Field station grounding
I'd like to read some thoughts about grounding a station and equipment used in the field -- such as during Field Day, while camping, during an emergency operation, etc.
One idea is just to do nothing, which I suspect many hams do.
There there's the complex and amazingly expensive military-style field radio grounding system.
I am thinking about rigging up a short section of braided strap with alligator clips and one or more long aluminum tent stakes. The stakes could be linked with short sections of braid strap or wire with alligator clips or terminal ring connectors.
I'll be using a Yaesu 857d, which lacks a grounding stud so my plan is to clip the wire to the heat sink.
Any thoughts on this solution and any others people use?
I never ground a field station. If you want an RF ground to cool things down - take the bite out of a microphone for example - a 1/4 wavelength wire connected to the back of the TX will do the trick.
Originally Posted by W0TLP
Yikes! $1420 for a bag, some tent stakes, a roll of wire, and a hammer?
That's got to be one heck of a good hammer!
As for grounding if you're battery powered there's no reason to ground anything.
Just what purpose do you think it will do?
Unless you are using a vertical, there is no point in having an earth RF ground in the field. My guess is you will be using a dipole or loop.
Unless you are running an AC generator there isn't any need for a ground. Even at that, a fairly short stake or peg can meet the need over a short distance.
I have heard of field day stations being grounded/bonded to a central point to minimize cross band interference. Supposedly it helped.
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I've operated field stations hundreds of times and have never grounded anything.
If you want lightning damage prevention, ground the antennas and their supports. No "equipment" ground is necessary.
If you're using an AC power generator, grounding that might be a good idea although frankly I can't recall seeing any easy way to do that with any of the generators I've used. Usually I just set the generator on the ground and figure that's pretty close. However, it probably isn't the slightest bit necessary. My 5kW gasoline power gennie in the RV isn't grounded, ever, and I've never had any kind of problem with it, including operating right through and directly under horrendous lightning storms.
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Originally Posted by WN9HJW
That must be a GSA hammer, made for space flight.
"Books tell how it should be, Experience tells how it really is..."
73 DE KA9JLM Don
Something seems really wrong in the link.....Price:$1,420.00
Originally Posted by W0TLP
Be sure to listen for my beacon on 28.278.8 MHz
I am always fast to point out to everyone to NEVER use those little 4 foot long by 3/8" diameter copper plated rods as sold in the big box stores or Radio Shack, etc. (For permanent home station grounding)
But for a temporary ground if you wanted one for a few days or weeks, Those short rods can be simply pushed in the ground if you bend a 90 degree angle near the top of the rod, Then pulled out of the ground when finished.
As pointed out, For a radio station, Usually no type of ground is really needed. But I just feel better with at least something in the ground when running a generator, Or dark storm clouds are on the horizon..... No, I would never rely on little short rods to protect equipment from a direct lightning strike, But having them in to provide a path is lots better than nothing.
Providing a ground of any type does NOT increase (Or decrease) the odds of a lightning strike!