Wanted Window Antenna Feedthrough

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Gear For Sale' started by N4ADK, Aug 30, 2015.

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  1. W4KJG

    W4KJG Subscriber QRZ Page

    I guess I've faced this issue many times in nearly 60 years of putting up antennas. It started in about 1957 with clandestine antennas for the crystal sets I was building when my bed-spring and second floor ground to the toilet didn't provide the DX I wanted. My dad didn't want me drilling holes in the side of our house.

    Living just a few hundred yards off the frozen shores of Lake Superior, he and my mom certainly didn't want me to break the integrity of our "storm windows" and inside windows, in an area that had regular gale force winds, regular -40 F degree temperatures, and lots of snow.

    That philosophy has followed me to this day. For about the last 40 years my wife and I have lived in rural Virginia or West Virginia. I have no desire to breach the integrity of our household weather perimeter. Over about the last 40 years, I've created many methods of bringing antenna access and safe grounding (earthing) systems into my radio rooms. I also did this professionally, on and off, during my career.

    My present radio room is in the basement of our West Virginia log cabin. The sills of my two side-by-side ham shack basement windows are about 6-inches above ground level. The right-side window provides connection, with a #6 AWG solid copper wire to a standard copper-clad 5/8" x 8' ground rod sunk to about 7-1/2 feet outside the window. That rod connects around the perimeter of our house to the grounds for our TV-satellite service, our Internet Service, our water well, and our electrical service. The #6 ground wire from that ground rod enters my radio room through about a 1/4-inch hole, in the bottom sash on the right side of the the right-side window. Inside, outside, and in the middle, it is sealed with electronic grade RTV. It is now a window that I don't open, except in an emergency. There are stress loops on both sides of the sash that have low-resistance/low-tensil ties between the loops (#22 soft-drawn copper wired soldered at the top of each loop).

    The back of my desk and equipment shelving is almost exactly 10-feet long. I have a piece of 3/4-inch copper water pipe mounted to the wall behind my desk and shelves. Everything in my radio room is connected to the ground wire mentioned above. Plus everything I have plugged into the mains is connected through the third wire on an electrical circuit that serves only my ham shack equipment.

    Is is safe? I've been involved in this stuff professionally for many years. I don't think anybody really knows. But ...

    Finally, to the antenna feed-thru possibilities.

    My present system uses three small holes drilled in the sash of the left-side set of windows described above.

    Two small holes allow me to bring two #10 brass screws through the sash, separated by 2- inches from each other. That is the spacing of my home-made ladder-line. The ladder-line connects under washers and the heads of the screws that pass through the window sash. The inside connections connect to my "ugly balun" via nuts and two brass washers on each screw from the outside.

    I also have about a 36-inch piece RG-213 cable through that same sash that I use for experiments. About 24 inches is inside the sash, with about 12 inches outside. Both ends have good quality weather-proof N-type connectors. These too are sealed with RTV where they go through the sash.

    I've also done the piece of 1x4 or 2x4 board under the sash, with holes and connectors. They work OK.

    For houses without the newer type of vacuum sealed double thermo-pane windows, these cases may be difficult if you have "storm windows" or external screens. Those situations may require drilling through the house walls.

    Anyway, just something to think about. There are no rules.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
  2. KK6GMN

    KK6GMN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have one for sale in the for sale section. Worked well for me but I needed more feeds. I have sideways sliding aluminum frame windows and it works great. Fits right in the slot.
  3. W6MTR

    W6MTR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Any chance you could post photos?

  4. KC6KNL

    KC6KNL Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. KE4HTS

    KE4HTS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You don't live far from me I can help you build something my time is free, I have the tools. My son and I built a desk for his radio gear and we put a pipe up into the attic so we can get antenna feed lines out side. Don't know what you have as far as limitations but there are several options.

    Send me an Email if you want, maybe we can figure something out.
  6. AF0W

    AF0W Ham Member QRZ Page

    The answer above (KE4HTS) is the right one!

    My wife and I made ours out of some sort of "fake wood" (i.e. plastic) from Lowes. I think it was 1/2" thick and about 5" wide. The radio room has tall, side-opening, plastic-framed, sliding windows, so we just opened the window, stuck the board in there (with some foam insulation around the edges) and then closed the window on it. We needed more insulation on the other side of the window to seal it up as well as a stick to brace it closed. We used the fake wood for weatherproofing, since this is installed in a second-floor window.

    I went high-class and bought a small copper sheet from Lowes and cut it in half, mounted half to each side of the board and then drilled the holed for the antenna connectors right through the metal and board. My theory was that this would allow me to also attach a screw for grounding to tie them all together. I also drilled a couple of holes for some 1/4" diameter threaded rod for ladder line, but have yet to use them.

    It has held up for about a year now, and there was no noticeable drafts during a pretty cold Colorado winter.

    I didn't record the total cost (and wasn't necessarily trying to be "ham-cheap"), but I don't think it would have exceeded $60 either.

    The additional bolt above the ladder line bolts is for an eye-bolt on the outside to which I attached a length of paracord that I then attached the antenna coax to for strain relief.

    Here are some pictures: https://imgur.com/a/Y15Wm
    KD0TFP likes this.
  7. KK6GMN

    KK6GMN Ham Member QRZ Page

    This item is sold.
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