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Station Grounding

from Steve Katz, WB2WIK on April 10, 2009
View comments about this article!

"Editor's Note: Due to the popularity of some of eHam's older articles, many of which you may not have read, the eHam.net team has decided to rerun some of the best articles that we have received since eHam's inception. These articles will be reprinted to add to the quality of eHam's content and in a show of appreciation to the authors of these articles."





STATION GROUNDING

Will we ever be able to dispel the myths?

Steve Katz, WB2WIK/6

This is a much beaten-up subject. Hardly a day goes by that on some ham radio board or reflector there isn't a question about “station grounding.” Funny part is, the subject's been so discussed, that anyone asking a question must have not been paying attention for the past several (fill in: days, weeks, months, years).

Problem

I think the biggest problem is that a lot of commercially manufactured equipment comes complete with a “ground terminal,” usually somewhere on the rear of its chassis. That, along with directions from the equipment manufacturers, implies the equipment owner ought to connect something to it.

I view this as an adjunct to the “SWR” dilemma. You know, the one that drives hams crazy believing that for an antenna to work properly it must have a low SWR. Or, sillier still, that an antenna with a low SWR must be working properly.

It's funny that before about 1960, few hams owned an SWR measuring instrument of any sort but somehow made DXCC, bounced signals off the moon, worked meteor scatter, aurora and E-skip, and just happily made contacts without having the foggiest idea what their antenna's SWR was. Commercial transmitters didn't have internal SWR bridges, and inexpensive bridges weren't on the market. The famous “Monimatch” circuit hadn't yet been published, so few hams knew how to build an SWR bridge, nor would they bother trying. Hams, and their transmitters, were perfectly content to be working each other, around the world, without this fabulous knowledge.

Now, back then it was also pretty common for a lot of equipment to not even have a ground terminal. Some of it did, some of it didn't, and it didn't matter much one way or the other. I think the best reason for a ground terminal would have been to help prevent equipment users from killing themselves due to internal short-circuits in equipment that was AC powered, back before 3-prong (and 3-wire) power cords, plugs and outlets became common.

Ironically, the most unsafe equipment back in those days was thousands - if not millions - of inexpensive, AC-line powered broadcast radios, including bedside “All American Five” type radios and clock radios, which did not use AC line isolation transformers. To minimize production cost, a lot of these radios directly rectified the AC line and fed a full 120 volts AC to a series string of tube filaments. The string totaled around 120 volts, so no filament transformer was needed. One side of the AC mains was connected directly to the radio chassis (preferably, the “cold” side of the mains!), and to prevent people from touching the chassis, the little radios were installed in plastic enclosures and used plastic knobs over the control shafts. These radios did not have 3-wire power cords.

Those were accidents waiting to happen, of course. Untold thousands of people received electrical shocks from these radios, and they were responsible for more than a few fires. Sadly, some probably lost their lives due to such shabby design.

And while those radios really indicated an actual need for a chassis (earth, safety) ground, they didn't have any provision for one.

But we don't use radios like that any more. Now, we have equipment that uses isolation transformers, and 3-wire power cords plugged into grounded outlets. And a lot of our equipment is powered by low voltage DC, where a shock hazard is literally nonexistent. (You can be hurt by low voltage DC, but not electrocuted. The major source of injuries to people working with low voltage DC is in the form of burns caused by jewelry shorting out the DC power supply's output bus, which can often pump dozens of Amperes through a ring or bracelet before shutting down - if it ever shuts down.)

So, why do we ground?

Really good question. I guess I'd preface my answer with this simple statement:

I've been a licensed ham for 39 years, and continually active. I run legal-limit amplifiers and power output on 160 meters through 10 meters, a kilowatt on 6 and 2 meters, and a couple hundred watts on 135cm and 70cm, and sometimes on 33cm and 23cm, too. I've used dozens of different antenna configurations and have operated from all over the world, but mostly from any of the fifteen home-station hamshacks I've built over the years at the various homes I've owned.

And in all that time, I've never once had a “station ground” of any sort.

And in all that time, I've never had any problem that grounding would solve.

I've operated mobile, marine mobile, maritime mobile and aeronautical mobile and never had a ground on any of these vehicles, either. Especially when operating from an aircraft, that's hard to do. I've also set up dozens of field operations, including Field Day and other contests, without ever owning a ground rod or feeling the need to drive one in, anywhere.

Therefore, you can see I'd be a tough one to convince that a “station ground” serves any particular purpose. Not to say it cannot help, in some situations. But in most all those situations, better station engineering would help more.

(For clarification: Nowhere in this article will I say it's a bad thing to ground your equipment. I just discuss the counterpoint, that grounding your equipment usually isn't necessary, and if you're spending any time deliberating on this issue, that's time wasted that you could be operating, instead.)

RF grounding

There's surely such a thing, and it's a good thing. If I ever use a voltage-fed antenna or a random wire, I usually place my antenna tuner outdoors, or at least in an open window, so the entire antenna is literally outside, and then I have a very short and direct path to Mother Earth for the return current. The earth completes the current path from transmitter to antenna and back, and everything is happy. This is a great situation. But you really need to have the tuner laying on the ground, or very darned close to it, to accomplish this feat - because a tuner sitting on a desk in the shack is often too far from ground to be effectively grounded.

Usually, however, I use current-fed antennas and I match the antennas to their transmission lines (by adjusting the antennas themselves). Most of my lines are coaxial cable, but some are twin lead. If I use coax to feed a balanced antenna, I use a current balun at the antenna feedpoint. If I use twin lead to feed a balanced antenna, I don't need a balun, except perhaps in the shack where I transition to 50 Ohm equipment. In all cases, the lines are cool and quiet and don't seem to bring any RF back “down the pipe” from antenna into the shack.

That's the result of matching, choking and cable routing to minimize this problem. That not only works better than grounding the station equipment, but it's also easier to accomplish, usually.

It's true that most antenna designs won't provide a good match over more than maybe 2% of the operating frequency. So what? My 80 meter inverted vee is resonant at 3.750 MHz, and its SWR rises to >3:1 at both band edges (upper and lower). Yep, that's about 25% reflected power. Okay, I'll repeat: So what? I use my amplifiers as antenna tuners, can transfer all the power generated to the load just fine, and have zero RFI, RF “feedback,” or other problems. No “hot mikes,” no burns from accessories, no nothing, nada, zip. The secret is station engineering. That is, my antennas are located sufficiently far from my equipment that very little radiates back into places I don't want it to be. And, I do use current baluns in the form of coaxial RF chokes and the like; and, for stubborn cases (especially on the very lower frequency bands, where it's difficult to escape the antenna's near field) I use ferrite isolators on the feedlines, installed just outside the shack wall.

I obviously don't need any station “RF ground,” and never made any attempt to have one.

Lightning

I live in Los Angeles, which has the lowest incidence of lightning strikes of anywhere in the U.S. (fewer than 5 lightning incidents annually on average, and that's recorded in the mountains or high desert, not where I live). But, it doesn't matter. I grew up in New Jersey (70+/year) and have lived in Florida (90+ but it seems like a million), and have operated from many tropical places where lightning is so common that people miss it if it doesn't happen daily.

Fact is, grounding your equipment chassis inside your home doesn't do anything to prevent lightning damage, anyway. The last place you want lightning energy to find a path to earth is inside your home. The only place you want lightning energy to find a path to earth is outside your home. Volumes have been written on this subject by people more knowledgeable than I, so I'd refer you to those volumes for more information.

The only thing I'll say is, “Equipment (chassis) grounding is not helpful with regard to lightning protection.” And that fact ought to be self-evident to anyone who understands electricity.

Safety ground?

As I mentioned earlier, there are very valid reasons for “safety” grounding, although I've never once had an equipment fault that would have caused a safety concern whether the equipment was grounded, or not. But, it's possible. And, it's the reason that all construction in the past 30+ years in America (and many other places) used 3-wire grounded outlets throughout. The third (green, ground) wire should be connected to the ground buss in the building's electrical service panel, which should be grounded directly to earth via an 8' ground rod driven into earth at the nearest practical location, usually directly under the panel.

It's possible that even this excellent protocol can fail, but it's rare. In the event it does fail, a secondary earth ground for station equipment is a “belt and suspenders” approach that probably can't hurt. I must say, though, that having owned hundreds of pieces of AC-powered electronic equipment in my nearly 40 year ham career, I've never seen a fault occur that would cause an electrical shock during normal operation. So, I do believe this is a pretty rare event.

[I might also say that I've received numerous electrical shocks over the years, all of which were purely my fault (like replacing wall outlets and switches without bothering to turn them off first), so I deserved every one of them. And they didn't feel so bad. I can say from experience: 240v hurts much more than 120v. If you're going to shock yourself, go for 120. It's much nicer. In Japan, their mains voltage is only about 100 volts. Now I know why: It hurts even less.]

Daisy chain grounding

This is not recommended at all, but we all have it, in one way or another. Unless your station is set up an inch from your service panel, where a SPG (single point ground) connects every single thing going to and from your home and the impedance between all those items is zero: You, too, have some form of a daisy-chain ground.

This is nothing more than having equipment grounded via multiple paths, both serial and parallel, that have varying impedances to earth. It's difficult to avoid.

For example: If your antennas are mounted on your tower, and your tower's grounded, your antennas, unless completely isolated from their supporting structure, are grounded, too. Now, you use coaxial cable to connect those antennas to your station tuner, coax switches, amplifiers, rigs, or whatever, and you have a ground path from your antennas far, far away to your station equipment right in front of you, via all the coaxial shields. The DC resistance of all those shields is an unknown, although you could probably calculate or even measure it, if you try. But, if you have four antennas fed with four runs of 100 feet each RG-213/U, you've got four parallel ground paths that probably have a DC resistance less than one Ohm.

So, even if you disconnect every intentional earth ground you have in your station, your station equipment is still grounded, anyway. It's just a rather unpredictable ground. If you don't have a tower, but use a mast on the chimney to support your antenna, that mast should be grounded by a wire of substantial diameter directly to a ground rod via the shortest possible path. If you use a doublet antenna that is fully isolated from ground, then its feedline should be grounded via a lightning arrestor or similar device prior to entering your shack.

No matter how you cut it, your stuff is grounded (if you have an engineered installation), like it or not. So, the “safety ground” consideration, to prevent electrical shock in the event of internal equipment malfunction, is very likely covered. A 1 Ohm connection to earth will keep a 120v line down to 15v before it trips the 15A circuit breaker or fuse in a conventional household circuit. You won't feel the 15 volts.

If your home is equipped with 3-wire grounded outlets and your power supplies or other equipment containing AC-powered circuits have 3-wire power cords, now you have another ground, in parallel with that one.

If you added still another chassis ground simply because you wanted to, now you have still another ground, in parallel with the other two. But the circuit is more complex than just parallel branches to earth, and from an AC (RF) perspective it's more complex still.

As far as I'm concerned, the only important consideration in all of this is that the transmission line from my antennas to my station equipment should have considerably higher ground impedance than the outdoor ground connection from those same antennas to earth. So, when in doubt about that, I use more coax than needed for the path. This is purely a lightning protection issue, and I live where lightning hasn't been witnessed in sixteen years; but I try to follow that rule, anyway.

Still want to connect something to that little terminal?

Go ahead, if you want to. But think about why. “Because the terminal is there” isn't a very good reason. The little pictograms in the ham radio equipment owners' manuals (especially the JA stuff) isn't a very good reason, either. My Kenwood owner's manual has the little grounding pictorial, along with a warning to be sure the equipment is grounded, with no explanation at all as to “why.” Interestingly, I have lots of Kenwood audio equipment that doesn't even have a 3-wire power cord, and there's no ground terminal on any of it. Same company, different philosophy.

Maybe Kenwood believes that because amateur transceivers are capable of transmitting, they -- unlike receivers -- need a ground?

Even more interesting is the fact that the stereo equipment really could benefit from an earth ground. In one case of RFI I had personally, adding a ferrite choke filter to the AC power cord, and a chassis ground to a “surround sound” stereo receiver, completely eliminated the interference.

Let the flames begin

The “must ground” crowd - and there is one, somewhere - will likely disagree with all of this. That's fine. Remember, this whole piece is not about lightning protection in any way; it's about interior station equipment grounding. Since I've never used any in 39 years, I probably never will. I'm not suggesting that equipment grounding is wrong, just that it's usually unnecessary - and if you find it to be necessary, you've got other problems that can be fixed in other ways.

WB2WIK/6

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Station Grounding  
by G0OTT on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Nice informative article.
I've only had one incidence were a ground would have prevented it but that was my fault.
Working on aerial on tower but no earth to tower, left ac powered transceiver connected to aerial and had a nice little tingle at the top.
My own fault hi hi.
Sure this will start the debate going.
Only thing I ground is the atu.
To ground or not to ground that will always be the question.
Regards Darren
 
Station Grounding  
by PD2R on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Nice article. Never used the "ground connection" on the rear panel of my radio's either and never had any problems. (the term "never" should be taken loosely since I'm only Hamming for a little over 3 years)
The only time I had some problems was when we went to Liechtenstein and we did not have the right outlet adaptors. We didn't have enough coax switches so we often had to do it by hand. Every time you disconnected the coax you could feel it. It wasn't just a tingling sensation. We had to draw straws to decide who had to do it ;-)
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by KG4TKC on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
[I might also say that I've received numerous electrical shocks over the years, all of which were purely my fault (like replacing wall outlets and switches without bothering to turn them off first), so I deserved every one of them. And they didn't feel so bad. I can say from experience: 240v hurts much more than 120v. If you're going to shock yourself, go for 120. It's much nicer. In Japan, their mains voltage is only about 100 volts. Now I know why: It hurts even less.]


When I read this one paragraph,every other word in this article was viewed under a cloud of suspicion. Anyone who takes contact with 120 or 240 AC in the home this causally must surely be taking all the aspects of grounding rather casually. I personally know of far too many funerals that were held because of accidental contact with 120 or 240 AC. Two come to mind quickly that involved young children. And yes,that did hurt.

Saying that for forty years I never grounded anything and nothing happened is also like saying I have stood under a tall tree in an open field in a thunderstorm many times and nothing happened. Tell that to the fellow who lost 20 head of cattle who were standing under a tree when lightning struck.

Anyone who has ever been around telecom installations has seen hundreds of feet of copper wire in a grounding system. Wonder why they waste so much money there if it is so trivial and useless.
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by VK4TJF on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
i must admit that i don't have a bus bar and connect all my equipment to it and connect it to my earth stake with a large gauge wire. however many other radio club members say that they do and that is necessary.
The ARRL handbook states that you should do it, however if the wire to your ground stake is too long the don't do it as you may be producing ground loops.
many amateurs in apartments don't have a ground stake. sometimes an artificial ground is used. i have read that the easy way of running an artificial ground is using a 1/4 wavelength wire to bleed off any RF.
I have also noticed that many club members who are staunch supporters of grounding, don't ground any equipment on field days.
there was a guy at the club who like many had everything grounded big bus bar thick wire everything. his house was hit by lightning and it fried everything. basically it was just too much voltage in the end. however he had good home owners insurance that paid for all new equipment. i guess that is moral of the story. i did have some RF getting back into my shack one time but not after i put a proper current balun on my center fed doublet.
 
