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Author Topic: station grounding help  (Read 2457 times)
KF6AGM
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Posts: 23




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« on: July 11, 2009, 06:07:56 PM »

I am finally getting around in completing the preparation work for setting up my base station. I remembered that I need to install the 8 foot ground rods 16 feet apart, but how many grounding rods will I need in order for the station to work? Is two sufficient? I had also read the recent topic posted by another ham who used bentonite (clumping cat litter) and liked the idea of having it work as well as rock salt but with no corrosiveness. Does it affect the roots of plants in the same way as salt or will it not affect the roots at all? I'd like to put in some new flowering shrubs after I put the grounding system in, but I want to make sure that bentonite won't hurt the plants.
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K2FR
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2009, 06:22:27 PM »

Couple questions.

Are you grounding your antenna or station?

If the station,  Are you grounding for RF or for chassis current?

Do you have modern wiring to the radio/house/shack?


My current setup, has 0 grounding.  its a yaesu ft-450, and an LDG At-100 pro auto tuner coax to balun, out to ladder line upto Dipole.

I unplug the antenna when storms roll in,  and have had 0 problems.

Modern electronics dont need grounding, if everything is sound with your station.

Answer those few questions and we can better understand what grounding your going for here.
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KF6AGM
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2009, 11:03:42 PM »

Couple questions.

Are you grounding your antenna or station?
I am doing both.

If the station, Are you grounding for RF or for chassis current?
I am grounding for RF.

Do you have modern wiring to the radio/house/shack?
Yes, I had an electrician install two seperate circuits in the room where the station will be set up - one 15 amp for the PC and one 20 amp for the ham station. Both are 3 wire 125 volt. The electrician also fixed a code violation in relation to the electrical ground - now it is double bonded.
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K9KJM
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2009, 11:07:56 PM »

Yes, With VHF/UHF antennas, And using balanced dipole type HF antennas, NO type of ground is needed. Also, With modern day homes wired for the 3rd grounded prong outlets, No type of "safety" ground is needed either.  

That leaves installing a lightning protection ground system, And/Or an RF ground for using unbalanced or end fed wire antennas, A HF vertical, etc.

For lightning, The ground rods spaced twice the distance apart as the depth is correct, Along with BONDING all grounds together. (Power, Telco, Catv, Ham tower, etc.)
For some good info on that see:
http://members.cox.net/pc-usa/station/ground0.htm

For an RF ground, What you need are radial wires to form a counterpoise. (Ground rods do little for RF ground)
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K2FR
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2009, 03:46:06 AM »

A trick one of the guys I speak to regularly does for RF Ground,  he uses 14Gauge stranded copper wire..  Attaches it to the ground on his transceiver.. and runs it out a window in the shack and runs 60-70 feet of it straight out..  and it has eliminated nearly every bit of RF ..


As for lightning protection, ground rods etc etc. and as the other person mentioned, make sure you fuse them all together at the base.  Thick copper straps work great for this.  (Solder will not hold up to a lightning strike just fyi)
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