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   Home   Help Search  
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Author Topic: Grounding  (Read 2387 times)

Posts: 39

« on: February 04, 2013, 09:02:23 PM »

1.  I wish to run a #6 copper wire from the copper clad ground rod installed right under my entrance panel.  My panel is on the underside of a cantilever right under my shack on my tri level.  I will have to make a right angle turn if I go around my dining room which projects out 16 ft fm where my entrance panel is.  Then I would have to make a second right angle turn to get back to my house electrical breaker box.
     a.  What is the best way of making these 90 deg turns?

     b.  Could I make a loop at the corner and then "come off of" this loop at the corners?

     c.  One way around this would be to go under the dining room?  Is this electrically dangerous?    I could reduce the length of the ground wire by half or even less if I went underneath.          What if I ran the wire in metal conduit under the dining room?   

Thanks     Ray

Posts: 227

« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2013, 09:12:41 PM »

What is the ground for? If it's a ground for your antenna in case of lighting???  Shocked sounds dangerous to me

Posts: 1003

« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2013, 09:59:56 PM »

Agreed - do not connect to anything in your breaker box. If you're in a heavy lightning area, use a lightning arrestor on your lead in just before it enters the house. If your house has 3-prong outlets, your equipment is already grounded through the power cords. that is often all you need.
Using number 6 wire might be for outdoor lightning rods, or grounding a tower, but not for your equipment inside the house.
someone with more electrical expertise please jump in!

Posts: 376

« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2013, 12:27:54 AM »

Questions about grounding setups are much easier to answer if you include a diagram. Please include:
- Your house, and any nearby outbuildings.
- Antennas (both amateur and other antennas)
- Feed lines (distinguish between coax and ladder line).
- Ground wires/straps (label with what AWG or mm^2 they are)
- Ground rods
- Electrical service entrance (is it from air cables or ground cables). Is it IT, TT or TN-C?
- Antenna entrance box
- Preferably, also include where water and gas lines enter the house.

Perhaps make an overview drawing of the lot and house, and a detailed one of your shack.

Posts: 128

« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2013, 06:12:15 AM »

If you are grounding your antennas and coax and your station to the ground rod at the entrance panel for your service, this is actually how it is to be done.

At your station, mount a common buss bar (any strip of 1/8" copper will do or even a grounding buss bar from your local home depot etc.) and run separate grounding cables from your equipment to this buss bar with the lengths as short as possible with a little slack in them so that you can still move your equipment around for cleaning or attaching your coax.

From the copper strip or buss bar, run a #6 or #4 copper ground line to the outside using the shortest route just outside your station. At the end of this, attach it to an 8 foot ground rod. From this new ground rod, tie it in to the ground rod at the service panel entrance ground rod using the same size or larger ground wire that you ran out of your station. If the distance is longer than 16 feet, try to add another ground rod at least every 16 feet or as close as possible. (If you are 14 - 15 feet, this is ok. More is better but not closer to each other than 12 feet. If you are 18 - 20 feet, not so good unless the total run is this length. They may need to be closer if the soil is a poor ground type.) At the 90 degree turns, just carry it out away from the house in a wide sweeping turn. (Not less than 18" radius, preferably at least a 3 foot radius.)

Now, back to the area where you brought out the new ground wire from your station and the first new ground rod. On the house or a post very close to the house, mount an outdoor type electrical box (bought from the home depot, lowes, whatever store is in your area) and mount it about 1 foot above ground. In this box, mount a piece of copper plate at the back side of this box on a piece of 3/4" plywood. Now on this plate, mount another buss bar similar to what you mounted inside your station for your equipment. From the buss bar to the ground rod that is right below your mounted box, or very close, connect another ground #6 or #4 wire. Run all of your coax and control wires etc. into this box from your antennas and towers or any equipment that you intend to mount outside. In the box, you attach all of these leads to the appropriate type of grounding connector. (Coax polyphasers, static bleeds, polyphasers for the control wires for a rotator, etc.) The grounding connectors are mounted directly to the copper back panel that you installed in the back of the box. Then you connect your jumper leads from these grounding connectors and run them inside to your station.

There are also bushings that you can put around your coax and other cables going into and out of the box to help keep it weatherproof for the most part.

This is about the way I did mine after much reading and trying to follow the national electrical codes.

A few good reads but lengthy: All are great references. The first 3 - 4 will give you the basic explanation and the rest will help you to understand more, but VERY long reading.

(Go down to the grounding section)


I could go on, but I have to get back to work. HI HI

Good luck on your station project and maybe we will catch each other on the bands......


Joe / AJ3O

Posts: 39

« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2013, 09:33:40 AM »

Sorry if I wasn't clear about ground rods.  If  I routed around the dining room I was going to sink another 8 ft rod, then go to house electrical box which has a ground attached to water line, a licensed electrian told me this was OK. I'll also read up some more.

At my QTH, all utilities are buried.  I have an entrance panel for coax with a ground connector.  My rod is almost under my entrance panel.
The only other antennas are a satellite dish and a tv antenna in my attic.  My vertical is two thirds of the distance from the house to my back fence.  There is about 35 ft from the add on dining room to the fence.

1. Right now the main thing I need to know now is whether or not I can run my ground under the dining room,wire laying on the ground or in conduit??  My ground wire length would be between one-third to one-half the length this way. 

2.  Also, how do I take care of the 90 deg turns and not reduce conductivity of my ground wire?  Maybe put another 8 ft rod at the corner?

Thanks For Help!      Ray
3.  Why wouldn't my equipment in the shack all ready be grounded through the third pin on the power plugs?

3.  Don't know about where you live, but 6 ga copper is about $1.50 per foot, would think 4 ga would be out of sight!  I could almost buy a small copper rod for that amount.  Any ideas of other possible conductors?

Thanks For Info     Ray

Posts: 128

« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2013, 09:54:33 AM »

If you were to take a strike and load that ground wire with anything remotely flammable near that wire, you may not have a QTH to worry about. I would take it the long way around and ground rods every 16' and adding one on the corner would help, but if you make it a long sweeping turn, you will be fine without that extra ground rod. The optimum thing would be a loop of ground wire with ground rods around the full perimeter of the house. Overkill, maybe, but it does usually lower your receive noise also. Also, bury the ground wire a minimum of 3 inches but I have seen people take it to 18 inches below the yard level.

To answer the additional questions:

1. The equipment is grounded through the third plug. BUT, if the equipment gets a jolt from the outside via the coax or rotator wires, everything is now at a different voltage level than the rest of the equipment in the shack and your house wiring. Big shorts and voltage spikes could blow out other equipment or even everything plugged into any of the circuits in the house. At least that is the way that I understand it.

2. The local Lowes at my QTH had 50 foot spools of #6 at $39.95 and #4 at $50 a few months ago. Start with two rolls with the 6 ground rods needed and then add 1 roll and 3 ground rounds at a time when the money is there. If you can make it to the service from where you are now with one roll, just start with that and add more later. The key is to tie it all together to prevent the voltage differentials between circuits in and around the house.

To restate what I said earlier, this is what I have taken from all the reading material I posted previously and I am in no way a professional at this.

Hope this helped....


Joe / AJ3O
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