Where do your antennas belong? Outside of course! But what if the time comes when your visible antennas make you a target? If that day comes you will have to go covert. With all of the HOA restrictions removing your rights, some of you may already be doing this.

Odd Starheim, radiosender, Helle -3

It’s hard enough to find good places to erect antennas as it is, but going indoors makes it even more challenging. The first thing you have to understand is this: no indoor antenna will perform as good as one out in open air. This is a fact you have to deal with when working in these conditions. Some of you may have a usable attic space where you can hang diapoles, longwires etc. But what if you don’t have that luxury? What can you do? There are some time tested methods that have worked for resistance fighters, spies, and underground operatives for years. These antennas are simple to construct and with a tuner, can yield decent results.

Screenshot_2015-06-11-22-18-03-1       Screenshot_2015-06-20-20-13-31-1

Some other, more modern methods prove useful as well.

Birds eye view of the

Birds eye view of the “Slinky long wire”.

Simple ingredients.  Add a counterpoise and your running.

Simple ingredients. Add a counterpoise and your running.

These drawings and pictures show what can be done with limited space and low power.  These antennas will provide suitable results for the clandestine operator. They may be installed fast and taken down fast to avoid detection.  Most of the “spy sets” or “parasets” of the day where low power (QRP, 5 watts or less) tube rigs.

Low power paraset ready to send message.  These operator's where sometimes called

Low power paraset ready to send message. These operator’s where sometimes called ” pianist “.

Even though these units were low power, they still got the message through.  Remember “does it work good?………..does it work?……YES!”  We are not speaking in perfect conditions. If these methods must be applied we are playing under a different set of rules. Always try to get the best antenna up, but don’t let the situation limitations stop you from running comms. I have a friend who was a SF radio operator and he told me that there HF antennas would get shelled every night! After replacing the antenna a couple of times, they came up with a great fix. They buried there diapole. He said they took rubber hose to isolate the hot side from ground and ran the coax up trough the dirt! I asked him if it worked good and he said “it worked better than NO antenna!” This is the stuff you need to keep in mind when times get tough. Try this now. It’s easy when you don’t need hide for real! Use low power, any wire you have and just try it. You might be amazed at how good it works.

Dialtone OUT.



  1. Igor Grigorov, a ham and former communications officer in Ukraine (when it was a Soviet puppet state), has written a lot on improvised and clandestine antennas for HF. His site,, has a lot of free material on those topics, if you can get past the sometimes-klunky translation to English. My experience with Igor comes from some “translation” I helped with on one of his books, URBAN ANTENNAS, from English with a VERY strong Russian “accent,” to American technical English, for the antenna experimenter site antenneX ( antenneX, by the way, is a treasure trove on antennas and antenna experimenting. It asks for a modest subscription, but offers quite a lot of free materials and articles, as well.


  2. Don’t forget that a compromise antenna and low wattage are perfectly suited to today’s digital modes, which can excel in those conditions.
    Got Digital?


  3. Pingback: Communicating In The Shadows «

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