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Author Topic: Ham Shack Design?  (Read 3639 times)
AB1DZ
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« on: April 03, 2005, 05:46:30 PM »

Greetings,

I am a newbie.  I am trying to decide where to put my hamshack.  I am planning on doing 2m, 70cm and HF.  My choices are a detached garage or my basement.

At first, I was considering the detached garage because it is about 150 feet from the house, and I would guess less possibility of interferance.

Now I am considering the basement.  I wouldn't be bothering anyone else in the house.  Since the house has a large chimney (>10feet higher than garage) and an antenna there would be perfect.  However, the coax feed into the house could enter the house with the phone, electric, and cable wires.  Am I correct in guessing that this is very undesireable?  Should I look for another way to route the ham coax into the house?

Any ideas, hints, comments?

Thanks,

   Roland
     
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W7DJM
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2005, 06:27:10 PM »

The garage may have problems from the aspect of climate control.  Is it insulated?  Heated?  I don't know how warm it gets in your area, or how the garage is situated, but "overwarmth" in the summer may be an issue, too.   If unheated, humidity and extreme cold will take it's toll on modern equipment.

I would certainly try to maintain at least some separation between phone/cable and other such cables.  Do you have a window that you can temporarily rework?  Replace with plexiglass/plywood, etc?
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2005, 12:01:38 PM »

Assuming you can deal with the climate control and possible dust/insect issues you're likely to find with a garage hamshack, I might suggest focusing on which location would provide best access to the highest possible antennas you might install.

On HF, transmission lines have pretty low loss and this isn't so important; but on 2m, and especially on 70cm, if you expect to do any "weak signal" (long distance) work, line loss becomes a big issue, especially if your antennas have to be far from the station equipment.

When planning a station, it often pays to "look up," and investigate antenna possibilities above all else.  If one place would have utility lines (electric) in the way of antennas and other doesn't, pick the one that doesn't -- stuff like that.

WB2WIK/6
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KT8K
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2005, 10:40:18 AM »

From my experience, the chimney is not a great place to attach any more than a small 2 meter vertical or the end of a dipole (well, I probably would attach it to the eaves - chimneys aren't designed for much lateral loading).  Antennas tend to vibrate in the wind, and the vibration can cause the mortar between the bricks to crack and fall out.  A chimney repairman told me (as he worked to tear down and replace MY chimney) that TV antenna chimney mounts had brought him more business than anything else -- that says something.

A tripod or roof tower is a lot better. It can support more weight and reach higher than a chimney mount setup.  Also, it can be placed in the center of the roof for a multiband vertical, and the radial wires can be draped across or suspended just above the roof in all directions, with ends dropped down at the roof edges, to make a great ground plane.

Good luck with your station!
73 & best rx de kt8k - Tim
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2005, 11:24:58 AM »

>RE: Ham Shack Design?  Reply  
by KT8K on April 6, 2005  Mail this to a friend!  
From my experience, the chimney is not a great place to attach any more than a small 2 meter vertical or the end of a dipole (well, I probably would attach it to the eaves - chimneys aren't designed for much lateral loading). Antennas tend to vibrate in the wind, and the vibration can cause the mortar between the bricks to crack and fall out. A chimney repairman told me (as he worked to tear down and replace MY chimney) that TV antenna chimney mounts had brought him more business than anything else -- that says something.<

Agreed, but it depends a lot on the chimney, and also where you happen to live.

Here in L.A., chimneys are designed and built to withstand earthquakes, and most of them do -- very well.  As such, there's a lot of plastic in the mortar, that makes chimneys extremely resiliant.  Not so in many other places.

For those who can't or don't want to dig a foundation for a serious tower, the Glen Martin aluminum roof towers are pretty good.  Although I have a ground-mounted galvanized steel telescoping tower also, the G-M roof tower, a 4-legged assembly that straddles the roofers just perfectly, installed on my roof peak helps provide additional antenna mounting space.  It's strong but lightweight (all angle aluminum alloy stock), won't ever rust, tilt-over and climbable.  A recommended option.

WB2WIK/6
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K0RFD
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2005, 12:39:25 PM »

Roland, consider installing a clothes dryer vent as the way to route your cables.  A dryer vent is big enough to route several cables (stuff it with fiberglass or steel wool to discourage varmints), is weatherproof, and never looks out of place on the outside of a house.
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N8CPA
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2005, 10:42:40 AM »

As RFD said, dryer vent for feed/control line entry.  Make sure your lightning arrestors are mounted close to that point, outside, and well grounded. Why not put a roof tower, or mast and tripod, on the garage roof, and put your station in the basement, if it's dry enough?
 
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KC1BUD
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2007, 07:38:36 AM »

In my case we have just added on, because my F-I-L has moved in with us, we converted the garage into a kind of apartment for him. Then we built a new garage and breezeway, the breezeway has a room 13 by 9 foot this is insulated, heated and close to the rest of the house. This room is my new shack. My shack before was a small area in the basement near the washer, dryer and water pump, all great sources of noise. It was also very cramped and shared with other household items no one knew where to place them so they ended up in my area. This won't happen in the new shack, I hold the key.
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