Radio operators ask, "How do I pick the best HF antenna for me?"
Selecting the right HF antenna for a Home Owners Association (HOA) environment seems difficult but it doesn't have to be. Within a few minutes here you will be clear on the criteria important for choosing the most efficient antenna possible for your QTH. It's important to consider the frequency bands you want to transmit at, how high an antenna you can use, and where (if any) the interference is worst and best in your immediate area, this will be important. Our guide will help you find the best HF vertical antenna that suits your needs in an HOA environment.
Checklist for your shopping cart at Greyline:
- Is your Antenna selection limited to height requirements? Choose from 12-16-20-24-28-47of our free-standing line of HF antennas
- Your Remote Tuner selection should reflect your power output rating needs
- Easy one: Feed-line Kit is included with the antenna purchase
- Flag Kit (if you desire a Flagpole) is included when you purchase a Flagpole Antenna version
- Upgrade or additional RF Choke (500W and 3500W rated) - a 2nd Choke is helpful on the radio end to remove possible QRN picked up on the coax along the way back to your radio.
- The Base Section | Ground Mount Kit is included in all antenna purchases
Choosing the right ham radio antenna for your home or HOA QTH is important, we get that. It's why we offer a few sizes of HF vertical antennas for your consideration.
To arrive at the answer, there are a few questions to consider:
- Do you require a Flagpole Antenna due to an HOA and CC&R-restricted community?
- Are you looking for an aesthetically pleasing HF antenna to please your family or neighbors?
- What bands do you operate, mainly? Lower Bands (dark) or Higher Bands (daylight), all bands? EMS, MARS, Red Cross, FEMA band segments?
- How much power are you considering? 100W, 500W, 1500W, more?
- What modes typically? SSB, CW, or FT8, Winlink, Digital Modes?
- What is your goal on the bands, DX or NVIS (regional nets, Public Service, EMCOMM, etc.), or both types of operations?
With the answer to each of these questions at the ready, we get closer to the proper antenna selection.
HOA operation: Some radio ops are within an HOA community. These rules are typically quite clear, whether it is a letter of the law or a socially driven process (or both) as neighbors drive by, you can install a Flagpole just like your neighbor did in his front yard or another popular option is that a ham radio antenna of some sort can be approved likely in the back yard. Some deed-restricted communities are more flexible than others for ham radio antennas.
Where to install: This is really quite simple. Many ask, "where do I install the antenna?" Our reply is always, "on your property!" Find the best antenna for you, the best location on your property with the widest horizon-view and furthest away from obstructions as you can, and as far away from the noisiest spot on your property as possible... plant it there and forget it. Yes, it is what it is, right? It's that simple. The antenna will do the rest. It is not that picky after many years of practical feedback from all over the world.
Height Restriction: As for HOAs, these communities typically have a height restriction for Flagpoles or Antenna structures. This may dictate the height and style of your Greyline Flagpole Vertical antenna. Sometimes this is the average roof height or your peak roof height. Some allow much higher, of course.
We currently offer 12-16-20-24-28-47-foot vertical self-supporting antennas. These vertical dipoles do not require messy ground radials or guy supports and are engineered smarter, stronger, and more elegant than anything on the amateur radio market today. There is no need to be concerned about the aesthetics of a Greyline HF antenna. Even the ladies by and large simply approve of its aesthetics. You're welcome.
DX or NVIS (regional coverage). We are proud to note here that our vertical dipole antennas have lower angles of radiation than a typical ground-mounted vertical lending themselves valuable for DX (international) communication. It also is quite popular with various regional emergency services agencies such as MARS and ARES due to the low noise reception component and the highly efficient 360-degree radiation pattern, aka omnidirectional radiation pattern, lending itself to a strong regional coverage. The best of both worlds indeed.
Low or High Bands: All of our antennas work on all bands (other than our 12' which has a tough time getting to 160M and our 47' which is a little long for a perfect pattern on 10M and 6M, albeit works Real DX there too.
If you have options regarding antenna height, let's look next at the bands you operate most. Are you on the low bands (40-60-80-160M) routinely which are mainly during the darker hours or more on the higher bands (20-17-15-12-10-6M), or a good mix of all bands at various times of day or night?
Do you like to chase DX on all the bands, or check into a 40M regional net for the most part? The longer antennas (20-24-28-47') may be more attractive to you for the lower bands and the shorter antennas such as 12-16' cover your needs well if you spend your time mainly on the higher bands. Even our 12' antenna can tune up on 80M depending on your tuner selection.
Example: Some may have a height restriction of 12-16 feet. That's okay, We work with what we can, right? These antennas will radiate on ALL bands, some better than others. It's a Real DX antenna on the higher bands to work the entire planet and surprise you routinely guaranteed, and in turn, it will too work regionally on 80/160 with evidence of Real DX on 40M too.
