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HF Antenna for balcony

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:20 pm
by SloCharlie
Hi,

I live in 8th floor so I have not much options for HF antenna.

I can place it on my balcony 3.4m x 2m.

Can you suggest me some (cheap) antenna for my setup?

BR Charlie

Re: HF Antenna for balcony

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:00 am
by Aussie Susan
Tx and/or Rx?
Are there specific bands you are interested in or general DX?
What is the budget?
What is the radio you are connected to? (not really important but helps understand some of the above)
Susan

Re: HF Antenna for balcony

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:37 am
by SloCharlie
Hi,

RX only. I have rtl sdr v3 from this site.
Maybe some day I will purchase some better rx device but for shure I do not need tx.
For bands I don’t know really:). Exploring band in general. 20m definitely but also interested on other HF bands.

Do I need any special filters for HF?

Re: HF Antenna for balcony

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:35 am
by Kenn
I had a balcony like that once but only on the 2nd floor. It had a metal railing so I fabricated an angled mag-mount and placed it on the inside so it couldn't be seen from outside. It had a standard 3/8" x 24 thread so I could use all sorts of compact mobile antennas like hamsticks for HF and simple 1/4 waves for VHF.


It worked better than various wires, dipoles and loops I tried indoors.


- Kenn

Re: HF Antenna for balcony

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:48 pm
by SloCharlie
Hi Kenn,

Thank you for yours answer.
I am total beginner in HAM world. So I have no idea what kind of antenna should I bought.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-Whip-HF-V ... m570.l1313

This one is nice because is so small, but like I said I have no idea if it OK for RTL SDR?

10 kHz to 30 MHz.

How can antenna have so big frequency range?


What about this one?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Full-Size-G5RV ... 0005.m1851

If I put it on balcony in few layers, because is so long?

Any other antenna suggestion?

Like I said, I am total beginner.

BR Charlie

Re: HF Antenna for balcony

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:25 am
by Kenn
The G5RV antenna is a proven and well regarded antenna amongst hams, but it need 102 feet of space.

The mini-whip antenna, I don't know much about. It's not too expensive, might be worth a try.

You might look at magnetic loop antennas. They tend to be pricey, but are said to work well.

-K

Re: HF Antenna for balcony

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:53 pm
by rtlsdrblog
Go for a mag loop is you can afford it. Miniwhips don't work well in urban environments (especially apartments) unless you can really get them outside on the roof and up high. Otherwise you'll only pick up noise. You also need to have a very good ground connection via a grounding stake, which might be hard to do from an apartment building. Better to just use a long wire antenna if you can't set the miniwhip up properly.

Re: HF Antenna for balcony

Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:54 am
by SloCharlie
Hi,

Thank you all for suggestions. I will order Mag Loop. Can anybody give me advice on some cheep one. Like I said I am total beginner and also broke :D

Re: HF Antenna for balcony

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:56 am
by Aussie Susan
With a Mag Loop antenna, just be aware that you will need to tune them as you change frequency as they have a very high Q. If the antenna is on the balcony and you are operating from inside, this might be an issue.
This is certainly true for Tx (which I know you are not talking about) but it can be a bit wider for Rx - say 25kHz either side. Something to consider if you are after those week/long distance stations.
Also the tend not to be cross-band (because of the high Q) although some do provide this by various hardware jumpers on the antenna itself. Again another thing to consider if you will not be right next to the antenna when it is working.
Susan

Re: HF Antenna for balcony

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:37 pm
by rtlsdrblog
Aussie Susan wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:56 am
With a Mag Loop antenna, just be aware that you will need to tune them as you change frequency as they have a very high Q. If the antenna is on the balcony and you are operating from inside, this might be an issue.
This is certainly true for Tx (which I know you are not talking about) but it can be a bit wider for Rx - say 25kHz either side. Something to consider if you are after those week/long distance stations.
Also the tend not to be cross-band (because of the high Q) although some do provide this by various hardware jumpers on the antenna itself. Again another thing to consider if you will not be right next to the antenna when it is working.
Susan
There are several active wideband loops out on the market now that don't need tuning. They're RX only and quite expensive though.