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"Secrets" of a Successful Stealth Operator
by N5IW, Dave

I live in a neighborhood governed by a plethora of antenna restrictions and other homeowner covenants. Despite these obstacles to easy radio operations I have been very active in amateur radio.  I work in lots of contests, plenty of DX,  and all kinds of QRO and QRP fun.

Many amateur radio operators have the mistaken assumption that the only way you can ever work DX, Contests, or WAS is with beam antennas, full-gallon linear amplifiers, and monstor towers. No doubt, those things do give them the edge and I do not suggest that my antennas are more efficient or better in any way than a good tower and beam. But; I have been a successful contester, qrp aficionado, dx hound, etc.  All using simple wire antennas and a vertical.  Plus!  I get a particular kind of joy when I beat the big guns in a dx pile up.

In many cases it is your only way.  In others it just helps keep the peace.  Its funny how your neighbors are very peaceful, even supportive of your ham hobby; and then you put up your dream tower with that TH-7 super beam.  Wow! you work great DX and get the side benefit of its magnetic properties.  Thats Right, your  beam and tower will draw complaints from everyone within eyesight (and beyond).  You will be accused of everything from TVI to sterility, even though you've been on vacation for two weeks and the power to the house was shut off.  IF THEY CAN'T SEE IT THEY WON'T COMPLAIN.  You'll have to try some of these stealth antennas to believe this, but it works.

If you live in a neighborhood, town, or city with the same types of restrictions; look for your opportunities:
-Do you have an attic in your house, condo, apartment?  If you can get in it at all you can use it to hang all kinds of antennas.  I have found ample space for loops and dipoles in several area ham's homes.

-Do you have any trees?  Front or back yard trees provide opportunities for resonant dipoles and multiband verticles.  The more trees you have the easier it is to hide bigger antennas.
-Read your deed restrictions and covenants.  Very few restrict flag poles or bird houses.  You can hide multiband verticals inside both flag poles and bird house poles (purple martins birdhouses have to be mounted pretty high).  If you can mount the poles then you can also mount guy wires to keep your poles up.  Inverted vee dipoles and slopers look a lot like guy wires!
-Use your house to hide a loop antenna under the eaves.  Attach directly or with small standoffs all the way around your house and run feed line in thru a soffit vent. No way to get a loop here? Then hide dipoles under the eaves on different sides of the house.  Get two dipoles up at 90 degrees apart and you can work most of the USA with ease.
- Do you have a wood backyard fence?  A fence can hide a very low loop, dipole, or doublet.  These antennas have a near vertical take off angle but will work great for stateside contacts of several hundred miles or more.

Use your imagination!  Every situation has its OPPORTUNITIES.  You just have to look for them, and then ACT. I have seen antennas laid on the grass, metal fences loaded with a tuner, wire that outlines the shape of the house and painted to match.  All of these are different approaches to a problem but had the same result.  The ham that lived at that location was ON THE AIR, and making contacts!

Build some antennas! Or buy some antennas and get to work hiding them.
I managed to hide a Cushcraft R7000 vertical in some oak trees on my property for the past 10 years. See my article -Cushcraft R7000 Repairs and Optimization
 On my website here>> http://www.qsl.net/n5iw/ 

Use only what it takes to make the contact.  Sure you can run a linear and beat your way into a pile-up.  Do it while your using your hidden vertical and your neighbor will probaly scream when you overload his TV, VCR, or stereo front end.  I have the ability to run as much as 700 or 800 watts at this location; but seldom do I ever run more than 70 watts.  In fact,  I am a real fan of QRP so a lot of the time I dont even run 5 watts.  At that power your neighbors will never know you are even on the air. IF you must crank on your linear, use a resonant horizontal antenna.  They interfere less than verticals with house wiring, tv sets, vcrs, and stereo systems.  Make sure your linear operating correctly, tune it with a monitor scope for a perfect trapezoid pattern.  My guess is you will have so much fun working stations at 1 watt to 100 watts that you wont ever need to crank in that extra fire.

Editors Note....Our many thanks to Dave, N5IW, for sharing this information with all!

Take a good look at his website here>> http://www.qsl.net/n5iw/