I "built" a 1/4 wave antenna (from a hub and some #12 AWG solid wire) that works great. It lives inside my megatree, suspended from the top with a simple string. I can continue to use it as-is without concern.

I was thinking that it may actually be as effective for radio transmission to take the antenna out from the shielding of the pixel strand "Faraday cage" and place a smaller one on top of the tree, outside the pixels (in front of the star). For aesthetics, I'd want this antenna to be no more than about a foot tall.

Is there some design that I could make myself? I suspect not, as some kind of loading coil would be needed for an antenna that is less than 1/4 wavelength. I do have a small "ground plane" (about one square foot) at the tree top, and I was thinking I might even just mount a small "rubber ducky" antenna.

I'm not an RF engineer/designer (or ARRL member). Can anyone with more knowledge in this area chime in? Thanks.