We made it past a major milestone last night: we have a way of getting the antenna feedline out of the house!

This was a harder job than I expected.

Maybe it’s because I never did it.

Let’s take a step back though. My station is located next to my computer in my office on the second floor of my house.

The top right window belongs to the room.

I could have done the simple thing and that’s go up to the attic then down the wall to the basement in an existing wire run I have… but that would add another roughly 20 feet to the cable run. That’s bad for a couple of reasons: 1) more attenuation of the signal 2) longer ground run means more potential for noise.

The solution I crafted was to punch through the footer of the second floor in the bedroom closet, make a hole in the first floor footer from the basement and fish it down the wall.

That was the easy part.

The hole in the basement took a brand new right angle drill to make.

The furthest hole is the right one.

Well, maybe.

Fishing from the top we couldn’t get through. Nor from the bottom. Fishing from both sides we were able to make them clink together, but never could make them come through.

Grrr…

Ok. So yesterday I was hanging out in the new office waiting for a package that never came. I was hanging out with the electrician who was wiring the place up so I asked him what the trick was. Scott told me the trick of cutting a blank outlet out of the wall to get access to it — when you’re done just slap on the blank cover and it’s as if you were never there.

Ok. So after I got back I cut the hole in the living room.

(Ok, so it’s taped up to keep the kitties out)

No joy in getting into the hold I drilled out. Dammit.

Ok. Let’s try out the new flexible drill I picked up. Now I was aiming to go further back than the two wires.

Drill. Hit something hard. Drill. hit something hard.

“En, do you see me coming out in the basement?”
“No. But I smell you.”

Drill. Come out the the other end.

“Do you see anything now?”
“No.”

Ummm… where did I just come out.

I walk around and see this:

(Well, I see the drill, not the string I put in later.)

Sigh… I guess the hard I was hitting was the bricks. I now know how not to use the flex drill. I think I can intuit the rest now. heh. :-/

I need to get the feedline and ground out anyway. This is even more direct. I guess.

All I need now is the ground rod and I’ll be set! I need one more hole in the side of the house to bond the ground rod with the rest of the house ground. I know where to put that one though — right next to the phone entry — and it’s not awkard to get to in any way. :-D

Some time over the weekend I can finish up:

  • Pull the coax and ground braid outside
  • Cover the hole in the living room
  • Pound in the ground rod
  • Affix the lightning arrestor to the ground system
  • Bond the new ground and the house ground
  • Solder up connectors on the coax
  • Erect the antenna
  • Test
  • Waterproof the wiring
  • Caulk the antenna exit hole
Then I’ll be on the air!