Amateur Radio Parity Act Passes US House

Most new houses are part of homeowners associations, covenants, or have other restrictions on the deed that dictate what color you can paint your house, the front door, or what type of mailbox is acceptable. For amateur radio operators, that means neighbors have the legal means to remove radio antennas, whether they’re unobtrusive 2 meter whips or gigantic moon bounce arrays. Antennas are ugly, HOAs claim, and drive down property values. Thousands of amateur radio operators have been silenced on the airwaves, simply because neighbors don’t like ugly antennas.

Now, this is about to change. The US House recently passed the Amateur Radio Parity Act (H.R. 1301) to amend the FCC’s Part 97 rules of amateur stations and private land-use restrictions.

The proposed amendment provides, ““Community associations should fairly administer private land-use regulations in the interest of their communities, while nevertheless permitting the installation and maintenance of effective outdoor Amateur Radio antennas.” This does not guarantee all antennas are allowed in communities governed by an HOA; the bill simply provides that antennas, ‘consistent with the aesthetic and physical characteristics of land and structures in community associations’ may be accommodated. While very few communities would allow a gigantic towers, C-band dishes, or 160 meters of coax strung up between trees, this bill will provide for small dipoles and inconspicuous antennae.

The full text of H.R. 1301 can be viewed on the ARRL site. The next step towards making this bill law is passage through the senate, and as always, visiting, calling, mailing, faxing, and emailing your senators (in that order) is the most effective way to make views heard.

76 thoughts on “Amateur Radio Parity Act Passes US House

  1. Yeah this has been giving me a pita too. Finally said F-it and installed my antenna outside my apt. Did a standup job, looks professional as can be, and have not heard a word from the landlord.

    1. I did a legal hack on this one when renting in one community from a crappy manager. I lined out the sections I didn’t like in the contract, especially the binding arbitration, even wrote in permission for the antennas and other scientific instrumentation just on a lark. The agent countersigned every page probably not understanding what I had done. While I never had to use the antenna clauses; they never noticed the wire dipoles and other stealthy antennas; they tried to play games with damage charges and deposit after I had left the US. This which required legal action, but that ended up with me winning statutory damages for other violations totaling almost a year of rent.

      1. tl;dl – landlords love to keep security deposits (no radio discussion in this comment, sorry).

        I think landlords claiming damanges is standard practice. When we moved out of our apartment we spent more than a full day cleaning every nook and cranny after living in the large space for 5 years. They never showed up for the walk-through when our lease ended, but mailed us a letter saying that half the security deposit was being kept for cleaning charges and the other half for damages. I sent them the photos and asked for a full return of our deposit, or an itemized list of each violation and the amount withheld for that purpose. Received a check 2 weeks later for the full deposit without even a cover letter in the envelope.

        We live in Madison, WI which has a BigTen University and were on in the periphery of the student area. I think the MO for these landlords is to withhold the entire deposit, but refund anyone who complains. Bad business but I suppose it cuts way down on their time spent paying attention to their buildings.

        1. in some regions of the US, there ARE no homes not subject to HOA that are affordable, where I define affordable (arbitrarily, and without documentation to support exact figures) as priced at less than 3 years income for the 90th percentile in the region. You gotta live where you can get to your job, and, if raising a family, the choice between HOA and unsafe if a no-brainer. My 3 years income number is an underestimate, based on my area, but is probably in the ballpark in a lot of the US– much of California, Florida, NY metro, and the DC area, among them– from when I was buying a few years ago and what many of my friends have dealt with. I am at about 50th percentile for my county in NJ, and I lucked into a place I could afford, but it was not inhabitable without significant time and money. Nothing else even close other than ‘manufactured communities’ (with many, many restrictions), condos (ditto), and HOA gated and ungated communities.

          Add to that the HOA creep, where the HOA charters are written to apply to existing properties, generally without notice or consent of the property holders. I have had more than one acquaintance hit with this.

