Updated Design

In December 2007, I found the time to update the antenna.  The PVC was not holding up the wire very well.  The solution, TV antenna mast.

I found a deal on 5 foot sections of TV mast at Home Depot.  They had both the silver steel RCA stuff and the gold painted stuff.  At one store location I got the RCA mast for 1-cent a piece on close out.  I also had purchased a couple of items at the International DX Convention in Visalia; Ceramic dog-bone insulators and black Dacron antenna rope.

Final height for the mast was 25 feet.  This had worked well with a previously installed vertical antenna for VHF/UHF work using the kitty litter buckets for support. The TV antenna mast fit into the 1 1/4" PVC pipe.  So I hacked off the PVC at about 8 feet and in went the mast for a solid support.  It was then tied to the house at about the 10-foot mark with Dacron rope through a screw eye.

The antenna now has very little sag and looks a bit more professional.  It's fed about 5 feet from one corner with 450-ohm ladder line.  (I used the Wireman's 553 18 AWG 16 strand 450 line and one of his 814A CQ dipole center insulator "four holer".)

We used 42-feet of feed line to avoid full half-wavelength issues on all the bands.  The feed goes through the wall in a 2 inch PVC cutout.  It's routed with LMR400 and RG-8X for the VHF/UHF antennas.  We had to hang the extra feed length outside of the shack.

It's still somewhat stealthy.  Nothing is permanently attached to our structure.  Our CC&R's stipulate that any improvement permanently attached to the structure requires approval.  This antenna system could be removed in less than 5 minutes. 

We also installed an 8-foot copper ground rod about 3 feet from the house as a start of an RF ground system. (We had no ground before)