Having a large base antenna such as a yagi beam or Solarcon IMAX 2000 with radial kit on the roof is a luxury not all of us enjoy…

One of my first ever contacts on 11m, for instance, was with a high rise building cleaner named Maria who was transmitting from the 15th floor of a unit block in the Philippines.

P1010366webkopieGiven the conditions, I’m not sure who was more surprised with the contact — she or me — but to this day it’s still one of my most treasured.

Obviously, to use a large outdoor antenna was just not possible for her, but rather than throw in the towel and put her beloved radio hobby on hold until her living arrangements changed, Maria chose to use a homemade indoor antenna. 

Who can complain with 5/7 reports using 25 watts half-way across the globe?  Maria wasn’t, that’s for sure!


Many operators will agree that relocating to a residence that restricts the use of a base antenna is sometimes unavoidable.

firestickEmployment or financial constraints, for example, can sometimes take us away from an accommodation that allows us to set up an outdoor antenna, meaning our hobby gets shut down and our radio gear, more often than not, sold.

Often, DXpedition adventure too is conducted from hotel rooms where it is not possible to establish a large array.

So what can you do if the landlord will not permit such a structure on his property? 

Or if putting a 12 element beam up is just not possible? 

Do you set up a portable station in your car and sit in there for hours and hours waiting for propagation? 

Take a leaf out of Leroy’s book and consider this…


Priced at around $100AUS + postage, the Firestik IBA-5 antenna is one of the best indoor antennas available according to what I’ve read.

IBA5Primarily designed to be used from the inside of a building or structure, this relatively small and lightweight vertical antenna is said to be suitable for operators who live in an apartment or unit block that restricts the use of outdoor antennas.

Due to the ease at which it can be assembled, the Firestik IBA-5 has also been used by hunters and campers to establish temporary communications centres.

It has also been used with good results in offices and on construction sites apparently.

According to the manual, when fully erected, the Firestick IBA-5 indoor antenna stands just over 1.5m tall.

789aeeef0be97621841fdd7b5d14a8e8--radios-safetyEach kit includes a ‘bare-hands tunable tip’ antenna (rated at 1000 watts), a partially pre-assembled base hub assembly, four x 76 cm radials, and 5.5m of RG-58A/U Fire-Flex coax cable.

In most cases, the IBA-5 will not out-perform an externally mounted antenna I would think. 

Sometimes, however, as was the case with my friend Leroy in the Philippines, anything else is just not possible!

73 de Darren