I live in a Conservation area in Penrith, Cumbria, IO84oq where outdoor visible antennas are not permitted.
I needed to hide my new bright and shiny Wellbrook 1530+ Active Loop Antenna from being easily observed by neighbours or my XYL!
Below is a picture from the Wellbrook Communications website of an identical antenna to my own, far too visible for my needs.
I decided I would attempt to paint the loop and mast in colours similar to the new Multi Terrain Pattern (MTP) or MultiCam camouflage.
Here are my results. Can you spot my Wellbrook 1530+ loop in the picture below taken from 2m away? Also in this picture is part of my 280′ military tactical dipole……even harder to spot than the loop.
Try the picture below taken from a different angle. The loop is easier to spot due to its none natural shape silouette, try covering up the top half of the loop with your hand, the lower section blends in much better. I need some plastic foliage to break up the shape, it has been ordered. In this picture is part of my horizontal 280′ dipole,have you found it yet? Answer at bottom of page if you can’t.
Below is an extreme close-up of the loop showing the paint colours used. I haven’t quite finished painting the loop mast yet for best effect, about 90% there as there is too much green visible.
And here are two photos of my Sandpiper MV6+3 HF vertical painted in the same MTP like pattern. Notice how the natural shadows and my false shadows match, when the paint effect is 100% complete.
It is only when really close-up you can see the antennas or if they are silouetted their shape stands out, so I am in the process of adding some ‘Jack Pyke artificial leaves’ to break up the outline as shown below. I’ve been assured by the loop manufacturer that adding plastic leaves will not impair the performance.
Also please note that these photos have been taken in winter when most of my trees have shed their own leaves. In the summer the antennas will be even harder to spot!
If you are interested in painting your antennas like mine, I will now describe where I obtained the paint from and how to paint the pattern.
From Amazon.co.uk – Monstercolours classic range 400ml spray paint in Khaki, Shamrock Green, Sandstone and Black (N.B. all Matt) £5.49 each with free p/p.
With both the 5 foot aluminium mounting mast and the aluminium Wellbrook 1530 Loop I used the Green and Khaki first and painted rough 10″ bands of alternate colours for their whole lengths and allowed to dry.
I then swopped the colours over and very finely misted the opposite colours on top to slightly break up the distinct separate colours.
Then I gathered some real leaves from the garden, the ideal ones being bamboo with narrow thin leaves with gaps and Fern. Using a bunch of these leaves held against the mast and loop I finely sprayed short bursts of the sandstone paint. The effect was to create leaf like patterns on the paint from the existing green and khaki background, now highlighted slightly by a little sandstone colour spray.
I also went back over with either green or khaki and the leaves template until the colours were broken up with natural looking patterns.
Finally I applied a little black paint with a new leaves template to add shadows and break up the outline more. Do not over apply the black otherwise you will create a very visible silouette.
P.S. remember to take your watch off and avoid a windy day, otherwise you will end up like me with an MTP camo coloured watch too!
Hidden dipole answer: On top of the wooden fence!
Here are some more photos of my loop against different backgrounds
The last photo shows the loop at ground level with no mast, even I struggle to see it and I know where it is!
73 de Philip G0ISW