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[TowerTalk] Running ac power through the woods

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Running ac power through the woods
From: (Healy, Rus)
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 1997 11:54:57 -0400
Okay, gang. Put on your thinking toques.

I have a 200 foot run (on the ground) for a 240 V ac power line to the
tower base. I bought 250 feet of UF-B 12-3 (plus ground) Romex for this
purpose. Up to now, I've been thinking of running it across the floor of
the woods, along with the other cables, to the tower base. I need power
at the tower base to run 13.8- and 28-V power supplies that will run up
the tower to power a whole bunch of microwave stuff. This will be a
separate, breaker-protected 20-A circuit with a GFCI.

The path to the tower is thickly wooded, with essentially no foot
traffic except when Angus, our black Labrador, goes after a poorly
directed Frisbee or deer, or chasing wildlife. However, the engineer in
me nags constantly at me (however, not to the extent that I feel the
need to comply to the letter with the NEC). I see my options as such:

1) Do it right--bury the cable in a conduit, under the frost line (42
inches here), and be done with it. This is expensive and difficult--I've
rented DitchWitches before, but I've never tried to trench an area
replete with big-ass tree roots near the surface and I don't want to
start now.

2) Bury it in a garden hose to protect it from surface damage. Hmm.
Maybe. But burial poses the same problems.

3) Lay it on the ground in a garden hose to protect it from abrasion.
This might work fine. I've never seen damage from any kind of wildlife
chewing on cables in these parts, but K2DH had to replace some
electrical stuff in his pickup truck that got munched by a rodent (which
evidently needed housing materials for its nest--under the hood of the

4) Lay it on the ground in something else. Is there anything out there
that would work well for this? Perhaps just plain old EMT . . .

5) Secure it in a bundle to the other cables (a few runs of Heliax,
control cables, etc) using UV-resistant wire ties.

6) Don't run the cable. This isn't a real option, since the microwave
antennas are just too far from the house for even big Heliax runs. Plus,
how would I run the soldering iron, drop light and Christmas lights on
the tower? :')

What say, gang? If there's interest, I'll summarize response to the
reflector after the S/N ratio drops sufficiently for the message
contents to have nothing to do with the subject matter or when the first
limerick is posted, whichever comes first.

--73, Rus, NJ2L

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