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Author Topic: Grounding my station  (Read 701 times)
KE7NVY
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Posts: 46




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« on: October 23, 2007, 03:59:23 PM »

I'm setting up my first HF station and have a couple of issues regarding grounding.  I'm putting up a fairly simple dipole antenna.  I've read a bunch of articles about lightning protection and think I understand the fundamental requirements, but...

My antenna is going up on the east side of the house.  My shack will be in spare room that is also on the east side.  I'll drive a ground rod in just outside that room, mount a plate on it and a lightning suppressor on the plate, then route the coax from the radio and a ground strap outside to it.

1st question.  The AC service ground rod is inside the garage, on the west side of the house (right below the breaker panel).  It goes down through the cement pad that's the garage floor.  I don't know how long it is.  What's the best way to connect the new ground rod to it: run a heavy cable or strap around the outside of the house and then somehow into the garage, or run it under the house through the crawlspace in a more direct path?  The latter assumes that I can even get at the area where the original ground rod is located from the crawlspace; I haven't looked yet.  I would have to either dig into the dirt under the garage cement pad (from the crawlspace) to expose part of the rod and attach the strap from the new rod to it, or somehow run the new strap up through the wall that divides the garage from the house.

2nd question.  The antenna is an 2-band inverted vee (pairs of wires for 10 and 20 meters), with the center point suspended about 20' up in a tree.  One leg is tied to the top of a 10' PVC pipe that's clamped to a 4x4 fence post.  The other leg is tied to an eye bolt screwed into one corner of the roof of the house.  Both legs will have insulators and several feet of Dacron cord between the antenna wire and the tie point.  Do I have any lightning problems there?

3rd question.  Is this a sufficient plan for lightning protection?  At some point in the future I may decide to put up one or two vertical antennas (HF and/or VHF/UHF), but that's a ways out.  If and when I do, they'll be mounted on either a roof tripod or a simple vertical mast attached to the side of the house; I have no plans to build a tower (maybe after I win the lottery and move out to the country onto a mountain).

Jeff KE7NVY
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W3LK
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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2007, 04:44:55 PM »

I suggest you read the fifth thread down called "basement ground rods". It will answer some of your questions.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2007, 06:05:38 PM »

1st question. T run a heavy cable or strap around the outside of the house and then somehow into the garage,

Yes, but no strap, #6 solid or heavier.


2nd question. The antenna is an 2-band inverted vee (pairs of wires for 10 and 20 meters), w Do I have any lightning problems there?


No


3rd question. Is this a sufficient plan for lightning protection?

Yes

At some point in the future I may decide to put up one or two vertical antennas (HF and/or VHF/UHF),

Just install lightning arrestors on those coaxes right at where you plan to install the one for the dipole.
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K9KJM
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2007, 01:08:48 AM »

Yes, Running the bonding outside the house is the way to go.  As mentioned, #6 gauge bare copper wire or heavier. Copper strap would also work well, But it is generally easier to just use the wire. I would also add a few ground rods along that wire path, every 20 or so feet.
http://members.cox.net/pc-usa/station/ground0.htm

and

http://www.comm-omni.com/polyweb/hamradio1.htm
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K8KAS
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2007, 07:15:01 AM »

There is no such thing as lighting protection from a single ground rod. I took care of microwave towers and radios for ten years, we went to great lengths to pervent damage from lighting, guess what, it did very little to protect radios and power handling eqpt from a direct hit on the guys or tower.
What are you doing about RF grounding? This is not the same as DC grounding, it causes many many more problems than lighting grounding. I have 30-- 50 foot radials connecting to a copper plate that I use for a RF ground and 6--3/4 inch copper pipes tied together with 1 inch copper strap and still have lost tranciever front ends from near hits. A direct hit would make toast I am sure based on what I saw happen on the microwave towers/eqpt. Good Luck
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2007, 10:34:39 AM »

I would agree with the add'l ground rods comments above but he's running a dipole antenna.  This is a balanced antenna that doesn't need a RF ground.
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KE7NVY
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2007, 03:07:35 PM »

Ok, thanks very much for the replies.  I've read a lot of this before, but it's all seemed very disjointed and I had trouble applying it to my situation.  Your input helped confirm some things I thought to be the case and clarified some others.

Jeff KE7NVY
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