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Author Topic: Remote Towers  (Read 8889 times)
KC0ILP
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« on: August 19, 2000, 01:21:19 PM »

Have a bit of a station building challenge that I was curious if anyone had similar experiences or thoughts on how to tackle.

We have 50 acres in southwest Iowa, with a nice big hill (1210 ft. elevation which is "up high" for this part of Iowa). The top of the hill is a natural location for antennas, but I'll have to run at least 200 to 300 yards before I can hit my power source (a garage with backup generator and other equipment).

Any suggestions on that length of cable run, outside of fiber and converters? :-) Or would fiber actually be a good approach? I'd have to believe it'd provide some significant benefit with respect to lightening protection from tower hits to the garage with the equipment.

Thanks!

Jamie Saker
KC0ILP
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KE4IAP
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2000, 06:56:25 PM »

7/8 Heliax is the way to go.  @ 50mhz for 100' gives about 0.27db loss.
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KZ1X
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2000, 11:11:02 PM »

Jamie:  You didn't say if you can get AC power out to the tower!

600 to 900 feet is a LOOONG way out for feedlines, of ANY kind, even using open-wire feeds hung from fiberglass poles. And that's to say nothing of a rotor controller, antenna switching, feedling installation and protection, etc.

I have 230 feet between my own shack and the tower base, and the tower itself adds another 80 feet.

So I'd go with a remote station, but only if you can get good power out there to run it.  A Kachina 505 (ready-to-remote out of the box) and an SGC amp or some similar combination, in a 'doghouse' out there, with a fiber optic remote ... now, THAT would be a great station.  A suitable buriable multimode fiber cable can be had surplus for about 60 cents a foot.

The cost of this gear is more than made up for in the savings in feedline and installation costs, which I would estimate to be between $3600 and $9000 (and easily more).

Steve KZ1X/4
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KC0ILP
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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2000, 02:34:35 PM »

Steve --

Thanks for the great suggestion. I can get power out there. Didn't know about the remote station idea, but since I plan to put a repeater into operation up there as well, there's no reason to drag that back down the hill.

Actually, thinking about the dog house - it might become a bit bigger. The hill up there has an outstanding 360 view and makes for a great fixed weather spotting location. However, I'll have to take lightening into consideration to move the dog house far enough away from the base of the tower to be secure. What do you think about 25 feet from the base?

I'm sensing this could get expensive... next comes the hammock, fridge and TV - a hide-out from the wife up on top of the hill:-) "Honey, I'll be up...er... checking on some wires."

Jamie/KC0ILP
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RobertKoernerExAE7G
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2000, 02:21:02 AM »

You didn't mention what your elevation is, what direction the hill behind you is, how wide the hill is ( the width of the arc it migh block signals from).  If you can put the tower(s) near your house and the hill only blocks to 8-10 degrees, so that your line of site to the horizon is at least 10 degress, or if the hill blocks higher than 10 degrees, but there aren't any worth while, or hard to get countries behind the hill, closer might be better than stringing 600-900 feet of AC.  For me, in tucson AZ, I don't worry about any hill blockage due south, the first country due south of me is long path to India, which typically is a little skewed to the west, and not due south.  Some hams I've talked to have remarked that when a band starts to open, low angle beams work best.  But as the signals get stronger, the signals arrive from higher angles.
Have FUN
Bob
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KC0ILP
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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2000, 02:38:39 PM »

Hmm... hilltop is 1220 elevation. Have a hill at 1240 about three miles east, and a hill at 1325 or so in the county north. So it's 360 view from up there.

The house is to the west of the hill, at 1080 elevation according to GPS.  300 to 400 yards depending on placement of everything, however, about 250 yards to a shed if I drop there first.

I'd like to put a VHF repeater up as well, so having clear line-of-site would be nice. Wonder if I could remote-control using 802.11?

Jamie/KC0ILP
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N4UM
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2000, 05:08:57 PM »

During WW II my dad (ex W8GOO and ex W3YKX) commanded a signal company in North Africa.  He told me as a kid that back in those days they ran open wire 600 ohm feeders several MILES across the desert carrying rf to rhombic antennas.  They wanted the transmitting sites as far from the antennas as possible because the enemy loved to bomb the antenna sites and nobody wanted to be close to them when that happened!  If you're only concerned with operating below 30 Mhz, I think you should be able to run open wire feeders all the way up the hill with little problem.
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