Ham Radio's answer to HOA Restrictions! The DX Flagpole, a 20' OCF self supporting high performance antenna for 80-6M. 10 bands!

FAQ

Welcome to FlagpoleAntenna.com, part of Greyline Performance, LLC. (GP)

Products:
- DX Flagpole (Stealth) Line of Vertical Dipoles: 12, 16, 20, and 28' footers
- GP Vertical Dipoles: 12, 16, 20 and 28' (non-flag)
- Greyline Performance Antenna Arrays, coming soon!

About Us:
Currently, we offer our RF Research Group to our Ham Radio peers in the form of a DX Flagpole Antenna Line (12, 16, 20 and 28' tall vertical-dipoles) and a non-flag line with the same four sizes and performance measures.

The DXFlagpole line is an offering to our peers in HOA and CC&R restricted areas an approved antenna to get back on the air with confidence. Also, as many have discovered, these are very real antennas that perform remarkably well when placed alongside the most popular antennas on the market! Therefore, Real Flagpoles, Real Antennas. 

We think you're going to like these! Please, share this discovery with your friends. They will be glad you did. Learn more about the performance, structural and operational data of our antennas below and consider helping to shape our story by engaging in discussions on our Blog and sharing with your friends. They will be glad you did. Thank you, in advance! 

Q. Why FlagpoleAntenna.com / Greyline Performance, LLC.?

A. The Stealth, portable, DX Flagpole Antenna is a very smart HF multiband solution from 80-6M that does NOT require radials, build to install in 1-2 hours, drops into a small post hole, and doesn't require concrete. Work DX, keep the neighbors happy and have comfort as it's engineered for performance and rated to 90 MPH. See the performance specs below. (Flag and non-flag versions available)

We are Ham Radio enthusiasts, just like you! We have decades of experience in amateur and professional antenna design sectors and a real interest to bring a higher-value menu of options to the hobby. We enjoy solving complex communications system problems and intend to bring our peers more dBs per square inch by using 2018 Procomm technologies combined with smart design, quality materials, modern tech and decades of know-how.

We hope you can appreciate our focus on smart design and sound engineering with our simple (yet smart) antennas designed to get more people on the air with confidence to the more discerning radio op looking for the latest in high-performance.

Stay tuned for more products coming soon by joining our mailing list on the bottom right of our website. We won't share your emails address. Thank you!


PERFORMANCE 

Q. How does the Flagpole Antenna compare to other well-known antennas?

A. Let's compare our 20 and 28' versions with the Hy-gain AV-680 and Cushcraft R9:

The Red inner rings are 80M, blue 40M, green 20M and orange 10M. You get the idea.

Q. What's the difference between a 12' 16' and 20' Flagpole vs the very common 20' base-fed monopole with 16 buried radials?
A. We are surprised to find and report very little loss when dropping to the 16 and 12' foot designs. Look at 80/40M! Now those of you in restricted areas can enjoy a little more confidence in working DX!

Q. Regarding the 28' version. How do the 12' 16' 20' and 28' versions compare to each other?

Q. I hear 43-foot verticals with radials is a "sweet spot" but you guys promote a 20 and 28'er, what's the difference?



A. Bigger is not necessarily better! In this case, our Flagpole Antenna is less than half that height, doesn't need radials where the 43-foot vertical option does and ours has a lower angle of radiation on many bands. (see graphic)
Also, HOA's and CC&R's do not typically allow the 43' version.

Look at the low bands! The DX Flagpole Antenna really shines compared to the radial antennas, even the 43-foot vertical. Now you get performance with a Flagpole that's also a stealth 80-6M antenna. Let's get you on the air with confidence!

DESIGN + ENGINEERING

Q. What is the quality of the materials of the antenna?
A. We didn't cut any corners! Tubing is quality grade 6063-T832 aluminum, 2-inch OD to 3-inch OD top to bottom, thick fiberglass insulators at the feed and base, stainless hardware, Davis RF Buryflex coax and genuine Amphenol PL-259 connector for the pigtail, plus six Mix 31 ferrite beads from KF7P Metalwerks for the common mode choke. 100 to 1500W options available.

Q. What is the wind rating of the Flagpole Antenna?
A. This antenna has been engineered to withstand 90 MPH wind gusts, according to “Guide Specifications for Design of Metal Flagpoles,” ANSI/NAAMM FP 1001-07. This was used rather than ANSI/TIA-222-G (regulating antennas and towers) as this standard will be the one needed by building committees for structural analysis.

