Electronics > RF, Microwave, Ham Radio

Antenna In Hoa communities

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--- Quote from: jpanhalt on April 25, 2016, 03:13:00 pm ---I think the distinction that many Americans see between government control and control by an HOA, church, club, and so forth is that affiliation with the latter is voluntary; whereas, you have little choice in whether to submit to the government.

--- End quote ---

Slavery can be voluntary too. Most HOA contracts seem unconscionable to me ... the name alone is false advertising. It's not an association of home owners, it's a semi-landlord with low rents but a ridiculously high initial fee.

I got my ham ticket while living in an apartment complex. They didn't have a specific rule against ham radio, just that if it caused interference you'd have to stop or fix it. I had two problems while I was living there -- my downstairs neighbor would actually bang on the ceiling with a hammer to express his displeasure when I'd transmit on 2 meters. I'd gotten a copper J-pole antenna that I put on a stand on the balcony. I craftily painted it with some spray "fleck" paint, a kind of paint that contained little flecks of material of different colors, so the coat it made looked like rock. The color I got was nearly an exact match for the brick of the wall it was near, and it literally could not be seen from further than 10 feet. But the neighbor claimed it was coming out of multiple devices, including his clock radio, so there was some bad harmonics or something going back into the building. I fixed that one with a custom-designed Moxon loop for 2 meters that I calculated and built. I mounted it on a nice wooden trellis wall that I put on the side of the balcony for privacy. It couldn't be seen, either, but the radiation pattern kept the majority of the radiation OUTSIDE the building, and the neighbor never heard it again and thus never complained again.

HF was an issue because I had no access to an attic, there were no useful gutters I could tune up, and in a 3rd floor apartment there were few options of where to mount an antenna where it won't be seen. My solution was to attach a fishing sinker to one end of a spool of 28-gauge magnet wire and fire it into the trees on the other side of the parking lot. It was at least 75-100 feet to where it would lodge in a handy tree. I tied it off to a plastic egg insulator, burned off the insulation on the end, and connected it to my coax. I strung a short and probably inadequate counterpoise around the balcony, then fed the whole thing into a random-wire tuner. I didn't run a lot of power with it, usually under 50 watts, and I had fun making some decent DX contacts. Western Europe was the easiest on that wire, and I had a number of nice conversations with hams in Great Britain and Spain. Nobody ever saw that antenna nor did they ever complain. I rarely had to re-deploy a new wire, if a big storm snapped the existing one, but that was easy.

Later, some criteria we had for our new house was significant land, trees to hang wires in, and NO DEED RESTRICTIONS or homeowner associations to deal with. I've got a Windom up right now, the short leg going to a tree in the front yard, the long leg going to an old clothesline pole at the back of the backyard. The centerpoint is on the top of a mast attached to a disused chimney. Works great.

PRB-1 tends not to intimidate HOAs, as it doesn't specifically answer that need, and those guys tend to either BE lawyers or HAVE lawyers, and it's hard to get them to cave. The ARRL is working on a new version that includes ham antennas in with the satellite dishes they can't restrict, but getting anything like that through Congress pretty much requires a lot of time and perhaps a new star in the East.

Electro Fan:
Lots of regulatory and some technical discussions regarding antenna deed restrictions, HOAs, etc here:
Additional technical antenna design solutions here:


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