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Apartment Faraday Cage


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Here is the definition of a Faraday Cage as per a dictionary:


a grounded metal screen surrounding a piece of equipment to exclude electrostatic and electromagnetic influences.

I'm curious if anyone has found the magical solution to putting an HF antenna on a heavy metal balcony. I have tried loops, wires hanging over the outside, vertical whips, nada. There is either too much noise or simply no reception, never mind transmission.



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  • 5 months later...

The biggest obstacle to receiving HF in most residential (including apartments) environment is getting away from the high noise floor produced by cheap (and not so cheap) modern electronics. If there is any way to work with the building ownership to run an antenna to the roof, you'd likely find significant success. In an emergency, your equipment may make all the difference to you and your fellow residents!

Do what you can to eliminate your own sources of noise (USB power adapters, LED/CFL lights, etc), and perhaps track down other nearby sources.

In addition, you may be able to rig an antenna mount you can extend out beyond the edge of your balcony by several feet (the further the better) using a length of lightweight wood reinforced with aluminum angle, which might get you enough distance from sources of noise over which you can't exert some control.

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@N3IXY Hey Peter, excellent tips indeed. I have tried to get the building to put a roof antenna, I even found a very easy and elegant way of getting the coax up there, but no luck! What's most angering is that they will jump at the chance to install a paying GSM antenna, but not ours. Another insanity is how afraid they are of the word High Frequency. They just don't understand that HF is at the lower end of our radio spectrum and that they are risking far more with VHF/UHF/SHF and EHF. Go figure.

In my building, nothing works off the balcony. I've tried with zero success. As you say, too much noise.

Sometimes we lose 😢

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