Do you have a rain gutter on your house? Is it metal? You may be able to load it up directly. SGC customers have used a number of approaches to rain gutter antennas with significant success.
WM0G created a very simple rain gutter antenna with impressive results. His full report with pictures is posted on our site. Another customer living in Phoenix mounted a plastic rain gutter around his house. Inside the gutter, he ran a wire completely around the house which he loads as a horizontal loop with excellent DX results. Other customers have simply strung a wire around the house under the eves and loaded it as a horizontal loop, using the rain gutter as camouflage for the real antenna.
Rain Gutter antennas are a very old form of stealth antenna and can be very effective but there are some other things you must consider if you want to use your gutters:
The wood the gutter is mounted to should be dry and of good quality. During wet weather, this type of antenna will usually perform very poorly.
If you have plastic gutters, you can run a wire inside them, but again in wet weather this will likely not work well. Some users have reported good results by mounting a wire behind the plastic gutter rather than in it.
Corrosion is the enemy of all antennas, but rain gutters are particularly prone to corrosion, especially at the joints. You need to inspect it regularly.
All joints should be bonded electrically with braid or copper strapping material to provide electrical continuity. The manufacturer is more concerned with corrosion resistance and so electrically, each section will likely be isolated from the others. Poor joints can lead to signal rectification and RFI.
It's prudent to insert a section of plastic piping about 8 feet above the ground to prevent anyone from coming into contact with a live section of the gutter while operating.
If your front and back gutters are not connected, you may be able to improve your signal by running a jumper wire from front to back. Running two wires at each end of the house can turn this into a horizontal loop.
The best Smartuners™ to use for a rain gutter antenna are the SG-230, SG-231, or the SG-237. All are waterproofed and have the tuning range to match most rain gutters.
The Smartuner should be mounted as close to the feed point of the rain gutter antenna as possible.
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