          1. You said: “Add to that the HOA creep, where the HOA charters are written to apply to existing properties, generally without notice or consent of the property holders”

            Huh? Do you mean that you are a part of the HOA and the rules change, or a HOA was created without your knowledge or consent?

            I am not a lawyer (just an engineer), but if you never signed anything saying that you agree to the rules, then they cannot enforce it. Nobody can walk up to your property and say “you have to follow my rules now.” Typically, the agreement is usually “you have to agree to these rules before we will let you buy this property,” so they coerce you into signing.

          2. @Kevin Harrelson
            It’s entirely up to how your State & City allow HOAs to form. You should contact your City and see how they handle it.

            Everywhere I’ve lived with an HOA was formed before the foundations were poured. The majority property owner(s) in the HOA were the landlords renting property out, who originally established everything. They can make a good buck planting a community of houses (selling a few to build the next 2-3.) Control the community for 8-10 years with rental properties then sell off the property as major maintenance milestones come rolling in or when market value spikes up.

          3. Oh puhleeeze.. cry me a river. It sounds like you *voluntarily* chose to establish your homestead in an HOA community. No one put a gun to your head and forced you to do so. Now, like a union thug, you (and the entire amateur radio contingent) are making demands on management over conditions. This is like the new home owners in the Norfolk, VA region complaining of constant noise from military jets, demanding that the Navy cease operations. These people knowingly moved into an area that has been home to the US Navy for decades.

            Anyone fool enough to, again, *voluntarily* relocate to an HOA restricted community, and then ‘after-the-fact’ start making demands to change the rules to accomodate their personal interests should join the crowd supporting a $15/hr minimum wage for burger flippers.

            There are plenty of non-HOA homes out there. *plenty* !

            HOA = protection racket. To paraphrase a scene out of “Goodfellas”: ‘now, he’s in with Paulie, and has to come up with the money, what? business is bad? F-U pay me, place got hit by lightning ? F-U pay me’…. so if someone is fool enough to hand over a few hundred bucks a month to an HOA, they deserve what they get.

          4. More and more authorities (state, local or otherwise) are mandating that new developments (or subdivisions of existing land) must be covered by a HOA. Usually so they can get development restrictions in place that they couldn’t get in place via laws and also so they can get the HOA to cover the costs of maintaining things that would otherwise be the responsibility of the authority.

          5. I work in Atlanta, which I believe counts as a metropolitan area and I don’t have an HOA because I told my real estate agent I didn’t want to look at any houses with them and I was fine with driving an extra 15/30 minutes (Which in Atlanta traffic time is about an extra 5 to 10 miles) to not have one. It was pretty much that easy and the house didn’t cost me any extra.

  2. I really hope this goes through. I am currently limited to a single small mobile whip stuck out my apartment window on a short length of box tubing, and I have to put it out every single time I want to use it and bring it back inside once I’m done. It’s a real pain in the behind. If this becomes law, I might actually be able to use it to get my landlord to at the very least allow me to leave my antenna out at all times. I still won’t have any way to get on HF, but it would at least be a slight improvement.

    1. Try some of these: random tuned magnet wire on the roof, loop antenna blue-tacked to the walls, tune a hamstick or wrapped CB antenna, tack a dipole to wood or vinyl siding, put an antenna in an accessible attic, hide a thin wire dipole between trees or telephone poles, (use green or grey spectra fishing line to strengthen it). Think like a member of the WW-II resistance movement.

      1. I’m in a 60-unit converted factory. No roof access, no attic, no ground access (it’s concrete anyway). I’m limited to what I can stick out the window, as long as it’s NOT attached to the build and doesn’t bother any other tenants.

        Really all I want is the option of leaving my antenna out.

  3. Does this act actually accomplish anything? From my experience, HOAs have be using the argument that antennas are NOT “consistent with the aesthetic .. in community associations” to ban them in the first place. Sounds like that’s still a valid (from the HOA’s point of view) excuse to ban them.

