Monday, April 1, 2019

Feed Line Routing and Grounding

As with any antenna project, appropriate cable routing and grounding is fairly important.

After reading some very educational and informative articles written by W8JI:


I realized I had some work to do, originally I had run my HF antenna feed line up the wall on the other side of the house, through the attic and down an internal wall into the shack. I had installed a ground rod at the far end of the feed line where the remote ATU was located when I had the Carolina Windom up - with that setup I had created my self a ground loop, a lightning protection problem and an electrical safety issue - House Ground Layouts has several diagrams of how to get this wrong, and how to get it right.

With that I routed my feed line around near the electrical service entrance burying it couple inches underground. At the service entrance I repurposed an old PrimeStar box I found in a pile of junk when we bought the house, along with an old PrimeStar Ku band dish thats now hanging up in the garage awaiting a project...

 

The copper strip I found at Lowe's in the plumbing section, this had the right sized holes for bulkhead N-type connectors, its actually lightly copper plated steel, I gave it a light coating of Jet-Lube SS-30 Pure Copper Anti-Seize to prevent rust and so the connectors would make a good electrical connection. The right angle N-type connectors are a little hard to find at a good price, HRO had them for about $6 each. The green wire runs about 3 feet over to the electrical service entrance grounding rods - I plan to upgrade this to something better such as a copper strip or heavy gauge wire later.

 

Feed lines run up the wall into a junction box I got from Lowe's, it allows for enough of a bend radius with LMR 400 to then go through the wall. The shack is on the upper level. A little work left to tidy things up nice.


On the inside I used a standard 4 port Keystone wall plate designed to take the Keystone snap-in connectors such as the RJ-45 bottom right - I plan to use that with CAT5 cable for K9AY loop control cable. The N-type bulk head connectors were just right with the o-ring and washer removed to allow the connector on the other side to screw up tight. Looks nice eh?!



Bonus pic, while I was walking around with the camera phone, a bumble bee had flown through the garage to the window and buzzed up the spider web. Bumble bee made a lucky escape and flew away back out the garage door as I mounted a rescue effort. You can see a large spider made an appearance in anticipation of some lunch, in-fact at least two of these guys live here, there was another one to the right just out of view!