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Author Topic: RF Ground and electrical ground in an apartment  (Read 1759 times)
N6EG
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Posts: 23




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« on: April 18, 2002, 12:06:54 AM »

I live in a 3 story apartment building on the top floor.  I'm also near some overhead power lines.  The ground floor of the building is all concrete and there's no way to run a wire to ground rod from the 3rd floor.  

I plan to put up a ham stick dipole on a fiberglass mast on my balcony.  I know that a dipole doesn't really need an RF ground but I'm wondering if using something like an MFJ artificial ground would help antenna performance.  Also, how do I provide an electrical ground for the radio?  About all I could do is run a wire to the center screw on the wall socket.  Any suggestions on how other apartment-based hams handle electrical grounding?

Thanks,

Ed
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20574




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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2002, 11:42:09 AM »

The MFJ Artificial Ground should not help antenna performance in any way; however, if you have "hot chassis" problems, i.e., RF current flowing on your equipment chassis due to reflected current returning on the outer conductor of your coaxial cable from the antenna (due to mismatch), then the Artificial Ground can help resolve that problem.  Since it's not a problem yet, I wouldn't worry about it.

An electrical safety ground can normally be provided via the third wire in your electrical outlets.  If you're unsure that the apartment wiring is up to snuff, you can buy an inexpensive ground tester (3-prong device, just plugs in) at Home Depot or any electrical supply outlet.

WB2WIK/6
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N6HBJ
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Posts: 136


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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2002, 11:10:43 PM »

Wouldnt a counterpoise wire (correct length of course), from the ground of the radio strung around the floor of the apt provide the appropriate rf ground and improve performance?
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KG4VGH
Member

Posts: 47




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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2003, 04:28:50 PM »

Hi also in an apartment....grounding solution I used....for the rigs and power supply...
I ran a master 1/4 soft copper wire to the cold water side of the hot water heater....the cold water is the incoming from the outside underground....ground to it  and you have grounde to earth....then took a grounding block and grounded each peice of equipment that I wanted grounded....
hope that helps....
by the way...the copper wire although soft copper...is stiff enoung to run under the carpet and padding...so no holes in the wall are needed....
Pete
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