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Author Topic: Getting the Line Our of the House?  (Read 38503 times)
KF7UDH
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Posts: 6




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« on: December 08, 2012, 10:34:41 AM »

Where I live there are no restrictions on antennae (though there probably will be after I put one up, but that won't apply to me.)

My problem is getting the antenna lead(s) and the ground wire out of the house. Tenants here have to ask for permission (condition of the lease) just to have the cable guy bring a coax in through the wall.

Somehow I have to figure out a way to get those wires out of the house in a way that management either won't notice, or cannot nail me for punching "illegal" holes in the wall. I have a friend who is a construction/remodeling contractor, and another who is a broadcast engineer, so any work done would be professional and safely accomplished.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

[On edit] should have said "out" of the house; cannot edit the subject line for some reason
« Last Edit: December 08, 2012, 10:38:45 AM by KF7UDH » Logged
AA4PB
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« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2012, 10:45:54 AM »

One way is to make a pass-thru at the bottom of a window (MFJ makes a commercial version). When it is removed, everything is back to normal.
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KQ6Q
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« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2012, 04:15:43 PM »

Another way is a single cable adapter that you can close the window on - Comet CTC-50M - see ad on page 5 of December 2012 QST
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K5LXP
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2012, 08:25:34 AM »

Something like RG-316, 300 or 450 ohm ribbon can pass through just about any window or door seal.  Most structures already have numerous permeations for  wiring and piping.   

Otherwise, submit your request for a cable/satellite pass through.  They don't need to know it won't be used for that.  Or tell them it's for "wireless service", which can mean everything from broadband internet to spark gap telegraphy.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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WX7G
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« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2012, 04:25:56 PM »

I run RG-213 out through a sliding window. Foam insulation is applied to the window to deform around the coax. To keep the window from being opened from the outside a wooden stick blocks the window from sliding.
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WB6BYU
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2012, 09:18:44 AM »

Re-use an existing TV cable coax or phone line for your antenna feedline.

You can splice coax into different conductors of various sorts to get through
a wall, then back to coax, without too much loss or impedance variation as
long as the length of the non-coax conductor is reasonably short.  Strips of
copper foil tape, for example, can pass under a window sash.

With older single-pane glass windows you could capacitively couple the RF
between plates of aluminum foil on each side of the glass.

With many antennas you shouldn't need a separate ground wire.

Besides windows, doors, dryer vents, or other existing holes through the walls,
my favorite method is to run the coax up through the ceiling and out through
one of the attic vents.   

I've even heard of folks running coax up the plumbing vent pipes to the roof
by passing it through a standard trap filled with water to keep the sewer gasses
from coming out.


The details will depend on the construction of your house, of course, but this
should give you an idea of some of the ways it has been done in the past.
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KF7UDH
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2012, 02:16:50 PM »

My Apologies:

I should have included more detail in my original request for help.

Thanks for all the well-thought out advice from all who responded; here is more information about the situation here.

First, the building I live in is a square, four-plex apartment, with each apartment taking up one corner of the square. So, there are two exterior walls and two other walls that separate adjoining apartments from mine. Three of the walls are concrete, only one of the two exterior walls is of wood construction. There is a little (25' X 17") side yard outside the one wooden wall, of which two-thirds is covered with concrete, and a four-or-five-foot strip of ground around that. So -- no ground radials and no room for a wire  antenna of any length. I have already decided that I will choose from among four commercial verticals that I have identified, that need no radials, and need no elaborate support structure.

Second, the phone, water and cable services are all underground.(Cable coax, however, comes up at one point per four-plex, and is run around the top of the exterior wall, then down and in through the wooden wall of each unit.)

Any requests for insertion of cable or phone services have to come from the service company's representative. I have thought of replacing the outside TV cable cover plate with a two-hole plate and going out that way,  but discovered that they don't use any cover plates on the outside. Also, the entire complex was repainted a few weeks ago, and all new doors and windows were installed, and any discrepancies will be instantly visible.

There are no dryer vents or any other existing openings to the outside.

The windows all have tightly-fitting screens, which makes it difficult to use any of those devices designed to go through or around windows.

I had considered the Comet CTC-50M, but am reluctant to spend the $50 until I can ascertain that it will, in fact, go out around that very snug-fitting screen.

The reason I am so concerned about all of this is that management is going to be very put out when they see an antenna in the yard, and if they can find anything about the way the lead is run, that they can label as a violation, I could be evicted, and I cannot afford to be evicted -- at this time at least.

