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[CQ-Contest] Contesting from the basement

Subject: [CQ-Contest] Contesting from the basement
From: k4sb@earthlink.net (K4SB)
Date: Wed Jul 23 17:43:16 2003
Kelly Taylor wrote:

> The ideal part of a basement shack is the accessibility of cables, ease of
> cable runs (at least till the sheetrock is on) and the ease with which you
> can install AC, including those monster 10/3 for the 240vac outlet.

Just a few comments on Kelly's message. 10/3 is really too large for
the 240 line, unless you have a California QRP rig somewhere. 
> What makes cabling simple is the accessibility of the rim joist, which in
> most homes is the only member you need go through to pass a cable duct (or a
> bulkhead, if you're into SPG).
This is good idea, but I would not recommend a duct. It's more time,
but just drill through the lower part of the rim joist, to the
outside. If it's brick exterior, start on the outside and drill
through the mortar. 
> One idea that I've had but never checked out, both from
> a NEC standpoint and a lightning-protection standpoint, is drilling the
> requisite hole in the concrete floor. 

OK, this is the method I use here. Get a concrete drill, and drill
though the center of a 2x4 until you hit dirt. Then drive a 8' ground
rod in. This is a hard way to do it, 
physically, but you can then mount a wall receptacle a few inches up
from the floor, and bring the ground lead out. Mine is about 3' long
from the rod to a very large sheet of
1/4" copper ( found it in a junk yard in Miami years ago ) and all
grounds go directly to a common point on the sheet. Incidentally,
unless the basement is already wired, I would also recommend a new
circuit breaker panel for the basement wiring. I have a 200 amp main
breaker here and although it took me about 3 hours, I drilled up from
the basement, installed a 240 100 amp breaker in the house box, run
that to the new CB box, and wired from there. BTW, I also drilled and
installed another 8' ground rod just below the breaker box. One nice
thing about it, is tripping the main will remove power from

> other times, I'd recommend low-level ambient lighting (dimmable pots,

I would strongly recommend agains dimmable pots! Those suckers are
first clsass RFI sources.

One last thing, if you plan on sheet rock for the walls, run the coax
down between the
2x4s and out at rig level. In my case, I just cut out a 6" x 6" square
in the wall. And I have a permanent rope loop from where the coax
comes through the joist to the hole in the wall.

For the shack desk, I bought a used large office desk, and then built
"cubby" holes to mount on top of it to hold all the equipment.

Last thing, if at all possible, put the shack in a corner of the

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