Station Grounding  
by W8JN on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Well, this was an interesting article. I have always suspected that the ground on the 3 prong plug was satisfactory. Anyone who has removed the front panel from the supply box in their basement has seen the "heavy duty" ground that runs to both the plumbing supply line and an 8 foot ground rod outside their home. Why is it necessary to triplicate what is already duplicated in the supply system. The replies are already making the opinions clear as mud. I will continue to follow the replies to find the "real answer"
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by K3AN on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Station ground? We don't need no stinkin' station ground.

What you DO need is a ground system that will protect your station and your dwelling in the event of a direct lightning strike. And that's a whole lot more than a coax lightning arrestor.
 
Station Grounding  
by W8JN on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
ps..... an afterthought... how about an informal poll... how many hams out there remembered to disconnect their station from their antennas during an electrical storm, but ended up with crispy critters for gear because they forgot to unhook the ground system and took a strike to their ground rod that backed into the shack??
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by HFRF on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I am not buying any of this stuff. I use very short equipment chassis grounds because they create a better and shorter path for RF currents that can and do flow from chassis to chassis via green cord grounds. The "green" power cord ground is effectively very long and not necessarily even a good AC/DC ground at all. Once a fault current flows down a long ground wire or surface, a potential difference can be measured and I have measured it. Also, I don't trust power cords or AC outlets wiring integrity.

I had a power transformer AC primary winding short to chassis on one of my amps, and I got a good poke off the chassis of another equipment case. I have felt 'burning' sensations at the tips of my fingers when touching 2 pieces of equipment at the same time without short chassis grounds installed.

I don't care what anybody says about NOT grounding. I will ground every piece of RF or power line operated equipment I have, period. Don't care what anybody else doesn't do because they think its a waste of time.
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by N3OX on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"What you DO need is a ground system that will protect your station and your dwelling in the event of a direct lightning strike"

Unless you live in California.
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WA7NCL on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Hey, HFRF you got your toaster and refigerator grounded with heavy gauge ground wire. How many ground rods go to your TV?

I work in the medical electronics industry, and the three wire plug is the main safety feature. The other feature is the transformer in the power supply. Modern radio equipment with three wire plug and transformer isolated power supplies used in a home with three wire outlets that meet codes are safe for electrical shock hazards.

If your running two wire plugs, in an ancient home with boat anchors from the fifties or older... Yes you better ground stuff because you are at risk.
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by NG0K on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I've used this article as a basis for my ground system. I have the coax cables grounded and bonded via the SPG. Safety ground is the AC 3rd prong. A coax switch on the desk grounds the centers to shields when the station is shut down.

Now my toaster is grounded via 3rd prong but I've always wanted to know why I get zapped when I stick the fork in there to dig out my bagel!

73, Doug
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by K9MHZ on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I'm not buying the argument that since vintage gear had only two-pronged plugs that in some way, we've become safety obsessed today. Those vintage chassis are hot.....because of the bypassing that usually went in to the AC power supply lines, making the chassis metal very hot, and especially if you get between them and a ground somewhere. I've measured 82 VAC on the chassis of my Tempo One.

If you collect/use vintage gear, keeping something pristine has its merits, but if you're going to actually use them, they NEED to at least be electrically grounded.....however you want to do it.

Electrical and RF grounding really isn't that difficult......I'm confused why this is even a debate.


Best,

Brad
K9MHZ

 
RE: Station Grounding  
by W4VR on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
During the first 30 years of my ham radio experience I did not ground the equipment or antennas and never took a lightning hit...maybe it was luck. When I started grounding my equipment and antennas (about 17 years ago) in accordance with ARRL handbook instructions, I started getting hit by lightning. I've taken 4 lightning hits since I started grounding. I'm seriously considering going back to the way I used to do things.
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by N0CU on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
The ARRL RFI Book states "At the station level, single-point grounding is the only grounding that should be used." I don't see that this statement is in conflict with what the author says, but it does address a difference between an RF ground (which the author is discussing) and a grounding approach that tries to mitigate the unwanted effects of the ground loops that inevitably exist when numerous pieces of RF equipment are interconnected. I have found the SPG to be helpful in eliminating RF feedback resulting from the use of a high power RF amplifier. Where I have seen the difference is not so much in having an SPG, but rather I find that common mode current chokes are more effective in breaking up the ground loops (and the resulting feedback) when an SPG is in place.
Bill N0CU
 
Station Grounding  
by W4SKB on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Just a short note. In India and Africa the AC system is 2-wire 220 VAC with no ground return.

When I first went to India and saw the way they hook up "temporary" electrical service I was more than a little concerned.

However when one of the locals took hold of ONE side of the AC wiring while standing on damp ground, NOTHING happened and he did not feel any electrical shock.

I know in the US we DO have that ground return but just thought this a little interesting.
 
Station Grounding  
by N7ZM on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I have been a ham since 1979 and have learned from the old school of electronics and radio. I also like Steve have never had a grounding system in radio shack, but I do have a coaxial RF ground outside my shack at my coaxial 5 coaxial switch. It's mounted right upon an 8 foot ground rod. I also have a spark gap lightning arrestor on top of this same ground rod for Ladder Line. No direct ground wire comes into the shack. What good would it do? If you get a lightning hit, even with a ground wire everything would be toast.
I have helped many hams in the past solve RFI interference problems. In many cases it came down to their grounding systems giving them one big ground Loop and thus RFI. One just needs a RF ground and this myth about a ground inside the shack it just that. You need only a RF ground and no electrical ground and is why all my grounding is done outside at the antenna source before it enters the house. A Strong lightning hit or a very strong close-by hit by induction will not save your equipment by a single 8-12 guage ground wire. Put your ground system outside where it works!
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by KD6NIG on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Funny. We just had a thunderstorm here a few days ago east of Stockton, CA.

I guess thats not part of California? I've seen stuff get hit about a half mile from me :)
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
KD6NIG, I didn't say anything about "California."

My mention of very low lightning incidence referenced "Los Angeles."

There's lightning in other places, especially inland.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by N3ZY on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Whenever I restore old equipment (radios, audio amplifiers and the like), I ROUTINELY add a three wire power cord grounded to the chassis unless it is an AC/DC radio. Why not? It adds another safety layer that costs absolutely nothing to implement.
 
Station Grounding  
by W8JN on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Hey guys,
Someone pointed out to me that disconnecting and or running your inside shack connections to ground is not going to save you and your gear in the event of a lightning strike. The coax is without a doubt going to bring a very large and unwanted fireball right up the the end of the coax, whether grounded or laying on the floor. I just read an article from a ham who diligently disconnected everything when he was not on the air. He came home to find a huge burn out across the carpet and sub floor where the lightning exited the coax. Every time I am off the air, I disconnect the coax, and toss it out the window, totally isolating outside wires from my station, along with the control leads for my steppir. A pain??? yes, but the 5 minutes it takes is worth the extra measure of safety.
73, be safe Paul w8jn
 
Station Grounding  
by KE7AKS on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I will always use a GROUND network of at least 10 gauge wires, mostly for safety reasons. I remember an incident where the units had the case grounds (via three prong plug) removed. The building was rather old, but wired for commercial use when EMT tubing (galvanized conduit) was required by code. The neutral /white wire (electrically connected at the main power panel to the same buss as bare-green-case grounds0 broke inside the conduit. That caused all the current used by that circuit to flow through the conduit, and a rather poor connection on one of the fittings actually started a small fire.

If you happen to have a GFI in your power circuit to the shack, then the three pronged plugs, common case grounds, even extra ground circuits, can save resetting the GFI regularly.

As for RF grounds if you feel your finger rings getting warm or your TV has those lines on the screen, or your computer speakers seem to monitor your transmitter, then there may be a bad (floating ground) connection on a coax shield. Most shielding uses a ground connection somewhere to contain RF.

KE7AKS Harv
 
Station Grounding  
by N8RGQ on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
This is the "WORST" article ever posted here and E-HAM is still re-posting this CRAP ! This isn't 1909 and living in the "DARK AGES" ! Grounding is enerything to the modern day ham . It is about time someone puts out the truth about grounding and all of it's benifits . There is so many myths out there about Lightning and most are so Insane . The trick to dealing with it is to drain the static build-up on the surface . This is done by installing A "GROUNDING FEILD" . I have installed 100 ground rods in my Hustler 5BTV "FOUR SQUARE" along with four 4ft x 6ft stainless steal plates , A FULL wave 40m loop of 00 AWG wire around the preimerter of it . I had a 33ft by 33ft SQAURE dug four feet deep to put all of this in . At the bottom it is lined with chicken wire . Then came the 100 ground rods . Then the stainless steal sheets . After that cross tied the ground rods . Then I put every scrap piece of metal I had and 300 pounds of scrap metal shavings . To finish it off I had 3 truck loads of Manure poured on top of it . I live on clay , sand and rock here . After all my efforts I have less the a 1/4 ohm grounding system. I am at 1,900 feet above sea-leaval and never ever disconect anything !
You may ask why I went to so much effort ? It is simply to get the best benifit of all ! The one thing that no one has said here and probaly don't know as well . It is to get noise out of my RX ! When the rest of the hams in my area complain about the 5-9 +20 noise leavals on 80m I might have a S-5 .
73,
Terry
N8RGQ
PS- The real thret is Lighting coming down the Power-Lines ! My station is "SOLAR POWERD" thret gone :)I wish some Ham would have told me this before I lost my whole station to just shuch a hit decades ago . But you live and learn ! Learn from my mistakes and start driving ground rods and get the Ham Station OFF the GRID !
 
Station Grounding  
by TANAKASAN on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
No RF ground here as I live in a 4th floor apartment. The electrical ground is however nice and solid and if I touch a live wire by accident the GFI breaker trips in an instant.

Tanakasan
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>Station Grounding Reply
by N8RGQ on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
This is the "WORST" article ever posted here and E-HAM is still re-posting this CRAP ! This isn't 1909 and living in the "DARK AGES" ! Grounding is enerything to the modern day ham . It is about time someone puts out the truth about grounding and all of it's benifits .<

::Guess you didn't really read it. The article is about grounding your station equipment, indoors; it has nothing to do with exterior grounds, perimeter grounds, lightning grounds...
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by K9MHZ on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>by N3ZY on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Whenever I restore old equipment (radios, audio amplifiers and the like), I ROUTINELY add a three wire power cord grounded to the chassis unless it is an AC/DC radio. Why not? It adds another safety layer that costs absolutely nothing to implement.<<<<<


You're a smart man!

Cheers,
Brad
K9MHZ


 
Ground and Grounding - the best pals you have!  
by AI2IA on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Every equipment case and every equipment ground connection in my station is grounded to a ground bus bar connected to earth ground, plumbing ground, and power panel ground.

If anyone comes into contact with any one of these equipment cases and then also contacts another equipment case or a grounded pipe, earth ground, or power panel ground, there is zero potential between them. Can you say this about your station? I certainly hope so! If any hot lead shorts to ground or the equipment case on any piece of my equipment, it wil trip a circuit breaker. In addition, RF burns, inter-equipment noise, and static charges are non-existent here. Wouldn't you want the same?
 
Station Grounding  
by K9MBQ on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Would like to know if OK with the article author to reprint in our local Ham Radio club newsletter.
Thanks - Alan K9MBQ
 
Station Grounding  
by N8RGQ on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
by WB2WIK on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>Station Grounding Reply
by N8RGQ on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
This is the "WORST" article ever posted here and E-HAM is still re-posting this CRAP ! This isn't 1909 and living in the "DARK AGES" ! Grounding is enerything to the modern day ham . It is about time someone puts out the truth about grounding and all of it's benifits .<

::Guess you didn't really read it. The article is about grounding your station equipment, indoors; it has nothing to do with exterior grounds, perimeter grounds, lightning grounds...

WB2WIK I guess you didn't even read the Title "STATION Grounding" All this excuse for a Article is trying to say is NOT TO GROUND your station !!! The Author goes on and on about how many years he went without a grounding system and he realy thinks he doesn't need one . When what should be said is use "STAINLESS STEAL" when you can in any part of it . Stainless stael has a 50+ year life span . Use the thickes soild wire you can get for life span !Also that a grounding system is something that should be installed before you ever even think of getting "ON THE AIR" . These are the starting points for a new Ham . Besides the saftey aspects to grounding there is the HUGE benifits of noise reduction when it is installed properly . For a true Ham if one ever tells you he is done with Grounding or Antennas for his station he is either dieing or Lieing .
73,
Terry
N8RGQ
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
N8RGQ, I'll defer to your wisdom, as your excellence in writing reveals you're far wiser than I.

73

Steve WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
N9NBQ, of course you have reprint permission, as I gave up any reprint rights for this material by publishing it here.

Have fun!

73

Steve WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Ground and Grounding - the best pals you have!  
by WB2WIK on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Ground and Grounding - the best pals you have! Reply
>by AI2IA on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Every equipment case and every equipment ground connection in my station is grounded to a ground bus bar connected to earth ground, plumbing ground, and power panel ground.

If anyone comes into contact with any one of these equipment cases and then also contacts another equipment case or a grounded pipe, earth ground, or power panel ground, there is zero potential between them. Can you say this about your station? I certainly hope so! If any hot lead shorts to ground or the equipment case on any piece of my equipment, it wil trip a circuit breaker. In addition, RF burns, inter-equipment noise, and static charges are non-existent here. Wouldn't you want the same?<

::Sure I would. You don't need a "station equipment ground" to provide that level of safety, if your station is engineered properly. All you'd need to do is bond all the chassis to each other. No actual ground is required. But since station engineering dictates that the antennas would be grounded outdoors, anyway (for lightning and EMP protection), as soon as you connect your antennas to your equipment, the equipment chassis will all be at the same potential via the cable connections.

All my antennas are grounded, outside. For those whose feeds are isolated (like a dipole) I use an outdoor lightning arrestor on the coaxial cable, and that puts the cable shield at ground potential.

The point of the article is that if you've done things properly, an "earth ground to the equipment chassis" doesn't actually do anything.

73

Steve WB2WIK/6
 
Which method reduces risk the most?  
by AI2IA on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK/6 says: "as soon as you connect your antennas to your equipment, the equipment chassis will all be at the same potential via the cable connections."

What you say is, of course, quite true, but .....

I would not want to depend upon antenna cables for earth grounds.