    And who has a lot covered by a HOA that’s big enough to string a 160 meters of wire between two trees? Realtors around here like to describe my lot as “HUGE” (I have a completely different definition of that word!) but 160 meters would wrap around the perimeter of the lot almost twice!

    1. You can always ask for permission to put a flagpole on your lot, because you love your country and want to show that. If they try to disagree, act shocked and ask them “You DON’T love our country?”. Then when they agree, put the biggest wooden or non-metal pole you can find, and hide antenna inside. Don’t forget the flag…

    2. I think you answered your own question, in that this law defines that antennas can be consistent with the aesthetic standards of a community. It is not much, nor should it be much or a carte blanche to nullify legal agreements and commitments, but it would constrain the ability of a court to interpret an agreement versus the status quo.

    3. (a) AMENDMENT OF FCC RULES
      —Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Federal Communications Commission shall amend section 97.15 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, by adding a new paragraph that prohibits the application to amateur stations of any private land use restriction, including a restrictive covenant, that—

      (1) on its face or as applied, precludes communications in an amateur radio service;

      (2) fails to permit a licensee in an amateur radio service to install and maintain an effective outdoor antenna on property under the exclusive use or control of the licensee; or

      (3) does not constitute the minimum practicable restriction on such communications to accomplish the lawful purposes of a community association seeking to enforce such restriction.

      Based on this, I think they’ll have a harder time restricting antennas based solely on aesthetics. The revised text is much weaker, allowing HOAs to still have a say, but:

      (b) ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS
      —In amending its rules as required by subsection (a), the Commission shall—

      (1) require any licensee in an amateur radio service to notify and obtain prior approval from a community association concerning installation of an outdoor antenna;

      (2) permit a community association to prohibit installation of any antenna or antenna support structure by a licensee in an amateur radio service on common property not under the exclusive use or control of the licensee; and

      (3) subject to the standards specified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a), permit a community association to establish reasonable written rules concerning height, location, size, and aesthetic impact of, and installation requirements for, outdoor antennas and support structures for the purpose of conducting communications in the amateur radio services.

      As long as the antenna remains on the property of the station, the restrictions cannot be prohibitive. Unfortunately, they can still place restrictions. Fortunately, the wording may be strong enough to fight restrictions, as they don’t have a loop hole of permitting only antennas that have no practical purpose. (They are prohibited from restrictions that fail to permit an *effective* outdoor antenna.)

  4. Malvina Reynolds’ song Ticky Tacky needs the line updated from “there’s a green one and a blue one and a yellow one… to there is a tan one and tan one and a tan one and they are all made of ticky tacky and they’re all just the same. Sounds like Communism.

    1. “Local authorities may adopt regulations pertaining to placement, screening, or height of antennas, if such regulations are based on health, safety, or aesthetic considerations and reasonably accommodate amateur communications”

      if i’m reading correctly. basically it says they can’t prohibit installation based on potential rf interference, but they can totally prohibit them for the above reasons. and HOA’s aren’t public organizations so they can do what they can prohibit what they want because you’re free not to sign the HOA agreement (even though that means you can’t live there). usually the HOA’s limit them based on the “aesthetic considerations”

  5. “Most new houses are part of homeowners associations, covenants, or have other restrictions on the deed that dictate what color you can paint your house, the front door, or what type of mailbox is acceptable.”

    U.S.A. freedom?

    1. HOAs are about the most un-American part of living in modern America. It’s a micro-government that can legally foreclose on your home because you didn’t paint your shutters the exact shade of lime green the current group of nosy neighbors in charge wanted you to. It’s Fascism with a smile, and it’s bloody disgusting. I don’t get why anyone would choose such a nightmarish, stress inducing standard of living. It’s literally being a prisoner in your own neighborhood, only allowed some sort of freedom of choice once you temporarily leave the property to work, so you can fork over up to 1/3 of your paycheck to your next door overlords.

