eHam Forums => Station Building => Topic started by: WX7K on November 11, 2007, 04:43:12 PM

Title: Station Bonding
Post by: WX7K on November 11, 2007, 04:43:12 PM
I am building a new ham shack separate from my house and have been reading the grounding/bonding threads with great interest.  My question: how do you bond 3" or wider strapping to the ground system without compromising the cross section (surface area), which is so improtant at radio frequencies?  Or is it not a problem?

Thank you.

Title: Station Bonding
Post by: K9KJM on November 11, 2007, 11:34:06 PM
Go to your local welding shop and get some "hard" silver solder sticks. These go by brand names like "Silfoss" and "Silvaloy", Are around 15% silver, High copper and nickel content.
They can be flowed with a small hand held torch using MAPP gas. Just take some emery cloth or sandpaper and clean up the copper before heating and welding.

(This product is NOT to be confused with the "soft" silver solder sold in home supply stores for plumbing use!)

The "hard" silver solder, Or better described as a welding alloy rod is used in the air conditioner trade, And is what was used by  commercial radio stations many years ago before "Cadwelding" became popular.

A few vice grips, Spring clips, or similar may be needed to maintain  a close fit on the flat copper straps you are going to weld as heat is applied.

Title: Station Bonding
Post by: WX7K on November 14, 2007, 11:21:10 PM
Thanks.  Do you run the strapping under ground?  What do you use to bond the ground system with the station ground in the shack?  Do you use strapping to connect the equipment to the station ground?  

Sorry for all the questions.  I understand the theory but the actual physical connection details are what I am trying to understand.


Title: Station Bonding
Post by: K9KJM on November 16, 2007, 12:41:15 AM
Your flat copper strap is a part of the "ground system"
Ideally, Starting at your "Single Point Ground" (Which could simply be some of your flat copper strap screwed to a piece of plywood, Located near where the coax enters the building, this is the point where your coax switches or lightning arrestors would be mounted.
The flat copper strap then running outdoors, And underground, then bonded to the rest of your ground system. (You can use the before described silver alloy welding sticks to bond the flat copper strap to your ground wires)
For some good info on lightning protection see:
A very long read by the time you have gone through all of the links provided, But well worth your time.
Pay particular attention to the links to the Polyphaser site.
(Many of us have found coax switches that put unused antennas to ground, And lightning arrestors from I.C.E. (Industrial Communications Engineers) to be more cost effective than other brands)

Title: Station Bonding
Post by: WX7K on November 21, 2007, 07:32:12 AM
Thank you.  I have been looking at the Polyphaser line of products and they are not cheap.  I will look into ICE also.

I was reading about exothermic welding and looked into that.  That is not cheap either.  Will go check the silver welding rods at my local welding distributor.

I have been operating inside the city for about 18 years and never really had a proper ground system.  From my recent reading I guess I have been very lucky.  Now I am out in the country with no trees so anything I put up will be the highest point and I need a good ground.

I really appreciate your time on this.  Sometimes the shift from concept to reality is not as clear as one would like it.