If lightning ever intended to enter my station, having all the surface areas of my equipment cabinets grounded to a sturdy ground bus bar would likely help keep lightning bolts from bouncing around the interior of my station. Floating grounds, non-earth grounds and earth grounds, and independent grounds all have a way of catching up with you one fine day and doing a number on you or your equipment or both.
 
Station Grounding  
by KB2DHG on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I live on the top floor of my Condo. A good earth ground is impossable... I do beleive in grounding and bonding....
I have my station bonded and run a solid #8 wire to the steel of the building along with a fuseable link.
I use an artifical ground for the antenna.
I am not going to debate this issue but I feel that grounding is necessary.
 
Station Grounding  
by N8RGQ on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK Yes my writing skills aren't up to what they should be and I am sorry for that . On the other side atleast I don't try to write in third party as you have done here . You need to regroup and research out before you write such a Article . What is needed so bad on this site is the "BASICS" layed out for the new Hams . Understanding the benifits of useing metals that withstands time stainless steal and "GOLD" . Conection points ! How Electrons flow on the surface of the conductor . In the normal home after 20 years over 25% of the Electric used is lost in the copper wire . Just think of how bad the ground wire is ? Alot of Hams are in Homes alot older then that . The losses only get far worse .

Just some "WORDS OF WISDOM" from a OLD E.E.

73,
Terry
N8RGQ
 
RE: Which method reduces risk the most?  
by WB2WIK on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>Which method reduces risk the most? Reply
by AI2IA on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK/6 says: "as soon as you connect your antennas to your equipment, the equipment chassis will all be at the same potential via the cable connections."

What you say is, of course, quite true, but .....

I would not want to depend upon antenna cables for earth grounds.

If lightning ever intended to enter my station, having all the surface areas of my equipment cabinets grounded to a sturdy ground bus bar would likely help keep lightning bolts from bouncing around the interior of my station.<

::The simple fact is, if lighting were to ever enter your station, you're hosed. You must keep the transient energy OUTSIDE of your station, and all the station grounding in the world won't help with that.

>Floating grounds, non-earth grounds and earth grounds, and independent grounds all have a way of catching up with you one fine day and doing a number on you or your equipment or both.<

::That's not true at all. Lightning is a powerful energy source which must be contained outside the home if you want to be protected from it. You can ground your station, or not ground it, and there isn't any difference. If lightning energy makes it to your station, it will find the easiest route to ground, including *through* all of your equipment, destroying all of it along the way.

The most "destroyed by lighting" station I've ever personally encountered was at Rick's, WC2K's home. He had big towers and big antennas and a terrific ground system. Lighting came in on the power lines and found its path to earth via his well grounded equipment, and blew up everything in its path. His station (a big one, and a good one) was destroyed. You might want to chat with him about that.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>Station Grounding Reply
by N8RGQ on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK Yes my writing skills aren't up to what they should be and I am sorry for that . On the other side atleast I don't try to write in third party as you have done here .<

::I haven't. Writing in third party, you wouldn't use the word "I."

>You need to regroup and research out before you write such a Article .<

::I think I did. As a Fellow of the IEEE Lightning and Transient committee for several years, we did some research. I wrote a 440-page thesis on the subject. However, again, this article had absolutely nothing to do with lightning protection. It had to do with "station equipment grounding."

>What is needed so bad on this site is the "BASICS" layed out for the new Hams . Understanding the benifits of useing metals that withstands time stainless steal and "GOLD" . Conection points ! How Electrons flow on the surface of the conductor . In the normal home after 20 years over 25% of the Electric used is lost in the copper wire . Just think of how bad the ground wire is ? Alot of Hams are in Homes alot older then that . The losses only get far worse .

Just some "WORDS OF WISDOM" from a OLD E.E.<

::Okay. Well, I think I'm a fairly old E.E. (age 57), but maybe not ancient. Gold is not as good a conductor as silver or copper, and although it's a Noble metal it's really not any better than aluminum as a conductor. Its primary advantage is that it doesn't oxidize, and as such lasts thousands of years. Stainless steel isn't a good conductor at all.

WB2WIK/6

 
Station Grounding  
by N8RGQ on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Silver is great for about a month until it Ozidizes ! Your copper will be good for about 7 to 10 years and then the same thing happens . Stainless Steal is a little higher at the start then they are but it stays at the same rate for over 50+ years ! Every thing in life is a trade-off , I will take life-span any day . Allso a Stainless Steal rod can be extracted from the ground very easy makeing it easy to take to the next QTH . Try doing that with a copper rod ? Every conector in my QTH is GOLD plated and I never ever have to clean them . Never a issue with Ozidation at my QTH .

73,
Terry
N8RGQ
 
Station Grounding  
by WG8Z on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Good stuff.Long live balanced feedlines,link-coupled transmatches and radios that glow... Let feedline current and field strengh be the ultimate judge.
Remember that maximum radiation does not always occur at minimum VSWR. COAX and 52^ radios are not UR friend.HiHi
If Maxwell were still alive!
73 de Greg/wg8z
Hows my Signal?
 
Station Grounding  
by W8JN on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I THINK THE SUGGESTIONS ABOUT PROPER GROUNDING TO PROTECT FROM LIGHTNING CAME FROM ONE OF MY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERS!! During the 1950's we had "Atomic Bomb" drills. We would all put our heads between our legs and get under our desks. "Duck and Cover" I couldnt get my lips extended far enough to kiss my as... goodbye. I am guessing, by putting silver in the ground with steel plates and hundreds of wires all bound together with zero potential and silver stakes to conduct the lightning away, would probably keep the werewolfs away, but i have $100 to your nickle that says your equipment will look like stan laurels face when ollie gives him a 'sploding cigar. i agree with the earlier comment. the only safe way to protect from lightning is to toss ALL the connections out the window during an electrical storm AND unplug your equipment!!! anyone want to take me up on this bet??? money talks and all this "Duck and Cover" walks har har har
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by K9KJM on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Quote: "Anyone who has ever been around telecom installations has seen hundreds of feet of copper wire in a grounding system. Wonder why they waste so much money there if it is so trivial and useless."

Those elaborate ground systems are to protect from direct lightning strikes. When done properly, Any station, Including ham radio stations CAN survive direct lightning hits! Just like Public safety, Cellular, Commercial broadcast etc.

I live on a hilltop with TALL towers and take direct lightning strikes most every thunderstorm, With NO damage to my equipment.
AND NONE of those little wing nuts on the back of my radios are connected to any type of ground.
Think it over. You do NOT want lightning energy getting to ground THROUGH your radio.

The place for grounding is at your SPG (Single Point Ground) panel, Near where the coax enters the building. You also want to BOND all your grounds (Power, Tower, SPG, Telco, CATV, etc) together. The coax shield should also be grounded where it makes the bend from the tower to the building.

For some Good info about lightning protection grounding: http://members.cox.net/pc-usa/station/ground0.htm

For some tips on how to do it on a budget, Pick up a copy of the May 2009 issue of Popular Communications magazine.

Again, The "old" 1950's theory of a big ground "buss bar" behind the radios and hooking each piece of equipment to that buss is just flat out proven the wrong way to prevent lightning damage.

 
RE: Station Grounding  
by K9KJM on April 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
And YES, W8JN, I WILL TAKE UP THAT BET! I document my direct strikes on the towers with Polyphaser LSC-12 lightning strike counters. I KNOW when they take direct hits!

 
RE: Station Grounding  
by NN4RH on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!

>> Again, The "old" 1950's theory of a big ground "buss bar" behind the radios and hooking each piece of equipment to that buss is just flat out proven the wrong way to prevent lightning damage.<<

It may be wrong, but that's the way the ARRL Handbook always has shown, and still shows even in the 2009 edition, of how a station should be grounded.
 
Station Grounding  
by KC8ZEV on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Cut the Crap!!! Ground everything in the shack, and you have one less thing to worry about. Disconnect antennas from equipment when not in use, and there is one more thing not to worry about. The hams who want to gamble with their equipment, go right ahead. Amateur equipment retailers would love to see you order more equipment when something goes south from lack of common sense. If you live somewhere where a station ground is difficult or not possible, take your chances. But if it is possible, why not ground???? Lazy Ham!!!! I must have missed the article about how station grounding rods have all changed to gold and platinum composition. Must be big $$$$ to ground a station these days!!!

Just Go Ground It!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

73
KC8ZEV
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by KG4TKC on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Quote: "Anyone who has ever been around telecom installations has seen hundreds of feet of copper wire in a grounding system. Wonder why they waste so much money there if it is so trivial and useless."

Those elaborate ground systems are to protect from direct lightning strikes. When done properly, Any station, Including ham radio stations CAN survive direct lightning hits! Just like Public safety, Cellular, Commercial broadcast etc.

----------------------------------

Yes,those elaborate ground systems protect from direct lightning strikes. I am glad you used the term 'system' because that is precisely what it is. It is a ground system for every ground in the building. Everything from the lightning rods on the roof to the earth side of the -48V DC is connected to that one system. It begins with the lightning rods on the roof and terminates with a ground loop of bare stranded copper wire circling the building,usually buried between 32 to 36 inches below ground, 36 to 48 inches from the outside wall,and below the frost line. The ground loop is usually cad welded to ground rods spaced around 8 foot apart down in the trench.

In most AT&T remote sites there is a Halo ground that circles the room just below the ceiling. It is connected to a small ground buss bar in each corner. Each buss bar has as short as possible run to the ground loop,or outside plant ground. The midpoint of each wall is found,and every bonding lead H-tapped or C-tapped to the halo ground has its end pointing toward the nearest corner. Every metal cabinet on the wall is bonded to the halo ground. Every piece of metal on the wall,such as an air vent,is bonded to the halo ground. Along with the halo ground is a large buss bar for the aisle feeders on the cable rack that bonds the equipment,relay rack,and any other metal in the aisles to the outside plant ground.

Every metal structure inside the site is bonded to the ground system. That even includes a small wall mounted electric space heater,air ducts,exhaust fan,anything metal. If the metal is painted the paint must be removed and the bare metal no-oxed where the ground whip is attached. The bonding whips or leads are usually #6 stranded covered green wire with two-hole lugs to bolt to the metal cabinet or frame. If you have missed bonding a piece of metal inside the site to the ground system,you will hear about it when the army of inspectors show up looking to gig someone anyway,,:)

If others wish to ignore the wingnuts on the ground lugs of their equipment,fine. There is no code that I know of that insists you hook them up,,:) I must say from reading some of his posts on the elmers forum and other places that I feel like WB2WIK/6 is a very fine OM and quite sharp on this hobby. I just disagree with him on this point. I guess I have been around too much telecom construction,where voltage or current where it has no business causes a panic, a slight arc causes an even greater panic,and grounding is almost an obsession. After seeing the elaborate ground systems for the millions of dollars worth of telecom equipment,I saw no reason not to homebrew a simple one for my little shack. I did find one nice advantage to my simple homebrew/junkbox/scrapheap bussbar/ground system. It turned a long wire for my Realistic DX-160 SW receiver into a pretty fair antenna.

The main thing,above all else is,have fun however you choose to set up your shack.73
 
Read this. Heed this. Live long. Enjoy radio.  
by AI2IA on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
From the ARRL Handbook 2006 edition 17.2:

Another word of caution should be
given at this point. Since one side of the ac
line is grounded to earth, all communications
equipment should be reliably connected
to the ac-line ground through a
heavy ground braid or bus wire of #14 or
heavier-gauge wire. This wire must be a
separate conductor. You must not use the
power-wiring neutral conductor for this
safety ground. (A properly wired 120-V
outlet with a ground terminal uses one wire
for the ac hot connection, one wire for the
ac neutral connection and a third wire for
the safety ground connection.) This not
only places the chassis of the equipment at
earth ground for minimal RF energy on
the chassis, but also provides a measure of
safety for the operator in the event of accidental
short or leakage of one side of the
ac line to the chassis.
Remember, the antenna system is almost
always bypassed to the chassis via an
RF choke or tuning circuit, which could
make the antenna electrically “live” with
respect to the earth ground and create a
potentially lethal shock hazard. A Ground
Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI or GFI) is
also desirable for safety reasons, and
should be a part of the shack’s electrical
power wiring.
 
Thanks for the articles.  
by TERRY_PERRY_EX_W3VR on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Steve, thanks for the great articles. Thanks for those like you, W8JI, K0BG, and the small handful of others that hang out here with many years of real hands on experience in the hobby, plus real commercial experience.

W3VR
 
Station Grounding  
by AI2IA on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"and the small handful of others that hang out here with many years of real hands on experience in the hobby, plus real commercial experience."

Don't be misled by the above words, the number of those who participate on these threads with many years of practical experience in amateur radio and years of commercial communcation work experience is greater than just those who advocate this approach.

Aside from that, an appeal to "authority" is always the resort of those who cannot prove their position in a disputed matter.
 
Station Grounding  
by N0AH on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
What ever it takes to get rid of noise........
 
Station Grounding  
by KC0RBX on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
There is one clarification I would like to make concerning "Earth Ground" as it relates to A.C. safety grounding for building power systems. The two main aims for earth grounding via ground rods and copper water pipes in A.C. systems are to provide a path for lightning and to bring metallic structures and systems to the same potential as earth itself. Water pipes underground and ground rods are not the trip paths for a hot to ground (i.e. metal chassis on a microwave) fault.
This is the job of the third wire, the ground wire, in the system. This wire provides a direct path for the fault current back to the Neutral wire in the service supply system, all the way back through the electrical service transformer, to the circuit breaker or fuse supplying the faulted circuit, which will then allow the fuse or circuit breaker to become overloaded and then blow or trip. All of this is accomplished by what is called a "main bonding jumper" which is located at the first point of disconnect for the buildings "main electrical service". This jumper is the link from your A.C. ground system to the service neutral. Without it, that third wire would probably not work to provide the direct path to blow the fuse or trip the breaker. The fault current is not intended to ever be shunted to earth through the ground rod or underground copper water pipe. Good article though.
 
RE: Thanks for the articles.  
by TERRY_PERRY_EX_W3VR on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
And, you guys do it with class Steve.

Take care,

W3VR

 
RE: Thanks for the articles.  
by WA8MEA on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
My entire station is in the basement, a good ten feet under the good earth.

Do you think I'm well grounded?????

Might I also ask the author if he is well grounded on this topic??

Tongue in Cheekly;

BillyBob
 
RE: Thanks for the articles.  
by WB2WIK on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>Thanks for the articles. Reply
by W3VR on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Steve, thanks for the great articles. Thanks for those like you, W8JI, K0BG, and the small handful of others that hang out here with many years of real hands on experience in the hobby, plus real commercial experience.

W3VR<

::There are many great contributions to sustaining and even advancing the art on these forums.