      I’d live in a slum in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen long before I would ever “buy” a house under a HOA or covenant.

    2. Cheap comment.

      Part of freedom is allowing a group of people (or a housing developer) to set up a covenant, which people voluntarily enter. If you are wealthy enough to own a rental property or develop a community, then you do have the freedom to set your own ordinances.

      I agree with another comment which said that in some places it is very difficult to avoid HOA-controlled housing, due to the fact that most housing is thrown up by developers putting in 100-500 homes. Or if you are a renter it is just how it always is that you have to abide by restrictions.

      On the one hand, I don’t want someone to say whether I can have a metal roof on my house vs shingle, but on the other hand I appreciate that bars are not allowed to set up shop next to the grade school. Everyone has a different idea of which restrictions are onerous.

        1. RW – That’s a REAL house in USA! Yes this nut is an ANARCHIST! You can paint your house any color you want HOWEVER, the town government may have something to say about it. There was a house near the ARRL in Newington CT was forced to change his tutty-fruity colored house to a more neighborhood-friendly color under the town beautification ordinances. The guy did it originally because he was acting like an hot-head anarchist and was thumbing his nose at his neighbors.

          In a HOA scenario, what does the 3rd letter ‘A” stand for? Yes it’s a contract YOU signed voluntarily. If you didn’t want the agreement, don’t sign it and be the odd-man out. Don’t sign the damn thing then complain about how unfair it is later. You sat in on the HOA meetings. You could have petitioned to modify the parts you didn’t like. I’ve seen people do line item vetoes of their contracts. Not sure it actually works but you could try…

          1. Blue Footed Booby – Oops… you got me there!

            But I think to be a member of a HOA you have to sign an HOA agreement. The HOA president is not a dictator. He/she has to make sure every HOA member is in agreement with the bylaws. Even the fines must be agreed on by the members. They also have regular meetings. If you don’t like something you can speak up and be recognized. I think they can take votes on something to be changed at those meetings. All I’m saying is: if you are a responsible HOA member, then you should attend ALL meetings, abide by the decisions you agreed to, and always be a P.I.T.A. A squeaking wheel always gets some oil. If your a big enuf’ PITA they will listen to you no matter how annoying you may be.

            This is NOT totalitarian-communism. That is the way Russia, PRC, NK, and Cuba are run. Original concept of ‘communism’ was a Native American political-model construct and was not a bad word as it is today. They all lived communally and where run by a tribal council not a brutal dictator like above mentioned countries. The HOA runs meetings on the parliamentary-rules model I think.

            I think if you want an antenna farm you should be cognizant of your neighbor’s emotional, financial, and property interests. Do onto others as you would wish they would do onto you? Try and conceal them in a RF transparent enclosure. Why ruin your neighbors property values by displaying an unsightly bone yard of antennas? You love your hobby but he doesn’t have to. Pursuit of happiness… not just your happiness.

        1. CircuitGizmos – That’s why I put a question mark after roof. What the hell was this guy thinking? How did he even accomplish this? It looks crooked too. Is it leaning to the left a bit? Property values? I’d say about ZERO for him and his neighbors. I’m pretty sure his Municipal/State Building Inspector for his city/town has already condemned the site and ordered it be totally rebuilt the CORRECT way. I can not see a municipal government in USA giving him a variance on something as ridiculous as this. I know his neighbor you can see through the tree line must have went ballistic and complained to the mayor or something.

          BTW – I get your joke… :-)

  6. @Brian Benchoff – The MILINDCOMPLX, Guberment’, military, and cell phone companies use this company’s products to hide antenna farms, etr: http://www.colorado-bids.com/colorado_contractors/contractor-5198479-CONCEALFAB-CORPORATION.htm

    Maybe someone could look at their products and we can hack something out that resembles what they do. In most of these buildings you have to pull a permit with your town’s government as it will impact your home’s tax bill. But if you have a flat roof you may be able to circumvent the building permit and put it up there. The other devices are fake trees and flag poles.

