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Author Topic: shack grounding  (Read 1335 times)

Posts: 31

« on: April 05, 2019, 09:34:21 PM »

I have been reading and watching utube to get ideas.
I am working on finally getting a proper station setup.
Was thinking of doing a ground rod outside window, then
to a bus bar and grounding everything to that.  However
after searching and watching several videos have said to tie off of
one point.  ie my power supplies to the hf radio, computer and
anything else with a ground point to hf radio then hf radio to
ground bus going outside.
is copper wire or braid the best if wire, what is best size to use?
now to outside, what size wire is best?
at the ground rod, how many and how far apart should they be?
what size wire to connect to each?
my hf will be in the attic, would it need to be grounded?
I will have a dual band in the attic and a 2m outside.
will the dual band fm need to be grounded if so, can I tie it to the
hf end fed wire ground and then to the ground rod?
the outside antenna is to far from the main ground but I can sink
a ground rod by the tv mast it will be on.
do I simply use stainless steal hardware to secure the ground wire
to the base of the mast?
what would be the best size wire to use to connect to the ground rod?


Posts: 6165


« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2019, 08:34:37 AM »

There is a grounding and bonding book put out by the ARRL.  Probably a better investment of your time than the rabbit hole of asking for advice on forums.  Only you know how you want to architect your station, and you're at the bottom of a very steep learning curve right now.

Before you get too far down the grounding road though I would pose the question - what problem are you trying to solve?  I've had stations in every single residence of my entire life and never grounded anything to the extent you're proposing.  So think about what your goals are -very specifically- and then research what the proper methods are to achieve those goals.  To go around and "ground everything" will likely cost you a lot in time and copper and may not net you the protection or benefit you think you're getting, or likely need anyway.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

Posts: 3524

« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2019, 09:15:28 AM »

I think Mark's advice and critique is on the mark.

With most modern stations, the only station type grounding that is worth considering is for lightning mitigation purposes. The ARRL Bonding and Ground book by Ward is a resource that you should have in your library.

- Glenn W9IQ

- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.

Posts: 532

« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2019, 12:05:18 PM »

I think Mark's advice and critique is on the mark.

With most modern stations, the only station type grounding that is worth considering is for lightning mitigation purposes. The ARRL Bonding and Ground book by Ward (Silver N0AX) is a resource that you should have in your library.

Here's a YouTube presentation Ward gave during the 2017 Contest University
Contest University Session 5 -- Grounding and Bonding for the Little Pistol and Medium Gun - N0AX

The book is at ARRL: Grounding and Bonding for the Radio Amateur

It's a keeper!

73 de WA2ONH  <dit dit> ... Charlie
"Never be satisfied with what you know, only with what more you can find out"
Dr David Fairchild 1869-1954 US Scientist

Posts: 18

« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2019, 01:16:34 PM »

Mark hit the nail on the head, what problem are you trying to solve but also just as important is what are you willing to spend to solve the problem? "Grounding and Bonding for the Radio Amateur" is an excellent book and what I used as well as the "Motorola R56 Standards and Guidelines for Communications Sites" when I designed and installed my lightning protection system (there are pictures and drawings of it on my QRZ page).

Bear in mind that my grounding requirements will be different from yours;

1) two previous lightning strikes from the power lines causing damage to items in the house (this is before I installed the tower)

2) a 70 foot tower that is the highest object out from 1/3 mile to 1/2 mile radius in an open field with very few trees

3) the location is is at the top of the hill to begin with

4) the combination of the tower and the antennas on top of it (the largest a Mosley Pro67B) makes it a large target for lightning

5) the system not only had to protect the tower but the house and everything inside it.

My installation has 22 ground rods with a lot of copper underground and was by no means inexpensive. My wife was initially not thrilled with what I spent on the grounding system. Once I explained to her what it was for and how it works she was OK with it. So far it has worked quite well and I have not taken a direct hit yet but the closest ground strike so far has been 300 feet from the tower.

Posts: 1339

« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2019, 02:12:30 PM »


My experience is that (other than for lightning strike mitigation), a good station grounding system can really help if:  1.  Your station  and antenna lot area is very limited,  and 2.  You operate at lower frequency, longer wavelength bands (40, 80 and especially 160M,), and 3. You operate at or near the legal power limit.  Then it CAN help suppress stray RF, if you have this problem... but only if done well (not really practical at some stations).

I have and operate at 3 QTHs.  Only one really needed this solution.  And at that QTH, it worked very well, but required significant effort and investment.

Brian - K6BRN

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