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 Post subject: Antenna feeds into house - what options available?
PostPosted: May Wed 13, 2020 3:03 am 
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Greetings All - Long time lurker, first time poster,

Hope this is the proper category for this post, but I have questions regarding the possible methods of bringing various antennas into the house. To appease the wife, my future listening room will be relegated to the basement. That's actually good for me, more privacy and solitude.

Anyway, it's a brand new home that will be constructed for us and rather then drilling and cutting potential feed line access points after the build, I'd like to find a way to incorporate something into the house while it's being built. I was thinking of placing a couple of empty PVC pipes into the foundation/framing with one end extending into the basement where I plan my setup and the other end coming out just under the eaves. I then should easily be able to route the various cables through those pipes when it's time to get the antennas installed. Just in the early "thinking off the cuff" stages at this point, but would something like that be a reasonably logical idea? I'd cap off both ends in the meantime so as to prevent critters/insects from getting inside. And once the feed lines were in place, I could use some putty to seal up everything. I'm wondering though if those pipes would be detrimental in any way to the structural integrity?

This is a fairly large piece of property (about 6 acres) and I'd like to take advantage of the space by rigging up some seriously decent AM antennas as well as a couple of high antennas for the scanner and perhaps another for TV DXing.

Mostly just curious if this idea is even remotely sensible and what other options I might consider?

Thanks all and stay safe!

Alex


Last edited by AlexG96 on May Wed 13, 2020 4:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Antenna feeds into house - what options available?
PostPosted: May Wed 13, 2020 3:58 am 
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If there's a window in the room, you can have polycarbonate put in instead of glass. Then you can drill holes in it to run the wires through. That way you can keep the antenna wires away from the wiring in the walls. That would help reduce the noise level.

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 Post subject: Re: Antenna feeds into house - what options available?
PostPosted: May Wed 13, 2020 4:27 am 
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Jim Mueller wrote:
If there's a window in the room, you can have polycarbonate put in instead of glass. Then you can drill holes in it to run the wires through. That way you can keep the antenna wires away from the wiring in the walls. That would help reduce the noise level.


Thanks for the reply. The basement will be completely below grade. Therefore no windows to take advantage of. If using galvanized pipes rather then PVC, would that help to eliminate the potential for noise from the house wiring?


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 Post subject: Re: Antenna feeds into house - what options available?
PostPosted: May Wed 13, 2020 4:34 am 
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Jim Mueller wrote:
If there's a window in the room, you can have polycarbonate put in instead of glass. Then you can drill holes in it to run the wires through. That way you can keep the antenna wires away from the wiring in the walls. That would help reduce the noise level.


Ditto what Jim above said and I would add. Perhaps you have a spot on your lot where you intend to start your antennas? My suggestion would be to bury a 6" in diameter piece of corragated drain line between the house and this start point. Install inside this drain line a rope that is a little bit more than double the length of the plastic drain line. Yes you will want to keep it plugged on both ends. The expanding foam works well as it is something you can dig out and add additional coax cables later if you wish to do so. And or Multi wire cabinet for relay boxes at the antenna end so a single length of coax can be switched to different antennas. Use this stuff for the double plus length of rope inside the tube.
https://www.synthetictextilesinc.com/supportham.html
Probably the 1/8" will do fine for you uses. I have the 3/16" stuff inside three different runs of this stuff to each of my three towers. It has been in those tubes since 1989 and still works well. Only issue I ever had was I left the one end of one open a few years ago for a month or so... forgot to add the foam back in place in the end and some chipmunks decided to haul some gravel into the tube and build a home of their own. It is a little difficult pulling new in or old coax out with a bit of a mess inside the tube.

Burying the coax lines to the house will also help to reduce the ingress of noise from the house into your antennas. Keep it all coax up to the point of.. switch back to hi-impedance and a short pair of wires to the Ant and Gnd terminals on the radio your using. Rather than the corrugated drain line I mention above perhaps yes considerably more cost but use something like 3" or 4" PVC pipes. It is much smoother on the inside and could be put in such that it came directly into the basement. No hooks or 90 degree angles bends etc to try pulling cables around.

John k9uwa

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 Post subject: Re: Antenna feeds into house - what options available?
PostPosted: May Wed 13, 2020 4:40 am 
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I think I would just use PVC, but use the electrical conduit, as they make quarter rounds for it, so there's no 90 degree bending. And as Jim said, route the conduit as far away from the AC wiring as possible.

I would also suggest a conduit terminating at ground level, so you can run a lead to a ground stake.

Oops, John posted before me, but just my suggestions.

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 Post subject: Re: Antenna feeds into house - what options available?
PostPosted: May Wed 13, 2020 1:48 pm 
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I agree with the electrical PVC pipe. It's rated for underground (make sure yours is), and as noted has the gentle bends pre-made. ALSO.... don't make the usual mistake and put in just what you need. PVC is dirt cheap compared to the oops factor of having it too small later, or in the wrong place later. If your contractor wants to charge you a ridiculous amount to put it in, do it yourself... no special tools needed, just buy the proper cement where you get the pipe.

And if you were thinking 1/2" PVC, go with 1". If you were thinking 1", go 2". Personally, I'd just put in 1.5" or 2" and be done with it.... most connectors you may find on pre-ended cables will fit through even with another wire in there already.

And put in a few extras as well, or at least route where they enter the basement, into a drop ceiling or somewhere else you can get the wires to where they need to go later.

Yes, as you said, just cap both ends for use later. And write down where they start and stop... you won't remember later ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Antenna feeds into house - what options available?
PostPosted: May Wed 13, 2020 1:58 pm 
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Location: York PA.
Greetings Lurker. Good of you to "unlurk". Welcome to ARF.

