Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

donate to eham
   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Grounding Layout  (Read 5366 times)
KE0MWV
Member

Posts: 11




Ignore
« on: October 10, 2017, 05:28:14 PM »

I've got a HT and a mobile and now I'm building out a shack.  I've got a couple of options.

1.  I can put it in a finished room in the basement of the house (the bottom structure).  There's a 25' tower just outside the room (TV antenna on it now) and that has a certain appeal.  But my end goal is 40M QRP CW. Which leads me to option two.

2.  I have two open acres to the north of the top building (my shop).  It has 60amp electrical service from the transformer pole which is likely enough for anything I'll ever actually do.  I'm thinking a 40M inverted V in the field along with some other possibilities.  Not quite as convenient as the house but a lot more flexibility and room, particularly with regard to antennas.

Before I do any of this I'm trying to sort out my electrical grounds.  I live in the country in Nebraska so lightning is fairly common.  Even had a nice light show last night, a little late in the season for us but so it goes.

The transformer pole has a #6 ground wire running in the open down the pole.  Electrical service runs underground from the meter socket to both the house and the shop (garage too).  The house is about 65', the shop about 160'.

Neither the house nor the shop have a ground strap from anything.  Both have a #6 copper wire going back to the transformer pole.

My question is this.  What ground do need where and what should be attached to it so that i don't create unintended current paths, particularly with regards to lightning?

Logged
W2WDX
Member

Posts: 215




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2017, 01:29:31 PM »

Grounding should always be performed (at a minimum) at the point where any antenna feedline enters the shack. All station grounding inside the shack should be bonded to that as well. All station grounds, especially the one in the shack should have the shortest length possible to the ground rod.

When I say grounding, I mean a rod driven into the soil at least 4 ft long. Your feedline should come down to the ground and be grounded directly to that rod (via some coax or balanced grounding device) then enter the shack. Your shack grounds should be bonded to that ground rod. It makes sense to keep the station location as close to the grounding rod as possible. Long ground lines cause many different headaches.

Lighting is so powerful, if it wants to take your equipment, it will. You can only mitigate the issue, not prevent it. Understand and believe that fact.

In addition, your electrical service should have its own grounding (safety) at the point where the electrical service comes into each structure. In other words each building should have its own electrical service safety ground rod. If your electrical panels inside each structure does not have it own ground rod and grounding that's very dangerous and not to code, so get it done. (Your fire insurance will not cover you if you have an electrical fire if your grounding is not to code, regardless of whether or not you have a station. Just sayin). Your station ground should also be bonded via a heavy wire to your electrical safety ground for the building it is in.

If by "transformer pole" you mean where your electrical service feeds your property from the street (then goes underground to feed the house and shop), do not get that involved in your antenna system or your grounding at all. Never never never have an antenna near electrical services or wires. First, it's just dangerous. Second, you will pick up noise, sometimes lots of it. You have a tower attached to the house, use that as your high point.

« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 01:47:14 PM by W2WDX » Logged

KD0ZGW
Member

Posts: 714




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2017, 10:33:05 AM »

I did a lot of research on this for my shack.  It boils down to making sure the various feedlines are grounded just outside the shack, the equipment in the shack is all grounded to the shack external ground, and the various lightning grounds are tied together.  For me this meant the ground rods on my tower are tied together, tied to the service ground, and tied to the ground rod outside the shack.

It's also often recommended to ground tower feedline(s) shields at the tower base and rotator control cables should also have lightning supression.

If you operate in your out building you should tie in your shack ground to the ground rod on the service panel for that building.

If anyone reading this that knows more about it than I do and sees an error please feel free to correct me.  It would really piss off my XYL if I got electrocuted while operating.

KD0ZGW
Logged
KE0MWV
Member

Posts: 11




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2017, 03:15:49 PM »

Grounding should always be performed (at a minimum) at the point where any antenna feedline enters the shack. All station grounding inside the shack should be bonded to that as well. All station grounds, especially the one in the shack should have the shortest length possible to the ground rod.

When I say grounding, I mean a rod driven into the soil at least 4 ft long. Your feedline should come down to the ground and be grounded directly to that rod (via some coax or balanced grounding device) then enter the shack. Your shack grounds should be bonded to that ground rod. It makes sense to keep the station location as close to the grounding rod as possible. Long ground lines cause many different headaches.

Lighting is so powerful, if it wants to take your equipment, it will. You can only mitigate the issue, not prevent it. Understand and believe that fact.

In addition, your electrical service should have its own grounding (safety) at the point where the electrical service comes into each structure. In other words each building should have its own electrical service safety ground rod. If your electrical panels inside each structure does not have it own ground rod and grounding that's very dangerous and not to code, so get it done. (Your fire insurance will not cover you if you have an electrical fire if your grounding is not to code, regardless of whether or not you have a station. Just sayin). Your station ground should also be bonded via a heavy wire to your electrical safety ground for the building it is in.