    If you are allowed to park a van or truck close to your flat (aka apartment) you could design a RF transparent roof for it and run coax to it as if it were a mobile unit. The FCC does this for their mobile tracking units. But heck, what does your H.O.A. care if your car/truck (aka lorie in UK) has an mobile aerial on it (center roof)? The coax would look no different than cable TV coax going down the side of the apartment building from your window. If your vehicle is close to the wall, more the better for you. However, if not you’ll have to bury it in conduit a few feet toward the vehicle. Make it detachable with weatherproof RF plug/socket (SO-259 and PL-259) and call the vehicle your work car/truck/lorie, even though you use the other car more. Keep it in working condition just in case the landlord says “prove it’s not just a P.O.S. junker sitting in my parking lot”. And also “what’s this damn black cable you have running up to it?”. “Oh that’s just a wire I use to keep the truck’s battery charged…” or something more creative that won’t get you evicted! Use the truck for random storage too so it looks like a work vehicle.

    If you can get AC power to your truck or lorie, you could park it up on the higher level of your apartment building’s parking lot. Then you could use a RF link to the transceiver inside it like some sort of repeater from your flat or apartment. Maybe even do some sort of audio streaming via WiFi too. Of course you’d have to arrange some sort of r/c to make it change channels and stuff or you’ll have to do it via SneakerNet (walk to it). Some parking lots have outdoor electrical outlets for emergency car battery recharging. You could make sure you park it right next to one of those outlets. Also allow it to trickle charge your vehicle’s battery too in case you are forced to move it at a moment’s notice.

    1. FOR APARTMENT DWELLERS OR TOUGH CONDO HOAs
      If you are allowed to park a van or truck close to your flat (aka apartment) you could design a RF transparent roof for it and run coax to it as if it were a mobile unit. The FCC does this for their mobile tracking units. But heck, what does your H.O.A. care if your car/truck (aka lorie in UK) has an mobile aerial on it (center roof)? The coax would look no different than cable TV coax going down the side of the apartment building from your window. If your vehicle is close to the wall, more the better for you. However, if not you’ll have to bury it in conduit a few feet toward the vehicle. Make it detachable with weatherproof RF plug/socket (SO-259 and PL-259) and call the vehicle your work car/truck/lorie, even though you use the other car more. Keep it in working condition just in case the landlord says “prove it’s not just a P.O.S. junker sitting in my parking lot”. And also “what’s this damn black cable you have running up to it?”. “Oh that’s just a wire I use to keep the truck’s battery charged…” or something more creative that won’t get you evicted! Use the truck for random storage too so it looks like a work vehicle.

      OR GO WIRELESS (EXCEPT FOR POWER CORD)
      If you can get AC power to your truck, you could park it up on the possibly higher level of your apartment building’s parking lot. Then you could use a RF link to the transceiver inside it like some sort of repeater from your flat or apartment. Maybe even do some sort of audio streaming via WiFi too. Of course you’d have to arrange some sort of r/c to make it change channels and stuff or you’ll have to do it via SneakerNet (walk to it). Some parking lots have outdoor electrical outlets for emergency car battery recharging. You could make sure you park it right next to one of those outlets. Also allow it to trickle charge your vehicle’s battery too in case you are forced to move it at a moment’s notice. Here’s a diagram:

      1. HOW TO REMOTE CONTROL YOUR HAM RIG VIA INTERNET
        Remote ham radio operation through a Raspberry Pi
        This link is about how to set up remote operation on a ham radio through a Wifi network, over a VPN, and around the world using a Raspberry Pi. This could be useful for people who want to set up their radio and antenna far away from where they actually live (e.g. apartment dwellers who have friends or parents who live in the boonies and wouldn’t mind you erecting an antenna or to your mobile unit).

