I might like to transmit now and again.

Would a balanced dipole on the outside of the window frame work? Or a simple long wire. I have heard talk of a 5/8 wave magmount on a tin tray but that seems a bit far fetched.

Any suggestions on how I can get a suitable antenna please, or can I connect to an internet gateway?

I have a little Baofeng UV5R with a Nagoya 771 which receives well on the odd occasion that my daughter takes me out in her car, but I cant get a signal indoors from it

Many thanks in advance

Kevin

Peter M0PWX (2E0PWX)
4 weeks ago

the simplest antenna for flats etc where you can't get permission for antennas is a ladder line J pole or slim Jim, which you can get cheaply or make yourself if you have some basic soldering skills and a SWR meter or NanoVNA to tune it

its just a piece of 20mm wide ladder line a couple of metres long you can hang up outside and take it down so not permanent

don't dismiss a 2m/70cm mag mount on a metal tray / biscuit tin its not perfect but it does work

you need to work out which repeaters are near you Repeater List SE (ukrepeater.net) as that will help tell you the frequencies to listen for, as well as 145.500 which is the main calling frequency

73

Peter M0PWX 

(NOT Pete M0PSX who runs the site)

 

 

Kevin C
4 weeks ago

Thanks Peter! You're a legend
I am waiting on delivery of a NanoVNA, and am fine with soldereing and basic electronics, so I will order some ladder line to have a go
Ive not tried the mag mount solution yet so thats another thing to do on my agenda
Thank yo so much for the local repeaters and your prompt reply

73
Kevin

James - M7GBF
2 weeks ago
James - M7GBF 2 weeks ago

Hey Kevin, I'm getting started just like you.. I found this guy in Italy with a bunch of useful advice on running your rig from inside a flat using stealth antennas. Nobody will suspect you're talking to Budapest when your voice comes out of their TV and the lights dim because you're drawing so much power (just kidding!) 

https://www.iw5edi.com/technical-articles/hidden-and-stealth-antennas

Kevin C
2 days ago

Thanks James. That is areally interesting article and I think I will be reading up and thinking about alternatives to my home station. Im only using 2metre and 70cms at the mo until I get familar with everything. 73s de M7FTN

Peter M0PWX (2E0PWX)
2 weeks ago

have a look at these books 

NanoVNAs Explained (rsgbshop.org)

this one shows what you can do with the nanoVNA, much more than a antenna tuner, 

also look for the VNASaver windows program (its free from NanoVNASaver | NanoVNA) it makes it much more user friendly and easy to use

you must calibrate the nanovna each time you turn it on, and ideally calibrate it for the band(s) you will be testing, so for VHF i generally calibrate start freq 140mhz, stop freq 150mhz, the beauty of it is you can see the curve and see where the point of lowest SWR is so you know if its below the desired freq you need to shorten it, and if above the desired freq you need to lengthen it

Stealth Antennas (rsgbshop.org)

will give you some ideas of loop antennas, wires in gutters, and various of forms you can use, most of them are basic wire antennas so easy to play

Kevin C
2 days ago

Hi Peter. I have just bought a NanoVNA after passing my exam last week. I did some research and thought it may be a very useful bit of kit! The books look good too and thanks for the link to the software. 73s de M7FTN

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