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Author Topic: High School Club Logistics  (Read 4038 times)

Posts: 100

« on: October 28, 2007, 07:44:11 PM »

Good evening,

I am a high school science teacher in Conroe, TX.
I am working on getting a club set up at the school, but keep running into the same obstacle...what antenna to use, where to mount it, and how do I get the feedline to it?

I have an HF rig, and 3 VHF/UHF rigs that have been donated, as well as the respective antennas.

Before I go to the administration to pitch my idea, I need to have a plan on how I am going to do it.

I am planning on using my classroom, because I can keep an eye on the equipment, and know that it is secure.  The question is how do I get the cable out of my room (on the first floor) to the roof (two floors above me).  Once I get the cable up there, what kind of antenna would you recommend?  A verticle (small space requirement, good for DX, needs to be guyed) or a simple dipole (but needs supports).

The VHF/UHF antennas should be easy to mount (Ringo Rangers), but the question still do I get the feedline  from the radio to the antenna, with the least cosmetic disruption to the building?

Thanks for listening!!!  Hope to work you soon from Conroe High School!



Posts: 691

« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2007, 04:30:39 PM »

Can't really tell you what to put on the roof without knowing what's up there, size, configuration, etc...but that's actually the easy part.

But the coax run should just be a simple drop down the side of the building, and through the exterior wall to your room.  A few insulated cable staples along the way.

I'd suggest you talk with the folks in your district's facilities maintenance office.

Might not hurt to mention the potential as an emergency communications facility....

73, Jim/k7unz

Posts: 5639

« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2007, 07:38:54 AM »

<< A verticle (small space requirement, good for DX, needs to be guyed) >>

No, in the vast majority of cases a verticAL does NOT need to be guyed. It DOES need a counterpoise system of some sort. If you have a typical corrugated steel roof with either an asphalt or rubber membrance covering you have a built-in counterpoise. Bolt the antenna to one of the LARGE A/C units. The A/C units are almost always welded to the roof supports, generating your ground plane for the vertical. I had a Butternut HF6V on my office building's roof for 10 years in downtown baltimore, mounted just like this - all 50 states and 165 countries says it was a satisfactory installation. You should get similar results with the cheaper 5-band Hustler. You will alo want to put a line isolator or choke balun at the base of the vertical to keep common mode currents, and the resultant RF radiation, off the feed line.

This is far easier than trying to run dipole antennas on a commercial roof.

As for feed lines, talk to your maintenance people. In fact discuss the who idea with them BEFORE you start doing any installation.


Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut

A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.

Posts: 218


« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2008, 06:47:09 AM »

I'm looking at doing the same thing. Talk to the electrician who works in your building. Mine new of an easy way to get through the floors and ceilings right up to the roof. He also had some coax left over from another job he had done for a HAM.

Posts: 5639

« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2008, 07:37:46 AM »

Just a correction ...

Ham is not an acronym; there is no need to put it in all caps. Smiley

Congratulations of getting the help from your maintenance department. I have found this al always the best place to start because they already know all the good places to run coax.


Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut

A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.

Posts: 12

« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2008, 04:28:06 PM »

May I suggest you need to get your act together with the administrators soon.  If they buy into the plan, it can overcome any resistance the building maintenance guy can have, though it obviously doesn't hurt to have him as a friend.

Since you don't say WHAT kinda science you're teaching...   some general ideas.  Impress your department head and the principal with the ways with which amateur radio can contribute to the curriculum you're teaching.  The language arts, the data collection, the reading, the physics experiments, etc.  

Remind your principal about the spring time in Texas, and the fact that the National Weather Service gets its information from SKYWARN nets in Texas... and guess who runs those? So now you can give him a head start on any potentially hazardous conditions coming his way, and make his life easier in a severe weather situation.

I suggest you look at this month's (Jan 2008) QST and apply for the ARRL Teacher Institute, if you haven't been already.  It's a four-day all expense paid training in how to do ham radio and technology in schools - well worth it for the exposure to curricular material as well as learning about the ARRL's Big Project, which can help fund your station with tower, antenna, etc.  Yell if you're not an ARRL member or can't find the article.

Finally, start bringing up amateur radio in class, and get the kids interested.  Start a club.  Run a licensing class.  I just got 27 of my 40 engineering students licensed with their Tech's this week - and that's just the beginning.

Yell if you wanna chat email or via the phone
  Wayne Day  N5WD
  Northwest HS  
  sponsor: NW5HS


Posts: 6252

« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2008, 12:06:23 PM »

I would agree with the people who say to start with the school maintenance department.  They have knowledge of the cable runs in the school and could possibly suggest an easy way of getting from your classroom to the roof.  Tell them your exploring the possibilities only.  After you have an idea of how it could be done, get together with the administration people and pitch the idea--it would help if the maintenance people are on your side.

Then, after all ducks are in a row, pitch it to the school committee, the superintendent, or whoever would be giving the go ahead.  Let 'em know the cabling and fixtures would stay in place, that you wouldn't be removing them--even if you leave.  (No, not the radios, just the cables and antennas.)

A group I was part of did it that way and got excellent cooperation by taking it step by step.

Good luck and 73!
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