Squirrel damage to coax

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tcg

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Hi guys,

I put up an ST2 Scantenna last year. It 37' up. I use it to monitor marine vhf stuff.

I had been getting great reception up to 50 miles away depending on the transmitor.

My wife decide it was a good idea to feed the squirrels. Apparently all the food she gives them isn't enough. One of them chewed through the outer case in a couple spots exposing the shield. I taped it up but the reception has dropped considerably.

Is that type of damage enough to degrade reception by miles? If so can that be repaired or should I run a new coax cable? If not where else should I look for possible signal loss? I have checked all the connections. Everything is still clean and like new. No corrosion.

Thanks
Matt
 

KE5MC

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If the jacket is removed to expose the shield then capillary action will suck up water like a sponge and compromise the cable. Replacing the cable is the recommended action.

Lead pellets for the squirrels is the second recommendation. :twisted:


Hi guys,

I put up an ST2 Scantenna last year. It 37' up. I use it to monitor marine vhf stuff.

I had been getting great reception up to 50 miles away depending on the transmitor.

My wife decide it was a good idea to feed the squirrels. Apparently all the food she gives them isn't enough. One of them chewed through the outer case in a couple spots exposing the shield. I taped it up but the reception has dropped considerably.

Is that type of damage enough to degrade reception by miles? If so can that be repaired or should I run a new coax cable? If not where else should I look for possible signal loss? I have checked all the connections. Everything is still clean and like new. No corrosion.

Thanks
Matt
 

K9GTJ

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Kokomo, IN
Those critters have twice gotten the phone cable to the house in 8 years. AT&T is always good about replacing it at least.
 

n4yek

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Newport, Tennessee
Wait until they crawl up into your engine compartment of your car and chew on the wires in there.
12 gauge solved that problem, but too awhile to get all the wiring fixed.
 
K

kb0nly

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Damn squirrels... Replace the feedline, if you have one point that is of particular interest to them then run it through some conduit to provide some extra protection.

We had issues with the cable tv and internet last summer, the city went out and started trimming the trees back from the power and cable lines in the alley behind my house and while doing that discovered an area about a foot long near the tree where the jacket of the hardline was chewed off, they even chewed up the solid copper shield and into the center dielectric in a few places. Of course that means water in the cable, corrosion, etc..

They replaced about 500ft of cable from one pole that had a line amp on it to another that had a drop point, so they wouldn't have to splice just disconnect and replace. Then they found the line amp before my drop was also damaged, the tech said most likely due to its output swr being high from the water in the cable and the chewed up spot. So they replaced that too and scolded the city to do some more cutting back on the trees.

A year later and happy to report no more issues, they took a lot of branches off the trees to limit the squirrels access to the overhead cables.
 

tcg

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I ran new cable. All is good.

But what I'm hearing is I probably shouldn't have built that squirrel house and put it in the tree near the antenna mast. In my defense my wife of 25+ years asked really nice and I want to keep getting those special favors. Wink wink nudge nudge.

Here is the offspring of one of the squirrels that did the damage. He got blown out of a nest during a wind storm last week. We took care of him for 2 days and ended up driving 100 miles to take him somewhere to be raised and released.

I know, I am part of the problem but my wife is really cute and puts up with me. I did make her hold the ladder as I climbed the 37' to replace the cable pointing out if I fell it would be her fault.

On a side note the ST2 Scantenna was in like new condition. It has been up for over a year and been through many wind and ice storms.

Thanks Guys.
 

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kb2vxa

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You sure have your problems with tree rats but remember you caused them. Now the question is; are you man enough to kill them or will you drive another 100 miles for another firkin tree rat?
 

tcg

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You sure have your problems with tree rats but remember you caused them. Now the question is; are you man enough to kill them or will you drive another 100 miles for another firkin tree rat?
I will drive another 100 miles because I love my wife and she is willing to sleep with me. Plus our little wildlife sanctuary is actually very enjoyable to watch. Squirrels are not our only critters.

I also fixed my antenna mast so next time it happens, it will, I can easily swap out the cable.
 

Muskratt

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A man who drives 100 miles for a 'frikin tree rat' IS a real man. A man afraid to show some compassion is a coward.

Cute pics, tcg. Thanks for posting.

Muskratt
 
K

kb0nly

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Great pics... As i get older i care more and more for nature around me, though having three kids growing up also makes you think about having something left for them to enjoy... Tree hugger? Naw, just concerned parent that tries to do his part.

May i suggest that before it does happen again you just run the coax through some PVC conduit? Its cheap, and you wouldn't even have to glue it together just snug them up together and leave them un-glued in case you need to pull it apart some day, then you can just sit back and watch them frolick without worry.

Or depending on the situation run the coax up inside of the mast.

So 100 miles to?? I take it the nearest wild animal shelter or?
 

tcg

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Great pics... As i get older i care more and more for nature around me, though having three kids growing up also makes you think about having something left for them to enjoy... Tree hugger? Naw, just concerned parent that tries to do his part.

May i suggest that before it does happen again you just run the coax through some PVC conduit? Its cheap, and you wouldn't even have to glue it together just snug them up together and leave them un-glued in case you need to pull it apart some day, then you can just sit back and watch them frolick without worry.

Or depending on the situation run the coax up inside of the mast.

So 100 miles to?? I take it the nearest wild animal shelter or?
We have a local vet that knows people who rescue various animals. They put us in touch with a woman that will raise it to be wild and release it. She was 50 miles away one way. Very nice lady really knows her stuff.

I think I will run the cable through some conduit where the critters have access.
 
K

kb0nly

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Ahh i see... Well good job! Yeah i know its just a squirrel, but does that make him any less important? I don't think so, a living thing is a living thing.

Yeah i would just make it more difficult for them. I noticed last week i have a squirrel that likes to tight rope out onto my HF dipole a little ways and then he goes back, not sure why he does it other than to show off... lol
 

fourthhorseman

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i fed squirrels once,they were cute,puffy il tails,
kids adored them,,
then one day i forgot to put out some meal...

lil bastards,tempermantal lil ..grrrrrr....chewed through the
trash can lid,tore up the internet coax,it was near the grill,prob smelled
like steak-chicken-brats-burgers ect,, the next day tore up all the
potted plants..

never trust a squirrel,,,theyll break your heart...lil bastards.
 
K

kb0nly

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LOL...

Yes they get testy just like racoons... Its all about keeping your distance while also enjoying their presence. I enjoy watching them jump around in the trees and their antics to get into the neighbors bird feeders, but i draw the line at feeding them, just causes troubles.
 
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