The article did not address lightning protection, so I won't go into it here. But I have some experience, mostly research & administrative, from my time as a member of the technical commitee on Lightning and Transient Energy for the IEEE, c. 1979-1983. In fact, we drafted some of the protection standards as part of a SIG (special interest group) on lightning and transient energy, as solid state protection devices evolved and were starting to become effective.

But again, this article had absolutely nothing to do with any of that. It was about "station grounding..." and anyone who grounds his station hoping that will create any lightning transient protection is wasting wire.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>Station Grounding Reply
by N0AH on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
What ever it takes to get rid of noise........<

::That's a good point. If grounding stuff reduces noise, you've won. Sometimes, *un*grounding stuff reduces noise, and if you do that, you've won also!

Experimentation is what it's all about.
 
RE: Read this. Heed this. Live long. Enjoy radio.  
by WB2WIK on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Read this. Heed this. Live long. Enjoy radio. Reply
by AI2IA on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>From the ARRL Handbook 2006 edition 17.2:

Another word of caution should be
given at this point. Since one side of the ac
line is grounded to earth, all communications
equipment should be reliably connected
to the ac-line ground through a
heavy ground braid or bus wire of #14 or
heavier-gauge wire. This wire must be a
separate conductor. You must not use the
power-wiring neutral conductor for this
safety ground. (A properly wired 120-V
outlet with a ground terminal uses one wire
for the ac hot connection, one wire for the
ac neutral connection and a third wire for
the safety ground connection.)<

::I agree with this, and nobody ever said otherwise. The neutral and ground connections are two separate wires. The green or green/yellow trace wire in your 3-wire power cord should go to the ground post of the AC receptacle. No argument, there! It's all about safety.

However, none of that has anything at all to do with this article.

WB2WIK/6
 
Station Grounding  
by WB4ROA on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Guess someone should break the news to all those commercial cell and other sites that they are wasting their money on all those stinkin grounds, 4" wide copper strap and such - melt it down and make antennas! They (with their extensive grounds) are like a Timex – takes a lickin and keeps on ticking in areas that do get lightning.

Thank goodness for California - wheenever the world needs enlightening, it always seem to come from California.

Had a friend in Raleigh who felt the same way - need no stinkin grounds - until he took a direct hit on a dipole... Amazing, it managed to take out so much stuff in the house - to include some AC wiring (and rigs and amps)...

What is lightning going to do? Anything to wants to. If a hungry bear comes around, I sure hope he will go for the garbage can rather than the steaks in the refrigerator.

Took direct hit on 90 ft. Oak with 4.5’ diameter trunk. Split the tree top to bottom in three places, and blew ever piece of bark off the tree – bark recovered 50 yds. From the tree. Need no stinkin ground?

Worst thing is some are going to take this discussion as gospel...
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
WB4ROA, two comments:

1. This article had nothing to do with lightning grounding, which must be outside the house to do any good; and

2. The worse incident of lightning damage I've ever seen was at an extremely well-grounded station installation, at WC2K in NJ, whose house was nearly destroyed by lightning despite his 100% following-the-rules regarding lightning surge prevention. His entire station was destroyed, and everything was extremely well grounded. Doesn't matter.

Until you've experienced the real effects of lighting surges, it's impossible to describe. And "grounding" the station equipment doesn't help in any way.

WB2WIK/6
 
Station Grounding  
by N8RGQ on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK/6
The Title of your Article
"Station Grounding"

Station - Your Ham Equipment

Grounding - A Eletrical return path to Earth


Here are Your Words WB2WIK/6 !

So, why do we ground?
Really good question. I guess I'd preface my answer with this simple statement:

I've been a licensed ham for 39 years, and continually active. I run legal-limit amplifiers and power output on 160 meters through 10 meters, a kilowatt on 6 and 2 meters, and a couple hundred watts on 135cm and 70cm, and sometimes on 33cm and 23cm, too. I've used dozens of different antenna configurations and have operated from all over the world, but mostly from any of the fifteen home-station hamshacks I've built over the years at the various homes I've owned.
And in all that time, I've never once had a “station ground” of any sort.

Your Words WB2WIK/6 !


Let the flames begin

The “must ground” crowd - and there is one, somewhere - will likely disagree with all of this. That's fine. Remember, this whole piece is not about lightning protection in any way; it's about interior station equipment grounding. Since I've never used any in 39 years, I probably never will. I'm not suggesting that equipment grounding is wrong, just that it's usually unnecessary - and if you find it to be necessary, you've got other problems that can be fixed in other ways.

These are your own words !

Now I have a few for you ~

You have stated that you have never had a "Station Ground" in over 39 years of any sort ! If you never had one please tell us how you can say anything at all on the subject ? Where is your test Data to prove your point that Station Ground is "unnecessary" ?
How can you prove this when you have never had a "Station Ground" to test your theroy ?

SHOW ME THE TEST DATA !

73,
Terry
N8RGQ
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by EX_AA5JG on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
If someone has run a station for 39 years at legal limit, without a ground, and hasn't had problems with it, that is pretty good evidence that a ground is unnecessary in some cases.

What evidence do you have that a ground is required?

73s John AA5JG
 
Station Grounding  
by N8RGQ on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
RE: Station Grounding Reply
by AA5JG on April 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
If someone has run a station for 39 years at legal limit, without a ground, and hasn't had problems with it, that is pretty good evidence that a ground is unnecessary in some cases.

What evidence do you have that a ground is required?

73s John AA5JG

I never said it was required ! I would like to know why you said !

that is pretty good evidence that a ground is unnecessary in some cases.

This isn't evidence , this is hearsay with no data to back up his claim what so ever ! Just because someone his made it thru 39 years isn't proof that he couldn't have done better with or without a grounding system . It is clear from his own words he hasn't ever had one ! If one hasn't ever compared the two one can't say anything on the subject . It all comes down to the Test Data . Where is it ?

73,
Terry
N8RGQ
AKA-THE FLAME !
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by NN4RH on April 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>>> 1. This article had nothing to do with lightning grounding, which must be outside the house to do any good; and <<<

Although I understand the point of the article and agree with it, the article does a disservice in that it apparently has confused a lot of people.

Evidence is that you've had to repeatedly clarify that you were not talking "lightning grounding". I think this is the result of not exactly defining what you meant by "station ground" at the beginning of the article.

Apparently the difference between what you implicitely understand by "station ground" versus "lightning ground" is too subtle for too many people.

You've managed to leave a lot of people with the impression that NO grounding at all is needed. Which is dangerous.
 
Station Grounding  
by KW4N on April 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I completely agree with NN4RH. The article confuses rather than clarifies the situation by it's ambiguity.
A good start would have been a more specific/descriptive title to prime the reader, including consultation to 'Strunk and White.' In any case, this is an "eham classic" for the wrong reasons.
DaveB
 
Don't let it happen to you!  
by AI2IA on April 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I generally don't relate things from my past, but here goes:

Back in 1961 I was an 17 year old student at the New York Resident School of RCA Institutes on West 4th Street in New York City. In the commercial broadcast trasmitter lab a fellow student was almost killed. Through a malfunction an AM broadcast transmitter had its entire enclosure "hot" with respect to ground. He bumped a metal cased vacuum tube voltmeter so that it fell in between that transmitter and an adjacent one. As it tumbled it hit both equipment cases simultaneously. There was a blinding white blue flash and tremendous noise. Everyone was shaken, especially the instructor. The transmitter lab was closed for two days while everything was gone over and put in order.

GROUND EVERY EQUIPMENT CASE AND GROUND ALL CASES TO A COMMON GROUND. DO IT. SAFETY IS NOT A MATTER OF ENTERTAINMENT, THEORETICAL DISCUSSION, OR DEBATE.
 
Station Grounding  
by AI2IA on April 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
If you read the post by NN4RH, you can see that he is genuinely concerned about readers being confused about safety after reading this article. I am glad that he posted here.

Don't ever be content to remain confused about safety. Resolve the question in your mind, and it is far better to take more precautions than necessary, than to fail to have any in place.

Electrocution is faster than the bite of a Cobra!

Be safe. Life long. Enjoy amateur radio.
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by KA4KOE on April 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
The reader is referred to NFPA 70, Article 810.
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by N2EY on April 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Here's what I do:

First, there's a ground connection, usually to the cold-water pipe, ground rods, utility green wire, etc. It's a safety ground, not an RF ground.

Second, every piece of gear in the shack has a ground stud on the back, which connects to that ground connection. Again, for safety grounding, not RF grounding.

Third, when a piece of gear is being hooked up, the ground connection is the FIRST wire connected. When a piece of gear is being unhooked, the ground connection is the LAST wire disconnected.

Some of the gear has three-wire cords, some doesn't. Most of the gear has redundant grounding through other cables, but that doesn't matter for safety purposes because the safety ground connection is the important one.

Lightning and RF grounding are different subjects; I'm just talking about safety grounding. When it comes to safety, there's no do-overs nor second chances; the allowable mistake number is zero.

AI2IA has it right; I agree with his points 100%.

73 de Jim, N2EY

 
Station Grounding  
by N7SGM on April 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Hello Steve,

I agree with you about the grounding issue. I did ground my Kenwood TS-450S/AT and the Kenwood PS-53 Power Supply and then I removed the ground from both and had absolutely no change. I simply leave it grounded now probably because I am an electrician and an electronics tech. No other reason than that.

In regard to SWR, we talked briefly about this in our last QSO. Simply put Steve, I can't ignore my antennas SWR because my radio won't ignore it. You know how it goes, the higher the SWR the lower the transmitted power out. SWR rules the radio. It has built in features that will protect the finals when the SWR is too high. SWR up, transmit power down.

When homebrewing dipoles, most design folks tell you to use an SWR meter to ensure the antenna is resonant. I've done this many times and my radio likes the results and the antenna actually works too.

Other than that, I never use an SWR meter. It sits in the box for most of its life. Reminds me of the bore sighting tools I use for my center fire rifles. Once you have the scope set up, the nifty little bore sighting tool sits in the box unused. Almost seems like a waste of money but that's life.
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by HFRF on April 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
This is a very entertaining site but not very useful. In my opinion, this and most other sites contain nothing but nonsense. Its also entertaining to see how many people believe what they read when it comes from people they don't know, nothing is explained or proved with verifiable facts provided or linked to, nothing is illustrated,no attempt is made to make sense out of all those "prophetic" statements.

And for all the eHam celebrities that speak with apparent authority, I don't pay any attention to them either.

However, when somebody makes declarative statements, tries to at least briefly expain the basis, and maybe backs up their statements with some known and accepted real authority on a subject, I might conditionly accept it as plausible. I sure as hell wouldn't bet my life on it.

 
RE: Station Grounding  
by K5PHW on April 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
This is a very entertaining site but not very useful. In my opinion, this and most other sites contain nothing but nonsense. Its also entertaining to see how many people believe what they read when it comes from people they don't know, nothing is explained or proved with verifiable facts provided or linked to, nothing is illustrated,no attempt is made to make sense out of all those "prophetic" statements.

And for all the eHam celebrities that speak with apparent authority, I don't pay any attention to them either.

However, when somebody makes declarative statements, tries to at least briefly expain the basis, and maybe backs up their statements with some known and accepted real authority on a subject, I might conditionly accept it as plausible. I sure as hell wouldn't bet my life on it.


:Do you have this in a macro? LOL
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
N7GSM, I never said antenna matching was not important. However, a knowledge of "why" it's important is useful.

I have antennas with VSWR = 20 that greatly outperform antennas for the same bands having VSWR = 1.0. SWR alone doesn't dictate much about performance, or even the necessity to ground the station.

If you could have a zero-loss feedline, an antenna with VSWR = 20 and another one with VSWR = 1, if otherwise similar, would perform the same.

Lightning protection grounds belong outside. Grounding equipment chassis doesn't help.

To avoid shocks or electrocution, all the equipment chassis needs is a connection to the utility ground, normally provided by the 3-wire power connection.

The "SPG" references everything back to that utility ground common, not necessarily to earth.

NFPA is a for-profit organization who authors standards and then charges for copies of them. I couldn't care less about their standards (which are the basis for NEC); they're extremely inconsistent, and I gave some examples in the article: "Receivers" don't require a ground connection, but "transmitters" do, without any explanation as to why that might be. It's stupid stuff.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by KG4TKC on April 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Everyone should re-read N2EY's post,for he has it right.
 
Station Grounding  
by XW1B on April 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
W8JN "after thought" brings up a good point.
After hamming for decades in the Tampa, FL area (lightning Capitol of the US) I took 3 lightning hits. The first came into the shack via the phone lines. That strike was 5 blocks away on a pole. The other two were proximity strikes and came in via the ground wire on the station.
These days I'm forced to ground everything as I'm back to the old 2 wire AC plugs and I'm tired of getting "bit" every time I hook up an antenna.
Fingers crossed during monsoon season.......

Bruce, XW1B
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by K5END on April 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
With due respect to all, this thread is a perfect example of why each person should do his own due diligence for safety.

It is too easy to become confused by statements that are--within context--true.

It is even possible that "true" experts (let alone the self appointed experts) can make mistakes or make ambiguous statements on the internet fora. I've seen it right here on eham, and I've been reading eham only a year or so. Either someone mistypes, or is thinking about Betty Sue in that red prom dress from years ago, or whatever, but it happens.

Safety is priority one.

There is no arguing with that.

Each person should do his own due diligence for safety.

Negligence and ignorance are not valid excuses when it comes to safety.

Hurting yourself is one thing, but hurting someone else is still another.

Do your homework.

 
RE: Station Grounding  
by 5R8GQ on April 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Steve, thank you for the very interesting article on STATION GROUNDING. You have given me much to think about.

STAINLESS 'STEAL' Guy said ""Grounding is enerything (sic) to the modern day ham!" Silly me! All these years I thought the whole idea of ham radio was to HAVE FUN!

But I guess grounding would be "everything" to someone who would go to all the hassle to remove 133 cubic yards of soil, replace it with 133 cubic yards of manure and a dump truck's worth of metal to install a stainless ground system....to reduce receiver noise. Or was it lightning protection? Hard to tell with the all the ranting and raving.

Gee, it says right there in black and white "For clarification: Nowhere in this article will I say it's a bad thing to ground your equipment." And "Not to say it cannot help, in some situations."

Yet there are replies like "All this excuse for a Article is trying to say is NOT TO GROUND your station !!!".

Or people inferring that because lightning is very, very rare in Los Angeles, that there is no lightning in the entire state of California!
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by 5R8GQ on April 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
OOOOPS! Math Alert, 161 Cubic Yards, plus or minus.
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by K5END on April 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Lightning or earthquakes... tough choice.

 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>RE: Station Grounding Reply
by K5END on April 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Lightning or earthquakes... tough choice.<

::I'd prefer neither.

But I lived in NJ for 20+ years, and also stints in Boston and Jacksonville (all lightning meccas) and never had a station ground in any of these places.

