After having been off air for a number of years due to an impending house move, I finally moved to my new location last summer. The house is very much a project house so most of last year was spent working on the property. This year however I decided it was time to begin getting my station built and getting back on air.
The new property has an excellent section of land which is ideal for antennas however given that the shack is in an upstairs bedroom getting coax and control lines to it would be a challenge, especially as i’d have to get these through the garden without upsetting the XYL too much.
I decided the best approach was to bury the cabling under the garden. I chose to use Messi & Paoloni BROAD-PRO 50 Double Jacket coax, it provides excellent performance at a fairly reasonable price and with the double jacket can be direct buried if needed.
Despite having the option to direct bury the coax, I decided to use conduit, this would allow me to run some additional cabling and in the event any of the cabling needed replacing, I could do so without having to dig another trench. I used 40mm waste pipe as the conduit, it’s pretty cheap and works nicely for this application, the conduit was laid on a bed of sand to help protect it from any stones or rocks. It was only buried about 8-10 inches from the surface.
Feeding the coax through the conduit was a challenge as I had a few bends, I first ran a string line through using a shop vac to suck the line from the other end (this was surprisingly effective), however feeding the cable through 20 meters of conduit was quite a struggle.
I ended up with 2 runs of coax and 2 runs of externally rated CAT6 cable (all antenna switching control, tuning control etc. will be done over ethernet). I installed an intermediate junction box before the cabling entered the conduit, this will allow me to add additional switching and/or replace any damaged coax without the need to remove the runs that go all the way to the shack.
The cabling exits close to where the antennas will be located and will eventially be terminated in a large IP65 wall cabinet which will house all the antenna switching gear and matching systems, however for now I have them hooked directly into a DX Commander multi band vertical that my good friend Callum M0MCX kindly donated (http://www.m0mcx.co.uk).
I’m very happy with how it all turned out and the trench is now barely visible in the garden.