I have been wrestling with this problem since becoming licensed about eight months ago, and would appreciate any additional ideas that anyone might come up with.

Oh -- the ground wire that I mentioned, that I have to get to the outside, is for the rig, not for the antenna.

Thanks again to everyone who chipped in with ideas -- I appreciate it.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2012, 02:25:35 PM »

Operate mobile from your car? It's going to be impossible to put an antenna out in the yard with a coax that can't be traced back into your apartment.

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KF7UDH
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2012, 04:31:59 PM »

Thanks.

I'm not worried about them seeing an antenna, as they neglected to put any antenna prohibition in the rental agreement.

And If I can get the cable into the building in some way that they can't complain about too much, then I'm not worried about that, either.

I have thought about purchasing a new window screen and poking a hole or two in it, perhaps after laminating some plexiglass or other material onto each side of it, and putting their new screen away somewhere for when I move out. Then I might be able to use that Comet CTC-50M to get out around the window itself.

Again, thanks all for the ideas.
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N0BOE
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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2012, 06:18:33 PM »

Can you squeeze coax in under a door seal? I live in a 4plex as well and only put up my antenna (simple wire vertical) and run the coax out under the front door just when I'm using it - a night or weekend at a time, then the antenna and coax come back in until next time.
Takes me about 10 minutes to hang my vertical element out the second floor bedroom window, run the radials (5 radials over 180 degrees-since it's up against a wall, can't do a circle) and hook coax up to the radio a few feet from the front door. A little longer to put it away since I try to wind the radials nicely to make it easy to re-deploy.
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K5LXP
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2012, 06:34:22 AM »

Quote
I have thought about purchasing a new window screen and poking a hole or two in it

That might be a bit visible but maybe not.  For a few dollars worth of window screen, anything is worth a try. 


Quote
Can you squeeze coax in under a door seal?

Yes!  There are teflon coaxes as thin as 1/16".  You could make a balanced or twisted line out of enameled wire as small as the hair on your head.  This is small enough wire and cable that you could lay it next to or under some trim or moulding, paint it in place and it would disappear.  Once you are past the structure far enough you can transition to something more conventional and not as lossy/fragile.  As a data point, in any house or apartment I've ever lived if you remove a piece of door or window moulding there is usually plenty of gap through the rough opening to get just about any size cable through.  Once outside and concealed you replace the moulding and no one's the wiser.

The elephant in the room is the antenna.  If you're good to go there, getting the radio connected to it is academic.  There's six ways from Sunday you can do this in a concealed manner, just a matter of picking one and doing it.  You're suffering from analysis paralysis.  Try something, anything.  Once you get started you'll see how easy this is.


Quote
the ground wire that I mentioned, that I have to get to the outside, is for the rig, not for the antenna.

Why are you grounding the rig to an earth ground from inside the building?


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 06:42:13 AM by K5LXP » Logged
KF7UDH
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2012, 07:07:21 AM »

"Analysis Paralysis" -- you may be onto something, there!   Cheesy

I did a search and found the thin teflon coax -- it's actually 0.110", but that just might work.

If it won't I just might try starting out with the magnet wire and switching to coax once I get it out of the house.

Thanks for the suggestions.

p.s. I'm new to all this, having started my studies in radio theory and practice just a few months ago. I very much appreciate everyone's willingness to help a newbie.
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WB6BYU
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2012, 11:53:54 AM »

What material are your window and door frames made of?

What sort of weather stripping do you have on the doors?

If you are out and about in Yamhill County at some point I can give you a
handful of things to try out:  copper tape, thin coax, 300 ohm twinlead,
wires, etc.
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K1DA
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« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2012, 09:13:07 AM »

I've seen FLAT 75 ohm tv coax  which a window would close upon advertised by outfits like Parts Express  for very little money and I recently saw someone trying to retail them for radio use at a big markup.  "100 watts" was the rating cited. 
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AB9TA
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Posts: 20




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« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2012, 05:49:22 PM »

Does this place have an attic, and can you get to it easily?
Luckily, my apartment when I was a brand-new ham just happened to have the attic entry in one of my closets. I installed a dipole in the attic (plywood and shingles) and was on my way.
Two things,
1. Don't go off the rafters and stick your leg through the ceiling..
2. If the attic is over somebody else's apartment, make sure they are gone when you are crawling around up there..
3. Don't combine 1 and 2.

73!
Bill AB9TA
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