        https://partofthething.com/thoughts/?p=710

        1. RW – That is quite true. I should have also said you could rig your common vehicle (i.e. car) that is allowed to park in the exterior lot to be the mobile remote base. All RF equipment could be loaded into the trunk (aka ‘the boot’ in UK) for security sake, add a whip antenna to bumper, or a mag mount to center roof. You could run the rig via a tablet from your apartment or even from inside the car while mobile. The only thing is that you need to run an extension cord to the closest electrical outlet as you don’t want to depend on your car battery for your rig’s power source. But if you do that to your common vehicle you MUST remember to detach the extension cord BEFORE driving off!! Also if you keep a trickle charge to your battery, you could run the rig off of the 12v battery all the time so that it’s not a big deal to convert power source to the rig when you go really mobile.

          I guess if you live in a large urban environment you are limited to parking in a parking garage. You probably don’t want to park on a big city street with this setup due to criminals. Also the lack of an exterior electrical outlet on the street too. This won’t work in a parking garage for obvious reasons. Unless it’s the top floor exposed to elements and a wall outlet nearby. In the long run you could setup a remote base at your parent’s summer home in the outback and use the Internet remote control I mention. There you can mount antenna high and have unlimited AC power – that is if you are on good standing with your parents (or kinfolk) – :-)

    2. @Brian Benchoff – The military industrial complex (aka US defense industry), USG, military, and cell phone companies use this company’s products to hide antenna farms, etc: http://concealfab.com

      Maybe someone could look at Conceal Fab products and we can hack something out that resembles what they do. In most of these conceal fab buildings you have to pull a permit with your town’s government as it will impact your home’s tax bill. But if you have a flat roof you may be able to circumvent the building permit and put it up there. The other devices are fake plastic sheds, fake light poles, fake chimneys, fake trees, and flag poles.

  7. Other side of the story: my former neighbour had antennas. Lots and lots of them. He was a professional radio tech so his rig was relatively well-behaved. But when i played my synths I could often hear his transmissions through my headphones.

    1. Mark – Surround your studio with a grounded Faraday shield made of aluminum foil or metal chicken wire.. Our USG calls this a portable SCIF. But you could just put RF chokes on all your input/output lines to your synthesizer and maybe even the headphones too..

      Here’s Mr. Obama using one:

      1. I still can’t figure out what the two guys in the foreground are talking on. Cell phones will NOT work inside this portable SCIF, unless they are talking to each other. Mr. Obama is on a hard-line. Maybe they have a cell phone repeater in the SCIF? But doesn’t that defeat the purpose of a SCIF???

        1. Oh never mind… they must be remote extensions of the POTUS’ hard-line so they can conference into his conversation. They must have a wire we can’t see or are operating wireless inside the SCIF. I see they are taking notes and paying attention. They look like bald twins don’t they?

  8. One problem with acts like this is that they guarantee such limited freedoms for the amateur radio operators that it’ll likely have the opposite effect, in that HOAs will now use it as weight on their side of the argument. “see, it says you can have small antennas that are attached to the side of your house, and painted to match our siding, so take all these big ugly ones down.”

  9. I really hate HOA’s. People seem to love giving up their freedom to do what they want on their own property. Our HOA was for a while extremely restrictive. We tossed em off and now allow people to generally do what they want so much as it isn’t really over the top.

  10. I’m pretty sure the FCC has clauses that entitle you to have antennas on your property, as TV antennas/dishes are considered to be emergency broadcast receivers. To deny someone the ability to have TV would be a safety issue as well as infuriate the masses for other reasons. I think the Amateur radio community is simply a smaller population that might not have had as strong of a voice when the FCC made that provision.

    One thing HOA’s *can* argue is the placement of the antenna/dish. My friend got in trouble for DirecTV installing a dish on the front of his condo. When the HOA tried to fine him and make him take it down, he showed them the FCC clause. They apparently had that pulled on them before because they were ready with another law of sorts that said you can have a dish, but HOA’s are allowed to have reasonable requirements regarding the placement of dishes. In the end DirecTV just came out and moved the dish to a less noticeable part of the house and everyone lived.

