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Author Topic: Framing Done, now want some thoughts.  (Read 6775 times)

Posts: 2415

« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2006, 09:24:00 PM »

A plain dryer vent sold in home stores for around 5 bucks is a great way to get the coax inside the basement. And I suspect you can easily rent the 4" hole saw to install it. (Before I found out about the dryer vent trick, I had already run a length of PVC plastic pipe in and flush with the indoor sheetrock) You could either run your ground strap in with the coax, Or better yet do as I did, Drill a series of small (I used 1/8 inch) holes thru the masonry (Horizontal) between the concrete blocks, And just slide a copper strap in the gap, Then caulk it up again.....  The copper strap should be bonded to a larger copper sheet near where the coax enters to mount the lightning arrestors and coax switches on for good lightning protection. (For ease of mounting arrestors and switches, Best to cut a small piece of plywood to attach the copper sheet to) (Single point ground)  (Do NOT ground to the little wing nuts on the back of radio equipment)
For good info on proper lightning protection see:
I agree with the 12 volt lighting system idea, The hot ticket nowadays is the groups of white LED's. Very low current draw. I run my entire ham shack on a 12 volt deep cycle marine battery, With a fully automatic 10 amp charger connected to it. Works great. NO other AC power supply used........
I guess your subfloor idea would depend on how tall you are!  If you are 6 foot 6, A subfloor might not be such a great idea, But if you are 5 foot 6, The subfloor would work out well.

Posts: 74

« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2006, 02:43:42 PM »

Here is an idea for a flooring system we used at Linn Technical College in the Ham Shack many years ago. It lasted Many years.
When they built the shack 2x4's were layed on their side on the floor ablout every 2 feet apart and a plywood floor was fut down over that. After a few years the 2x4's started rotting from the moisture in the concrete. We cut the old floor loose around the wall and removed it.
Next we layed 30# Roofing Felt on the Concrete as a water/moisture barrier. Then we put the new floor back down the same way as they had done before with 2x4's on their side and plywood over it on 16 inch centers this time. The only thing I would do differant or in your case would be to cut sheets of styrofoam to fit between the 2x4's for insulation. With the plywood over that you can put down what ever floor covering you wish.
I don't think I would drive a Ground Rod thru the Basement Wall because Water WILL go where ever it wants and there is no reason to tempt it.
The other ideas here on running feed line and grounding all sound fine. Just leave room for expansion and keep any bends in the routing path to a minimum since heavy coax does not bend easy. I would say a Minimum of 4" Plastic Conduit comeing into the shack would be a good idea if you can swing it.
Have fun and enjoy.

Posts: 352

« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2006, 06:24:18 AM »

I'm considering LED lighting built out of sight into the shelves for my gear.  It can run off of the 13.8V supply with no problem.  I can put light in places that might be difficult to light from the ceiling or a lamp.

My 2 cents.


Posts: 9

« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2006, 11:57:21 AM »

For lighting I would use 12v dc lighting fed from a battery system mounted OUTSIDE.  This will enable you in the future to have a stand alone system for emergency operations.  You should consider the use of solar panels and or wind generators to charge the battery systems.  If you have enough clearance in the overhead joists, consider recessed lighting systems.

Grounding, I would use a rotary hammer to drill though my floor and then put in at least a 3/4 inch by 10 ft ground rod with an epoxy poured seal around the rod for water seal.  This should be cross connected to the existing electrical service ground by a minimum of a #3 copper stranded ground wire [NEC 250 which applies in Canada as well as the US]  I would also install a coax strip system to the ground with all coaxes passing through this system, a bit more connector soldering, but a lot safer.

I would run a #4 solid ground wire along with the conduits to the tower location(s) as an extra added safety measure.  Make sure that your tower grounding system exceeds NESC requirements and that all rebars in the tower base are properly connected to the grounding system.

All AC electrical systems would be connected through a GFCI CIRCUIT BREAKER, not just plugs! You can purchase a decent 240 volt circuit breaker for less than three receptacles!  This is also mandated since you have concrete floors by NESC and IEEE codes.

Other details, make sure that you use a VERY GOOD conduit sealing system when you penetrate your walls.

Other than that, have fun!


Posts: 184

« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2006, 04:36:37 PM »

PVC Conduit x 2 times at 4" diameter for Coax to the outside portal into the shack.  Then use a Steel or Copper plate at the outside entrance with the surge protection of your choice going thru drilled holes.  Attach a 2 hole ground lug to the plate with no-ox and take a #6 solid copper cable out to your ground rods.  Do not run one horizantal rod thru your wall, you will get water back.  All Coax lines coming in get grounded to the ground bar before and after passing thru the surge protectors (PolyPhaser). And have a way to disconnect the coax runs when not in use.

Good Luck
Steve W4CNG

Posts: 184

« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2006, 04:38:48 PM »

Lighting..  Can lights with dimmers above the operating positon (non rf type) and a couple of 2x48 inch flourescent drop tile units for the rest of the room.

