Recommendations for physical aspects of locating 6300 at antenna base

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  • Updated 1 year ago
Hi folks
I'm just planning a move of my Flex 6300 to the base of my mast in my garden, and running an Ethernet cable etc. My QTH (Highlands of Scotland, IO77) is moist, cool, and windy - but no extremes of weather compared to some parts of the world. Hot is a word I've seen in the dictionary but rarely experienced.....
Looking for thoughts, recommendations, etc. for how best to house the 6300 - to protect against moisture and bug ingress whilst still allowing cooling air etc. (400w amp also involved).
I'm not able to build any kind of shack / building or similar - more like a small external cabinet or similar. 
73, Ian GM4KLN
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Ian GM4KLN

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Posted 1 year ago

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Photo of George Molnar, KF2T

George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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If you can spare the space inside the house, I'd go that route. You'll spend more on the enclosure and it's security than on good coax. Losses at HF are likely to be nearly inconsequential over the house-to-garden run. 

http://www.icsindustries.com.au/products/equipment-cabinets/pole-mounted-cabinets

might be a starting place to look, if you must mount externally. Biggest issues I would imagine will be good grounding and shielding (especially in close proximity to the antenna), and cooling, cooling, cooling.

Good luck!
(Edited)
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Ian GM4KLN

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Thanks George - I forgot to add I am on 6m weak signal modes, especially MS. 
All comments noted and will look into pro/con of digging trench for the cable run: the shack could not be a more awkward run to get to the mast :-(  
But point(s) taken, thanks. 
73, Ian
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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FB Ian -- I am also a 6m MS fan, with the 6500, KPA500 amp, and a 3-el LFA. A 75 ft run of LMR400 to the antenna. Works great here (worked England and Scotland last summer!). Definitely work on cooling - you know all about long duty cycles. I don't think I would see any improvement in getting the rig closer to the antenna. At least on 6m. A small ARR 6m preamp does seem to help the SNR. I think it would be a good add for a 6300.
(Edited)
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Hi Ian GM4KLN

Beautiful area of the world you're in.

If I remember correctly you can really get the winds and horizontal rains? 

Are there electrical/communications service boxes that could hold your gear?  No point in reinventing the wheel.  I think they are called feeder pillars?

I am sure there are Electrical Factors closer (these folk are near Durham), but here is an example of what I was thinking of:  http://www.cablejoints.co.uk/sub-product-details/cable-socks/grp-feeder-pillars-enclosures-cabinets

I'm looking more to a small gardening shed style enclosure for my Island QTH.

As you figure things, remember you will need mains, Ethernet (fibre?), and control cables for anything discrete like a traditional rotor controller, or mast raise/lower.

As much as one wouldn't think of it, physical security needs to be a consideration - no point in putting your gear out there to go missing or suffer damage because every passing dog marks it territory. 

73

Steve  K9ZW





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Ian GM4KLN

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Hi Steve
Nah, horizontal rain is just a good drying day - horizontal flying sheep is when a jacket may be required....I'm nowhere near as exposed as many others in the Highlands, but I do travel and work a lot in the far north (Orkney & Shetland) and West (Hebrides) and it is a different world there. 
All comments noted and thanks for the link. Power is available, and yes, fibre was my intention for the hard cabling back to the PC. but...a shed type structure could be a plan, closer to the mast than my shack. Food for thought: got me thinking again.
73, Ian
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Ray G3XLG

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Hi Ian

I use a domestic external meter box to house various antenna switches etc at the base of my tower. They are waterproof but I'm not sure how big a volume you need. I mean this sort of thing:

https://www.meterboxesdirect.co.uk/gas-electric-meter-box-enclosures

That said, I think I would try to find a solution to house the 6300 & amplifier in the house/shack, if only from a security point of view.

73

Ray G3XLG

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Ian GM4KLN

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Hi Ray
thanks for link - not too big a volume needed, so long as enough air circulation and some protection against moisture possible. However, the comments so far from George, Steve and yourself have got me re-considering something internal - even if only a garden shed. the shack could not be in a worse location, and I am desperately short of space due to my business needs taking over, so "remote" in this context seemed a possibility. time to re-think perhaps: inside (something) definitely has merit if I can sort out logistics. 
73, Ian
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Another option might be to remote mount the rig and amp inside, but in another room from the shack, then use two or three quality, low-loss coax feedlines along with optical for ethernet out to the tower, and use something like an antenna genius at the tower to switch between your many antennas.  Then you wouldn't need as many feedlines coming to the shack and you would be able to afford better coax....
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Ian GM4KLN

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Hi Ken
yes, that is something I was just considering. Fortunately (??) I am single band here (6m only) so logistics are simpler than most other folks. 
I sense a plan coming together...
73, Ian 
Photo of Steve W6SDM

Steve W6SDM

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To each his own, but I would rather have my wife sleep outside than have my 6300 out there. :)
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Consider using fibre optic Ethernet than copper twisted pair.
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Michael Aust

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Use this with my Flex6700 works great ! 

Only $42 for the Pair To have Fiber Optical Ethernet

Plug and Play, Easy ! Just add Yellow Fiber Optic Cable ( Blue Plugs) also found on Ebay )

Just like the ones shown in this listing, not included ( SC to SC cable only one needed Single ) for full Duplex Operation 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-100Mbps-Ethernet-to-Single-mode-Fiber-Optic-Media-Converter-Transceiver-2...


Also, provides Protection of Ethernet Port from Damage by Lightning and No RFI HF Noise very quiet !!!

73 Mike
(Edited)
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John - WA7UAR

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I do not know much about "single mode" vs "multi mode" fiber optic tech... but I found this link which made it easier for me to understand. Hope this is helpful for others too:
http://luxlink.com/faq/multi_or_single.htm
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Unless your run is kilometers in length, multimode fiber is sufficient.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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I've been using a fiber link in my 6700 setup for a few years. I did it as a precaution to protect the ethernet port on the radio. If interested here is a link to my web page with the details, part numbers, etc.

http://www.nn4zz.com/FLEX6700.htm#Eth...

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
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Ian GM4KLN

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Fibre was the intention - thanks for the tips / signposting guys...
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Ernest - W4EG

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Ian,
Come on down to Amelia Island, FL and install your remote. We have beautiful weather, beaches and watering holes. Plus we have 3 to 4 months of cold weather with temperatures 4.5c  (40 f) evenings and mid days. The summer are windy and warm and water temperature in the 80's (26.6 c). 
Regarding wind, we have plenty all year round; It will keep you and your radio and amplifier cool. Plus plenty to see and do.
Ps...The Chamber of Commerce made said that!
(Edited)