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Author Topic: Grounds, remote grounding  (Read 515 times)
W8UI
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Posts: 2




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« on: June 11, 2004, 12:12:38 PM »

I am told there is a way to install a remote ground system.  I have a well casing about 100 feet from the operating position and would like to try using it for a ground.  The water in the well is brackish and within 3 feet of the ground level.  I have searched my resources for the topics grounds, grounding and remote grounding with no success.  Does anyone have suggestions?  W8UI@arrl.net
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2004, 02:45:07 PM »

As a ground for what, exactly?

A "remote" ground doesn't work as a substitute for a radial system under a vertical, for example; however it works fine, and is the norm, for station equipment grounding, lightning protection grounding, etc -- provided it can be linked via a low-Z path to your common utility ground.

WB2WIK/6
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W8UI
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2004, 06:57:17 PM »

I want to establish a good general ground for equipment and lightning protection.  Since the well casing is 100 feet away, I don't want to put in a long wire lead that will become a radiator.  My thinking is with brackish water in the well so close to the surface, the casing should make a good ground.  I have also considered putting a vertical antenna near the casing, using it as a ground along with some radials.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2004, 10:57:20 AM »

For general station grounding and lightning protection I would not run 100-feet to get to the well. You'd be better off to put a ground rod or two closer to the shack.

The well casing may make a good ground for a vertical that is mounted within a few inches of it.
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KA0GKT
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2004, 02:21:06 AM »

I have been in the position of a "Remote Ground" several times, however it was somewhat more sophisticated than the well casing.

Directional AM broadcast stations are just such a "Remote Ground", however it is much more involved than just one well casing.

Any RF or lightning ground should be a low impedence ground.  In broadcast, we use wide copper strip.  In mu most recent installation we used 4" and 6"- wids copper.  The wide flat strip has the advantage that it is a low impedence path for lightning transients and exhibits a low impedence well into the microwave region.  Lightning, being basically a very powerful string of squarewaves creates meaningful transients well into the GHz.

While you could indeed run a run of 6",8" or better yet 12" copper strip from your shack to the well casing, if the brackish water level is really just a few feet down, I would put my ground system much closer to the shack to eliminate the losses incurred in the long ground run, furthermore, if the water in your area is brackish (brackish being partially salt water, like what you get in your typical river near the tidewater), your copper strip won't last long in the ground and you will be replacing it in a few short years.

Harger Lightning Protection stocks the copper strip and has a very good white paper on lightning protection available in a PDF file on their web site.

As a professional Broadcast Engineer with over 25 years experience in ground systems, It is my strong suggestion that you rent a 3-point hitch post hole digger and put several 10' ground stakes made from 2" diameter copper water pipe into the ground in a star pattern 10-15' away from your house and bond all of the grounds to it via at least a 4" wide Cu strap.  This should give you a decent RF ground and will afford a little protection from lightning in the event something blows up and you forget to pull the plug and antennas from your station.

73 es Good Luck.

de KA0GKT/7
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