I hope Santa is good to me this year, but I have a feeling that he might leave my wife and daughter presents and a note for me saying that he'll catch me next Christmas, that the economy is slow and he had to cut back somewhere. Nevertheless, I have made out my Christmas Wish List, in hopes that he'll find enough good cheer and didn't have to lay too many elves off in order to leave me something.
In fact, I've made it easy on him, there's only one item on my list. A multi-band HexBeam. And, Santa, if you bring me that HexBeam, I promise, I mean I really really PROMISE that I'll guy it properly, give it a good mast, put a good-looking rotor on it, and I'll keep it away from any mean ol' electrical wires. Please??
Whether he brings it or not, I've made up my mind that the HexBeam is my best option, given my location, my neighbors, and it'll give me the best bang for my buck. My neighborhood, actually just a cul-de-sac, has no restrictions about antennas and such (thank heavens), but I'm confident that I can mount it in a manner that it'll hardly be visible from the street, certainly not when someone is looking directly at the front of our house. And while I have the 'right' to put up anything I want, I aspire to be a good neighbor. Let's face it, ham antennas are only beautiful in the eye's of another ham.
I've already fielded questions as to why do I have a 50 foot pole in the back yard and do I work for the CIA? So the less conspicuous I can be, the better. To my eyes the HexBeam resembles an upside-down old fashioned clothes line, only much bigger.
I've never had any sort of a beam before, not even a compact beam. While I know there's trade-offs and compromises in using a less-than-full-size beam, I'm willing to accept whatever those are in order to keep the neighborhood off my back and hopefully improve my signal and listening ability on 10-20 meters.
So, if Santa is so kind as to grant my wish, I'll be sure and post pictures of the installation and how it performs in the sunspot lull.