Working outside when the sunshines – Island Conduits

At my Washington Island, Wisconsin QTH (US Island WI-001L) is my second ZeroFive Flagpole Antenna. On the Island we fly our flags often while in residence, but the antenna part has languished unfinished.  It has become a continued request from the XYL every visit to “please fill in the flagpole base’s hole, and fix our lawn.”

Early in virus lockdown I got someone to bury the conduits, which had sat on the lawn for at least a year. Though the main expanse was buried, neither end was done.

 

ZeroFive Flagpole antenna at Washington Island (from house)

 

The radials were dug in a few weeks ago (see my previous post at: https://k9zw.wordpress.com/2021/07/18/k9zw-north-radials-for-the-flagpole-antenna/) but were left tied-off to the pole, conduit or something else in the hole.

Radials tied-off and conduits as left

First task was to solder the radials to a copper pipe.  The correctly sized ring went missing, likely when the garage floor was sealed which required moving everything out.  So I did l have some pipe I had first bent to lay on-top of the upper concrete step, which I reworked to be a big-C on the lower level.

I am really not happy with how that turned out, so I am not posting any photos.   Before I refill the hole I am thinking of redoing it with something else.

The electrician who started my project has been unavailable with a suddenly very sick wife, who did not survive what I am told was cancer that was very severe when it was discovered.  Very sad, and though with much encouragement he has returned to his work after an extended absence, he is swamped with more demanding work that remained unfinished.

So I approached an electrical contractor friend at home, with the idea of selling me all the parts  to finish off the Flagpole Antenna part, as they had done the same installation at my home QTH for me.

Because the conduit burying team was unaware of the need to run the conduits to either the south or north side of the flagpole, rather than smack dab in the center of the east side which is where the flagpole would hinge-down for service, I had a bit of head scratching to figure out how to work around to the side.

First job was soldering the radials in place.  Pro-Tip:  You make a trip/fall hazard with lots of radials in the hole where you need to step into working.

Then the box and uni-struts had to be configured, cut and installed.  A hammer drill and TapCon anchors secured the struts.

Four feet of bury-grade flex conduit did what would have taken a lot of angle fittings and radiused bends.

 

Weatherhead and Pull-box for Feedline and Weathproof for 110vac

I couldn’t’ completely finish the 110vac conduit at the flagpole end, as I had mis-gendered my adapters.  The island’s Mercantile Store also only had 3/4″ PVC to 3/4″ Male couplers, as they were out of the needed 3/4″ PVC to 3/4′ Female couplers.  So that piece will get installed next trip up.

 

A Gender Issue requiring parts from Off-Island

I still have some work to do at the flagpole before I pull wires.

  • I need a ground-sink for the Array Solutions AS-302U Lightening Arrestors (Link: https://www.arraysolutions.com/as-302u).  I use SO-239 connectors largely at the Island QTH as I had this gear from my prior home QTH.  Otherwise I use N-connectors when buying new.  As I am not drilling a hole into the rock for a useless vertical ground rod to serve as that ground-sink, I will put rods out horizontally, and wire them into the NEMA box to attach to the AS-302U.
  • The radial attachment will likely be changed to a heavy wire.
  • The physical attachment of the 110vac outlet box is secure, but doesn’t look it.  I will do something about the aesthetics.
  • I will test the antenna with coax rolled out on the ground, before backfilling the hole,.

Then the next step is to finish the conduits under the deck (the were not supposed to go there, rather they were to go to the northwest corner of the house where connecting conduits were previously buried.  So I have to decide if I will run the conduits around the house under the deck to where they were intended to go, or to run them a simple seven-feet and up to go through the sill where they ended up.

Then I will pull the coax and wire, terminate the coax and leave the 110vac wire ready to be connected professionally.

If my buddy the Island Electrician remains too busy to sign-off the 110vac, my electrician friend from home said he would do it.

Progress made, and if all goes well I will be on the air with this antenna soon!

73

Steve
K9ZW

One thought on “Working outside when the sunshines – Island Conduits

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