Lightning aside, overhead wires will look terrible.
Over the last couple years I have removed all the visible electric wiring
put up by the prior owner of my property. Power came from a pole at the
street strung along three poles on the property (sagging to about 6' at one
place, as one of the poles had rotted away at the base), then a "star"
arrangement to the house, pump house, workshop, and a potting shed, plus a
string of ordinary light bulbs strung from tree to out along the driveway to
the street. There was a big yard light at the top of the pole that was the
center of the "star". It looked like crap.
Through a contractor, I had the electric company change the pole we receive
power from (it's halfway down an adjacent property's driveway), dug a trench
for underground power from that pole to the meter on the side of the garage,
and from the garage underground lines with direct burial cable to
outbuildings (barn and pump house). We also put three 3" conduits
underground to carry antenna, rotator, and other control cables to likely
antenna sites and a conduit with a lighting circuit along the driveway to
the front of the lot with a few points along the way for lamps on posts.
The antenna wire conduits enter the garage through a big steel box, and two
3" conduits go inside the wall up to my 2nd floor radio room. The yard is
clear of overhead wires, and no wires are visible on the side of the house.
I can now put up a dipole without having it droop over some power line. I
might run an end-fed wire from the roof of the radio room out to some tree,
just for nostalgia, but more likely I'll put that antenna out on the lot
strung from tree to tree, tune it remotely, and feed it through coax in the
73 Dick, K6KR
From: TowerTalk [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Hans
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2012 5:59 AM
Subject: [TowerTalk] Overhead cables from tower to shack
To save some (~250 feet) of wires and cables I am thinking of hanging a
steel wire with attached cables (coax and control) between the (near) top of
my tower directly to my radio shack located on the top floor of my house.
Instead I can pull all the cables down the tower, through a ditch i the
ground and up along the side the house up to my shack, with much better
possibilities of good protection from light-strikes.
The tower is well grounded (as far as I know, 9 grounding rods, Ufer ground
and whatever else) The house has a Faraday grounding cage with a total of 6
grounding spots (plus whatever it gets through the utility connections). The
lightning protect has been tested (by direct lightning strikes) at least
twice. Burn-marks to prove it.
I am planning to let the coax cables be grounded in the tower through a
plate equipped with bulkhead connectors and ground them at the house with a
similar plate - bulkhead connectors. That plate will be directly connected
to the lightning protection next to my shack. There are 4, thick, copper
wires that connects the lightning rods over my shack to the grounding rods
four stories down.
What I am afraid of is, in case of a lightning strike (direct hit or
near-by), the big open loop created by my overhead wires together with the
tower, the lightning protection of the house and the ground will induce
enough current to cause damages. This loop will have an about 70 x 125 feet
opening, enough to make it a good loop antenna (not the purpose though). (No
I don't have any AM stations around that will have their radiation pattern
Anyone with experience from this, or any objections? I would not like to
find my installation looking like a fried chicken after inclined weather.
Hans - N2JFS
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