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Old 05-17-2011, 09:33 PM   #51
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Let's say you are post SHTF and you notice a house with a largish antenna; how can you classify it/identify what radios it would work best with?

I ask because my parents have a mystery antenna at their place, relic from weird previous owner. It is about 35 feet tall and is topped by what looks like the old school TV antennas. The mast is triangular in cross section.

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Old 05-18-2011, 04:50 AM   #52
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Let's say you are post SHTF and you notice a house with a largish antenna; how can you classify it/identify what radios it would work best with?

I ask because my parents have a mystery antenna at their place, relic from weird previous owner. It is about 35 feet tall and is topped by what looks like the old school TV antennas. The mast is triangular in cross section.
Could I hide an antenna in a tree or would the tree interfere?
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:16 AM   #53
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Hmmm. FCC regulations that protect the airwaves so people can communicate seems in line with 1A. FCC regulations that fine and imprison people for communicating seems awfully wrong.
Not sure what you mean by 1A, is that the First Amendment?
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:23 AM   #54
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Let's say you are post SHTF and you notice a house with a largish antenna; how can you classify it/identify what radios it would work best with?

I ask because my parents have a mystery antenna at their place, relic from weird previous owner. It is about 35 feet tall and is topped by what looks like the old school TV antennas. The mast is triangular in cross section.
It sounds like an HF (high frequency) Yagi antenna to me. The mast is a common type used worldwide for all sorts of things, but how tall is it? If you could tell me the size of the "old school TV antenna" and how many cross-pieces ("elements") there are I could better tell you what it is meant to do.

Can you post a pic of it?
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:41 AM   #55
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Could I hide an antenna in a tree or would the tree interfere?
Trees make some of the best antenna masts out there! I have a couple of antennas that are made out of 12ga copper wire and a few other bits and pieces and strung through the trees. Some of my buddies have spider webs of wire strung through their trees, and they are really low-key so nobody notices them, and the trees don't hurt their performance in the least! These home-brewed wire antennas will easily out-perform very expensive commercial Yagi's that are mounted on towers like Orangello described.

Not only that but there are hundreds of "stealth" antennas that people put up inside their attics, or in apartments or what have you that will work just fine if you have space issues (or live in a community that bans outdoor antennas). If you own your own land and it is not governed by specific CC&Rs that prohibit antennas you can put up a mast up to 200 feet tall before you need to get a permit. That is probably what is at Orangello's parent's place (most residential masts are 50 feet or lower).

Seriously though, I recommend going to the ARRL.org website and looking into getting licensed. My kids were able to pass the exam and with a little studying you can too.

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Old 05-18-2011, 01:28 PM   #56
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Not sure what you mean by 1A, is that the First Amendment?
Yes, that's what I meant.
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:19 PM   #57
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I actually support the FCC on this. For the most part the amateur radio spectrum is self-regulated through the ARRL and the FCC only comes in to play when there is a gross violation on those designated bands. The vast majority of regulation is badly needed on commercial bands otherwise you would have total chaos.

Stuff like what Txhillbilly is doing causes harmful interference for many people and he is oblivious of it. If you are driving down the road and he starts transmitting he will be heard on your AM or FM car radio. I had a neighbor transmitting on his CB with an amplifier (also illegal) and it was coming across on my TV set (and all of the rest of the neighbors too!). All it took for him to stop was a polite conversation telling him what was happening (he was stunned when I reiterated what he had just been saying on the CB, thinking nobody nearby was listening!) and what the possible ramifications are if the FCC was called into it.

So, in short, the regulation and enforcement of the radio waves is a good thing. Ignorance of the effects you are having on others is not a good thing. I liken it to the idiots you see on TV in the Middle East who shoot their guns up into the air (even full auto!!) with absolutely no regard for the bullets raining down on innocent people far away. People get killed by that! Granted, it is not the same, but the mindset of the perpetrator is similar. Also, the harmful interference could be affecting emergency communications and people's lives could be affected. I'm just sayin'.

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Old 05-18-2011, 09:03 PM   #58
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I'm still chewing on this but I certainly see your point. One guy who amps up and/or messes with the xmit frequencies shouldn't be able to prevent others from speaking or enjoying unrelated equipment (radios, TVs).

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Old 05-19-2011, 04:58 AM   #59
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I'm still chewing on this but I certainly see your point. One guy who amps up and/or messes with the xmit frequencies shouldn't be able to prevent others from speaking or enjoying unrelated equipment (radios, TVs).
EXACTLY!

The basic thing to remember is Don't Be An *******!
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