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Author Topic: Building a New House  (Read 819 times)
KD5GEQ
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Posts: 7




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« on: June 09, 2005, 11:51:32 AM »

I am currently building a house.  I would like any suggestions for setting up a HF/VHF station (cabling, raceway, feedline through walls, any tips).  The shack will be on the second floor (no other choice at this time).

Thanks,

Scott
KD5GEQ
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20666




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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2005, 01:36:26 PM »

I always leave the transmission lines as much "outside" as I possibly can, only bringing them into the house exactly where they need to go -- like directly behind the station equipment, against an outside wall of the hamshack.  This leaves design considerations as a blank topic until house construction is completely finished.

There are good reasons for not running transmission lines inside the house, unless you absolutely have to, longer than the length required to reach from an outside wall to the station equipment.  One good one is, the less line running within the home, the less likelihood of that line coupling to devices and wiring inside the home, and vice-versa.  Another is, lightning branch current may be conducted by transmission lines and anything carrying fire-causing energy should be as much "outside," and as little "inside" as possible.  A third reason is, transmission lines do fail, do wear out, do age, and do require service and replacement.  If they're outside and accessible, this is easy.  If they're routed inside the house, this is much more difficult.

WB2WIK/6

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KD4Q
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2005, 04:31:58 PM »

Scott,

How much flexibility do you have in what you are building?  (I've been away for 20 years and just getting back; so what I'm saying here is just what would make *me* happy and only my opinion.)  I'm quite happy for people to disagree, and maybe I'll learn something.

If I were going to build the ultimate shack, it would be long and narrow...probably about 10 feet wide and 20 feet long.  I would want windows along the long side (but high) near the top of the wall...not behind the equipment.  I would want a nice (more normal) window on the far narrow (short) wall...and no windows behind me.

I would want a built in desk that went all the way along the long wall, and I would want to put much thought into some custom shelves that had plenty of ventilation (maybe even silent fans) that ran along the back of the custom desk.

I would fashion it to have a keyboard tray in the center, and a place for a monitor.  I would also build in UPS supplied power to each of the shelves. I would like to have a natural gas generator on an auto-throw switch backing up the shack...so I would work emergency situations. I would make the back of the shelves on the desk have wire management.

I would want hardwood floors so my chair could roll along the entire desk.  One end of the desk would be a test bench...with extra power and high shelves / table so I could stand and put something on the test bench.

As long as I was at it I would sound proof the walls and have a door that seals...that way I could turn the speakers up and not bother anyone...and not have to wear headphones.  However, that would present a stale-air problem (and heat/cold) so I would want to make sure the room had adequate supply and return.

I would want some kind of sound proofing (like what they use in recording studios) on the walls...so my voice doesn't echo when talking

I would want some kind of shelves along the wall behind me.

Finally, I would want an ON AIR sign on the outside wall near the door.  

When I really start dreaming, I would want a video security system so I could see the outside of the house (including the antenna farm) from the shack...but I don't want to get too unrealistic in my shack-dream... Smiley
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KD4Q
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2005, 04:47:58 PM »

Oh yeah.  I forgot grounding.

I would have a ground bar on the test-bench side of the shack with tie points along the back of the bench, that went to an Earth ground.
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HA5RXZ
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Posts: 380




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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2005, 09:50:13 AM »

Not really ham radio, but think about computer networking as part of your build.

1)The ideal situation would be some sort of trunking going from the top floor to the ground or basement to carry the cabling between floors.

2) Fit at least two sockets into every room, you might not need them now but you might in the future.

3) Each socket should consist of two network/phone points and (if you want to future proof) a fiber connection.

4) Use CAT5e cable as a minimum, CAT6 if possible

Of course, if the RFI isn't too bad you can put the computers in your ham shack.

HA5RXZ
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AA4PB
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Posts: 13032




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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2005, 06:46:05 PM »

When I built my house (20 years ago), I made the shack wall behind the radio location double thickness which gave me the depth to install a 12"x12" electrical box for antenna connections. There is a 2-foot length of 2" metal conduit from the box to the outside of the house. There a 90-deg turn is made in a metal "LB" box. From there I have PVC conduit going underground and out to the tower. The metal box cover has rows of connectors for coax jumpers for antenna and radio selection. Each antenna line has a coaxial surge protector located inside the box. The box is connected to several ground rods and tied to the electrical service entrance ground.

I provided two coax runs from the box to a test bench on the other side of the room which allows me to patch any antenna over to the test bench as well as to any of the radios.

I put in dedicated 220V and 120V 20A circuits which terminate both behind the radio and at the test bench. The 120V circuit has a transfer switch that permits me to switch it from the electrical panel to a generator connector out in the garage. One of the lights in the room is fed from this switched circuit so that the light can be operated from the generator. The other room lights are fed from one of the other household circuits so that if I were to blow a breaker on the radio gear I would not be left in the dark. A battery operated emegency light has been added to provide temporary light in the event that power goes out.

There are plenty of extra wall outlets around the room and above the work bench and a wall phone next to the operating position. A CAT5 cable connection to the home network has been added for the computer that resides in the operating console.

In an effort to keep shack noise from affecting other areas of the house, all of the walls and the ceiling contain insulation. The walls are drywall covered by paneling. The ceiling is drywall covered by acoustic tile.
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WN3R
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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2005, 05:40:59 PM »

I, too, am building a new house.  The shack is above the garage.  Four 4" conduits run under the slab to the tower.  It's a straight shot from the conduits up the garage wall into the shack.  I had the builder enclose the "chase" and put a large electrical panel door over the opening. With two hinges on the door, I can open it wide for the initial installation and use the smaller opening for day-to-day access. What are you doing for an RF ground?  I used 12" wide copper flashing to a ground ring (0/2 copper wire) around the house which is attached to the ground ring and radials around the tower.  I plan to have 3 operating positions: 1) SO2R for HF contesting, 2) UHF/VHF contest station, and 3) a duplicate of my 1958 Novice station.

The tower just went up last week.  The conduit runs are being completed this week. Antennas go up in a week or two. House should be ready by Xmas.
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