I did have lightning grounds...outside. Towers and antennas grounded, lightning arrestors in transmission lines and rotator cables. All outside. No "station" ground.

In all those years, never had any lightning damage to anything, although a large tree in my neighbor's yard split in two from a direct hit and that almost got exciting. When it fell, it missed by beams by maybe ten feet.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by KM3F on April 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
The range of replies in this thread is what happens when only a part of a total subject is addressed.
Station grounding: Has many subsections to it.
Lightning: It's own set of subsections.
Many replies tried to mix them togather and so the head banging begins.
Staton grounding reasons take many forms.
1. Keeping equipment faults from causeing personal injury.
2. Sometimes "fixing" operating issues, sometimes making them worse.
3. Legal and libalities issues and others.
Lightining issue is almost non controllable for the average Ham.
The power contained in a strike is so high that all grounding attempts short of a large grid at the antenna will do little for absolute protection.
.
There are two major seperations to consider about shack grounding vs operating performance.
1. AC grounding is at a 60 hz frequency and very easy to handle.
2. At RF, the lengths of the grounding runs often become substantial fractional lengths of the operating frequencies such that you can end up lifting a ground point up away from the intended grounding you are seeking.
Said another way, an RF ground often is not a chassis or earth ground because of the inductance offered by your attempts to make it an earth ground using long runs of heavey wire or material. It still has resistance and inductance that causes this to happen.
Case in point is an upper floor shack.
Making a ground attempt to the water or heating system is often only good for power reasons and not good for RF of even lightining protection.
Doing so for RF often makes the plumbing part of the antenna system and it's effects on RFI, feedback etc.
A station located on upper floors has little that can be done except for AC grounding.
Bottom line is to keep these items seperate as to what they may and may not accomplish for any given situation.
 
Who benefits from this "discussion"?  
by AI2IA on April 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
There is no way of knowing how many hams with limited knowledge and experience (and those limitations are no cause for shame) have been confused or even harmed, or will be harmed by this article and long thread which is much like arguing over how many angels can fit on the head of a pin.

When in doubt, consult the majority of amateur radio authors and their books. Go by what the majority of them say, and you will have a safe and efficient station.

Forget the clever remarks, the "look, I know something noboby else knows" testimonials. What are all these "experts" who deviate from the tried and true attempting to prove? They want to advertise how brilliant they are, and how dumb and sheepish everyone else is for doing what is the convential thing to do.

You can do better than that. You can be a better ham than that. You already know what you should do. Move on.
 
Station Grounding  
by N7HD on April 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Well for 39 years now I have disconnected "Everything" when leaving the shack. I am a firm believer of "No path No problem!
I do however have a 2" ground strap on each leg of the tower going to 3 seperate ground rods and the tower nestles below the roof of the house. My neighbors on each side have been hit by lightning(one house twice) but nothing here. If you think you have a lot of lightning,try Arizona! I have seen lightning come out of a cloud on a perfectly beautiful day!
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by N7HD on April 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Oops! Missed the point!!!
Nope-no equipment grounding here-thats what the 3 prong plug and isolation transformer are for and most rigs run on low voltage DC anyway!
Got carried away about the lightning thing-Sorry!
 
RE: Who benefits from this "discussion"?  
by KD5PME on April 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>>When in doubt, consult the majority of amateur radio authors and their books

NO NO NO NO NO

The majority thought Galileo was wrong! Science is not a voting activity!

Don't ever do anything just because someone tells you to. Learn why you are doing it - it is your safety, not theirs.


Great article, Steve. I enjoy reading it every time it comes up.

Dana KD5PME
 
RE: Who benefits from this "discussion"?  
by NB3O on April 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"The reader is referred to NFPA 70, Article 810. "

Thanks, Phil. I'm also a big fan of Motorola's R-56, section 7 (I like the pictures).

73
 
Another loony bird!  
by AI2IA on April 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
KD5PME, you sure wrote a good one when you posted this:

"When in doubt, consult the majority of amateur radio authors and their books

NO NO NO NO NO

The majority thought Galileo was wrong! Science is not a voting activity!"

What rediculous nonsense! Amateur radio operation is not "science" after the fashion of Galileo! Amateur radio operation is everyday proven and established technology working to achieve a practical end - communication between individuals.

Climb down off your high horse and use some common sense. When you operate your rig you are not performing basic scientific research!

Every licensed ham with brains wants his station to be a safe place, and the best way to make it that way is to follow the time proven, experienced advice of expert authors in the realm of amateur radio operation.

If you want to "discover" or "invent" your own safety rules by trial and error, your idea of scientific method, double-blind studies, or what have you, then you belong on a funny farm, not in a radio room.
 
Station Grounding  
by K5END on April 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!


Remember kids,

"Experience" is the most expensive teacher, if you survive it.
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by KB0TXC on April 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Grounding is the most important aspect of a well designed QTH. First, I use grounded vertical antennas. Not only does this provide a direct path to ground for a lightning strike (Bastet forbid) but it also does two other things: first, it prevents static build up on the antenna, and second, it also allows a earth to sky current that according to some sages, will help prevent a lightning strike, though I am not personally convinced of this. The earth to sky current is a reality though...and there are instruments that can measure this as a predictor for an imminent lightning strikes. Boltek makes such a unit (EFM-100 electric field mill), but it is way out of my price range at the moment.

At the base of each antenna are three ground rods driven about seven and a half feet into the ground, connected with three strands of 6 gauge copper wire and very stout mechanical clamps. This is not my radial system which is for the RF ground plane. I do not depend upon the mast as the ground conductor. I run all three strands of the 6 gauge copper wire to the top of the mast and anchor them to the mast at the top with the same clamp that I use at the ground rods (except the 4BTV which I pray will be conductive enough. If only the BTV was made of silver plated copper...)

Next, each coax coming into the QTH is protected with a PolyPhasor lightning arrestor, which itself is grounded to a ground rod properly driven into the earth as well as the QTH ground system rods described below.

Inside the QTH, all of my radios and equipment is AC grounded both through the three prong cable, and with the ground stud on the back. The ground studs are connected straight to a copper bar using short heavy gauge wire and clamps on the bar. The bar itself is grounded with a copper strap that goes through the wall to three ground rods driven into the earth in my rose bed (they are all connected together with three strands of 6 guage wire). My QTH is on the ground floor, so the total distance from the bar to the earth is approximately three feet. This ground is also connected to the electrical ground of the house. When I had the electrical service upgraded to 200 amps, the electrician was impressed enough with my QTH ground that he connected to it (only he used one strand of 8 gauge copper wire) as well as the copper water pipe coming into the house.

One last precaution that I take is that during dry weather, I will keep the soil moist at the base of my antenna supports and their ground rods. The rose bed is kept watered anyway, so that is not an issue. Moist earth conducts better than dry.

All of that not withstanding, if there is a storm approaching, I will disconnect the antennas at the radios, coil up the coax, and connect them to a direct ground path several yards away from my radio bench. Then I disconnect the power cords as well. None of my antennas are attached to the house, so God willing, if lightning does strike one of them, my radios won't be ruined, my house won't burn down and I won't be reduced to a smoldering ember.

Best and 73,

Joe KB0TXC

 
RE: Station Grounding  
by KB0TXC on April 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Forgot to mention...

I took down the 'short longwire' that I had because I have been reading too many accounts of bad lightning experiences with horizontal wire antennas. I had it run through a 4:1 grounded transformer, but I did not want to take a chance as lightning is a not to be taken lightly subject around here, and I am located on a higher elevation. Besides, I get far better reception with the 4BTV anyway.

Joe KB0TXC
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by NN4RH on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
[QUOTE] I might also say that I've received numerous electrical shocks over the years, all of which were purely my fault (like replacing wall outlets and switches without bothering to turn them off first), so I deserved every one of them. And they didn't feel so bad.[/QUOTE]

This from someone who is giving advice about grounding!

 
Station Grounding  
by NN4RH on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
[QUOTE]
I've been a licensed ham for 39 years, and continually active. I run legal-limit amplifiers and power output on 160 meters through 10 meters, a kilowatt on 6 and 2 meters, and a couple hundred watts on 135cm and 70cm, and sometimes on 33cm and 23cm, too. I've used dozens of different antenna configurations and have operated from all over the world, but mostly from any of the fifteen home-station hamshacks I've built over the years at the various homes I've owned.

And in all that time, I've never once had a “station ground” of any sort.

And in all that time, I've never had any problem that grounding would solve.
[/QUOTE]

I have used firearms for 40 years. In all of that time, I have never once shot myself in the head. I guess that means that the safety features on my guns are not necessary.


We have lived our current home for 10 years. In all that time, our house has never burned down. We've never had a problem that a fire extinquisher would solve. So I guess that means the fire extinguishers we have positioned around the house are not necessary.

 
RE: Station Grounding  
by K5END on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!


Proper grounding is like wearing a seat belt. You'll only need it once in a blue moon. I remember when people used to say, "I've never worn a seat belt and I never had a problem with it."


I notice policemen carrying guns, all of them. So far I have not seen any policeman not carry a gun of some kind.

But I wonder how many of those guns are actually loaded? I can imagine some policemen saying, "I've been on the force for 10 years and never had to fire my gun so far. Therefore, I think loading a weapon is unnecessary. It's not a bad thing to do. It's just not necessary. So far I've never been in a situation where a loaded gun would have solved my problem."
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by NN4RH on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
What's baffling is that, he never actually defines what he means by "station ground".

He does eventually qualify his argument to say "interior station ground". But that's nonsense. There is no such thing as an "interior station ground", so of course he wouldn't have one.

He does have "lightning ground" - his antennas and feedlines are all grounded. I assume that means he must have at least one grounding electrode outside somewhere. So that in at least some round-about way, that's connected to his station.

He says "RF ground" is OK to have. Fine.

He even implies that he uses the AC power ground (if it happens to be conveniently in the form of a 3-prong plug). He seems to be implying, though, that if it has a 2-prong plug and a grounding lug, he doesn't think it's necessary to ground the equipment.

Anyway, so he's got all these grounds connected to his station, but insists that he does not need nor has what he's started calling an "interior station ground".


On the other hand, he says he thinks that NEC is "stupid stuff", so we can't assume that his "AC ground" is bonded to the "Lightning Ground".

So if I have unraveled this strange tale, then actually he does have a "station ground", but what he does not have is dedicated grounding conductors from his equipment to that station ground. He seems to be relying on his coax shields to serve double-duty at grounding conductors. Personally, I think that's bad advice. People disconnect their feedlines occassionally for various reasons. If you're relying on the coax for grounding your equipment, then unplugging the coax removes your equipment ground.

This is an "EHam Classic" for the wrong reasons.
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by NN4RH on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Oh, and by the way, all you new hams who decide NOT to ground anything in your station based on WIK's advice - if you have a fire or electrocute someone, make sure to remember to tell the insurance company and the local electrical inspector that WIK says that the National Electrical Code is "stupid stuff". I'm sure they'll be appropriately impressed.
 
Heed the advice from Hams who care.  
by AI2IA on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Over the years I've seen a lot of whacky stuff on eHam.net and a lot of loony posts by folks with weird personal agendas, but in response to this article and to the bad advice on this thread, many caring hams who are concerned about the life and safety of fellow hams who might not have the experience and knowledge to see the folly and the misinterpretation of some of the posts on here have given their best advice.

It is uplifting to see the many posts on here from hams who want to make it clear that novel approaches to "station ground" are not the way to go. I thank them for their contributions on this thread, and I hope and urge the doubtful or less experienced to heed their good words.
 
RE: Who benefits from this "discussion"?  
by KG4TKC on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>>When in doubt, consult the majority of amateur radio authors and their books

NO NO NO NO NO

The majority thought Galileo was wrong! Science is not a voting activity!

-----
I think this needs a wee bit of clarification. Those who thought Galileo was wrong were the leaders of the Church in Rome. He was at first forced to teach that the earth was the center of the solar system,and in fact all of the universe. Then he began to teach Nicolaus Copernicus theory that the sun resided at the center of the solar system, something he came to believe by observation with his new telescope and his mathematical calculations. In 1633 he was tried by the Inquisition for heresy and sentenced to life in prison. Because of his old age and poor health the church was 'kind' enough to let him serve his sentence under house arrest. You can see why few scientist ran to support him. One did and his name was Bruno. He too was arrested,tortured,and tried by the Inquisition. He recanted,but later he again supported the theory of Copernicus. The Inquisition arrested him again and this time sentenced him to death. He was burned at the stake for heresy. As you can see,support for Galileo could have some rather unpleasant consequences.



Don't ever do anything just because someone tells you to. Learn why you are doing it - it is your safety, not theirs.

--------

This is correct. This is why we have libraries. This is what makes the ARRL Handbook so useful. This is why you should research,research,research everything you do!. You should most of all avoid doing something or not doing something just because you read one article about it on an internet site.
 
RE: Who benefits from this "discussion"?  
by K5END on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
The danger lies in what is called "ground potential rise," where the ground potential for each of two points, point A and point B, is not the same.

During an "event" (such as lightning) the resistance of the soil between point A and point B will cause a voltage potential between the two.

If your tower and coax shield are grounded at point A and your transceiver is grounded at point B, and points A and B are bonded only by the coax shield in between, your radio becomes a local distribution point at worst, and an expensive fuse at best.

However, NOT grounding the radio chassis means the lightning must (and will) find another path to ground, even if it is not connected electrically to anything else. The lightning bolt just traveled several miles through the air to strike your tower/antenna. It won't mind going through the air for a few more feet to find its potential comfort zone in Mother Earth.

And in most cases, when this happens, the lightning plasma manifests itself in an umbral shape, providing equal opportunity destruction to anything within the radius of the path to ground.

Good luck, and say hello to Darwin for us.



 
Station Grounding  
by N9KWW on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
A very nice article, but i would disagree with some of your conclusions. First if you had a good ground, would you have the need to have your atu or other matching device outside? NO would you need to have ferrite beads etc NO. So while you do need a ground, having one reduces the need for other misc. garbage in the shack. In addition you have a much larger array of antenna designs to choose from, not just current fed designs so in short having one means less other things to worry about. There for a good ground can improve efficiency and improve overall design. In short having one good ground can be better than not having any at all. As a side note all boats have a ground, water is the best ground!!
As a note I do like your idea of putting the tuner outside with the birds and the bees. It will keep those nosy kids from messing around with your stuff!!!
Ron
N9KWW
 
RE: Another loony bird!  
by KD5PME on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Hey guys, AI2IA says radio is not science. Lets all get out our OUIJA boards and make some contacts.

Radio, including Amateur Radio, IS ALL ABOUT SCIENCE.


 
RE: Who benefits from this "discussion"?  
by KD5PME on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
KG4TKC -

Your reply to my post is correct on both points. My point is that the "majority" of anything is not always right. Especially in areas of science. We cannot get away from the laws of physics no matter how we try. And we don't get a vote.