If by "transformer pole" you mean where your electrical service feeds your property from the street (then goes underground to feed the house and shop), do not get that involved in your antenna system or your grounding at all. Never never never have an antenna near electrical services or wires. First, it's just dangerous. Second, you will pick up noise, sometimes lots of it. You have a tower attached to the house, use that as your high point.

Thanks for the information!  Much appreciated.

I did locate the earth ground on the house.  Still looking on the shop but I'll have to pull the panel cover to see what goes where.  It isn't obvious externally so may be one more project.

Not using the transformer pole grounds, just an explanation that the house and shop were in parallel rather than a subpanel being fed from the main panel.

Independent of the need to earth ground the shop, I think to use the shop I'd have to bond the house and shop together if I'm understanding my research.  Not sure how I'd do that across the driveway.  Still, that two acres of pasture to the north of the shop would be right handy for antennas.

In the meanwhile, the house may be the best option to start with.  Need a ground field by the tower one way or the other.

Thanks again!
Logged
KE0MWV
Member

Posts: 11




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2017, 03:17:57 PM »

I did a lot of research on this for my shack.  It boils down to making sure the various feedlines are grounded just outside the shack, the equipment in the shack is all grounded to the shack external ground, and the various lightning grounds are tied together.  For me this meant the ground rods on my tower are tied together, tied to the service ground, and tied to the ground rod outside the shack.

It's also often recommended to ground tower feedline(s) shields at the tower base and rotator control cables should also have lightning supression.

If you operate in your out building you should tie in your shack ground to the ground rod on the service panel for that building.

If anyone reading this that knows more about it than I do and sees an error please feel free to correct me.  It would really piss off my XYL if I got electrocuted while operating.

KD0ZGW

This is kind of where I'm landing. The two buildings in parallel, rather than sub fed from house, had me a little baffled.  I think I just need to stay with the house since it is the known layout.  Plus has a 30' tower next to it.  Still, that open two acres north of the shop would be nice for an antenna farm someday.

A guy's gotta dream, right?
Logged
N3HEE
Member

Posts: 431


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2017, 10:29:06 AM »

I use 3 eight foot copper clad ground rods spaced about 16 feet apart.  Each rod is bonded together with #4 solid copper wire.  The rods are then bonded to my coax entrance panel ground and electrical service panel ground.  The ground bus inside my shack is also bonded to my outside ground system with #4 solid copper wire. 
Logged

Joe
N3HEE
CW Academy Advisor (Level II)
KE0MWV
Member

Posts: 11




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2017, 11:01:30 AM »

I use 3 eight foot copper clad ground rods spaced about 16 feet apart.  Each rod is bonded together with #4 solid copper wire.  The rods are then bonded to my coax entrance panel ground and electrical service panel ground.  The ground bus inside my shack is also bonded to my outside ground system with #4 solid copper wire. 

That's kind of what I'm planning.  The tower is from previous owner for a TV antenna and doesn't have a ground.  Which I'd never thought much about until now.  Good thing.

Thanks for the info.
Logged
WB4SPT
Member

Posts: 479




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2017, 03:19:55 PM »

I use 3 eight foot copper clad ground rods spaced about 16 feet apart.  Each rod is bonded together with #4 solid copper wire.  The rods are then bonded to my coax entrance panel ground and electrical service panel ground.  The ground bus inside my shack is also bonded to my outside ground system with #4 solid copper wire. 

A good ground rod plan.  But what do you suppose that #4 solid does when lightning drives some kA goes into the rods?  My advice is isolate from the lightning, not make it easier to enter the shack.
Logged
KD0REQ
Member

Posts: 2017




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2017, 01:52:41 PM »

I have upgraded in conjunction with punching a 6-position B&W grounding antenna switch through the shed wall.  inside and out, metal plates screwed to the coax extentions. the outside one is a copper plate connected to the #2 ground lead.. each roof stand and mast runs to ground rods.
Logged
K6AER
Member

Posts: 4666




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2017, 05:30:01 PM »

Ninety five percent of all lightning damage comes into the home via the AC panel.

All grounds need to be bonded at the AC panel.

One deep ground is much better than a bunch of shallow ground rods. More than 16 foot is best.

Your AC panel need to have an AC surge protector.

By putting a great ground at the antenna means that any surge that come into the home via the AC from the pole will go through all the wiring to get to the great ground at the tower. This includes the ham equipment.
Logged
KD4LLA
Member

Posts: 500




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2017, 10:06:46 AM »

A Ham Op near me has his antenna system grounded to his water well (100 or so feet of 6 inch steel pipe).
Logged
K0BT
Member

Posts: 358




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2017, 10:24:33 AM »


I did locate the earth ground on the house.  Still looking on the shop but I'll have to pull the panel cover to see what goes where.  It isn't obvious externally so may be one more project.


The electricians put what they called an Ufer ground in the shop here. It ties to the rebar in the concrete pad.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!