Getting the cable from the tower to the house

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Ryangn

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I am having a 60 ft tower erected in the backyard. It will be about 30-40 ft from the house (one story home) and it will have about 6 antennas or so on it so there will be multiple cables running to the house. The cables will have to go into the house at the roof into the attic (I am on a concrete slab). The plan is to run the cables down the tower, underground (will have to go below a dried creek bed that does fill up when it rains) to the house, back up the side of the house into the attic. Then I was thinking could I run the cable down to the tower until I get to where the roof line of the house is at and just come across into the attic and eliminate cable length and not have to dig a trench? Any opinions on this? Thanks in advance!
 

chief21

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Probably shouldn't be a problem, in theory... but lots of potential problem areas:

- Cables will need to be bundled together for stability and durability
- The combined bundle will need to be suspended along a properly-sized support wire, running from the tower to the structure -or- a proper cable tray
- Proper lightning protection and grounding will be mandatory; The tower WILL tend to attract lightning and static surges that you don't want in your house or equipment
- Probably lots of other issues as well... consider consulting an expert

John AC4JK
 

Ryangn

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Move the tower very close to the house. Problem solved.
Because of the septic tank and other issues it can't go close to the house in the backyard. I was thinking of putting it on the side of the house. However the company that is installing it is absolutely opposed to that idea. They were concerned about having a tower in such a visible location, close to the road and upsetting any neighbors that may not like the tower. They want it to go in this particular spot because it is on a hill adding about 10 ft or more of elevation to the tower and would be more obscured by the trees and not as visible.
 

Thunderknight

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In theory, having the cables go low/underground is better that straight over at attic level. The cables at attic level have a larger potential voltage difference in a strike than cables lower.
 

jim202

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One option is to run the cables inside a PVC pipe that is in the ground. Use a double elbow at the tower to keep the water out by having the opening pointing to the ground. Use swept elbows rather than a tight bend. On the house end run the PVC up from under the ground to the level of the position you want to enter the house. See if you can get the end of the PVC to end up inside the attic to keep water out of it.

The 2 90 degree bends, one at the tower underground and the other at the house end underground should also be swept elbows. This way you will be able to pull your cables through the conduit with less problems.

Make sure you use plenty of the glue between the sections as you place them all into the ground. The size of the pipe should be at least 50 to 75 percent larger than the bundle of cables your going to put in the pipe. To small a pipe and you will find it hard if not impossible to pull the cables through. If there may be a possibility of adding any cables in the future, make sure you put in a pull rope. Don't use a string as you will probably break it if you try to pull it through. I would suggest using something like a black Dacron rope that can stand being under water.

No matter how well you try to seal the pipe, it will probably end up having water collect in it. Plus it doesn't get effected by the sun. Don't forget you will need to secure it at the tower end to something outside the pipe or coil it up inside the end of the 90 degree turn down you have at the tower end.

You will also need to seal the end of the pipe at the tower end so you don't end up with a bee or hornet nest inside the open end of the pipe. Just remember what ever you use to seal the pipe up with will have to be removed sometime in the future when you want to add another cable or repair one already in the pipe.
 

gonefishn1

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You are paying the bill so put the tower where you want, not where the company wants. You really want to keep it close to the house as possible. Your coax runs are going to have a lot of loss at the length they want.
 

mmckenna

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I wouldn't recommend running the conduit underground if there is a dry creek there.
A couple of issues you'll likely run into:
-the creek bed is probably got a lot of rock/stone in it. That'll make trenching difficult, unless you are paying someone else to do it.
-Dry creek beds become wet creek beds. While you can seal the heck out of the conduit, water will eventually find it's way in. Unless you are using an underground rated coaxial cable, you'll run into water intrusion issues. Underground rated cable is often filled with a thick gel, using that on the vertical portion of your cable run can lead to issues due to gravity pulling all that gel down when it gets warm.
-Disturbed soil and a dry creek bed becoming wet in the winter might lead to issues unless it is backfilled correctly.

Taking the coaxial cable above ground is pretty common at radio sites. Proper support is key. Think a "cable bridge".... Also, a lot easier to add/remove/upgrade cable as needed.

Proper grounding is key, but you'll need that anyway, cable underground or above ground.

If you do decide to run underground, plan ahead and put a couple of 3 or 4 inch conduits in the trench. Conduit is cheap, re-trenching isn't. It's really a lot easier to put extra conduit in the ground while the hole is open than it is to do later.
 

