Saturday, April 27, 2013

Installation of a Wire Antenna in my Small Attic

As previously mentioned, I've recently built my first wire antenna. In order to really test it, I decided to skip the step of a temporary outdoor deployment, and just go ahead and put it in to it's final location. It was a lot of work, but I've gotten a lot better at things, and I'd say overall it works pretty well. Also, as previously mentioned, my antenna is longer than my attic, so I had do so some creative bending to get it all to fit in there correctly. Overall, I'd say it worked pretty well. The initial deployment only took me 30 minutes, plus a bit of time to feed the antenna line. Much better than the last time, for sure!
Antenna Layout

First of all, let me explain the space that I have to work with. My attic is approximately 38'x17'. However, one of the rooms has a vaulted ceiling in it, thus  limiting my space even more. Still, there is enough edge space where I could get the antenna up there, if I resign myself to a bit of bending. The graph to the right shows roughly my planned layout of the antenna, with the double blue line representing the feed line, the orange being the longer dipole, and the green the shorter dipole. The blue area is the larger vaulted ceiling, and the light blue is a smaller vaulted ceiling.

The first step was to get up in to my attic. I've had enough experience with this where this was almost second nature. Getting the antenna wires up there, along with the other supplies, proved to be quite simple. I found moving around in the attic much easier this time as well, as I've learned where to put my foot to ensure I don't punch any holes in the floor.

Feed line in place
The first step was to bring the feed line from the wire duct to it's starting point. As the figure shows, this was almost the entire way across, 17 feet or so. It worked great, and then I was on to the next task, laying the longer dipole.

Feeding the line near the edge of the roof
This was actually quite tricky. First of all, I knew space would be limited, so I waved it back and forth among the various rafters to take up a bit more space. This seemed to work well. It got to be tricky when I got to the end of my attic. The roof there was too small for me to stand up, and I couldn't crawl due to the floors not being strong enough. What I ended up doing was to very carefully feed the antenna line in to a hook, carefully feed it through, then bring it to the next point. I continued the wavy nature of the antenna line, knowing that I was limited on space again. Overall, it seemed to work. I kept going like this until I ran out of line, and stuck the end point of the antenna in to a crack, to keep it as tight as possible.

Starting to feed the smaller line.
The next task was to get the smaller line fed. This didn't require as much length, but I couldn't fully reach the area. My first attempt at this left quite a few coils. I came back a few days later to straighten out the cord, and I think I managed to get it right the second time.

The last task was simply to feed the antenna line in to my cable duct, and get it out the other end. It took a few tries, but in the end, I got the right amount of cable. With this, my antenna was deployed, and ready for use. I'll talk about how well this worked later on, but I was pleased overall with how easy it was to deploy!

No comments:

Post a Comment