Ground mounting a dual band base antenna
I am putting up a Comet GP-3 VHF/UHF dual band antenna at my QTH, but it is a rental property and therefore, semi-permanent. My thought was to cement a section of mast in a 5-gal bucket, and have this sit outside my house at ground level. It will be fed by a 25ft section of RG-213, and I plan on sinking a 4-6ft ground stake, and grounding it.Do I need to bother with a gas tube lightning arrestor? Does anyone have a better solution for better performance?
VHF and UHF is line of sight to the point that any objects in the path will seriously attenuate or completely block signals both inbound and outbound. Ground mounting a VHF/UHF will absolutely kill performance. Another option would be to use a tripod with a telescopic pole. That way you can stick it up when you want to operate and get the height as well. Even finding a way to attach it to the wall above your window or to the top of the window frame offset on a standoff pole would give far better performance than on the ground.
Ground mounting is an absolute waste of a V/UHF antenna. You would get out as well with a stubby ant on a handheld if you were on the ground standing up straight..in a clear space.
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I think you guys may be missing the point. He wants to "plant" a mast in a 5 gal bucket of cement, then mount the antenna to the mast. Doesn't say how tall the mast will be, presumably 5+ feet.
That install would certainly work better than any sort of "rubber duckie" antenna. I'm not sure a ground rod would be necessary, but it won't hurt anything.
Obviously, the taller the mast, the better it would work. Without guying, it may not be possible to go much over 10' or so, just using the cement bucket as a base.
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That's my feeling also.
Originally Posted by K7JEM
If this is for temporary use and will be rolled into hiding somewhere when not in use, I wouldn't bother with the ground rod. I doubt you'd be sitting outside using it during a lightning storm. Other than for some measure of lightning protection, the ground serves no purpose.
Alternative "temporary" setups abound: If you have a patio/picnic table with a hole in the middle for an umbrella post, those (especially heavy tables with a heavy "footing" for the umbrella post) can support pretty big stuff, possibly even a 10' mast with the antenna on top. My patio table has a thick glass top and weighs a ton, and has a cast iron "footing" piece for the umbrella, and could probably support an HF tribander! It surely supports a 9' umbrella "up" and fully extended in a 50 mph wind without budging the table.
Just to clarify, I am NOT able to mount anything to the house, or a would just put a tripod on the roof. I also don't necessarily need to roll it out of the way, and other than unhooking the coax from my dual band mobile rig during a storm, there is not much I can do to prevent lightning, hence the question about the gas tube. I suppose I could use galvanized steel for a mast and drive it into the ground, but what a lot of work to take it out when I move!
Leave it in and tell them its for a clothes line. My house has a 3m galvanised pole concreted into the ground for the washing line to hang off as does every other house in my street.
Do I just let the steel mast serve as ground, or is an additional ground system needed?