Second, even though I believe Steve is correct, I wouldn't take his word either without "doing the math".

KD5PME
 
Station Grounding  
by N3LKA on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I'll still use the useless terminals on the back of my equipment, if something does short to the case of the case of my 922A or another peice of equipment in my shack, at least it will go to ground and not through my two hands using my heart as a junction box. It doesn't take that much time to use them or it doesn't cost that much to use them so what the heck? :)
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>Station Grounding Reply
by N3LKA on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I'll still use the useless terminals on the back of my equipment, if something does short to the case of the case of my 922A or another peice of equipment in my shack, at least it will go to ground and not through my two hands using my heart as a junction box. It doesn't take that much time to use them or it doesn't cost that much to use them so what the heck? :)<

::There's a sensible statement, on the surface, but let's dig a bit deeper:

1- The TL-922A has a 3-wire power cord, with one heavy conductor and connector pin already dedicated to an earth return. What's the chassis connection do, that this wire hasn't already done?

2- The important return on that cord and equipment chassis is to the service panel ground, not necessarily to earth ground. If you wired in your own SPG (single point ground) system, they should be at the same potential. If you didn't, they could be different and the one that's important is the utility service ground.

Remember, earth's a terrible conductor; but it's the only common reference we have, so we use it for lots of stuff. It must be supplemented by an SPG system to reliably protect against some hazards.

However, once again, this article's purpose wasn't to discuss lightning surges or protection systems, or even to discuss "safety." Its purpose was to hopefully make people think about why they need to connect anything to their equipment chassis, when in most cases, the equipment will work just fine without any supplemental grounding and in some cases, it will work better without any (when preventing or eliminating ground loops).

The origin of concept for the article, which is now old and was originally written years ago, was so many hams, old and new (mostly new) writing here on the ham boards, "I'd like to get on the air, but I don't have any way to ground my equipment, and...." which is a ridiculous reason to not be on the air.

If you're on the tenth floor of a building, unless you spend a great deal of money (probably more than the station will cost), you'll never have a reliable earth ground, or at least no more than you get from the third wire in your electrical outlets. That should prevent someone from getting on the air? Ridiculous.

Ground is the universal reference for lots of stuff and it's a huge energy sink. But we don't need it most of the time, at least not connected to anything indoors.

WB2WIK/6


 
Ground Lugs on Equipment are not decorations.  
by AI2IA on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I have seen a lot of articles and threads on eHam.net over the years, but this one has been the most disgusting and revealing one to date.

The number of folks posting on it who gravitate toward this attitude and concept of "station grounding" is astounding, disregarding all the common sense, real world experience, and technologically sound advice given by those who have tried to put the subject in proper order.

To disregard the preponderance of written technical material on this subject is an indication of very foolish thinking. Those who delight in this form of ignorance will have ample time to regret their mistakes. Those calling this "science" are utterly lost.
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by N9KWW on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
-" The TL-922A has a 3-wire power cord, with one heavy conductor and connector pin already dedicated to an earth return. What's the chassis connection do, that this wire hasn't already done?"

I wouder why we have GFI's installed all over if the plain old 3-wire plug is so good?
The real issue here is that alsmost half, that's right you heard me correctly, are not a true ground. Further more most of those are a high rresistance ground at best and should have a GFI installed. ( if you did not fix the problem first the GFI would trip all the time)
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>RE: Station Grounding Reply
by N9KWW on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
-" The TL-922A has a 3-wire power cord, with one heavy conductor and connector pin already dedicated to an earth return. What's the chassis connection do, that this wire hasn't already done?"

I wouder why we have GFI's installed all over if the plain old 3-wire plug is so good?<

::You have 240V, 15A GFCI outlets? I have six high powered amplifiers, and I sure don't have any of those! Normally GFCIs are to protect against shock hazards presented by (mostly 2-wire) equipment when used near water; AFAIK they're only required by code for kitchens, bathrooms, basements and garages, or outdoors: Places where water is likely to be present.
I've never seen anyone use one with a ham amplifier.

>The real issue here is that alsmost half, that's right you heard me correctly, are not a true ground.<

::Maybe, but where did that statistic come from? And also it's relevant that it doesn't matter if the utility common is a true ground or not, as long as you have a connection to it.

>Further more most of those are a high rresistance ground at best and should have a GFI installed.<

::But GFCIs are referenced back to the utility common (ground point), not to earth ground. The utility ground can float miles above earth ground and the GFCI would still work exactly as intended.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by KG4TKC on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Remember, earth's a terrible conductor;

------------

I guess earth is a terrible conductor compared to copper,but compared to some other things it is not all that bad. It was the return for the telegraph system from days of yore. It was the other half of the circuit back when copper wire was a little harder to manufacture. Anyone who is really, really,really sure that it is all that terrible of a conductor I have a little test for you. Go out in a rural farming area and look for a farm with lots of cattle in the field. Now look until you find a fence that has some skinny little posts with funny looking plastic thingies on them,and a small thin wire running thru those plastic thingies. Now take both hands and grab hold that little wire and hang on as long as you can. I gar-run-tee you will come away with a brand new appreciation of the conductivity of the earth,,:) 73
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
TKC, of course you're right about that. However, that's a high voltage circuit that allows current to pass even with a very high series resistance.

Now try an electric fence only charged to 120V. The resulting current will give you a tingle, but it's nowhere near lethal. The earth resistance is too high.

The 120v household circuit wiring standard was actually based on that. It's not as efficient as the 220v or so standard used in many countries, but it's safer.

The telegraph systems that employed an earth return were also high voltage, low current circuits (and all DC).

WB2WIK/6



 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
TKC, of course you're right about that. However, that's a high voltage circuit that allows current to pass even with a very high series resistance.

Now try an electric fence only charged to 120V. The resulting current will give you a tingle, but it's nowhere near lethal. The earth resistance is too high.

The 120v household circuit wiring standard was actually based on that. It's not as efficient as the 220v or so standard used in many countries, but it's safer.

The telegraph systems that employed an earth return were also high voltage, low current circuits (and all DC).

WB2WIK/6



 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Sorry about the dupe post, I don't know why that occurred.

Another thought to ponder: If earth were a good conductor, we'd never need any radials for our vertical antennas!

Fact is, even saltwater isn't much of a conductor, compared with copper wire.
 
Station Grounding  
by AI2IA on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK - Why don't you tell us about your experience:

"Almost killed myself grabbing 2kV with right hand while left hand was grasping grounded D-104. But I lived. That was a long time ago."

Perhaps it is relevant to your article and to your attitude.

- AI2IA
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>Station Grounding Reply
by AI2IA on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK - Why don't you tell us about your experience:

"Almost killed myself grabbing 2kV with right hand while left hand was grasping grounded D-104. But I lived. That was a long time ago."

Perhaps it is relevant to your article and to your attitude.

- AI2IA<

::My attitude is as it should be: That of an amateur experimenter, who went on to found companies and make a lot of money. I have traced yours, and I understand the position from which you speak, and feel fortunate to be in a dissimilar position. Thanks.
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Here's a hint: My friend Gerry K2JWE was there at the time, employed as a staff engineer.
 
DEAF RAY  
by PLANKEYE on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
RAY,

Your starting to come in Stupid.

Get it together Brother.

 
RE: Station Grounding  
by VE3TYA on April 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
So if i dig a big hole and bury my transmitter it should be grounded then right????
mabey we all should do this...
 
RE: Radio Operation is not science. - True.  
by KD5PME on April 15, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Ok, my last reply. When the discussion deterioates to name calling it is time to call it quits

I have yet to stoop to calling names. That must be left to those who know no better. It tells you a lot about a person.

AI2IA - I don't think you are actually reading these posts. I never said "radio operation is a science". I said "Radio, including Amateur Radio, IS ALL ABOUT SCIENCE".

Station grounding is a technical topic and is bound by the laws of physics. These laws are well known. You can discuss different techniques all day, but in the end, it all comes down to understaning the electrical principles. Obviously you can't discuss these principles since all you want to do is call people names.

You can reply all you want, but I won't be back to listen.

BTW

From Wikipedia

"In its broadest sense, science (from the Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") refers to any systematic knowledge or practice. In its more usual restricted sense, science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge based on scientific method, as well as to the organized body of knowledge gained through such research.[1][2] This article focuses on the more restricted use of the word. Science as discussed in this article is sometimes termed experimental science to differentiate it from applied science, which is the application of scientific research to specific human needs, though the two are often interconnected.

"
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by W5WSS on April 15, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Um....stainless steel earthing rods far and away outlast copper coated steel rods driven into the earth. Corrosion eats away the copper conductor coating remember the rod is steel coated with a thin layer of copper)any advantage rather quickly shifts to the stainless steel. Weather proof the wire connection located at the rod tip and inspect it often.
 
This is how it is.  
by AI2IA on April 15, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
This recent re-appearance of the article is prefaced for what it may be worth with:

"Editor's Note: Due to the popularity of some of eHam's older articles, many of which you may not have read, the eHam.net team has decided to rerun some of the best articles that we have received since eHam's inception. These articles will be reprinted to add to the quality of eHam's content and in a show of appreciation to the authors of these articles."

All those who take this article seriously do so at their own risk. Some contributors to the thread have made a good effort to bring some words of caution and common sense to the ideas presented here. Rather than add to the quality of eHam's content, it demonstrates the continued limitations of eHam's contents and the need for corrective comments by hams who care.

I fault the author for attempting to disparage my credentials by name dropping ITT and ITT Avionics into his personal attacks on me. Whatever his past affiliation with that excellent corporation, however long or brief, and in whatever capacity, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the merits of my statements on this thread. Had he directly addressed my comments rather than use this oblique and cowardly approach along with his boasting, he would have taken the better path. He chose not to do so.

I maintain that both the article and those who think it has merit, and the those who delight in what they may think is a novel approach to the subject contrary to conventional wisdom are all unwise. There are good posts in this thread by several contrbutors who offer words of sound advice based upon knowledge and experience. It is well to heed them. Both I and they gain nothing from our posts other than the thought that we have done our best to offer an alternative to what we see as wrong thinking. This is how it goes on eHam.net. What you take from it is entirely up to you.

 
RE: Station Grounding  
by N2EY on April 15, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
KG4TKC: "I guess earth is a terrible conductor compared to copper,but compared to some other things it is not all that bad."

Yup - particularly when you have lots of it, and it's damp.

KG4TKC: "It was the return for the telegraph system from days of yore. It was the other half of the circuit back when copper wire was a little harder to manufacture."

Actually, most telegraph circuits used iron wire (#9 was typical) because it was stronger and cheaper than copper. Telegraph circuits using ground return had good ground connections where needed.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 15, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>RE: Station Grounding Reply
by N2EY on April 15, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
KG4TKC: "I guess earth is a terrible conductor compared to copper,but compared to some other things it is not all that bad."

Yup - particularly when you have lots of it, and it's damp.<

::But it varies all over the place, depending upon mineral content. Can't be relied on.

>KG4TKC: "It was the return for the telegraph system from days of yore. It was the other half of the circuit back when copper wire was a little harder to manufacture."

Actually, most telegraph circuits used iron wire (#9 was typical) because it was stronger and cheaper than copper. Telegraph circuits using ground return had good ground connections where needed.<

::AFAIK, that's true. Also, the distances spanned using earth as the return were pretty short. And the voltage was high, so the current was very low. If you put a 5000 Ohm resistor in series with the circuit, it would still work. But if you put a 5000 Ohm resistor in series with your antenna, it will work -- very poorly.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by K5END on April 15, 2009 Mail this to a friend!


"But it varies all over the place"


I recently came across a USGS map of soil conductivity across the lower 48.

Looks like parts of the Texas Gulf Coast are at or near the top for soil conductivity. Some areas have more clay than sand--not caliche clay, but what they refer to colloquially as "gumbo." It's nasty, sticky, gummy, tacky, inky, chocolate-colored goo. But for better or worse, it sure holds its water.

Some of us even get a wild hair and go so far as to get totally radical and exploit this property for grounding!

No, seriously! Dude; we do. We ground like there is (otherwise) no tomorrow.

That is, failure to ground can mean, literally, "no tomorrow."




 
RE: Station Grounding  
by K6IHC on April 16, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
So: my station uses all 12VDC equipment, powered by an Astron RM-35. The Astron has a 3-prong AC plug. All of the external antenna coaxial cable feeds have Polyphaser or A-D inline suppressors before they enter the house. These are connected by (an exterior) solid #6 wire to an 8ft ground rod. That rod is bonded to the main panel ground rod by #6. I'm in coastal N. Calif, which has about the same lightning activity as -WIK's station location.
None of my station radios are grounded/bonded (except by the co-ax shields).
I don't see any need to install a *station ground*.
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 16, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>RE: Station Grounding Reply
by K5END on April 15, 2009 Mail this to a friend!

No, seriously! Dude; we do. We ground like there is (otherwise) no tomorrow.

That is, failure to ground can mean, literally, "no tomorrow."<

::I hear you. What, technically, is the station (equipment) ground accomplishing? That's the part I don't understand.

I can understand antenna/tower grounding; line arrestors, etc -- all outdoors.

What's the station ground do, exactly?

Thanks,

Steve WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by KB0TXC on April 16, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK/6 posted:

<:I hear you. What, technically, is the station (equipment) ground accomplishing? That's the part I don't understand.

I can understand antenna/tower grounding; line arrestors, etc -- all outdoors.

What's the station ground do, exactly?

Thanks,

Steve WB2WIK/6>


KB0TXC replies:

I am no RF engineer or 'expert', but a properly interior station ground will do at least two things. I will not get into the great antenna tuner/flame fest, so I will stick to station grounds.

First, if there happens to be any stray RF entering the QTH on the antenna coax shield, (assuming that you are using coax and not balanced open line) a *properly* grounded station will help to shunt that to the ground rather than burn you when you touch your rigs. This requires a very short, low impedance path to ground. In my QTH, this is accomplished with a ground strap that is all of three feet long before it is bonded to a series of ground rods that are in perpetually damp soil. Of course, one should take precautions to keep stray RF off of your coax shield, but that is another story.

The second thing that a proper station ground will do is to help protect your gear from static electricity and *induced* spikes from nearby lightning. No ground will protect anything from a direct hit (that is why antenna and line grounding are so important), but it will help protect your solid state gear from being nuked when lightning hits the neighbors 100 foot tree next door.

Again, I am not an RF engineer, so I am not trying to sell this advice to anyone. It just works for me, so take it or leave it and be blessed. In fourteen years, I have not lost any gear to nearby lightning strikes, so my grounding efforts must be doing something.

Best and 73

Joe KB0TXC
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 16, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>I am no RF engineer or 'expert', but a properly interior station ground will do at least two things. I will not get into the great antenna tuner/flame fest, so I will stick to station grounds.

