The Doctor Is In (Trouble)

Every issue, QST runs a Q&A help article called The Doctor Is In that answers readers questions about Ham Radio. Usually they are technical topics and the answers can be quite helpful, particularily to the new Ham. But this one opened the column this month and I just have to give it my own answer.

Q. The visual impact of my antenna is a concern in my neighborhood. If I spray paint my trap vertical will performance be affected?

Now, the way the question was phrased got me more than the actual question. Had he just asked “Will spray painting my vertical affect performance.” I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. Here’s what MY answer would be if I wrote the column:

A. It is perfectly acceptable to paint your trap vertical so that the neighbors sensitive eyes won’t be burdened by gazing upon it. Simply use the same invisible paint you used to hide your 75 foot tower with stacked monobanders on top. It woked for that, it will work for the vertical.

Seriously, if your neighborhood is going to throw a lynching party over a trap vertical, paint isn’t going to solve your problem. You need to grow a set and just tell them it’s none of their business and if they don’t like it, don’t look at it. Tell them it’s smaller than the flagpole they have in their front yard and that if they want to talk about offensive things, let’s start with the gas-guzzling SUV in their driveway. Or the “Mary-In-A-Bathtub” down the street. Or that little, ankle-biting, yappy dog they own that craps in your yard. Or their kids car with the back seat that’s been replaced by a 1000-watt subwoofer that you hear coming six blocks away, Buh-thump, buh-thump. (You could point out you’re using less power to talk all over the world…) If they want to impose their sensibilities on you, you should be able to impose yours right back.

Finally, if you don’t like listening to what your neighbors say about your antenna, don’t talk to them.

That’s how I would have answered. It’s a good thing I don’t write for QST, I guess…

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