Background:  I have an end-fed random length wire running from my house, across the yard to the back neighbor’s tree.  It runs over a branch in her tree and down to an anchor point on my fence poles.  I have operated like this for at least 20-25 years with only an occasional complaint that I was able to smooth over.  My wire is anchored on both sides with bungee cords to ground anchors.  There’s no way my wire will take down her branches.  Her tree is an enormous walnut tree.  It drops walnuts, branches, leaves and flowers all year round onto my property and into my pool.  OK – so that’s my rant, but I try to keep the peace.

Recently my wire broke from normal wear.  When I put it back up, my neighbor complained about it being in her tree.  The last storm caused branches to come down and there was a wire in one of those branches.  She feels my wire took down her branches (impossible). 

I could have gone the legal route… I can put a wire up in any branch that is hanging over my property line.  As well, I could cut down any of those branches that hang over my property line. 

As a good Ham, I didn’t want to argue legalities or anything else, so I told the neighbor I would take down my wire from that tree and come up with another way to get it up in the air.  As it is said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” 

The next step was to figure out an alternate without involving that tree.  Then the light went on… My friend and Elmer, KE2YK, has a pole in his yard supported by 4×4 posts, and it is tilt over, just not too high.  Maybe my own pole mast would work.  I have galvanized steel poles holding up my 6’ stockade fence.  They are in a poured footing around the perimeter of my property.  There might be a light at the end of this tunnel…

I purchased three 10.5’ chain link fence top-rail poles that fit into each other.  I then tapped the cap off the back corner member of my fence support pole.  The new poles fit right inside the existing fence pole.  I inserted one 10.5’ piece of pipe into my existing fence pole.  I had 2 more poles to erect.  I fit the two of them into each other making a twenty-foot section.  The next part was tricky.  I had to attach my antenna wire to the top of the twenty-foot section and then insert it into the already-positioned ten-foot section.  All this had to be done from an eight-foot ladder.  It was very difficult to balance the 20 foot pole combo and raise it up on a ladder and then slide it into the already placed 10 foot section, but I managed to pull that off.

My original wire was 10AGU, thick and very heavy compared to the resistance of the poles.  My new mast bent like a banana in both directions (toward the house and then again across the back of my property).  Since the lower pole height and the longer wire made it longer, I had to run the wire from the top of the pole tower back down across the back of the property and anchor it to my back fence.  Another dilemma.

My random length wire was no longer random since I purchased 150 feet of 22AGU Stealth copper clad steel wire from Amateur Radio Supply.  The wire was now much longer than my previous antler (~130’).  However the wire worked great. I strung up the new wire, but it still caused mast to bend in both directions, just not quite as much. 

Next step was to come up with a guying system to pull the mast back against the pull of the wire and secure that.  I managed to pull a length of “para-chord” over a branch of a different neighbor’s tree to pull the mast back to almost up-right.  This is my final configuration.  It loads up on all bands, from 160 to 10 meters, except 6 meters, and I have been working contacts both DX and stateside ever since.  I have been working every station I intend to except a couple and I almost only run QRP (5 watts on CW). 

My wire is end-fed with ladder line from the tuner and suspended from the floor joists under the kitchen and then out through two drilled holes in the plate of the house.  One side is connected to an eight-foot ground rod, and the other end feeds the wire about two feet off the ground.  It then runs up the outside of the house to the peak of the kitchen. From there it runs all the way to the back of the property to the top of the new 30’ pole “tower.”  From the top of the pole it then runs sloped downward along the back of the property and to the fence and is anchored with a bungee to the fence post.  It’s a crazy configuration, but it works, and that’s all that matters.  It may even work better than my original end-fed random wire.  I’m happy.  My neighbor is happy.  My radios are happy.

Hams are ingenious. We come up with whatever we need to get on the air and make contacts. 

Think out of the box if you have to. You don’t have to stick to exact measurements or configurations.  They may be best, but I need to do what works for me and my situation.  

I hope to meet you on the air.


Nick – KF2P  dit dit