First, if there happens to be any stray RF entering the QTH on the antenna coax shield, (assuming that you are using coax and not balanced open line) a *properly* grounded station will help to shunt that to the ground rather than burn you when you touch your rigs.<

::Hi Joe. Well, I don't know how much of an expert I am, but I am an RF engineer. What you describe has some truth to it for sure, but my entire discussion related to a "properly engineered" ham station (which takes very, very little effort to accomplish), and I use exactly those words. In a properly engineered ham station, there is no possibility for what you describe -- ever. And it costs nothing, and takes no extraordinary effort, to accomplish this. With or without a ground.

>This requires a very short, low impedance path to ground. In my QTH, this is accomplished with a ground strap that is all of three feet long before it is bonded to a series of ground rods that are in perpetually damp soil. Of course, one should take precautions to keep stray RF off of your coax shield, but that is another story.<

::It's actually the same story, Joe. How else can RF be conducted back from your antenna to your station, if not carried by the outer surface of your coax shield? It's not "magic," it all has a very reasonable explanation, and can all be eliminated by proper station design, with or without a ground.

>The second thing that a proper station ground will do is to help protect your gear from static electricity<

::No, it won't. To protect against static electicity all you need is a very high impedance ground, it can be tens of thousands of Ohms, and the third wire in your power cord does this just perfectly.


>and *induced* spikes from nearby lightning.<

::Actually, no, that won't help, there, either. 50+ years of research has already proven that.

>No ground will protect anything from a direct hit (that is why antenna and line grounding are so important), but it will help protect your solid state gear from being nuked when lightning hits the neighbors 100 foot tree next door.<

::Actually, no, it won't. Provide me with a technical thesis verifying your statement, and I'd be happy to read it. But I don't think there are any.

>Again, I am not an RF engineer, so I am not trying to sell this advice to anyone. It just works for me, so take it or leave it and be blessed. In fourteen years, I have not lost any gear to nearby lightning strikes, so my grounding efforts must be doing something.<

::Well, that is good news, for sure. But I've been licensed 44 years now, and have lived in "lightning central, USA" (Florida) for part of that time, and never, ever had a station ground, and have also not lost anything to lightning or any other external forces. All that time, I've had towers and big antennas. Luck? Possibly, but I doubt it. Just good station engineering, none of which had anything to do with grounding my equipment.

73

Steve WB2WIK/6

 
RE: Station Grounding  
by KE7SEI on April 17, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Out of completely morbid curiousity, I wonder what kind of responses this article got the first time it was posted. If the general outrage of this time around is even mildly similary, it would seem we're getting the "old stuff" just to keep us posting ... ;-)

- Doug / KE7SEI

(and yes, I have a modest 10 gauge wire grounding my radio / tuner, into a 4' rod four feet away into damp soil ... antenna is in the attic, so if lightning gets to IT, it is the least of my worries)
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by N4ZAW on April 17, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
by W8JN on April 10, 2009;
"ps..... an afterthought... how about an informal poll... how many hams out there remembered to disconnect their station from their antennas during an electrical storm, but ended up with crispy critters for gear because they forgot to unhook the ground system and took a strike to their ground rod that backed into the shack??"

Picture me raising my hand -- TWICE!!
Down here in SW Florida, ZAW doesn't fool with mother nature, and prays often.
You don't want to ground your gear? Fine. It just makes for better-stocked parts bins at hamfests. :)
73

 
Radio Is Not Science  
by N2EY on April 17, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Physics is science. Radio is technology. Big difference! One is concepts and natural law, the other is doing practical things.

Werner Von Braun explained it this way:

"Scientists dream of doing great things.

Engineers do them."

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 17, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
RE: Station Grounding Reply
>by N4ZAW on April 17, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
by W8JN on April 10, 2009;
"ps..... an afterthought... how about an informal poll... how many hams out there remembered to disconnect their station from their antennas during an electrical storm, but ended up with crispy critters for gear because they forgot to unhook the ground system and took a strike to their ground rod that backed into the shack??"

Picture me raising my hand -- TWICE!!
Down here in SW Florida, ZAW doesn't fool with mother nature, and prays often.
You don't want to ground your gear? Fine. It just makes for better-stocked parts bins at hamfests. :)
73<

::Your response actually conflicts with the W8JN post.

I'd be interested to hear how, exactly, grounding your station equipment benefits your station, in terms of "protection," or anything else. If you can elucidate with technical references we could create a new article on this subject, as the "Op Ed" piece.

Let us know!

WB2WIK/6
 
MASON JARS AND COAX  
by PLANKEYE on April 17, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
If you want to debate Steve on his article, DO IT!

Before you DO IT, READ IT!!

Hell, I think Ray thought Staion Grounding was a UFO Attack.

This Dude is Sharp.

Try listening and thinking!!

God Bless fellas!

P-
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by KB0TXC on April 17, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK wrote:

<:It's actually the same story, Joe. How else can RF be conducted back from your antenna to your station, if not carried by the outer surface of your coax shield? It's not "magic," it all has a very reasonable explanation, and can all be eliminated by proper station design, with or without a ground.>

KB0TXC asks:

I must not be understanding what you are describing. When I installed my vertical, I followed the wisdom from the manufacturer (Hustler, 4BTV). I drove a 1 1/2 pipe five feet into the ground. Attached a radial plate, and laid out sixty radials, the shortest of which is 20 feet. Most are 25 or there abouts. I pinned them to the ground in the winter before the grass started growing. (I used stranded # 14 wire, sealed at the far end.) Then I erected the antenna as per instructions (Yes, I am a guy, but I do read the instructions...)I went and splurged on the fold over option, so that it could be adjusted. I also installed the feedline current choke that they have that is designed for the ground mounted 4BTV.

Had a friend with a general come over to help me with the antenna analyzer to tweak the antenna to where I wanted it to resonate at on the bands.

Ok, so far, so good.

Then he fired up my ICOM, called CQ, then shut it down. Said that there was RF on the coax shield.

What happened? Well, I wanted to test everything to this point before permanently burying the feedline (in schedule 80 PVC)so I simply laid it on the surface of the ground. That is, the feedline was *on top of* the radials. SO, current was induced on the coax shield. No big deal as we were not running an amp, but still. Since I was moving gear all over the place, I did not have the rig grounded right in the QTH, so, there was some RF issues.

Once the feedline was where it was supposed to be, (under the radials), no problem. But it taught me the importance of grounding my rigs. There was no injury or anything else, just an inconvenience.

I guess what I am not understanding with your thesis is this... Coax is unbalanced, so there should not be any return RF on the coax shield should there? I am not trying to be a smart ass, I am simply asking. I thought that by using either a choke (such as I am) or a balun with a balanced antenna, that there would be no RF on the coax shield, and if there was, that it was being induced by being in the near field such as what happened in my situation.

Best and 73,

Joe KB0TXC


 
RE: Station Grounding  
by TERRY_PERRY_EX_W3VR on April 18, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
In sincerity, many thanks for all the information. With every expression in this thread and any other, it can be a great review in the search for truth. The debate reveals perspectives, and much satisfaction can be had in researching the debated aspects. It can make one think, search, and learn, and that is a very good thing.

Many thanks also to those who avail credibility, and accountability of themselves, and their perspectives by freely, and without prejudice, identifying themselves with a verifiable identity, and making themselves responsive and available for contact off of this forum. These people truly speak with their actions about what kind of people they truly are, and their genuine concern for each other. If these things can be connected with amateur radio, or anything else, it shows the good things in people. The good is always there.

Many thanks,

W3VR
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 18, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>RE: Station Grounding Reply
by KB0TXC on April 17, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK wrote:

<:It's actually the same story, Joe. How else can RF be conducted back from your antenna to your station, if not carried by the outer surface of your coax shield? It's not "magic," it all has a very reasonable explanation, and can all be eliminated by proper station design, with or without a ground.>

KB0TXC asks:

I must not be understanding what you are describing. When I installed my vertical, I followed the wisdom from the manufacturer (Hustler, 4BTV). I drove a 1 1/2 pipe five feet into the ground. Attached a radial plate, and laid out sixty radials, the shortest of which is 20 feet. Most are 25 or there abouts. I pinned them to the ground in the winter before the grass started growing. (I used stranded # 14 wire, sealed at the far end.) Then I erected the antenna as per instructions (Yes, I am a guy, but I do read the instructions...)I went and splurged on the fold over option, so that it could be adjusted. I also installed the feedline current choke that they have that is designed for the ground mounted 4BTV.

Had a friend with a general come over to help me with the antenna analyzer to tweak the antenna to where I wanted it to resonate at on the bands.

Ok, so far, so good.

Then he fired up my ICOM, called CQ, then shut it down. Said that there was RF on the coax shield.

What happened? Well, I wanted to test everything to this point before permanently burying the feedline (in schedule 80 PVC)so I simply laid it on the surface of the ground. That is, the feedline was *on top of* the radials. SO, current was induced on the coax shield. No big deal as we were not running an amp, but still. Since I was moving gear all over the place, I did not have the rig grounded right in the QTH, so, there was some RF issues.

Once the feedline was where it was supposed to be, (under the radials), no problem. But it taught me the importance of grounding my rigs. There was no injury or anything else, just an inconvenience.

I guess what I am not understanding with your thesis is this... Coax is unbalanced, so there should not be any return RF on the coax shield should there?<

::Sure there should, and usually is. That's why we use coaxial RF choke current baluns, and that's exactly what Hustler recommends you use: Their instructions call for one such choke balun at the antenna feedpoint, and one where the cable enters the house. I have usually found that just the one where the cable enters the house is sufficient 90% of the time, and this completely eliminates the common mode problem you describe. Your station equipment need not be grounded in any way for this to work perfectly.


WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by N4ZAW on April 18, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Picture me raising my hand -- TWICE!!
Down here in SW Florida, ZAW doesn't fool with mother nature, and prays often.
You don't want to ground your gear? Fine. It just makes for better-stocked parts bins at hamfests. :)
73<

"::Your response actually conflicts with the W8JN post.

I'd be interested to hear how, exactly, grounding your station equipment benefits your station, in terms of "protection," or anything else. If you can elucidate with technical references we could create a new article on this subject, as the "Op Ed" piece.

Let us know!

WB2WIK/6"
I could see where you thought my reply "conflicts with the W8JN post". But your are incorrect.
I actually AGREE with it for the most part. Station grounding is essential to operate. It is, (IMHO), detrimantal durring electrical storms to LEAVE it connected to the shack. The "station" I refer to is the "amateur radio station" -- The whole enchilada --outside and and inside.

Please see my homepage for some pics illustrating my efforts to keep the outside out and the inside operating... And one particular "trophy" of the strike that allmost took-out my step daughter.

http://www.pbase.com/12footer/ham_radio

When it comes to lightening protection, I DO NOT play any longer. Period.
I've had loved ones and whole construction crews come very close to death. I have lost gear in two separate strikes. To say "I live in the lightning capitol of the country" may be an overstatement -- but i doubt it! So when this article was posted, I read it with GREAT interest. Some parts I agree with and some, not so much! It was well-written by someone with years of experience, so we cannot summarily dismiss the article as BS... As he stated in the article (and several replies have reiterated here), he did not discuss, nor discount the need for an EXTERNAL grounding, but rather, the INTERNAL grounding of our shacks.
My approach to the problems presented to me by my environment here in SW Florida, was to do as the author HIMSELF suggested:

And is to ISOLATE the shack from ground as much as possible. I built a neat patch panel on the wall of my shack that all externals connect to. Before I leave home, or upon the first rumble of distant thunder, ALL connections (from phone line to coax and everything else) are disconnected from the outside world. Nothing in my shack is grounded at those times.
The trick is to ISOLATE, not to ATTACH the shack as much as possible, by connecting all those handy, dandy little wing nut thingies on the back of our gear to external ground.
His points are well-taken, at least by me. The word "potential" is often placed after the word ” ground" and also "lightning". Have your ever wondered WHY? If clueless, just read the originating article again.

 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 18, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Still, we need to know the technical details about why station grounding helps -- with anything.

My contention is, it doesn't. If you've done proper station engineering and done lightning protection outside, where it belongs, then "station equipment" grounding just wastes wire. At least, that's been my experience in 44 years of ham radio, several years of broadcast engineering, and running one of the country's largest and most successful EMC labs for 13 years.

I can put a well engineered station 1000 feet above earth, where there is no way to achieve a low impedance ground, and it works just fine, same as if it were installed at ground level with a 0 Ohm ground.

And that was the point of the article.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by NV2A on April 19, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
This article couldn't have come at a better time for me! I'm getting ready to move the shack upstairs to a spare bedroom. The grounding issue has bothered me in that I was unsure how to handle it. Thanks for the help.

Ray NV2A
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 19, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>RE: Station Grounding Reply
by NV2A on April 19, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
This article couldn't have come at a better time for me! I'm getting ready to move the shack upstairs to a spare bedroom. The grounding issue has bothered me in that I was unsure how to handle it. Thanks for the help.

Ray NV2A<

::An "upstairs" station works exactly as well as a downstairs station. Unless you're transmitting pictures, nobody will ever know. Station engineering is required either way, and it has nothing to do with equipment grounding.

I ran an "upstairs" (3rd story in a 3-story home) station for years back in NJ, running legal-limit power on eleven bands, 160m through 2m, and a few hundred watts on the UHF bands, with zero problems. I even had an end-fed long wire as one of my HF antennas, and those are about as finnicky as anything you can use if you don't do it right.

To alleviate the EMI in the shack from the long wire, I used tuned counterpoise wires attached to the tuner and running around the circumference of the hamshack, tucked under the edges of the carpeting. Since the ends of those wires will have high voltages when transmitting, use well insulated wire and don't leave any exposed ends. I just threaded an electrician's "wire nut" onto the end of each counterpoise wire: Those are good for a few thousand volts.

Zero problems, zero RFI/EMI, no feedback, no issues.

"Station engineering" is what works.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by KB0TXC on April 19, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Ok, I have one more question (an honest question, again, I am not trying to be a smart ass)

I had always assumed that the shield of the coax should be at ground potential. If the shield is properly at ground potential, then am I correct in assuming that there should be no RF on the shield? (again, assuming that the coax is not a resonant length. My antenna is maybe forty feet from my QTH.)

Thanks in advance. I will be a nuisance about this any more on this topic.

Best and 73

Joe KB0TXC
 
Station Grounding  
by ZL4IV on April 20, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
It's not just AC you have to worry about, I have just purchased many LDF5.5 earth straps for my many hardline runs. The whole setup including your coax can be one big capacitor. Dry windy weather is noisy and dangerous if you get between the hardline shealding, outer sheath and ground if your ground in the shack is slightly above earth. The gear must have it's own ground and the connections to it checked regulary. We are on 230V but a boot of charged coax is much worse. Even unconnected low loss hardline will charge up in a storm. You can get ground loops if mains plug earths are not clean. All equipment leaks mostly to earth. It can be checked because I own a company that does this checking. Check how many pf per ft your coax is in the specs.
Ground everything, dont rely on connectors or an earth pin of a mains plug, never ever. Get rid of it to a good close by earth.
 
