My former setup in Florida was a TS-440S into a SG-239 antenna tuner hooked to a random piece of wire strung out over a swamp behind my back yard. Even though the setup is rather modest, I’ve managed to work over 100 countries and confirm all 50 states. The photo on the left is my SGC SG-239 Smartuner protected from the weather by an ammo can. On top of the ammo can is one of the local friendly lizards which populate the area.
I took an old (1991) Cushcraft R7 Vertical down from the attic and decided to try and deploy it next to the swamp while avoiding detection by the neighbors. I took everything apart and using sandpaper, steel wool, a wire brush on a grinder and a Dremel tool, I cleaned every square inch. I put the antenna back together using corrosion inhibitor for aluminum. I cleaned the exposed surfaces first with mineral spirits, then alcohol and finally vinegar. After the vinegar I wiped it down with a clean rag and sprayed all the bright surfaces with a flat black paint. When the neighbors weren’t looking, I took it into the swamp and mounted it on a 4×4 post with a piece of 1 1/2 inch electrical conduit. The flat black paint did the trick because this thing is absolutely invisible to the neighbors. Look at the first photo and see if you can spot the antenna then check out the second photo for a little help.
The 50 foot piece of 12 gauge wire coming out of the antenna tuner greatly outperforms the vertical. I earned my Triple Play Award using only the “long” wire. Go figure.
Thankfully, I now live on a 7 acre farm and can erect any antenna I want.