I got into amateur radio after I was able to move from my apartment into my first house. I love my house, I hope to be able to live in it for the majority of my life. Construction-wise, it’s fairly nondescript but for amateur radio purposes it has a really neat feature: A large, unfinished attic that runs the entire length of the house (over 100′ for my purposes).
So… now that I’ve had a little more experience with DIY and such I finally crawled up in the attic and looked around. It’s perfect for building a concealed antenna or even better… a series of antennas. But just knowing I can do it isn’t enough, I need to now figure out which setup will get me the best result for my setup.
For the sake of argument, I’m looking at focusing on 20/17/15/12/10/6 meter bands. It’s possible I might add 30m later, but not necessary.
Three options I have for antennas are:
- A dipole for every band I want to run. That means six separate dipoles, probably connected to a single feed line with a remote controlled antenna switch (like an MFJ-4716). The upside is that each antenna will be tuned exactly where I want it and there won’t be any interaction with the other antennas. I can also re-tune the antennas to put the resonance higher or lower in the band at any time. I will also need to only worry about running it along the length of the attic.
- A full wave loop for every band I want to run. It’s the same idea as the six dipoles, only I’d have square loops. I could save a lot of space by having each loop contained within another. The largest space I’d need would be for the largest loop. Every other loop would fit inside that loop. I have to worry about making sure I have enough space length-wise and width-wise in the attic, but other than that it seems about the same. These would be more omni-directional than dipoles, which might be a good thing.
Note: Someone suggested a fan dipole, and in my research I figured that with this many bands on one antenna, I would need to spread them out horizontally, not space them vertically. I don’t have that much space in my attic, so it’s a no-go. I know it would simplify the feed line, but I’m not too worried.
This is going to be an ongoing project for the house. I will post more (including pictures) as I work on my developments, successes and failures.