Poor Antenna LocationLocation, location, location…
Location is a more than just a mantra for real estate agents, it will make or break the communications system you are building. Putting up high gain antennas in a poor location is a waste of time and resources. Meanwhile, if you have an antenna that is a marginal one and put it up in a really great antenna you will see improved results.
Survivalists will need to learn how to identify what makes for a good antenna and what makes a poor antenna location. It stands to reason that a survivalist radio system must be first and foremost portable and flexible. Face it, we’re not going to be staying out in Green Acres where we can stroll down to Sam Drucker’s General store for antenna materials.
So what are good antenna locations and what are poor antenna locations?
Poor antenna locations include ones which are near utility poles for several reasons one of which is obvious and one may not be so obvious to the survivalist. First and foremost the proximity of power lines near your antenna location presents an obvious danger to the antenna installers. This is especially true if the survivalist uses either a vertical antenna or mast. Second problem with radio antennas being in close proximity to utility lines is that power lines can affect the performance of your antenna.
Noisy power lines are caused by poorly maintained connections at power poles, transformers and fuse links. Some are the result of lightning strikes that have not disable a connection but have weakened it. Noise from these poor connections are a loud buzzing or static-like noise that is higher than is normal for a particular band. Noisy power lines can be very effective in killing long distance (DX) reception. Power lines that are to the north of your survivalist camp will be detrimental to the performance of your communications system. If possible try to keep power lines to the south of your station if you are in the southern part of the country. Should your camp be located in the north then you would need to keep power lines to the north since most communications might be with those to the south of your camp.
Antenna locations too close to your camp offer a chance that your or others could high RF voltages present at the antenna. Should you erect any kind of mast with guys too close to your camp you run the risk of someone driving or tripping over them. Along with that you should be concerned about falling antennas should wind speeds should increase.
Running multiple antennas present several problems that survivalists should be aware of. Antennas, even those of different frequencies, can have an adverse effect on other antennas in the area This statement does not apply to multi-band antennas but rather antennas that have bee built for a since band and then deployed too close to other antennas.
Hills have an blocking effect on 10 meters and a little on 15 meters. And then the hills affect 15 meters more than they affect 20 meters. Meanwhile a hill has little to no effect on 40 and 80 meters due to the signals arrival at a high angle of radiation above the horizon. One more comment about hills is that your antenna should nor “fire” into the side of a nearby hill. If there is no other option then a survivalist should chose to lower the frequency they will be operating the survival camp on.
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