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Author Topic: Station grounding - 2nd floor condo  (Read 4207 times)
KK4IOH
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Posts: 2




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« on: April 24, 2012, 08:16:27 AM »

I am just starting out and building my first station at home. More in the planning and preparing state at this point.

I am using a mobile rig for VHF/UHF only now and a mag mount on my grill. This set up works OK for my local repeaters but I want my porch and grill back ASAP.

I live in a 2 story 4 unit condo built in 1929. The electrical outlets aren't even grounded plugs.
To complicate things more I am on the 2nd floor.

My station will be located on an exterior wall which is brick on the exterior and plaster on the inside.

I am not sure If I can get antenna's on the roof or if the attic will be the best I can do. Then I have to choose what to use of course.


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K1CJS
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2012, 09:28:53 AM »

For VHF/UHF, if you're going to put a 'permanent' antenna up on the roof or the house, you have to run a ground cable down to a ground stake from the antenna mast or tripod.  It is not necessary for an RF ground, simply as a lightning/discharge and safety ground.  You need not run a shack ground at all, but still must install a lightning/surge arrestor in the co-ax line to the shack.

However, if all you're going to do is to put that magmount up so you can use that, it isn't necessary to run any ground since that is considered a temporary antenna.
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KC7YE
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2012, 04:09:12 PM »

I feel your pain ! Run HF to Buddistick or Ham stick out window, after dark or when see building Nazis leave. Had lots of RF in shack. Obtained some copper braid, ran under rug and along wall to cold water pipe. No more RF problem XYL not happy. Now if could get rid of the electrical hash ------- To cold and wet here in Western WA to want to spend winters (sept - june) sitting in car, mobile.
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KK4IOH
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2012, 05:27:52 AM »

I can definitely use the attic but I also think I could get away with something small like a discone or a small vertical (dual band for 2m & 70cm) on the roof if i strapped it to the chimney. If I can figure out a way to get on the roof I possibly could use a wire for HF maybe between 2 chimneys if the distance is long enough.

Having no ground on the AC has always bothered me.

I have an 18 story building diagonally located across the street and I'm sandwiched between 2 - 2 story buildings similar to the one I live in. My landlord had no issue with me running cable outlets and Ethernet throughout my place as long as it was done properly.

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LA9XNA
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2012, 09:44:24 PM »

If yøu are using balanced antennas and running at reasonable power(100W) the grounding is not that important.
The main reason for station grounding is for RFI to bleed off.
If you use dipoles for HF and Diamond X-50 or similar no problem.
To bound the chassis of the equipment in your setup is more important.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2012, 08:47:43 AM »

If you use a balanced antenna you don't need an "RF ground" but if it is located outside on the roof then it certainly needs a ground connection to a ground rod or building steel to help protect against lightning damage. Without it, even a nearby strike can couple enough energy into the antenna and coax to arc over somewhere and start a fire.

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LA9XNA
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2012, 11:12:39 AM »

If you use a balanced antenna you don't need an "RF ground" but if it is located outside on the roof then it certainly needs a ground connection to a ground rod or building steel to help protect against lightning damage. Without it, even a nearby strike can couple enough energy into the antenna and coax to arc over somewhere and start a fire.



The simpel solution to a nerbye strike is to unplug the radio when not operating.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2012, 01:50:02 PM »

"The simpel solution to a nerbye strike is to unplug the radio when not operating."

That may protect the radio but you'll still have high voltage on the feed line into the shack with the potential for arc-over and fire. The antenna mast and feed line shield absolutely need to be returned to ground via a low impedance path. The radio is probably the least of your potential problems. I also expect the liability could be quite sizable for damage to the building caused by the improper safety grounding of an antenna that you installed on the roof.


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