Steve W4CNG

Posts: 25

« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2006, 05:50:34 PM »

When all the wires and cables have been run, take photos of each wall before the insulation and drywall are installed.  Years from now, when you want to make a change, you will know where everything is before you start cutting into a wall.

Posts: 90


« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2006, 09:42:40 AM »

Well you have probably already completed the room but in case you haven't, here is a few ideas....

Wire AC outlets seperate from existing home circuits. Put the shack on it's own breaker box and mains disconnect. If you can't do it (for whatever reason) have it done by a licensed electrician. Have a seperate mains brought into the shack from the house mains and wire that into the new breaker box. It will save you plenty of headaches later. Add twice the number of outlets you think you will need. Also run a couple of 220V outlets for large amps or power supplies. If you never need them, so what. If you do, they are already in place and no problem to use. Putting them post drywall install is messy especially if you already have a working shack setup and have to remove equipment to do it. Cheaper the first time around - not only in money but headaches and hair, hihi.

Also run any other wiring that you have ever thought about (TV, phone, ethernet, etc) to multiple locations in the shack to allow room for growth. Don't have everything come into a single point or you will find that you start to crowd yourself into a corner as your shack grows (and it will!).

Also run some large PVC pipe from interior of room to exterior of the house where possible for adding addtional coax, rotor cable, feedlines, etc after room completion. When installing PVC pipe add a cable pull rope (1/8" tightweave nylon is good) inside of pipe, twice as long as pipe run and secured at each end to prevent it from being totally pulled thru the pipe. If not needed, close off pipe with PVC cap and leave. Much easier than trying to fish a cable thru the wall and insulation. When needed just pull excess half of cable to end where the cable run will start and then attach cable securely with rope loop and black tape. Pull cable thru pipe and disconnect rope at other end from cable and finish pulling cable itself. Store rope until needed again.

Rest assured that no matter how much you plan, you will always need at least one more outlet where it isn't or another coax pulled thru the wall/ceiling. Trying to anticipate Murphy can be a full time job.

Hope this helps you or someone else later,

Gene KI6LO

Posts: 1

« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2006, 12:57:14 AM »

Couple of things have alredy been covered ... first the moisture from the concrete coming in..  second  the amount of room and routing for the cables and power and third... flooding...

Third.. I have heard of more hams getting flooded out after the power goes out than anywhere else that a ham shack is built.  Here on may want to insure that the basement is not going to flood by putting in a sump pump well to take care of any incidnetal water that gets in... and insureing that they have a genarator to keep it going if power goes out... (Harbo.. had the same problem and it destroyed his stock  for the SB-220s.. might want to check with him also)

Moist concrete is not a good thing.. it promotes mold and also increases the humidity to the point that corrosion occurs on relay contacts etc right up to the fact that the alu on the chassie will start to corrode also...

To take care of this.. you need either warm or cold dry air.. in the basement... thus some form of ventalation by forced air to the outside would be in order... but, this then opens a nother can of worms as the local wild life (mice and rats) have a way in to knaw on wires and other tastie tidbits... something you don't want either... so keep this in mind when you expose the outside to the down side...

As to keeping it warm in the winter time... I have seen good results with radiant heating... where they put down a bunch of tubes that are spaced by rubber bumpers such as for a basketball flooring... on top they put the wood or other surface... total of about an inch... now the heat from the warm water will keep the moistuer levels down while keeping the floor warm and dry... by no means is it the final word on keeping warm and dry... or cool and dry in summer...

Remember also that bad gases collect in low spaces... thus you really should look into a exhaust circulation fan if your going to be spending a lot of time down their...

Sealing the walls on the inside is not what you want to do... as it will degrade the foundation in short order...also...

Good luck and send pics of the new shack...

Posts: 901

« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2006, 04:12:43 AM »

The issue with the flourescent (sp) lights brings a question. I have also just recently finished my new hamshack in the basement. I went with foam underlay and carpet on the floor and had no problems with cold or damp ness last winter. I do however have 3 flourescent light fixtures in the ceiling, only because the morons who cut the holes for the pot lighting cut too big and I cant find pot lights big enough to cover their goof. The noise level is not bad most of the time but sometimes I will get an S5-S7  level on the lower bands. When the lights are off I would assume this would eliminate any chance of the lights being the culprit?? I.E. there is no way the ballast can be on in any way when poer is removed?



Posts: 26

« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2006, 06:38:57 PM »

Not sure if your shack is located on an outside wall or not, but consider how you're going to run your cabling (coax, rotator, etc) into the house.  I'd recommend a piece of 1/8" aluminum with feed-thru connectors be mounted on the wall leading to the outside.  That way you can disconnect your cabling should lighnting start flying around.  You don't want your RF cabling leading to the outside running through the walls.  Potential fire city!

After getting hit by lighnting (and $20K damage), I learned to have a very good disconnect panel for all cables leading to the antennas.
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