I may be a former Navy Sailor and didn’t have the greatest mouth on me but now I have a gutter mouth. Well not a gutter mouth per se but a gutter antenna. Because of the neighborhood I live in and some of the restrictions, I had to look for a propagation method that wasn’t an eye sore to the subdivision and the wife unit. This began a long search for both my HF goals and my 2m / 70cm with the bulk of the effort towards something stealthy for HF.
I found some setup and take down ideas, stuff to install in the attic, etc. None of these really fit with what I wanted nor were they very convenient or easy to handle by a somewhat disabled person. I looked in talk groups, discussed with other Hams, tried a couple of unsuccessful ideas, etc. This went on for quite some time until a friend KG5YTY mentioned something I couldn’t believe nor imagine. He said, “just connect to your rain gutter.” He said there are YouTube videos on how to make your rain gutter into an antenna. This began a quest and off to Home Depot I went.
I gathered parts and other stuff to cut, drill, and solder… then adjust, redo, and revise. Finally done with my home-made contraption, I connected up to the downspout of the rain gutter. The other end to my Yaesu FC-50 auto-tuner paired with my Yaesu FT-891. This made for a great shortwave ‘listening’ antenna but only got 5 or 6 contacts close to my QTH on 20m and it didn’t look good on the propagation report. With that being said, I searched the net again for what I may have done wrong. This is when I found something called the HOA Buster!!!
The HOA Buster by Alpha Antenna is a manufactured version of what I attempted to do but they did it WAY better. I ordered the antenna and snow got in the way of getting it to me as quick as I wanted but Steven at Alpha Antenna went above and beyond to push it out to me as quick as possible under the circumstances, YAY Steven. Now it was time to follow the super simple instructions and get this thing hooked up.
I have to admit, I was very skeptical of this being much better, but I hooked it up as is per instructions in under 10 minutes. Cranked up the FT-891, my Rasberry Pi with WSJT-X starting out with 20m using mostly FT8 and JS8, instantly getting contacts. Now I needed to try some other bands and did so from 10m to 160 meter over the next 4 or 5 weeks getting over 400+ contacts in over 30 countries. The farthest being South Africa at 9013 miles away to ZS6AF and confirmed!!! This was followed by contacts in Japan, New Zeeland, and many more. I hit 48 of the 50 states of the US as well. WOW WOW WOW!!! Pretty exciting stuff.
One thing to note, I went ahead and used a full ground rod, connected 7 counterpoise various length wires, and screwed the transmit line to the gutter downspout vs using the provided clip. Also, I could always get my SWR to about 1.2:1 to 1.4:1 assisted by my auto-tuner which is pretty darn impressive! YAESU IS AWESOME and so it the HOA Buster!!!
I am far from done with this amazing, stealthy, and inexpensive antenna setup. Here are some of the details of the contact made mostly using the HOA Buster.
Total Contacts by Band and Mode – Click Here for the Full Report:
In closing, to all the folks that have been waiting for my results, now you have them. This is NOT a hoax or some kind of ‘works a little’ product. IT PRODUCES RESULTS!!! If you need a HOA workaround to talk around… this is it! Go get an HOA Buster from Steven at Alpha Antenna TODAY and tell them KC5GFD sent ya! They have several other antennas to choose from so go take a look and stop reading my rambling. Go now… seriously! STOP READING! There isn’t any more to read. Are you still reading? JUST GO ALREADY! hahaha…
Peace and many blessings to you all my friends,