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Thread: How should I ground my antenna?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    NW suburb of Chicago, IL
    Posts
    30

    Default How should I ground my antenna?

    Hello,
    I recently put up a Diamond F22A vertical antenna on top of my house and I believe it is higher than the trees around so I will definitely need to ground it somehow. The antenna base is actually not that far from the ground rod on the side of the house, I am not sure if I need to get a lightning arrestor and run wire from that to the ground rod or just ground the coax inside the house. If anyone could give me some advice on what to do that would be great, thanks.


    73
    'KC9UZU

  2. #2

    Default

    Run a ground conductor from the mast to the ground in the straightest, Most direct route possible, With no sharp bends in the conductor. Drive in a new ground at that point (Only about 10 bucks for the heavy copperclad 1/2" or 5/8" X 8 foot at most discount home supply type stores- Do not use the little 4 foot copper plated cheapies)
    A good ground conductor can be soft type copper tubing that comes in rolls. Sometimes you can find it used cheap from someone taking out an old fashioned fuel oil type furnace. Get that new in the plumbing department at the discount home supply store. Flat copper strap also makes a good ground conductor, The Roofing deparment of the same type store. About the lowest cost new conductor would be some #6 gauge aluminum wire, Was popular years ago for grounding TV masts. (But don't run aluminum underground!) The most important part of lightning protection is bonding all your grounds together. That means running a good size conductor from your mast ground rod to your electric power, Telco, Catv etc grounds.
    As pointed out in the article, A "lightning arrestor" is about the very least important part of a lightning protection system.
    And should be the very last item you spend money on.

    For some tips on how to do it on a low budget:
    http://www.scribd.com/anon-849269/d/...deron-a-budget

    (Give that site plenty of time to load)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    NW suburb of Chicago, IL
    Posts
    30

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by K9KJM View Post
    Run a ground conductor from the mast to the ground in the straightest, Most direct route possible, With no sharp bends in the conductor. Drive in a new ground at that point (Only about 10 bucks for the heavy copperclad 1/2" or 5/8" X 8 foot at most discount home supply type stores- Do not use the little 4 foot copper plated cheapies)
    A good ground conductor can be soft type copper tubing that comes in rolls. Sometimes you can find it used cheap from someone taking out an old fashioned fuel oil type furnace. Get that new in the plumbing department at the discount home supply store. Flat copper strap also makes a good ground conductor, The Roofing deparment of the same type store. About the lowest cost new conductor would be some #6 gauge aluminum wire, Was popular years ago for grounding TV masts. (But don't run aluminum underground!) The most important part of lightning protection is bonding all your grounds together. That means running a good size conductor from your mast ground rod to your electric power, Telco, Catv etc grounds.
    As pointed out in the article, A "lightning arrestor" is about the very least important part of a lightning protection system.
    And should be the very last item you spend money on.

    For some tips on how to do it on a low budget:
    http://www.scribd.com/anon-849269/d/...deron-a-budget

    (Give that site plenty of time to load)



    Is there any way I could somehow put a copper strap around the mast and run something directly to where the ground pole is on the side of my house? If I can do that it would be a very easy job because they are somewhat close together.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UZU View Post

    Is there any way I could somehow put a copper strap around the mast and run something directly to where the ground pole is on the side of my house? If I can do that it would be a very easy job because they are somewhat close together.
    Go to the electric section of your hardware store and buy a pipe clamp. This will clamp around the pipe and give you a terminal to attach the ground wire to.

    The coax shield should be grounded before it enters the house. You can use a bulkhead connector, barrel connector, etc.
    Charley K1DNR

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    56

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by K1DNR View Post
    Go to the electric section of your hardware store and buy a pipe clamp. This will clamp around the pipe and give you a terminal to attach the ground wire to.

    The coax shield should be grounded before it enters the house. You can use a bulkhead connector, barrel connector, etc.

    And when you're done with that you should give thought to joining your local radio club http://frrl.org/ They meet at ST. Rita's Church in Aurora on the second Tuesday of every month; 7:15PM would be a good time to show up.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    NW suburb of Chicago, IL
    Posts
    30

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KC9RGF View Post
    And when you're done with that you should give thought to joining your local radio club http://frrl.org/ They meet at ST. Rita's Church in Aurora on the second Tuesday of every month; 7:15PM would be a good time to show up.

    Yes, I am interested in joining the club I just didn't know how to join. Do I need to sign up somehow or can I just show up tonight? Also I do not understand what I actually need to ground the coax cable outside of the house.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    56

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UZU View Post
    Yes, I am interested in joining the club I just didn't know how to join. Do I need to sign up somehow or can I just show up tonight? Also I do not understand what I actually need to ground the coax cable outside of the house.
    There is no meeting tonight. The next club meeting is Tuesday Feb. 14. Meetings are open to the public and you can join the club at any time http://frrl.org/membership/
    FRRL Membership
    The Fox River Radio League, Inc., is a general interest amateur radio club serving the central Fox River Valley area. Records indicate the club has been in existence since at least 1924 and has functioned continuously ever since. We are an American Radio Relay League Special Service Club, an Illinois not-for-profit corporation, and a 501(3) tax exempt organization as specified in IRS Statutes.
    We sponsor training classes for new hams, license examination sessions, an annual hamfest (swap meet), and participate in numerous public service events in our communities. Our members have a wide variety of specialized amateur radio interests.
    The Fox River Radio League meets on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at St. Rita of Cascia Church, 750 West Old Indian Trail, Aurora, IL. The meeting begins at 19:30. After conducting business, coffee and snacks are served while we socialize. Following the break, a program of interest is presented. All persons interested in amateur radio are invited to attend, and families are always welcome.
    Annual dues are payable no later than the January Club Meeting each year. Persons joining during the year will have their first year's dues prorated to the nearest yearly quarter.
    Regular dues are $20.00 a year, Senior Citizen dues are $12.00. Family dues are $30.00. You can also help support the FRRL Repeaters by making a $10.00 annual contribution.
    Check with the Club Treasurer for details and additional dues rates.
    Download the membership application (PDF format). PDF files require the Adobe Reader.


    FRRL Repeaters
    The club operates two FM Repeaters and two D-Star Repeaters.
    The callsign for the machines is W9CEQ.
    FM Repeaters: VHF is 147.210 +600, 103.5 tone and the UHF is 444.300 +5, 114.8 tone.
    D-Star Repeaters: VHF is 147.225 (W9CEQ__C) and UHF is 442.10625 (W9CEQ__B)




    There will be a 2 meter net tomorrow evening starting at 7:30pm. They conduct this net every Tuesday evening at the same time, except for club meeting nights. I suggest you check into the net and ask for help. There are probably 30 hams that live +- 10 miles from your house, it shouldn't be too hard to get someone to come over to your house to help you.




  8. #8

    Default

    The DX-Engineering web site has links to excellent grounding safety articles.
    They dispelled some very common misconceptions about grounding safety.

    No matter what system you devise and use, there is no better safeguard than physically disconnecting your gear from outside lines.

  9. #9

    Default

    WNA:

    Disconnecting the antenna is definitely NOT a good way to protect equipment! Proper grounding including grounding the shield of the coaxial cable at the appropriate places is just one of the things that has to be done to protect from lightning strikes. Just disconnecting the antenna doesn't usually help much, if at all.

    Remember, commercial two-way installations do NOT disconnect the antenna, power line, etc., during thunderstorms and yet survive those storms without any problems.

    Glen, K9STH

  10. #10

    Default

    when I have questions as basic as as yours I go to the Radio Handbook written by Bill Orr W6SAI you can find his books online. good luck

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