Q. You say Easy Install, Portable, and Quick-Deploy, can this also work as a permanent installation?
A. Yes, permanent is the idea! We offer an easy drop-in and lift-out for those desiring a quick-easy removal before the arrival of stormy weather. That said, many choose concrete or "beefy" mounts and tilt-up options and those are great too. Your choice.

Again, we cut no corners using 6063-T832 aluminum, 2-inch to 3-inch OD top to bottom, thick fiberglass insulators at the feed and base, stainless hardware, Davis RF Buryflex coax and genuine Amphenol PL-259 connector for the pigtail, plus six Mix 31 ferrite beads from KF7P Metalwerks for the common mode choke.

SOFTWARE + EXPERIENCE

Q. What software do you use for modeling? 
We make extensive use of the EZNEC Pro/4 with NEC 4.2 calculation engine licensed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory plus various optimization programs (see NEC 2 note below) 

Q. What’s the big deal about EZNEC PRO?
The NEC 2 calculation engine, which powers many amateur radio antenna modeling programs, is limited when modeling multi-band and complex antennas and can return inaccurate gain figures and other performance metrics and result in antennas that ‘that look good on paper’ but disappoint in the real world; A seasoned designer would tell you, “Anyone can use the software if they can afford it, it’s the operator with insight earned over years - decades - in the field that arrives at the answers we find useful or groundbreaking.” Watch for more groundbreaking with our team coming soon.

PLANTING ANTENNA

Q. Where is the best place around my home to plant the Antenna?
A. For those in a neighborhood, we realize your selection is limited to your property. This antenna was designed as a smart match to please you and the neighbors. In the case of an HOA, we believe the locations with the widest view makes the most sense. Of course, on the side or corner allowable. 

Q. I have trees, how close to the trees can we place the antenna?
A. Stay at least 3' away from the trees trunks.

Q. I'm retired and live alone in an HOA community, can I do this myself?
A. Yes! This is a strong yet lightweight antenna, engineered to withstand 90 MPH winds, get you on the air on all bands, and an easy install for one person!

POWER RATING

Q. What is the power rating of the DXFlagpoles and Vertical Dipoles?
A. The power limitation will be in your choice of a Tuner and feedline from the shack. Some tuners are rated low power at around 200W, others are 600W. We see a few options on the market in the 1500W+ range. The power limitation will be within your choice of Tuner and Coax and the ratings for each.

Keep in mind when using your antenna to observe all regulations and best practices regarding exposure to radio frequency emissions from any antenna. Information available at http://www.arrl.org/rf-exposure

To mitigate your worry of RF exposure to curious hands, first, this type of vertical antenna offers that the lower area of the antenna is fairly low voltage depending on your power choice and is easy enough to guard against. As for extra comfort here, you can do what many have done and use a very thin layer of plastic insulation up to kid-reach height. Customers report using a simple sleeve for the vertical down low with a thin layer of insulation. Even the thinnest layer will be enough.

We've heard it said, "If it was my antenna and I was worried about it, I'd go buy some very thin wall 4" drain pipe and just sleeve the antenna, or even just tape it with a single layer of good electrical tape." Others install a reasonable fence, flower bed or other garden feature around the base making it more difficult for little hands to touch the antenna. Of course, those of you in an HOA may have aesthetic concerns that customize your approach. Take comfort that you have options if there is concern in this area.

Q. Do you offer turnkey packages?
A. At the moment, we provide everything other than a tuner of your choice and your feedline to the shack. We provide a low power balun with the antenna, you will need to determine which remote tuner works best for you. There are many low power options and a few high power options. That said, we have tested the new DX Flagpole Antenna Line with several ATUs and all worked excellently from 80M through 6M. We recommend 'power over coax' outdoor remote tuners for mounting near at the antenna base. (see product pictures for examples)

Q. Do I need a tuner at the base of the Flagpole Antenna or can we tune from the shack with an ATU or Rig Tuner?
A. I'm glad you asked. This antenna is designed for a match at the base of the antenna. A tuner in the shack tunes the coax and the antenna and that's not going to work well. Want a real high-performance antenna, a tuner must be installed at the base (as close as possible). Power over coax to a remote tuner is our recommendation for ease of use.

