“No Ham Left Behind” Feedback – Restrictive Homeowner’s Agreements

QST finally published my op-ed piece “No Ham Left Behind” in the September issue. I’ve already gotten several e-mail comments. A couple of them have mentioned restrictive homeowner’s agreements as a factor in ham inactivity. While I don’t mean to minimize the problem of restrictive covenants, there are ways to get around them.

First and foremost, don’t move into such a development! I had one guy e-mail me saying, “I know I chose to move here, but….” Well, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. I do realize that this could be a big impediment for youngsters who don’t have the option of moving, but adults have no excuse.

Second, there are a variety of stealth antennas that amateurs can build and use effectively. We had a great presentation at our club from a member who’d moved into a condo and experimented with a variety of antennas that he could put in his attic. He’s now happily working 80-10 with the results of his experiments.

Third, clubs should work to establish club stations. These could be located at a local community college, community recreation center, Red Cross chapter, or Salvation Army facility. Certainly, in the case of the Red Cross or Salvation Army it’s a win-win situation. The club gets a club station that can be used by the members and the agency gets amateur radio capabilities. Our club right now is working with the local Red Cross to set up an amateur radio station in their new facility.

I’m sure there are other innovative ways to get around this problem. If you know of one, please let me know.


  1. Dan,
    I agree with your comments on restrictive covenants….they can be worked around. On the other hand, they are a real barrier.

    The typical person’s life has a number of components to it: spouse/family/significant other, a job, church/volunteer activities, friends, recreational sports and (yes) hobbies. In fact, many people have multiple hobbies, so ham radio may only be one of them and it may not be the most important. So when it comes to choosing a place to live, a person’s hobby (especially if they are not a certified lunatic ham) isn’t likely to be the main driving force.

    – 73, Bob K0NR

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