    If you do have dishes or large antennas you’re getting complaints about:
    1) meet your neighbors half way and see if theres a spot you could mount the dish/antenna that stil works and is less noticeable
    2) Get some “print your own sticker paper” and make some DirecTV / DISH stickers, and slap them on the equipment., to be covered by the existing law

  11. Read this : “gigantic moon bounce arrays”, and immediately wanted a bouncy house castle antenna. Currently watching kids play on the playground, so my mind is probably in a different place.

  12. I read somewhere that HOA’s, CC&Rs and the like were originally chartered to keep minorities out of predominantly middle-class and above white neighborhoods to maintain property values…ah the irony.

    1. Also keep in mind that some HOA’s will not come right out and slap your hands for disobeying their codes of aesthetic and conduct but will slap liens against your property (without your knowledge and altogether legal – really read the fine print) and will then deduct the lien amount when you go to sell the home. So if the lien is $500 a month and you stay there 10 years – you very well could owe your wonderfraud HOA $60,000 in fines. Deduct that from what you thought you were going to make off the sale. Usually where there are CC&R’s and no HOA, the CC&R’s are unenforceable – the power is in the HOA that you pay your dues to enslave you with. The city I live in told me to make my tower and antennas part of my house by getting a building plan and getting it approved as an addition – that took care of all zoning issues and cost me very little and there’s no HOA.

  13. I don’t think a lot of Americans (especially in HOA’s) know that much about Amateur Radio Service and falsely think it is just a nuisance hobby like CB Radio. They see these bone-yard antenna farms with guy wires everywhere, and hear abou RFI interference, and totally miss the benefit to the community at large. Here is a snippet from the ARRL wbsite about this new bill they are spear heading:

    Cosponsor US Rep Joe Courtney (D-CT) also urged the bill’s passage. “This is not just a feel-good bill,” Courtney said, recounting how Hurricane Sandy brought down the power grid, and “we saw all the advanced communications we take for granted…completely fall by the wayside.” Ham radio volunteers provided real-time communication in the storm’s wake, he said, saying the legislation was a way “to rebalance things” for radio amateurs who choose to live in deed-restricted neighborhoods by enabling them to install “non-intrusive antennas.”

    I think it is our civic duty to promote HAM RADIO as not just a hobby or toy for your geeky neighbor with the huge HF Yagi pointing at your house. Let it be known through HOA meetings, supermarket flyers, PSA’s, your town government, etc. that you are there to HELP the community during a natural disaster when all other forms of communications is down INCLUDING cellphone and satellite communications. Make a PowerPoint presentation or a video to be played at your next HOA meeting that shows the benefits to the community HAM RADIO brings to the table.

    I just think a lot of people just don’t get it. They think you are just bringing down property values while pursuing your annoying hobby (annoying to them). If they better understood what it was all about and how you could start using RF transparent enclosures, they might be more receptive to allowing you some leeway. I really don’t see how the federal government is going to circumvent a voluntary contract you signed NOT under duress. The FCC can only recommend not enforce this. If you don’t like your HOA then request to opt out and nullify your HOA contract some how. Or collectively dump the HOA altogether as one poster claims he did if you can’t come to some mutually agreeable amendments to the bylaws re: antennas on your personal roof.

    The only reciprocity your HOA has against you is civil litigation for breech of contract. They can’t call local police or even the town government to enforce the bylaws. They can’t tear your antenna down or protest on your lawn. So being a negotiator versus a hard-headed anarchist is the much easier way to go. You’d be surprised how far a radome enclosure will help your case. Also it protects your antenna from snow, ice, and wind loading. Look at these radomes in UK near Harrogate, North Yorkshire. They never have complaints or weather-related problems:

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