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Grounding Do's Don'ts & Why Part 2

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by KF5LJW, Feb 28, 2012.

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  1. KF5LJW

    KF5LJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Glen that is interesting. I worked for a POCO in OK for the first 10 years of my career, and they have a coal plant in Oologah OK burning Wyoming coal though. I have never heard of using Lignite as back-fill before. My only question would be the corrosive effect using it with copper as sulfur does not play well with copper.

    Anyway Bentonite Clay is cheap and plentiful, especially in TX, OK or any state with Oil and Gas production. Heck I bet with a case a beer and a visit to any drilling rig, the Roughnecks would load your pick truck up.
     
  2. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    We never had a problem with lignite. Also, lignite is much lower in sulfur than "hard coal". In addition, lignite is used as "drilling mud" as well as bentonite. As such, there may be a possibility that "drilling mud" obtained from various sources might just be lignite rather than bentonite! I didn't realize that lignite was used as "drilling mud" until just a few minutes ago when I read several Internet references.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lignite

    http://www.tmra.com/mining-resources/lignite-mining

    Luminant is TXU! Well, nowadays, Energy Future Holding.

    The EPA rates lignite as very low sulfur.

    http://www.epa.gov/ttnchie1/ap42/ch01/final/c01s07.pdf

    Actually, lignite is much closer to peat than coal.

    Glen, K9STH
     
  3. WD5JOY

    WD5JOY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank You kind sir! You do a fine job, as do others. I enjoy refreshing and/or filling in the gaps time has created. Again - THANKS!
     
  4. KF5LJW

    KF5LJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    That really surprises me because Lignite has a reputation of spontaneous combustion.
     
  5. K9KJM

    K9KJM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have never seen a problem using rock salt. While there may very well be much better products to use, It seems to work fine. I just dug up and inspected a rock salt enhanced ground system at a commercial tower last summer. That was installed in 1982, Almost 30 years ago. The copper strap leading to the drilled large size diameter copper tube looked almost as good as the day it was installed!
    YMMV with different soil types........
    For what it's worth, The Harger "Ground Enhancer" material that is sold in bags (For big bucks) looks and feels like a fine ground coal product of some kind...........
    A low cost good method of doing connections can be done using a small hand held torch with MAPP gas, And some true "hard" silver solder. Common names are "Silfoss, Silvalloy" etc. Used by the air conditioner trade. This is the same product that was used many years ago installing the radial field at AM radio tower sites.
    NOT to be confused with the "soft" silver solder sold for todays plumbing systems or plain lead/tin solder with a much lower melting temperature, Which should never be used outdoors for a lightning ground system.
     
  6. WD5JOY

    WD5JOY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back perhaps five or so years I purchased "Sil-Fos-15" (15% Silver - 80% Copper - 5% Phosporus.) and found it easy to work with if the proper MAPP torch temp was applied and patience was at the top of my list for the day. I also use the mechanical clamps below the attach-point just in case. Maybe fooled myself, but felt the job would last longer than me (then I moved and it stayed in the ground!). Here at the new dump I used the mechanical method and 'prayed' I did OK. Old farts do this a lot. Something's gonna get us anyway.;)

    Silver Solder 15% --- "Sil-Fos-15" --- .050 x .125 x 20" Rod - BCuP5 - Brazing Alloy - Allows you to solder copper without using flux --- Melting point of 1190 F and Flow Point of 1475 F

    (Specs @): http://www.silfos.com/htmdocs/product_support/alloy_selection_guide.html

    Manufactured by Lucas Milhaupt --- [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. KF5LJW

    KF5LJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well you have to forgive me because I speak from the pro POV and we cannot use Rock Salt as the Employment Prevention Agency will not allow us to use it

    Just curious is that a relatively new product line from Hager? I have used their Chemical Ground Rods for years, and their literature at the time instructed to use Bentonite. I did look at the Hager Ground Enhancer documentation and will be looking into a bit further. I did find one claim questionable about Bentonite shrinkage in dry conditions.

    Thanks for that. Again forgive my POV because in my industry the default is exothermic welding and/or Burndy HyGround Compression.

    Just from the sound of it using a torch and special solder my be a very good alternative and affordable for HAMS
     
  8. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    LJW:

    Even "regular" coal is very subject to spontaneous combustion! Coal bunker fires were very common when coal was the primary fuel used on steamships.

    I have never had any corrosion problems with rock salt used in chemical grounds. However, like so many other things, the EPA no longer allows its use, especially in new installations.

    The same with lignite. That is, no corrosion problems. That may well be because lignite has a low sulfur content.

    Glen, K9STH
     
  9. KF5LJW

    KF5LJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well they still are in coal fired generating plants. They have to have water trucks driving around all day pouring water on the coal pile to keep it under control.
     
  10. K9KJM

    K9KJM Ham Member QRZ Page

     
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