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Author Topic: New Ham Shack Grounding  (Read 553 times)
KM6NFF
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Posts: 122




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« on: December 08, 2017, 10:41:14 PM »

I'm setting up my first Ham Shack and need some help. I have a Icom 7300 and a MFJ loop antenna also a power supply for the radio. The loop antenna also has a remote control that plugs into the wall. I'm on the second floor of my home and have a 1" 25 foot ground braid to help with RF. What I would like to know is where and how do I ground multiple items. Do I connect all things to the braid then run it to the ground rod or do each item connect to the grounding rod separately. I'm trying to avoid a grounding loop. It's a little confusing. Thanks
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WB4SPT
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2017, 08:50:03 AM »

I see no need to ground any item so far.   But, there is also the rig power supply right?   And, its already grounded? 
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KM6NFF
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2017, 10:46:19 AM »

I have an Astron 30 amp power supply there are no grounding terminals in the back but I'm assuming the 3 prong plug takes care of that. But both radio and remote have a grounding terminal, shouldn't those be grounded. I am going to drive a grounding rod with a 1" grounding braid to the radio, It might help for RF. I'm not sure if I just tag into that braid for the remote or run a separate line.
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AB4ZT
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2017, 11:16:30 AM »

I have an Astron 30 amp power supply there are no grounding terminals in the back but I'm assuming the 3 prong plug takes care of that.

Yes.

But both radio and remote have a grounding terminal, shouldn't those be grounded.

No.  If the remote operates off a.c. mains it should also have a 3-prong plug.  If it operates off the d.c. power supply no ground needed (assuming the supply has the appropriate plug).

I am going to drive a grounding rod with a 1" grounding braid to the radio, It might help for RF.

If your antenna requires a ground, install a ground per the instructions.  If by help with RF you mean you have RF in the shack, you have a problem with common mode current that needs attention, and a ground rod is not the solution.  If you intend to install a lightning arrester and run that to a ground rod, that ground rod MUST be tied to the service entrance ground rod, no exceptions.  Actually, that applies to any ground rod that is connected to equipment inside your house, or is used for lighting protection. 

Bottom line, if none of the above applies, you do not need a ground rod.

73,

Richard, AB4ZT
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K5LXP
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« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2017, 11:24:05 AM »

both radio and remote have a grounding terminal, shouldn't those be grounded.

Only if it solves a specific problem.  What issue are you having or what's your requirement?

Quote
or  It might help for RF.

How does shunting receive or transmit energy to earth and dissipating it as heat "help" -?

Making a point is grounding is done for specific reasons and if not done correctly can cause more problems, or even danger, than doing nothing at all.

http://www.eham.net/articles/21383

If by help with RF you mean you have RF in the shack, you have a problem with common mode current that needs attention, and a ground rod is not the solution.

+1

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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KM6NFF
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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2017, 12:22:26 PM »

This was a great article thank you
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KU3X
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« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2017, 02:51:10 PM »

I see no need to ground any item so far.   But, there is also the rig power supply right?   And, its already grounded? 

DC ground and RF ground are two different things.

Sometimes a shielded ground is in order for second floor operations. You can use RG 213 for a shielded ground. You'll need two each
.01 @ 1kv caps. Shunt  one cap each from center conductor to the shield at each end of the coax. Now hook the center conductor to
your ground rod. Hook the center conductor from the other end of the coax to a length of copper flashing that should lay on the back
park of your desk or bench. That shielding is your common ground for your station. You can get copper roofing flashing at Lowes or
Home Depot. You can buy it by the running foot. I think it's 14" wide but don't quote me on that. If 14" is too wide, you can cut it.
Try to keep it around 6" wide.

Usually the power supplies don't have to be connected to your RF ground.

Barry
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KM6NFF
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« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2017, 03:34:50 PM »

Thanks Barry. I'm still waiting on my antenna which comes next week and Coax which should be here soon. I did order a 1" grounding braid that may help. Once everything is connected then I'll evaluate and see where I'm at. I think I'm stressing out to much on grounding everything
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KU3X
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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2017, 03:50:29 PM »

Most of the time if your antennas are balanced and you use a balun on the antenna, an RF ground really does not mean all that much.

My shack is on the second floor and I can actually lift the RF ground, run 1500 watts and have no issues at all.
I've tested my RF ground with a trap and RF amp meter and no RF showed up at all on any frequency on the RF ground.

It's always good to use an RF ground but don't worry yourself.

When I set up portable, I NEVER EVER use an RF ground and have never had any issues. I use resonant antennas and baluns where needed. We ran NPOTA at 500 watts, no ground and no issues.

I am not suggesting you do not use an RF ground, but install it when you have time and can do it right.

Barry
www.ku3x.net

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KM6NFF
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2017, 03:58:37 PM »

Most of the time if your antennas are balanced and you use a balun on the antenna, an RF ground really does not mean all that much.

My shack is on the second floor and I can actually lift the RF ground, run 1500 watts and have no issues at all.
I've tested my RF ground with a trap and RF amp meter and no RF showed up at all on any frequency on the RF ground.

It's always good to use an RF ground but don't worry yourself.

When I set up portable, I NEVER EVER use an RF ground and have never had any issues. I use resonant antennas and baluns where needed. We ran NPOTA at 500 watts, no ground and no issues.

I am not suggesting you do not use an RF ground, but install it when you have time and can do it right.

Barry
www.ku3x.net

I will, Thanks again
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K5LXP
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2017, 06:56:10 PM »

Sometimes a shielded ground is in order for second floor operations. You can use RG 213 for a shielded ground.

"Shielded grounds" are a minsnomer.  Ground currents are common mode and can't be shielded.

https://www.w8ji.com/coaxial_line_and_shielded_wires.htm

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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