Surprisingly, in general, if you have a good HAM transceiver antenna, and you locate it to a good location, then, regardless of your transceiver’s watts, you have a pretty good shot of getting your transmission signal out to great distances.
I’ve experienced hitting a repeater in Oakland and Daly City with my hand-held transceiver, Yaesu VX-6R, using a pig-tail adapter to connect with my Diamond X50 antenna sitting at the top of my penthouse deck with pretty good clearance.
Location, location, and location were the principles my parents taught me about purchasing real-estate. Well, the same holds true with HAM transceivers. The location of the antenna is extremely important in order to get a strong and clear signal out from your transceiver.
So, what makes my penthouse deck and roof-top prime real-state for HAM antenna location?
According to the surveyors, the Top Of Nob Hill, on California Street and Mason Street, is 370 Ft (ASL). My street is parallel to California Street, but it is a hill — about 45 degrees higher than California Street. According to the surveyors, when I first built my house from the dirt up, that 45-degree incline from California Street is another 40 Ft (AGL); so, from my sidewalk, I’m about 410 Ft (ASL).
Now, my house is another 60 feet up from the sidewalk to my penthouse deck; so, in total, I’m approximately 470 Ft (ASL), with a clear straight unobstructed view of at least 10-knots out to the North, North East, and East of the San Francisco Bay Area, as you can see in the pictures, herein.
My location is so perfect; because my line-of-site is unobstructed dead-ahead East, North East, and North.
If I use my Yaesu FT-857D transceiver with my Comet SBB1 rubber-duck portable antenna, I can hit almost any repeater in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as connect to simplex. My signals, with the proper settings, is crisp and clean as if I’m sitting right next to you.
When I connect my Yaesu VX-6R and my Yaesu FT-857D to my home-base Diamond X-50 antenna, I can hit repeaters 20-60 miles around me.
I finally broke down and decided to mount the Diamond X50 on my roof-top. It doesn’t look all that noticeable nor bad. Let’s see if I can bear its presence attached to my home.
From a distance, it blends into the background and doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. It is out of the way from my view; so, I’m fine with it for now. Fortunately, the mount is easy to screw on and off.
I bet these antennas do some major distances — apartment building up the black from my home.
/s/ Alfonso Faustino (K6ASF)