Graphic: Performance / radiation pattern differences between the vertical antennas: Looking carefully at the graph for the angle of signal and antenna gain comparisons you'll notice incremental increases in depth of signal penetration, on the lower bands mainly.
Key: *80M-red | 40M-blue | 20M-green | 15M-orange
See that? Even the 12' vertical antenna holds its own, on 80M. Notice the 20 and 28' has an even lower angle and punch for deeper DX performance. (to plot the 24' you can simply imagine it's between the 20' and 28'.
For further comparisons of our antennas using Performance Graphs for angle and gain plots, go here:
Read Technical (graphs, plots) data and comparisons, here:
We believe for the price, the amateur remote tuners on the market work well with Greyline Performance antennas. You'll want to note the power ratings for each. They range from 100W to 1500W and have several power levels in between. Pay special attention to the digital ratings as they are lower power levels than SSB, for example. Also, if you are technically inclined, note the impedance ranges of the remote tuner. A wider impedance range might be helpful if you are choosing a shorter antenna for your QTH. This may make the difference between easily tuning to 80-160M which can be a lot of fun in the winter months. The common remote tuners on the markets are all being used with our antennas with great success.
"My $220 remote tuner takes me from 160-6M with my 24' flagpole antenna!" - HOA customer.
We strongly recommend using the default Greyline feedline kit. This feed-line kit is required for your antenna to work most efficiently. This includes the feedline, spacers, and adapters. We've designed this antenna with many iterations, years of feedback and tinkering, and removing the losses as software becomes more powerful. We believe we've found all the losses, and mitigated them in our antenna system, therefore offering you the most dB's possible for your radio. This means the highest efficiency possible for this antenna system has been achieved. That's Real DX confidence for your QTH.
Many folks enjoy a Flagpole. This flag kit upgrades a Greyline DX Vertical into a Federal-statutes-abiding Flagpole. It includes all Made in America hardware and fabrics: 3x5 Flag, clips, lanyard, truck, and cleat. We use only high-end materials throughout.
We offer a 5-bead choking system that sleeves or snaps over your coax at the antenna. Some folks may wish to add more choking and therefore we offer a Mini (500W) and Maxi (3500W) RF choke that can be installed at the radio side of the coax in addition. These are the very best Chokers on the market (see the specs for yourself). These line isolators will mitigate any further Common Mode Current and also remove any further QRN (noise) captured by your coax on the way back to the radio. Remember, every dB of signal and noise is important to consider and we've thought about all of this for you.
Note: Greyline DX vertical dipoles are known to be less noisy than typical verticals. Search our FAQ section for "noise" to find various discussions already on the website.
We offer an antenna system that is stronger, smarter, and far more elegant than anything on the market today. We have aesthetically pleasing smooth lines throughout for you and your loved ones approval.
The engineering is rugged military-grade... and look at that wind ratings! Those are real numbers and not some weak hope. The design is smart for the highest possible efficiency on all bands, for all QTHs within the heights of our antenna offerings.
We assert the 20-24' is the best all-around choice for all bands. Go longer for a little enhancement on the mid-lower bands and still have great performance on the upper bands. Have height restrictions, know well that Real DX is very possible with the 12-16' options as well. It's why we offer them. (see the graphs!)
Recently a ham wrote in saying, "4BDXCC this summer from my HOA with the 20' DX Flagpole!" - that's exciting news!
See Andy's Flagpole Antenna? He wrote in telling us how beautiful his antenna looks! See his antenna, here.
What DX will you work this year?
Current Promo: $200 off All Antenna Orders
+ Includes All Kits (Ground kit, Feed kit, Flag kit)
+ Free Shipping (USA)
+ DX Shipping (EU $125+)
HOA Flagpole Antennas
DX Vertical Antennas
We hope you enjoyed this story and were entertained by it. Maybe you remember a similar story in your youth. GL finding your rare ones. Ham Radio is fun again! Pass it on...
- "Real DX 160-6M at my HOA"
- "4 Band DXCC in 3 months at my HOA."
- "So pretty my XYL approves!"
- "If I can hear it, I can work it."
At Greyline, it's our Mission to serve you by offering higher-quality products that truly enhance your Ham Radio experiences. Standing up to Hurricanes is just a bonus. Antennas that work Real DX and that the ladies can love too. Now that is smarter, stronger, and more elegant for you and your family's security. We are delighted to serve you.
Let's enjoy the adventure, together. Until next time...
73 Greyline Performance
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This survey reads like a Q&A of how to turn your 20-24' Flagpole Antenna into an 80-160M Real DX antenna for those using the lower impedance range (low cost) tuners.
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