FKimble

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I agree with gonefishin, it's your place and your money. Put the tower where you really want it. Put it at the rear corner of house and plant a bush or tree to partially block the view. Don't get the tree too close, roots and do strange things. You can check with neighbors before hand and put a anti-climb panels near the base to keep someone from trying to climb it. Will greatly simplify coax running. No trenching and conduit, can skip using a steel support cable from tower to house. Less coax cost and loss. From your sig line, I assume all receiving and no transmitting? What type tower? 60 foot of RG-25 will require guying at that height. Proper guying can get expensive. Six runs of big coax will add lots of weight and surface area to the structure further adding to the need for guying. Good luck and feel free to ask more questions before you start construction. And don't let the contractor make the decisions.

Frank KK4YTM
 

Ryangn

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The company that I am working with they put up cell towers and broadcast towers and they do these kind of jobs on the side if you know someone that has connections to the company so I know they know what they are talking about when it comes to tower location. However I will be revisiting the tower location with them because yes I would like it closer to the house and I seem to be not the only one that feels this way. The flip side of this is that after a two month search I found they are the only game in town when it comes to this so if they choose not do this then no tower, at least for now. Frank, you are correct no transmitting and this will be a self supporting tower and I believe they use surplus tower sections from broadcast tower installs. mmckenna, I agree about messing with that creek bed, although it's more of a stream bed. I have three of them that criss-cross through my property that make this difficult. They would be doing the trenching and I would prefer using PVC as Jim had mentioned. This is still in the planning phase so I appreciate the advice and input from all - Thanks!
 

Rred

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Cables in the air?
1-Butt ugly.
2-Will be targeted by squirrels and birds.
3-Will need good support, steel suspension wire.

Running cables under a creek....Yeah, there are transoceanic cables, maintenance on them when they do eventually leak is fun too.

Perhaps you should consider that moist earth makes a very good ground, so installing the tower in the middle of the septic tank just might be a good thing.(G) How big is the septic tank, that they can't just locate the tower off to one side of it perhaps?
 

Ubbe

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I would assume the professionals are knowing what they are doing and the fact that there are three stream beds that fills when it rains suggest that the soil are drenched and unstable a times. Putting the tower on a hill, that maybe have solid rock beneth, sounds way more safe than risking the tower falling over the house, a car or a family member.

/Ubbe
 

Ryangn

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Running the cables through the air would not be the most attractive route but my thought is what's the difference between that and the power, cable, phone company doing it from the pole to the house and I would eliminate about 30-40 ft of cable length. I definitely appreciate the opinions and advice on doing this. I agree Ubbe and everyone is giving me some good questions to ask about the tower location and the coax run. Thanks again to all.
 

nmelfi

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I run my cables over head to my sat dishes. A hundred foot with a cable at the roof and at my C-band mount to support them. Never had a problem in 20 years. But I do use coax with a ground wire to keep a commom ground with the house.
 

nmelfi

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I have dual ortho feeds on my dish so there are four Rg6 runs with two of them having a ground wire and a 16 gauge lamp cord plus a 18 gauge thermostat wire. I have a screw in eye at the eve of the house, a little help from a cedar tree halfway { large tie wraps] and a anchor at my dish. Works fine. They are bundled and attached to the guy wire I got at Tractor supply. I believe it is 14 gauge steel fence wire.
 

mmckenna

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Running the cables through the air would not be the most attractive route but my thought is what's the difference between that and the power, cable, phone company doing it from the pole to the house and I would eliminate about 30-40 ft of cable length.
It's pretty common at commercial sites. In fact, it's very rare to see coax run underground between the equipment shelter and the tower, at least where I am.

At commercial sites they'll build a structure about 8 feet off the ground between the shelter and tower. The coax is supported on that, often with an "ice bridge" over the top. The ice bridge protects the cable if ice falls off the tower.

You could do something similar with steel fence posts, wood fence posts, etc. You likely won't need the ice protection.

Here's an example:
http://www.wirelessestimator.com/wifi/images/uploads/Waveguide_Bridge_3.jpg
 

toastycookies

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It's pretty common at commercial sites. In fact, it's very rare to see coax run underground between the equipment shelter and the tower, at least where I am.

At commercial sites they'll build a structure about 8 feet off the ground between the shelter and tower. The coax is supported on that, often with an "ice bridge" over the top. The ice bridge protects the cable if ice falls off the tower.

You could do something similar with steel fence posts, wood fence posts, etc. You likely won't need the ice protection.

Here's an example:
http://www.wirelessestimator.com/wifi/images/uploads/Waveguide_Bridge_3.jpg

Is that tower about to fall over? Why is it leaning so hard?
 

Ryangn

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Thanks for the idea mmckenna - appreciate it. Would definitely not need the ice protections here so that would make making something like that easier.
 
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