Someone would like to find out the purpose of a hole in the wall of their
basement, inside and outside photos of it along with a description are below.
"Brick house, built in the late sixties. Downstairs, there is a hole with
rubber and plastic ports on either end that go clear through the wall from the
basement (not underground, Im on the side of a hill) to the carport on the
other side of the wall.
The thing is about 7 feed from the ground. The hole has a diameter of under an
inch, the outer diameter of the plastic grommet things is about two, and it
sticks out from the wall about one inch. The outside port extends an extra half
inch from the wall.
The inside and outside ports appear to be of a white plastic, painted/yellowed
over time. They have darker rubber caps with a slot in them to aid in their
removal via prying with a flathead screwdriver.
I have no idea what this is for. Ive never seen it before. Not sure if it has
a regional connection (Columbia, SC). Not sure if it was original or installed
later. Possibly has something to do with a boat that was stored in the carport
next to the port exit."
Any ideas on the purpose of this hole?
This guy put a compressed-air fitting on the side of the house. The
mystery hole looks like a better idea. Pry off the caps and slide a
line through when you need it.
Columbia, SC? I moved there for two years as a senior manager for the
Y2K project for SCDHEC. General construction practices there are just
short of "idiot during a particularly stupid spell".
Does your roof have those dumb "curl-over" drips at the eaves, where they
just let the sag of the shingles form a drip path, and with no metal
drip-edging or doubling at the edges, like all the other houses up on the
plateau? Did they slope all the concrete work toward the house, so the
footers would stay nice and moist? (keeps all that 800psi "Cawncreke"
from turning to dust)
It's likely a pee-hole for the owner, so he could pee INTO the crawl
space or basement while doing barbeque and drinking beer out in the
carport (while shouting, "Heey, Boyz! WATCH DIS!")
If I'd though of it, that would have been my guess. So I looked it up.
Flat cable was supposed to be kept away from metal, but apparently
masonry wasn't a problem. The usual method was to drill a hole, put the
cable through, and caulk.
Cable was supposed to have a drip loop at the entrance. If it were
designed for TV cable, I would expect it to deflect the cable down on
the exterior side.
I pulled the identical device, still in the original package, from my
loft. It is a Radio Shack Archer Cat. No. 15-1200 Wall feed through
tube. "Designed to provide a neat weather-proof entrance of all types of
wire and cable through walls up to 13" (33cm) thick."
It includes the rubber grommet with the slit. "Note. Rubber grommet
should be used only when absolutely necessary in UHF installations. Some
air circulation is desirable to prevent condensation.".
I can take measurements and pictures, if necessary, but both external
plastic parts are identical to the pictures.
I wondered what it was designed for. I'm curious about the exterior
side. It appears to have a couple of holes to screw something on.
If it were well designed, I would expect a downward elbow on the
exterior, to keep water out while allowing some air circulation.
The homeowner obviously bought the fitting at Radio Shack, but if the
carport roof abutted the house, it would be hard to bring an antenna
cable down to that point. The best entry point would have been under
the eaves, leaving the shortest possible length of flat cable exposed to
sun and rain.
A tube from the basement to the carport would be ideal if he had a
compressor in his basement and sometimes needed compressed air in his
Both ends have holes for screw mounting. The inside flange is
permanently attached to the clear plastic tube. The outside flange is
removable so the tube may be shortened. The flange also has two holes
for screws to fasten it to the wall. In addition, the removable flange
has a set screw to hold it firmly to the plastic tube.
In actual use, the TV twin lead would be controlled by screw-in
insulators and they would be set to keep the lead away from metal and
would be able to form a drip loop, if that was necessary.
The normal, brown, 300 ohm twin lead used polyethylene that was not
affected by sunlight.
One could use an extra standoff to make a drip loop, but it would be
easier if Radio Shack designed the exterior flange with an elbow.
I've replaced the exterior twin lead on people's houses because the
polyethylene had deteriorated. Sunlight resistance seems to be
relative. A treated tarp will last far longer than an untreated one,
but the treated tarp will last a lot longer out of the sun.
My antennas used about 3 feet of twin lead, from the antenna to the
amplifier. If I had reception trouble, I'd probably have to replace the
twin lead. The rest was coax.
The instructions note that condensation even on the few inches of twin
lead in the tube could affect reception. Entering at the basement would
mean a lot more wet cable than entering under the eaves. If the TV was
not in the basement, it would also mean a greater length of cable, which
could cause noise and ghosts on UHF.
If the house was built in the 1960s with the carport adjacent to the
basement, I imagine the carport was attached to the house. In that
case, I wonder if it was even feasible to have an antenna cable enter
under the carport roof.
Thanks! Sounds like this is probably correct, I'll pass it along to the guy who
sent the photos. I found an ad that shows the tube, it's in the middle at the
bottom right on this page:
Beside my toilet sits a 39-ounce coffee can. If I sold my house and the
new owner asked why the can was there, it would be wrong to tell him
that when I brewed coffee, I scooped from the can by the toilet.
The can holds a plunger, which people who bought toilets in the 1990s
If the house in question had existed in the 1950s, when people had
little experience with antennas and just wanted VHF in black and white,
a homeowner might well have run his antenna cable in at the basement and
drilled a hole big enough for a tube because he saw it at Radio Shack.
By the 1960s, people who put up antennas wanted UHF and color. With 800
cable companies in operation, a Columbia resident might not even have
installed an antenna. If he did, it's hard to believe he would have
made the mistake of running his twin lead to his TV by way of the basement.
The present owner asked not what the tube was but what the hole was for.
The slits in the grommets look wider than TV cable. Deformation of
the rubber could prove it was used for twin lead. If there's no
deformation and the carport is attached to the house, it seems unlikely.
If there's a 220V outlet in the basement, the homeowner may have had a
compressor to power tools in the carport.
You obviously know little of Columbia, SC. IF he lived dead in the city
limits, he might have had cable. If he lived more than eight miles
outside the city limits, he would have still have been on crossbar
telephone service, and likely not even KNOW that there was such a thing
as "cable TV". It wasn't until after 2001 that ordinary DSL got up to
Blythewood, and that's only ten miles north of the city. Winnsboro
(another ten north) was four years later. NOBODY in Winnsboro had cable
as recently as 2002; satellite, yes, but not cable.
Besides, in that area of the country, the 'qualified technicians' would
have routed twin-lead anywhere they could run it, including in steel
pipe, underground. It's as 'backwoods' as you can get. A significant
sign of intelligence for someone there is that you don't let the drool
run all the way off your chin before you wipe it off with your sleeve.
What about WNOK-TV? Art Linkletter's House Party, the Arthur Godfrey
Show, the Red Skelton Show, I Love Lucy, live broadcasts of services at
First Baptist Church, live broadcasts of the Columbia Reds. They
broadcast from the Jefferson Hotel on 67, then changed to 19. No
homeowner within range would have run his twin lead through the basement!
IF he ran it, and not one of the local "service men". We had a LOT of
"tube caddies" back then. Guys who carried a whole suitcase of tubes
they bought mail-order, and just swapped new for old until they found (or
didn't find) a problem. They couldn't actually _fix_ a TV if one latched
onto their ass. Almost none of those guys owned any real instruments,
and didn't have a clue that a CRT could often be "rejuvinated" for a
period of time.
And, they knew nothing about cable routing, standoffs, or how to use
baluns and co-ax (and yes, we had that stuff even in the days of
I owned half of a TV repair business in the 1960s. We fixed a lot of
stuff the tube caddies left worse broke than when they found it.
So don't discount that running the twin-lead improperly couldn't have
been done with a "professional".
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