Monday, April 1, 2019

Low Band DX - 3 - 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!