I have a pair of PVC pipes for this issue. On the outdoor end of the pipes, be sure to add 45 or 90 degree bend to keep rain out. Do not cement the bend as coax connectors, control box connectors etc may get hung up in the bend, so it's best to be able to remove them. I have a U shaped cut in my end caps so I can remove the cap and easilty slide cables in or out without needing to put them through the end cap. Duct tape is used to seal it from insects etc.

Use as large a diameter pipe as you can. You don't want to use a small diameter pipe and run out of room.

If applicable, and you're going to have a deck above the pipes, be sure to tell the builders to build that part of the deck with a door to access the pipes and cables. I almost forgot that, but fortunately remembered before they started building it.

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 Post subject: Re: Antenna feeds into house - what options available?
PostPosted: May Wed 13, 2020 2:29 pm 
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Wives' are highly over rated and mostly superfluous!(says the man who cooks for himself!);
Seriously, you can use coax only 1/8" in diameter to go through the walls. Very unobtrusive and effective.

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 Post subject: Re: Antenna feeds into house - what options available?
PostPosted: May Wed 13, 2020 3:14 pm 
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Location: DFW Texas
I would put in 1.5 pvc, two of them. I have a ham license and am always changing my antennas.

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 Post subject: Re: Antenna feeds into house - what options available?
PostPosted: May Wed 13, 2020 4:55 pm 
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I like my 6" tubes from the house to each of my three towers. Inside each is a Double Length Plus Synthetic Textiles 1/8" Rope. I can pull out a length no longer wanted or pull in a new length of Coax or most anything else I want in and out of those tubes. Some of my "Coax" is 3/4" in diameter CATV hardline. This is a Youtube Video of my backyard antenna system.. Yes that is ME up in the mancage hanging from a rather large Crane used to put up and take down antennas.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXvRrummVFY

John k9uwa

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 Post subject: Re: Antenna feeds into house - what options available?
PostPosted: May Wed 13, 2020 6:34 pm 
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AlexG96 wrote:
...Anyway, it's a brand new home that will be constructed for us and rather then drilling and cutting potential feed line access points after the build...
Perhaps it changed recently. For a long while, many houses are built with phone and TV (antenna/cable/satellite - 75ohm coax) wired behind the walls for livingroom and bedrooms. Talk with the builder, you already may have something like it in the existing wiring plan that can be further customized. Shield on the coax should be enough to keep noise out. If you're going to be an ham operator, you may want to use RG8 coax.


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Last edited by AJJ on May Wed 13, 2020 6:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Antenna feeds into house - what options available?
PostPosted: May Wed 13, 2020 6:39 pm 
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Thanks for the reply. The basement will be completely below grade. Therefore no windows to take advantage of. If using galvanized pipes rather then PVC, would that help to eliminate the potential for noise from the house wiring?[/quote]
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Don't you have to have at least one window for egress (by order of the building code) for a new house?


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 Post subject: Re: Antenna feeds into house - what options available?
PostPosted: May Wed 13, 2020 7:15 pm 
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Art Hoch wrote:
Thanks for the reply. The basement will be completely below grade. Therefore no windows to take advantage of. If using galvanized pipes rather then PVC, would that help to eliminate the potential for noise from the house wiring?

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Don't you have to have at least one window for egress (by order of the building code) for a new house?[/quote]
Egress is only required in sleeping rooms.
Light and ventilation is required in other habitable rooms. We don't do many basements in this part of Texas but I think basements are considered unfinished unless they are set up for a bedroom.

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 Post subject: Re: Antenna feeds into house - what options available?
PostPosted: May Sat 23, 2020 6:07 am 
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Thanks for all the replies/feedback everyone. Now I have some topics to discuss with the builder when the time comes. Looking forward in making all this a reality. What I'm leaning to now is a couple of 1.5" Schedule 80 PVC pipes with bends limited to 45° - perhaps even placing them inside a 6" corrugated solid drain pipe. I'd prefer to go a bit overboard in the beginning rather then forgetting something and the need to dig something up post construction/landscaping. Including a double length rope in the pipes also sounds perfect.


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 Post subject: Re: Antenna feeds into house - what options available?
PostPosted: May Sat 23, 2020 6:18 am 
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Art Hoch wrote:
Thanks for the reply. The basement will be completely below grade. Therefore no windows to take advantage of. If using galvanized pipes rather then PVC, would that help to eliminate the potential for noise from the house wiring?
***********
Don't you have to have at least one window for egress (by order of the building code) for a new house?


The current plans are to have a second entry/exit point at the opposite end via a stairway leading to the garage.


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 Post subject: Re: Antenna feeds into house - what options available?
PostPosted: May Sat 23, 2020 1:00 pm 
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One note on a rope in the pipe for pulling in cable later.... I did that in a pipe from house to road, about 600'. When I went to use it a year or two later, I found that someone had eaten it lol. MAKE SURE you cap the ends

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 Post subject: Re: Antenna feeds into house - what options available?
PostPosted: May Sat 23, 2020 3:47 pm 
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I used two PVC pipes to carry antenna leads into the house. As you install the PVC make sure you feed a line (string) through so you can pull the wire through later and when you do pull the wire through make sure you tie another string to pull along with it for future use. I used orange mason's string. Some of it's been in there for 16+ years without deteriorating. Never use a 90 deg elbow, use two 45 deg elbows instead, or a curved piece, to make it easier to pull the wire through and whatever size pipe you think you need go one size larger.

Larry

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