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 Cabling my shed office

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cube
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PostSubject: Cabling my shed office   Cabling my shed office Icon_minitimeMon Sep 28, 2020 12:37 pm

Hi all.

I'm new!  I've come back to CB after doing nothing since the 80s.  I had an old Fidelity 2001 in the shed that I bought at a car boot sale in the early 90s, and got it out when going on holiday recently with some friends.  I've watched a load of YouTube videos, got enthusiastic about it and decided I'd like to get an SSB capable CB for now and maybe do my Foundation license if I can find the time.

Am just in the process of fitting out a small office in the end of my shed so should put some coax in so have some questions:
1) What coax to use?  I've been reading but any recommendations without going too crazy on price.
2) Guessing I need to keep the coax away from the cables for the ring main lighting etc if possible?  Or doesn't it matter that much?
3) The office is one end of the shed, workshop is other end.  I might want to have the CB in the workshop when I'm not in the office but in the workshop (there's a dividing wall).  What to do here?  Something like join the workshop coax as an extension with a jumper coax lead when I want to use it?  Or an antenna switch that automatically switches?  Any recommendations>
4) What about if I pass the exam then in the future have different radios with different bands, any considerations with cabling other that having say multiple coax runs?  (Just trying to think ahead on the cabling so it can be hidden behind plasterboard now)

Thanks.

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BigTone
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PostSubject: Re: Cabling my shed office   Cabling my shed office Icon_minitimeMon Sep 28, 2020 1:42 pm

What length of coax do you think you need?
10-15 metres, you will be fine with mini RG8
Anything above 20 metres go for RG213.

If you do go for the Foundation license, the above will be perfectly fine for HF

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cube
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PostSubject: Re: Cabling my shed office   Cabling my shed office Icon_minitimeMon Sep 28, 2020 2:28 pm

Great, thanks.  Re proximity of coax to 240V mains ring/ lighting etc, how much does that matter?
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PostSubject: Re: Cabling my shed office   Cabling my shed office Icon_minitimeTue Sep 29, 2020 12:54 am

I don't know about absolute distances.
What I would say is keep them apart as mains is not that clean.
I'm hoping others will jump in with  tips
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Victor
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PostSubject: Re: Cabling my shed office   Cabling my shed office Icon_minitimeTue Sep 29, 2020 6:24 am

Hi 'cube', (sorry, no personal)

If you're going to be making a permanent installation then do everything the best you can now. You will NOT be happy ripping off plaster to make changes in the future Wink

As already mentioned if you are going to be just using CB or HF Amateur Band frequencies and your coax run is short, you can just about get away with any standard coax. But if in the future you do take your Foundation and decide you will use VHF/UHF frequencies your coax choice is going to be much more important. Worth thinking about those decisions now.

As a rule of thumb I run mains cables "Down" and coax cables "Up" to keep them apart from each other.
Try not to run them together in parallel for any length whatsoever. If they must cross paths try to run them at a 90 degree intersection much like a crossroads to minimise interaction. If you really must run them in parallel do so no closer than six inches or so apart and for no longer than a few feet, but as said it's really best to avoid this.

Buy the best connectors you can afford, (PL259s), you will only regret cheap connectors in the future. Same goes for any antenna/rig coaxial switch you buy, the cheaper units leave a lot to be desired.


Too often I have seen or heard radio operators spend as much as they can on a rig, then again on an antenna, only to hook it all up with the cheapest coax and connectors possible(?!?!?) It really is false economy....an average rig with an average antenna on good coax and connectors is far better than an expensive rig & antenna with cheap coaxial systems.

If getting your head around losses is difficult just remember the simplest figures :-

3dB loss - only 50% of your power is getting out, plus losing 50% of your receive.
6dB loss - only 25% of your power is getting out, plus losing 75% of your receive.

Those dB figures look like low numbers but make a massive difference. You can easily make those type of losses with a poor coaxial system.


I hope that all helps.

All the best,
Victor

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PostSubject: Re: Cabling my shed office   Cabling my shed office Icon_minitimeTue Sep 29, 2020 3:52 pm

Thanks for the replies.  Esp Victor, thanks for taking the time to write such a comprehensive reply.

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PostSubject: Re: Cabling my shed office   Cabling my shed office Icon_minitimeWed Sep 30, 2020 5:34 pm

So another question is how to terminate the antenna cable - whether to have a cable sticking out of the wall (not great) or a wall outlet/ faceplate with a PL259 female?  Can't really find any PL259 faceplates, only stuff like f-type faceplates for satellite.  What do others do about this?
Thanks.
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Red Fox
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PostSubject: Re: Cabling my shed office   Cabling my shed office Icon_minitimeWed Sep 30, 2020 5:46 pm

Cube - Sorry No personal shown.

You could use a blank faceplate and insert an SO239 connector similar to the one shown in the link below.

Please be mindful that every break / joint in the coax is an area of loss as well as an entry point for EMC issues.

https://www.cricklewoodelectronics.com/SO239S.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5o3mqKmR7AIViM_tCh0vDQuWEAQYFyABEgL8K_D_BwE

73's

Graeme.

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PostSubject: Re: Cabling my shed office   Cabling my shed office Icon_minitimeMon Oct 05, 2020 6:26 pm

Thanks for that Graeme, will keep that in mind and guessing people generally don't do this in order to minimise loss.
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PostSubject: Re: Cabling my shed office   Cabling my shed office Icon_minitimeMon Oct 05, 2020 7:22 pm

Hi Quentin,

It's not something I would do, simply due to the open centre feed at the rear of the connector. 
However, if you have little or no EMC / interference around you, it may not make a huge difference to you.

Others may have a different opinion of course.

73's

Graeme
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PostSubject: Re: Cabling my shed office   Cabling my shed office Icon_minitimeMon Oct 05, 2020 11:36 pm

Thanks Graeme.  Actually on that subject, I've got some really strong interference at the moment which I was going to look for suggestions in other threads.  At the moment it's up at 7 on my signal meter on some channels and 5-7 on the rest so nothing really usable right now.  Not sure what's causing it.  That's with literally nothing on in the shed, only the radio, and to eliminate everything else, the radio being powered by a battery.  My shed is about 10 metres from my house and a similar distance from the houses behind, so not sure where it's coming from right now, or whether that's just life on a dark night with with lots of LED lights on in everyone's houses.
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PostSubject: Re: Cabling my shed office   Cabling my shed office Icon_minitimeMon Oct 12, 2020 8:12 pm

Hi Quentin,

I would start with cutting your own property electricity supply and run the rig off your battery.

Check and double check your antenna to rig connections to ensure there is no issues.

Far to easy to overlook something on your own side when trying to resolve EMC issues.

Good luck

Graeme.
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PostSubject: Re: Cabling my shed office   Cabling my shed office Icon_minitimeWed Oct 14, 2020 4:28 pm

Thanks Graeme.  I'll do that when I get an opportunity.   I did try with a mobile aerial in the house and although there's plenty of noise, there's really strong signal I only pick up on the big aerial outside so not convinced it's me.  I've been reading about the MFJ 1026 filter which seems to be highly rated by everyone that uses them because they have made a significant difference.  Am interested in any direct experience anyone knows of using one of those or anything similar.
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PostSubject: Re: Cabling my shed office   Cabling my shed office Icon_minitimeThu Oct 15, 2020 12:45 pm

What a great bunch breakers here, such good help and good info for the returning breaker to the hobby,
CT is a great place for radio help on all levels.

And i got a bit of info about coax and power cable, do have them apart, but Victor gave a bit more info for me to do a bit of cable work.

CT56004
GLENN DOG
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