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[TowerTalk] Second floor shack ideas - please

To: <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] Second floor shack ideas - please
From: (James Hall)
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2001 09:33:07 -0500
Hi Bill:

Thanks so much for your info.  YES, of course I have been to your site and
am modeling much of my MUCH smaller station after yours ;)  The first floor
here has 10 foot ceilings so I am guessing about 14 feet to ground from the
shack - then out to the tower. I want to try to minimize cable runs to the
shack with the use of antenna switches. I definitely have your site
bookmarked, and if I ever find myself in your neighborhood, I'll look you up

I'll have more to say on my situation - but for now, well, I sorta have this
day job ...  ;0  See .



> From: "Bill Hider" <>
To: <>
> Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2001 20:56:51 -0400
> To: "James C. Hall, M.D." <>
> Subject: RE: [TowerTalk] Second floor shack ideas - please
> James,
> If you haven't been to my Website, I'd suggest you look through it and look
> especially the design pages on lightning protection and cabling.
> Now that you have been to my website, you will see that my SPG is 8 foot up
> on my house, feeding the cables into the ceiling of my hamshack.  If your
> shack is higher that mine (Perhaps the floor of your shack is 15 above
> ground?  What's the actual?), you might install an outdoor box at
> floor-level of your shack and run two 3" conduits to the ground from there
> and on to the towers. Look at the photos I have on the lightning protection
> page.
> You don't say what the cable-distance is from the window of your shack to
> each tower. Nor do you say the cable-distance from the bottom of each tower
> to each of the antennas. All this will determine what kind of cable you use.
> (again, look at my website: cabling link.)
> Based on what types of cables you'll use plus the control cables, spare
> cables, etc, will determine the conduit size.
> Then, you'll need to determine where your A/C power, telephone, CATV, DSS,
> etc, enter the house.  You should plan to connect the grounds from all these
> devices to the SPG.  Then, you will be able to design a grounding system
> *before* you install anything.  BE SURE YOU HAVE NO GROUND LOOPS IN YOUR
> Again, use my website for reference.  Look at the ground grid design in my
> system:
> Then look carefully at the examples in the Polyphone manual.  You should be
> able to extrapolate your design from these references.
> Depending on the height from the ground to the shack, you may want to locate
> your SPG at/near ground level.  That will keep the difference of potential
> of the SPG ground and the tower/AC/CATV/DSS ground less (which is
> desirable).
> I think a proper design will be able to be determined once a
> fully-dimensioned pictorial of your situation is available.
> Once you have that, thoroughly review the Polyphone manual and example
> installations like mine, then determine what you need.
> Once you have your next round of questions, I'll be glad to answer them.
> 73,
> Bill, N3RR
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of James C. Hall, M.D.
> Sent: Sunday, July 29, 2001 3:01 PM
> To:
> Subject: [TowerTalk] Second floor shack ideas - please
> Hello:
> I've been monitoring TT since this past Sept. and really enjoy the
> discussions.  I am awaiting delivery of my first tower in 25 years - a UST
> HDX570 - and have LOTS of questions.  I went to Dayton for the first time
> this year and garnered lots of info including a Polyphaser manual.  Recently
> there was a discussion about cable feed through and lightning protection.
> I've gone through all the TT archives and some very nice web sites, which
> have been all helpful, but nothing really addresses the problems of
> grounding and lightning protection when your shack is on the 2nd floor.
> I've tried some direct emailing and some have been most helpful - thanks
> particularly to Dick Flanagan.
> Here's my setup : when we built our home, which sits on 30 acres of rolling
> hills, the XYL agreed to develop over the garage where I could have a
> dedicated ham shack. Now, some mistakes were made (no, really!) and the
> contractor's idea was to have a safety ground consisting of large gauge
> copper wire which passes down behind the brick veneer to a ground rod.  The
> rigs are attached to copper straps behind the desk and then attach to the
> ground rod which is virtually underneath me. Additionally, a utility box was
> placed in the drywall where two 1 inch electrical conduits went down behind
> the brick, under the drive, and out to the proposed tower site (about 100 ft
> away). Actually, plans are for two towers to include a smaller R25 tower for
> satellite antennas.  The driveway has not been poured yet and consists of
> simply 33C rock for now - so I can dig into it now if I choose. Now
> obviously there are limited amounts of cable that can be introduced into
> these small conduits. I was thinking about running something like LMR400 and
> rotor control cabling down each conduit where I can then attach remote
> antenna switches. Then after reading the interesting posts on lightnig
> protection I started to worry. I may be able to dig up the ground rod under
> me so as to attach a radial which would then connect to the tower ground
> system - but where should the SPG be ? Conventional wisdom says outside the
> shack. I have a window which faces the proposed tower.  I seem to remember a
> window unit that could act as a SPG and then direct ground from there. I
> would have to forget using the present conduits and go from the window box
> with new larger PVC conduit. I also need to consider feeding wire antennas
> for 80 and 160 meters. Oh, the antennas on the tower - Force 12 Mag 620/340
> and 4BA separated by about 9 feet on a 20 foot Chrom-molly mast. The wind
> figure for this county (which seems to come up alot on this reflector) is 70
> MPH.
> What say you, TT'ers.  What is the best solution to a second floor shack ?
> Comments and criticism on any and all of this would be appreciated.
> James C. Hall, MD
> -----
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