Window Panel version 1.0

When we moved into our house, I was trying to figure out a way to get my radio gear on the air without drilling through the walls are causing any damage to the house. I remember when I lived in Florida I had a panel that I bought, which had four coax feedthrough adapters. This worked for adding HF and VHF antennas to the shack without doing any drilling. Since I can not find the one that I had, I decided that it is time to build one myself. So here we go!!!

In order to make this work, there are some supplies that were needed. Since I am working with Plexiglass or Flexiglass depending on the product, I picked up a scoring knife which is used to cut through this type of material by scoring an edge a few times then cracking the material from the edge of a table or bench. I added silicone sealant to this project to keep water out of the sections and of course the plexiglass sheet was needed as well. One other item that I picked up at a local ham radio store (Grumpy’s here in San Antonio) were the coax feed through connectors shown below to pull this project together.

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Items Needed:

–  30″ x 36″ .080″ Acrylic Plexiglass Sheet

– 100% Silicone Sealant

– Plastic Cutter

– Something straight like a yard stick, laser level, square, etc.

– Dremel

– Sanding bands to debur and level edges

– A dremel router bit or a burr bit

– In this project small sections of wood for trim

– Tape Measure to measure window for proper fit

– Package of feed through coax connectors

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IMG_20140924_170345 IMG_20140924_132901

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The first steps that I took were to measure and score the sheet of plexiglass before breaking the section. I came up with a measurement that seemed to work for my needs and you can do this for any size. I was try to make sure that I kept this as low profile as possible and still have access to the ports needed. As shown below, I used the edge of my level to score the sheet of plexiglass as I do not have a straight edge. Keep in mind that this is dangerous and you can cut yourself if not careful. This helped in giving me an edge to work with. As you can see in the second picture I started by slowly scoring the line a little furhter until it was deep enough to break the plexiglass cleanly. You will want to take you time in doing this part of the build to keep the lines straight. I did the same measuring and scoring of the material for three separate sections.

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IMG_20140924_171053  IMG_20140924_171221  IMG_20140924_171209IMG_20140924_172114 

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Here you can see that I moved the scored section to the edge of the table and gently pushed down to separate the new section from the main plexiglass.  This is where the scoring came in handy because it will pull the material out of the groove being made enough to the break it. Once I finish with the first section of plexiglass, I went ahead and tried a temp fit in the window to see how much I needed to take off. This seemed to fit pretty well, for now.

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IMG_20140924_172742  IMG_20140924_17183920140924_173743

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I took the first one and used it as a template to make the other two. Below, you can see that I placed the first one on top of the sheet and scored the initial lines for the second and third one.

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  IMG_20140924_172012IMG_20140924_172545  IMG_20140924_172454   

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Once I got each section cut and separated, it was time to make sure that the edges were even so that they are would fit into the window more evenly. I took my dremel and used a sanding band to sand down one side to make it even. By doing one side only, I was able to make this more even quicker without any issues to the sections.


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20140924_173619

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In the following, it is time to bring the three sections together as one and seal out any potential water issues that may occur. So in order to do this, I ran a bead of sealant down and across each edge as well as adding three even sections down the middle. This will help in sealing this up and keeping each section together better as the plexiglass material is flexible. I did this on each section with about 5 minutes between adding another on top. All of this sat over night to dry.

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IMG_20140925_184241  20140924_174115  20140924_174149

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Now it is time to add the coax feed through connectors to our plexiglass. This part did not take long, but I would recommend having some washers big enough to fit over those connectors in order to hide any discrepancies in the plexiglass. I used the dremel tool and a dremel router bit or a burr bit to drill through and open the hole for each connector. This was a fast and easy process. Once the holes were opened, I pushed each connector into place and used the nuts that came with them to attach them to the panel.

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IMG_20140925_184719 IMG_20140925_192250 IMG_20140925_192259         IMG_20140924_180345

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Once the panel was complete, I placed it in the window and was able to hook up my HF station to it. This was a cheap way to add feed through connectors without drilling through the walls or doing any other damage, especially when you are renting. If you need any information on this project, by all means, let me know.

73,

Tim

KF4BZT

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