In the beginning of this year I restart one of my oldest hobbies, ham-radio. It was not my intention to invest a lot of effort into it so I brought two vertical antennas, one for the HF and the other for VHF and UHF.

HF antenna is a Falcon D-original OUT-250-B (10-80mt) and, let's say, it works. Nothing special about it, apart from it has a reasonable price. I think it is the right antenna when you don't know what you are looking for. Naturally if you have enough space for a dipole, it is probably better in terms of price vs quality, but I didn't.

The other antenna is a wide band Discone Proxel D130. I was undecided between something only for ham-radio or something that can work on ham-radio bands plus a wider reception range. Honestly, I'm still undecided, anyway the discone works and it has almost no SWR in the ham-bands.

Then it came the installation part and I was surprise I didn't find many infos regarding the way people install their antennas. In particular I was looking for a way to use those iron/steel belt around the roof wooden stick (I'm not sure of what is exactly the English term).

The general idea was:

  • Do not spend more money in the antenna installation than in the antenna itself.
  • Do not make permanent modification to the building that cannot be undone since it's a rent apartment (ok for the little hole for the cables).

Installation results:

HF antenna first installation

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Wooden stick deployment

... but not connected to the antenna yet!

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Discone antenna and the junction

final result.

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The antennas are connected to the radio using two 40mt RG-213 cables, which unfortunately is quite long. On UHF the losses using such cable is too high and the Discone perform worst that a portable antenna installed on top of the radio.

Lesson learned

  • Long cable can lose the gain of an external, better positioned, antenna. Think of the installation to keep the cables short.
  • If you don't plan to use the antennas together at the same time, consider using a switch and a single cable.

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