Station Grounding  
by K5RIX on April 21, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I gotta agree with Steve. I move a lot, and often operate from locations on the second floor or higher. Over the years, I have found RF grounding far easier to achieve by the use of quarter-wave wires connected to any one of the ground posts on the equipment; I like the terminal on the transmatch. A tunable LC circuit, such as the MFJ-931 (and a few others) or HB'ed enables the use of only one or two wires, neither of which needs to be resonant at the transmitting frequency. The use of chokes completes the scene. The house wiring ground seems adequate for shock purposes, a fact of which I am reminded often in the winter, when touching any grounded object causes a little static shock.

Lightning protection is an entirely different and far more serious matter, and must be provided for OUTSIDE THE BUILDING. When I am confronted by an approaching electrical storm, I disconnect the station equipment from all antennas as well as the AC mains.
 
Station Grounding  
by W6PMR on April 21, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
A Rabbi, a Priest, and a duck walk into an ungrounded bar, Without a counterpoise or balun but
with a hunk of green A/C wire.............
 
BUT WHAT ABOUT....  
by PLANKEYE on April 21, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
In sincerity, many thanks for all the information. With every expression in this thread and any other, it can be a great review in the search for truth. The debate reveals perspectives, and much satisfaction can be had in researching the debated aspects. It can make one think, search, and learn, and that is a very good thing.

Many thanks also to those who avail credibility, and accountability of themselves, and their perspectives by freely, and without prejudice, identifying themselves with a verifiable identity, and making themselves responsive and available for contact off of this forum. These people truly speak with their actions about what kind of people they truly are, and their genuine concern for each other. If these things can be connected with amateur radio, or anything else, it shows the good things in people. The good is always there.

Many thanks,

W3VR

__________________________


PLANKEYE:

It CAN BE an enjoyable review for the search for truth.

Neat debates about a hobby that all of us are intrested in.

Your post has holes in it Brother.



PLANKEYE





 
RE: BUT WHAT ABOUT....  
by KB0TXC on April 22, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Plank-AI wrote:

<Your post has holes in it Brother.>

KB0TXC inquisitively asks:

Would those be called 'post-holes'?

MUWHAAHAAHAAHAAAA!

(I know that it is bad taste to laugh at one's own pun...sorry)

73,

Joe KB0TXC
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 23, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>RE: Station Grounding Reply
by KB0TXC on April 19, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Ok, I have one more question (an honest question, again, I am not trying to be a smart ass)

I had always assumed that the shield of the coax should be at ground potential. If the shield is properly at ground potential, then am I correct in assuming that there should be no RF on the shield? (again, assuming that the coax is not a resonant length. My antenna is maybe forty feet from my QTH.)<

::Sorry for the long delayed response, I was at NAB for the past four days and just returned.

The shield of coax can be at ground potential, or any other potential, it doesn't matter. It normally is at "DC" ground potential, which of course has absolutely nothing to do with "RF" ground potential; they are two completely different things.

Also, remember the outer conductor (shield) of coax is actually two different conductors: The inner surface of the shield, closest to the dielectric and center conductor, is the actual RF CURRENT CARRYING conductor. It's only microinches thick, and carries all the intended RF current.

The outer surface of the SAME shield is different. It carries no RF current at all, normally. That's why you can ground it anywhere you want and that won't impact the way the coax works. Besides grounding it, you could also put 1000V on it, and that wouldn't matter, either. The outer surface (outside skin) of the shield and the inner surface (inside skin) are two different conductors for RF. Only the inner one counts.

Now, when you use coax in such a way that the outer surface of the shield starts carrying RF current (which is never intended), that can create problems. It is for this reason we use "RF choke baluns" wound of the cable itself, to utilize the outer suface of the shield as a choke. (You can coil coax all you want and the inner surface of the shield never becomes a choke.)

The RF choke current balun is far more effective than "earth grounding" the shield anywhere.

WB2WIK/6

 
BUT WHAT ABOUT YOU JOE  
by PLANKEYE on April 24, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
In sincerity, many thanks for all the information. With every expression in this thread and any other, it can be a great review in the search for truth. The debate reveals perspectives, and much satisfaction can be had in researching the debated aspects. It can make one think, search, and learn, and that is a very good thing.

Many thanks also to those who avail credibility, and accountability of themselves, and their perspectives by freely, and without prejudice, identifying themselves with a verifiable identity, and making themselves responsive and available for contact off of this forum. These people truly speak with their actions about what kind of people they truly are, and their genuine concern for each other. If these things can be connected with amateur radio, or anything else, it shows the good things in people. The good is always there.

Many thanks,

W3VR

______________________________

Joe, you don't care about anyone but YOU!!

PLANKEYE
 
RE: BUT WHAT ABOUT YOU JOE  
by KB0TXC on April 24, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
The Plank-AI blathered:
<Joe, you don't care about anyone but YOU!!>

KB0TXC laughed:

AHHHHH! Another bleep from the plank-AI box! Our modem is reattached, no?

Well, that sounds like a rather large ASSumption on your part...BTW, what version are you up to now, 1.22 beta?

Oh well...

Actually, I care about many things and many people.

Just not little sneaks that hide behind CB handles.

BTW, though I might not be ready to accept the entire concept of not needing a station earth ground, I do feel that there is some very interesting ideas and concepts in this article.

The author of this article obviously has a lot more expertise in this area than I do.

Toodles,

Joe KB0TXC

 
RE: BUT WHAT ABOUT YOU JOE  
by KB0TXC on April 25, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Is it not ironic that the Plank-AI in its lame attack upon me quotes another post by W3VR that states "Many thanks also to those who avail credibility... and without prejudice, (THIS PART HERE) identifying themselves with a verifiable identity...", all the while hiding behind a CB handle???

See, the difference between me and the preacher wannabe Plank-AI is that I use my call sign and first name on my posts, and anyone who is really that interested (which would baffle me, actually) about my last name can figure that out with out any trouble. Indeed, just with my call sign, one can find out where I live, my mailing address, street address etc. With a bit more motivation, one can find several websites that I own, a couple of e-mail address, etc and etc.

I do not hide behind a non-identity on a forum where the vast majority of folks do not, even those that violently disagree with me about the deletion of the code proficiency requirement for an amateur radio license.

I really do find this interesting...

Comeon Plank, shoot your flaming arrows at me all day long and provide me with a laugh or two. I do not care. However, lets not be a hypocrite and and quote someone who admires those who do identify themselves while you yourself hide behind a CB handle.

Cheers,

Joe KB0TXC

 
My expeerience with Station Grounding  
by N4PGW on April 25, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I have what might be a unique experience with station grounding. When I was in Augusta, GA, I purchased a Heathkit HW7. The receive signals were very much better when I grounded the radio to an outside ground rod. I was using a dipole antenna at the time.

Later, I was operating an IC-706MKII. I had an S-7 noise level and lots of noise from my computer and other things in the house. I had a ground rod outside my window so I decided to use it to ground the radio. It improved my receive, but not the noise level so I grounded the power supply. That helped too. I picked up a 1-foot long 1/2 inch piece of copper water pipe and soldered about 15 or so pieces of copper wire to it. I then mounted it on the back of my desk and grounded it to the ground rod. I proceeded to run the ground wires to each piece of equipment in my shack and even created a wire to ground the ground prong for the electrical outlets. This eventually reduced my noise level to somewhere between S-3 or S-4.

Just when I began to believe I would not get it any lower, a limb knocked down my two-meter vertical. In order to check into the net, I placed a magnet mount vertical on the file cabinet next to me in the room. After the net, I discovered that the noise level was only about S-1. When I moved the magnet mount off the cabinet, the noise went back up. I then grounded a piece of copper to the cabinet with a magnet I was not using. From there on out, my noise level was much lower.

What makes this unique? The file cabinet was sitting on a piece of wood which was on a carpet which was on a carpet pad on a wood floor. There was nothing on or in the cabinet that was electrical. There was no electrical connection to the cabinet until I grounded it.

I have not yet grounded my current location, but it is in my list of things to do soon. It is not for lightning protection, but for noise protection. And, yes, that file cabinet is in the corner of my shack is I plan to ground it too!

Because of the layout here, I will be running several of the copper ground bars and grounding them together.

 
REFLECTIONS  
by PLANKEYE on April 25, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Is it not ironic that the Plank-AI in its lame attack upon me quotes another post by W3VR that states "Many thanks also to those who avail credibility... and without prejudice, (THIS PART HERE) identifying themselves with a verifiable identity...", all the while hiding behind a CB handle???

See, the difference between me and the preacher wannabe Plank-AI is that I use my call sign and first name on my posts, and anyone who is really that interested (which would baffle me, actually) about my last name can figure that out with out any trouble. Indeed, just with my call sign, one can find out where I live, my mailing address, street address etc. With a bit more motivation, one can find several websites that I own, a couple of e-mail address, etc and etc.

I do not hide behind a non-identity on a forum where the vast majority of folks do not, even those that violently disagree with me about the deletion of the code proficiency requirement for an amateur radio license.

I really do find this interesting...

Comeon Plank, shoot your flaming arrows at me all day long and provide me with a laugh or two. I do not care. However, lets not be a hypocrite and and quote someone who admires those who do identify themselves while you yourself hide behind a CB handle.

Cheers,

Joe KB0TXC

____________

PLANKEYE:

Joe, your post makes about as much sense as a blind person spending time looking at a Gazeing Ball.

Think before you speak Brother!!

PLANKEYE

 
assinine posts  
by KB0TXC on April 26, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
The Plank-AI drooled:

<Joe, your post makes about as much sense as a blind person spending time looking at a Gazeing Ball.

Think before you speak Brother!!>

KB0TXC responds:

Sorry, I do not spend my limited time 'gazing' into a reflective ball. Seems to me that you are the expert on that activity.

I do meditate, pray in my own way (not 'prey' as so many organized religions teach), etc and etc. I also think.

You tell me to think before I speak, and I assure you that I do.

I will return the favor of un-asked for advice and suggest to you that you really ought NOT *drink* before you post, "brother".

Toodles

Joe KB0TXC
 
Station Grounding  
by KC7KPA on April 28, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I have operated for over 10 years and the only ground was the 3 prong from the house ground. I started recieving pulses from the g5rv-m that moved the power meter on my external meter to over 3000 volts.
Did not do it on any other ant. No lightning just rain and or snow. Using a Yaesu 1000D. Have in line a Alpha Delta Ant. Switch and did not hook up the ground for it. We (Burghart Radio) and i assume that is what caused the damage done to my radio so i no longer had recieve on it. Cost with shipping and repair Both ways was close to $400.00
I no that no amount of grounding is going to help in a dirrect strike so i am not concerned with that.
For me from now on i will have a ground and hope that helps. I am more concerned with the static discharge than with lightning.
 
RE: Station Grounding  
by WB2WIK on April 28, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
KC7KPA: For static discharge all you need is a 10K Ohm resistor across your antenna feedpoint...you can discharge tens of thousands of volts of static electricity through a big resistor, and that works perfectly.

The Alpha-Delta center insulator product has a static discharge (arrestor) cartridge built into it that pretty much does the same thing, although if it "blows," it can be inconvenient to change since it's often up in a tree or something. But it takes a lot of energy to blow one up, and for static charges it just continuously discharges them without failure.

WB2WIK/6
 
LETS LOOK AROUND  
by PLANKEYE on April 28, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
KB0TXC responds:

Sorry, I do not spend my limited time 'gazing' into a reflective ball. Seems to me that you are the expert on that activity.

I do meditate, pray in my own way (not 'prey' as so many organized religions teach), etc and etc. I also think.

You tell me to think before I speak, and I assure you that I do.

I will return the favor of un-asked for advice and suggest to you that you really ought NOT *drink* before you post, "brother".

Toodles

Joe KB0TXC

_________________________

PLANKEYE:

You don't think before you speak, Joe.

You Burp looking up.

You throw up on yourself Joe.

For God's Sake man.

__


You pick one of my silly posts.

Then I pick one of yours.

Lets look around at our posts within the Site!

_________

GO!!






PLANKEYE




 
RE: Ground yourself, "DUDE"!  
by KB0TXC on April 29, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I really think that the Plank-AI should shove a Poly-phasor up its arse and connect it to a good earth ground.

That way, maybe some of the static that it generates (the Plank-AI box) would be dissipated to ground and not go on to become unwanted QRM...

MUWHAAHAAHAAHAA!

73

Joe KB0TXC
 
RE: Ground yourself, "DUDE"!  
by KG4TKC on April 30, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Must be recess time at the grade school,I can hear the kids on the playground.
 
YOU GOT IT BAKWARDS COLLEGE  
by PLANKEYE on April 30, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I really think that the Plank-AI should shove a Poly-phasor up its arse and connect it to a good earth ground.

That way, maybe some of the static that it generates (the Plank-AI box) would be dissipated to ground and not go on to become unwanted QRM...

MUWHAAHAAHAAHAA!

73

Joe KB0TXC

___________

You were supposed to pick one of my silly Posts.

Not post another one of your own.

GO!
 
RE: Ground yourself, "DUDE"!  
by WB2WIK on April 30, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>RE: Ground yourself, "DUDE"! Reply
by KB0TXC on April 29, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I really think that the Plank-AI should shove a Poly-phasor up its arse and connect it to a good earth ground.

That way, maybe some of the static that it generates (the Plank-AI box) would be dissipated to ground and not go on to become unwanted QRM...

MUWHAAHAAHAAHAA!

73

Joe KB0TXC<

::Joe, I don't even know who PLANKEYE is, but this is childish and you're not engendering yourself to the amateur radio community. I also see we've never worked on the air. I'd like to invite you for a contact to discuss this. 40m would work. Want to give it a try?

WB2WIK/6
 
RESPECT  
by PLANKEYE on May 1, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
KB0TXC on April 29, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I really think that the Plank-AI should shove a Poly-phasor up its arse and connect it to a good earth ground.

That way, maybe some of the static that it generates (the Plank-AI box) would be dissipated to ground and not go on to become unwanted QRM...

MUWHAAHAAHAAHAA!

73

Joe KB0TXC

::Joe, I don't even know who PLANKEYE is, but this is childish and you're not engendering yourself to the amateur radio community. I also see we've never worked on the air. I'd like to invite you for a contact to discuss this. 40m would work. Want to give it a try?

WB2WIK/6

______________

PLANKEYE:

It is very childish. I think we can all agree on that.

Folks like Joe follow my posts on this Site like the plague.




PLANKEYE

 
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