Coax install

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by N4ANE, Dec 9, 2018.

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  1. N4ANE

    N4ANE Ham Member QRZ Page

    So I have moved and installing my old antennas out doors was way but now I need to get 2 lines of coax in the house most of my set up is stealth I dont want to use the windows due to them being covered for the winter to keep the drafts out. I also dont want to drill a hole in the wall and put a drier vent in because that will leave a big hole on the inside when we move and other good and easy cheep ideas yall have?
  2. W1GHD

    W1GHD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I came in through the header above a garage door. My electrical service (and ground) is there, and my shack is right above the garage.

    When the time comes to pull the coax, I plan on inserting dowels in the holes, then patch and paint.
    WZ7U likes this.
  3. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Mount a plastic cable TV box on the side of the house.

    Virtually no one pays any attention to these utility boxes and holes are just natural inside them. When the door is closed, no one sees any such holes.

    Also, no one is going to care if a cable tv utility box remains on the side of the house after you move. Any new tenants are probably just going to re-purpose the utility box for satellite or TV themselves anyways.

    $15 on eBay.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
    N9FM, N1VAU, KP4SX and 2 others like this.
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I ground the lines at ground (surface) level to an 8' ground rod installed right there (I have eleven lines) and that rod is tied back to the service panel ground with #6 copper (insulated) wire that runs to the panel mostly underground but comes up the side of the house outside to attach to the panel ground, going through one of the lower access holes in the panel. The part that goes up the siding is clipped to the stucco siding using the same kind of "these will go through anything!" type hardened nails the CATV installers use to clip their RG-6 to the siding.

    Then, eleven 1/2" holes through the siding and through the wall into the shack bring the lines in. They're just above soil level and are weather/bug proofed outside using caulking. Inside, I could make the entrance holes very pretty if I chose to, but they're just above the floor and behind my main operating desk and can't be seen from anywhere in the room, so I really don't care what they look like.

    If we choose to sell, I'll pull the lines out and use stucco patch outside and regular wall patch inside, then paint over to match the wall color -- which would take all of about an hour -- and nobody will ever know the holes existed.

    There are many ways to skin this cat, but I always shoot for "bring 'em in at ground level, if possible," as it's easiest to achieve a solid earth ground there (required by NEC), it's easy to run the service panel bonding cable just beneath the soil so it can't be seen at all for most of its run, and when the holes are down that low it's easy to hide them outside with bushes and inside with furniture so they cannot be seen.

    For a window entrance, it is possible to install a metal (aluminum, copper, galvanized steel, whatever) grounding panel in a window opening that has coaxial and other feedthrough connectors. That panel needs to be grounded outside, and service panel ground bonded, and can be weather sealed so it cannot leak air, water, bugs or anything else; then, an L-bracket screwed into the right place secures the window so it cannot move or be vandalized (without breaking the glass window).

    In cold weather, such a metal panel can "sweat" on the inside because it will be cold outside and warm inside, and condensation can form; but if it's protected against rusting and the connectors are installed properly, that really won't matter. You can dry it off with a cloth now and then if that happens.

    But I sure dislike bringing in cables up so high above ground level, as they can always be seen.
  5. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have bought and sold at least 6 houses where I had come through the wall with either a dryer vent, PVC "L", or cable TV box in order to run coax to the shack. None of those have ever so much as raised an eyebrow at the time of sale.
    KC8VWM likes this.
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I like the cable TV box idea.

    I've also used dryer vents in the past, but with stucco siding what a PITA to make a 3" - 4" diameter hole! Stucco is like cutting through bricks, except maybe more difficult.:p

    With the cable TV box, that covers your work so you can use a few smaller holes that can just be drilled using masonry bits -- which wear out fast with stucco, but at least they work. Here I think I went through four masonry bits drilling holes.:(
    KC8VWM likes this.
  7. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My shack is in the basement so my coax enters through an MFJ window well entrance in a a sliding window. Will leave no holes and the window entrance will move with me when I move.
  8. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have heard of hams who used the Drain Waste Vent as the plenum for routing coax into the house.
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I did that, in a rented town house!

    Since I didn't own it I wasn't going to drill holes, but did have roof access on this 3-1/2 story building as each unit was 3-1/2 stories high and the roof was flat and 35-40 feet above the ground.

    Had four antennas on the roof (which couldn't be seen unless you were in a helicopter, due to the flat roof and setback from the edges) and fed the cables down a ventpipe which led to the garage, behind the washing machine. Drilled a 1" or so hole in the ventpipe behind the washer and painstakingly retrieved the cables, one by one, using a hook made from a wire clothes hanger.

    The cables were all RG8X, so quite flexible. Took no time to push the cables down into the vent, took probably 3 hours to retrieve them (!) but it worked. Now I had all the lines in the attached garage, which is where I set up my hamshack, so they were within about 15 feet of where they needed to go.

    No noxious fumes come from a washing machine, it's just a steam vent. Worked out fine.
  10. N4ANE

    N4ANE Ham Member QRZ Page

    All of these are great ideas but and I forgot to say that I am in a single wide trailer with medal sides and I would like to use the cable box idea but those wires are at the other end of the house I guess what I am going to end up doing is drilling a hole in the floor behind my desk and just pull the cable in and then put the pl259 on the end so that way the hole is smaller thats how the cable guy brought the cable in for the internet

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