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Re: [TowerTalk] shack wiring

To: Jim Thomson <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] shack wiring
From: Ron Bowman <>
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2010 06:09:13 -0400
List-post: <">>
We too have the 20 A outlet here in the states. It has both vert and horiz
slots on the right side of the receptacle. 15A rated plugs are vert and 20 A
rated are horiz. I use them alll the time in the medical repair work that I

On Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 5:04 AM, Jim Thomson <> wrote:

> Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2010 11:09:46 -0700
> From: "Jim Brown" <>
> Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] surge protectors
> Another suggestion. run 20A circuits (#12) for anything that may get a lot
> of electronic stuff plugged in, with a dedicated neutral for each circuit.
> For long runs, pull in #10. If you do the math, you quickly realize that
> 20A will run a LOT of ham gear, everything but big power amps. That big
> 13.8V power supply is only dragging about 700W out of the wall to provide
> 40A continuous DC, enough to have two rigs keydown in RTTY at the same
> time. AND you can greatly reduce those peak power requirements by using
> smaller power supplies to float deep dischrage batteries.
> ### If I remember correctly, in our BC electrical code,  IF  you opt for
> a 20A  circuit  [120 vac]   and use 12 ga  Cu , and also a single 20A
> breaker,
> the 120 vac outlet must be of the 20A  rated variety !   The 20A  rated
> 120 vac outlets don't resemble the normal 15A  variety.   They use a
> weird  20A  120 vac outlet... which requires the mating  plug.  I think
> one blade was straight.. and the 2nd one had a right angle to it, such that
> normal  appliances,etc,  could not be plugged into it.   IF a regular  120
> vac
> outlet is used, and V drop is a concern,  sure, you can use 12 ga wire...
> but
> you must use a 15A  breaker.   10 ga CU  won't fit most  120 vac outlets
> anyway.
> [ they will take 12 ga max]
> ##  IF you want to save on wire,  I see no reason why you can't  run 240
> vac
> + neutral  to a duplex 120 outlet... then break the tab off... and then
> they share a
> common neutral.   This is done all the time in kitchens.  Then you can suck
> 15A per
> outlet.   The neutral current is the difference between the two loads.
> ## depending on how far the shack is from the main 200A panel.... I decided
> in my
> case, to go to plan B... and simply install a 100A  sub panel on the other
> side of the
> shack wall [ unfinished part of the basement, where the 200A main panel is
> across the
> basement from the 100 A  sub panel].   Sub panel was cheap... and is wired
> back to main
> panel with 3 ga CU.   Then it's real short lengths [ like <10']  of 120/240
> wiring  from
> 100A sub panel to shack on other side of wall.   Then I'm not gobbling up
> umpteen
> breaker positions in the main 200A panel either.
> ##  each amp gets it own real short dedicated 240 vac circuit  [10 ga].
> Also loads of 120 vac
> circuits.[12 ga]    It's  actually an excellent way to go.  Instead of
> really long multiple runs back to the
> 200A main panel  [ with huge ga wire, so no V drops] ,  I end up with
> really short multiple
> runs to sub panel.... and zero V drops.   It makes for a cleaner install,
> and WAY less clutter/mess.
> Dunno what the smallest size sub panel you can get these days.  Even a
>  40-60A sub panel,
> fed with 8-6 ga cu    would be a winner... and still provide loads of
> power. In the winter time,
> after dinner / late at night, I use a 1 kw electric heater in my tiny 8' x
> 10'  shack.  Makes more
> economical sense  vs  running a gas furnace, and heating up the entire 2000
> sq ft house.
> During the day time, we will use the gas furnace.  At night, we use the gas
> fireplace upstairs
> in living room... and the 1 kw  space heater  for my radio room.  I have  a
> 5 kw heater in the
> workshop next door, which takes no time at all to bring my real small work
> shop up to temp....
> I only use the 5 kw heater at night.
> ##  that was another reason to just install one  sub panel..and be done
> with it.  The 5 kw
> heater in the shop next door is  6'  away from the sub panel.    The 1 kw
> heater in the shack
> is 12'  away from sub panel.   Feeding real short multiple runs through one
> wall, is a LOT easier
> than  drilling out umpteen  ceiling joists.
> later.... Jim   VE7RF
> For a serious multi-two setup, I'd do two 20A circuits and two 240V
> circuits.  One 240V circuit is plenty for SO2R, but you want the second
> circuit if two amps will be in TX at the same time. One 120V circuit will
> run all the transceivers and support stuff for multi-two -- the second
> circuit is a spare, or for non-electronic stuff. Years ago, N6RO was wired
> with six 120V circuits and six 240V circuits, and it's plenty for his 5-
> transmitter multi-multi setup. His shack is in his barn (attached to the
> house), and he installed a local panel in the shack. This makes the wiring
> to his outlets much shorter, improving voltage regulation. Naturally, you
> also want big feeders to that panel.
> 73, Jim K9YC
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