Q. What other Baluns do you recommend?
For Low and High Power Baluns we like: 
http://palomar-engineers.com/antenna-products/1-1-balun-kits
http://www.amidoncorp.com/kits/
https://www.balundesigns.com/feedline-isolation-baluns/

Q. Can you suggest any Lower Cost Alternatives to an Auto-tuner at the Base?
A. A matchbox or tuner located at the base of your DX Flagpole or Vertical-Dipole is not a luxury, it is essential. Many users choose a commercial outdoor remote auto-tuner for the convenience of operation however, a purpose-built, relay switched matching assembly is also suitable. Other solutions are a fixed L and C matching network for single-frequency use. Another is a manual tuner enclosed in a weather-tight box.

Here are some less-than-optimum but workable substitutes for a base-mounted remote auto-tuner. (note: nothing beats a quality tuner at the base)

(1) Use a short run of 450 Ohm slotted window line from the antenna
all the way into the shack. It will require a 1:1 current balun in the shack. (note: not recommended for stealth operation)

(2) Use the DX Flagpole on only one band at a time with a discreet L/C matching network in an outdoor enclosure at the base. A parallel coil, series capacitor L-match will match the OCF antenna on all bands. Several remote fixed networks, relay switched, is also feasible.

(3) Use a manual tuner in an outdoor enclosure. Tune it up once on all bands and mark the scales for subsequent band changes. A second tuner in the shack or built into the rig will now safely bring the antenna to match.

(4) NOTE: A 4:1 or 9:1 current balun at the base is NOT an option. These will help the SWR on some bands but make it worse on others.

(5) Refer to the originally recommended Remote Tuners.



Q. What are my options for a base? 
A. Our customers are using Tilt-Bases, Bulkhead concrete Mounts, and the included easy-install ground mount sleeve. Our products marry up with the popular sizes available in the market. If you need a pointer, let us know. 

Q. All bands, really?
A. Yes, 10 ham radio bands (MARS and Commercial sector bands too!) one little hole in the ground and ALL of our OCF antennas operate with an ATU at the base, as described, with good SWR across 80 to 6M. They are real antennas!

Q. Will this work in the FT8 mode?
A. We think this antenna is an excellent choice for the FT8 mode. The ease of tuning from 80-6M including the WARC bands is tremendous. We hope you will give it a serious consideration.

Q. WARC bands?
A. Yes, all bands between 3.5 MHz through to 50 MHz. In fact, so far, our 12, 16, 20 and 28' version radiate from 3.5 to 50 MHz. See specs and plots for viewing references on angles and performance.

 

Q. Does it come with a flag? How does the flag attach?
A. Yes, we include a USA Flag (or any other country flag) with your Flagpole. We also include a cleat and pulley (truck) when you order the DXFlagpole that each simply attaches with a set screw, all within your shipment. Of course, when you order a non-flag vertical dipole, you will receive what appears to be a vertical antenna and not a Stealth Flagpole.

Q. Why do you offer an 8' extension? Is that necessary?
A. No longer an option. We've refined these to the most popular options of 12, 16, 20, 28' versions are available.

Q. How do you ship the DX Flagpole Antenna?
A. We ship the tubing and parts ready to assemble in a box of Dimensions approximately (5 feet x 8 inches x 8 inches) and a Weight of ~30 pounds based on your selection. (example: 36 pounds for the 28' footer)

Q. How long does it take to assemble?
A. We've heard reports of 1-2 hours from delivery to lighting up the coax with RF. It arrives ready to assemble. You dig a post hole, assemble, drop it in place, plug in your coax and you are On the Air.

 

CUSTOM ANTENNA DESIGN

Q. I work for __________ and we need new custom antenna systems for our commercial, broadcast, government, military, public safety application. Do you make antennas for the non-ham market? 

A. Yes! We operate a custom design business, designing and building antennas for the government agencies, military, marine, broadcast, and other professional sectors, contact our RF Research team through the contact form for more information. We will promptly engage your needs by email or by setting up an introductory call. Based in the USA, worldwide communication ready. Thank you!

 

MISCELLANEOUS

More information and entertainment can be found on Reddit. Here's one example:

SHOP FLAGPOLES

 

Any questions or comments to help us move towards offering a more useful service to our peers, we'd like to hear from you. Please contact us today.

Thank you!