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Author Topic: Grounding the Station  (Read 1434 times)
W9DEC
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Posts: 51




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« on: November 05, 2012, 02:39:16 PM »

Putting a ground on my transceiver was very easy as it had a designated fitting, but how do I ground the power supply? What other items in the shack should be grounded and what means should be employed to accomplsih the task?
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K3VAT
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 02:50:56 PM »

Putting a ground on my transceiver was very easy as it had a designated fitting, but how do I ground the power supply? What other items in the shack should be grounded and what means should be employed to accomplsih the task?

Very good, but you need to get a copy of the ARRL Handbook (or something similar) and read the pertinent material.  IMHO, one benefits most from actually going through the full chapter(s) on grounding understanding all the ins-and-outs.  One can find excellent advice here, but also the occasional myth and often the stray opinion; going to the 'standard references' are your best course of action.  Then for specific questions, come back to eHam.

Plus, I see you're located in FL, the Lightning Capital of the US.  So you need full station grounding there - protection from mother nature.

GL, 73, Rich K3VAT
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 02:54:05 PM by K3VAT » Logged
KD0REQ
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Posts: 928




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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 04:44:57 PM »

what else needs to be grounded?  anything that connects directly or indirectly to the RF signal path.  lightning stops, feedthrough panel for antennas, rig, power supply, tuner, any other toys that might be on that side of the chassis of any of the above.  mast or tower.  remote antenna switch.  everything.

most of it will have a big stud and a wingnut in back for that ground connection.  if not, ground to a chassis screw that has continuity to another chassis screw.

it would appear ideal from my reading to have a common ground buss in the shack that directly feeds through to a solid ground system outside the shack.  take your details from researched and/or engineered sources that are solid, like the Handbook and the polyphaser site, instead of the rest of us who haven't spent the time and money they have.
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NN4RH
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Posts: 324




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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2012, 03:45:48 AM »

Putting a ground on my transceiver was very easy as it had a designated fitting, but how do I ground the power supply? What other items in the shack should be grounded and what means should be employed to accomplsih the task?

If this is for lightning protection:

Connecting all those little wingnuts in the back of your equipment to ground won't do much for you unless the feedline coming into the station is grounded outside, and that ground is bonded to the power line ground. If everything coming into the house is grounded outdoors and all grounds bonded with low impedence conductors, i.e. at the same potential; then whether you have anything attached to your wingnuts is completely irrelevent.

If this is for RF grounding:

If you have that much RF on your equipment chassis' then you have other problems. Wingnut grounds on your equipment should have nothing to do with RF grounding. Solve the real problem and forget about wingnuts. Especially if you're trying to use something like a random wire antenna with no counterpoise, or 1/4 wave vertical antenna with no radials. Get rid of the common mode RF currents first.

If this is for AC line safety:

Probably not necessary with modern 12 volt equipment but doesn't hurt anything.

 
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K1CJS
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 04:38:30 AM »

If you ground your power supply you want to make sure that the power cord to that supply does NOT connect to the house electrical ground.  If you don't, you're giving any electrical charge, be it from lightning or simple static electricity, an alternate path to ground RIGHT INSIDE YOUR SHACK.  That's about worst thing you can do.
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K5LXP
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2012, 07:43:49 AM »

http://www.eham.net/articles/8951

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

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N4ZY
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Posts: 81




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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2012, 02:14:55 PM »

i have read the pro/cons of grounding my station..still at a loss.   i have been a ham for 50 years and was told at a ely time in my HAM life to let the station float. which i have done. now that i can own the high priced solid state  equipment i have been told that i should change my mind. i have Icom 75 pro 3 and have icoms before that. my prolem is now that i use computer logging programs L32, i rund sthe software RTTY,psk,etc i get spikes thru cable tv line/phone line. that nocks out the CIV out put of Xmitter. it has happend 3 times in last 8 years.todate i cannot get a real answer to what i must do to prevent this from happening . costly/loss of operating time,and mabey unknown damage to rig. getting old (82) and the mind not to swift. thanks for any comments.
                   Jim N4ZY
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KD0REQ
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Posts: 928




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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2012, 04:02:53 PM »

there are MOV or gas tube lightning suppressors for all sort, manner, and kind of RJ jacks, cable-type jacks, and USB jacks.  get an outlet strip that has 'em all and run everything to the radio through there.

there are other lovely things you can use if you hack open cables, like TranZorbs, but basically you have two issues here.

(1) keep bad voltage outside: lightning protection and nice thick fat grounds.

(2) induced foreign voltages inside:  use suppressors.  they need to tie to common-mode electrical ground at the electrical system.

I've also invested in ethernet ground blocks as well as phone ground blocks for the lines I run from the house into the shack.  so far, so good.  they connect using a Colorado block to whole house electrical ground at the #6 wire on the house side, and bonded shack electrical ground out there.  so far, nothing has come inside.

I disconnect my antennas when I'm not actually wasting electrons, and I'm letting an old BlitzBug and the suppression in my balun take care of the rest.
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N4ZY
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Posts: 81




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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2012, 08:38:55 AM »

thanks for info.i live in the country and can get a high voltage spike from 20 miles away!i have spikes that happen while i am on the air,from out of nowhere.will keep trying !.
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6034




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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2012, 03:53:12 AM »

...i have spikes that happen while i am on the air,from out of nowhere....

Those are most likely from static electricity--maybe just from the wind blowing by your antenna.  Any good co-ax suppressor system should handle them.
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