Can't bond ham shack ground to service entry ground

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by AE0AQ, Mar 6, 2018.

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  1. AE0AQ

    AE0AQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    So I have a dilemma. I can appreciate the value of grounding and bonding. My ham shack is on one side of a building and each piece of equipment is bonded together and connected to an 8' ground rod outside of shack. My antenna masts and electrical service are grounded to a ground rod at the electric meter on the other side of the building. I understand that these locations should be bonded together but because of the configuration and layout of the building I have no way to connect the two together. Are there any alternatives?
  2. K7TRF

    K7TRF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Personally, if I couldn't find a good way to bond my shack ground back to my AC service drop ground I'd forego the shack ground as it only makes things worse in the case of a regional lightning induced AC service surge. But realistically I'd run the shack ground at the cable entry point and find some way to bond those two ground rods together.
    WB5YUZ and NN4RH like this.
  3. W6KCS

    W6KCS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'd get rid of that ground rod at the shack, it serves no purpose and is dangerous as K7TRF said.
    K3KIC, NN4RH and AK5B like this.
  4. WE4E

    WE4E Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    How are you getting your feedline to the antennas? Can a copper wire follow the same path?
  5. AE0AQ

    AE0AQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the advice. Yes, I could bring the copper wire from the antennas to the ground at the shack but still would be hard pressed to bond that rod to service entry rod without going a hundred feet in and out of building and through some of the crawl space below.
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm not in that situation now, but have been in similar situations in the past and my solution was to bring in the cables from outside (coax, rotator cables, etc) close to the service panel/meter/service ground via a grounded entrance panel and then route those inside the structure via crawlspace or whatever is available for interior cable routing.

    Usually ends up using the same amount of coax and stuff, just more is inside rather than outside, and it can be more work to do this; but it meets code and is safe.
    WB5YUZ likes this.
  7. AE8W

    AE8W Ham Member QRZ Page

    You are in KS? Not like there aren't any lightning storms out there. Grounding divides up into RF (you don't need), safety (service entrance), and lightning (shack ground). If you lose the shack ground, the only path to ground from your antenna (the lightning rod) will be thru your equipent.

    Grounding should be one system. In the mean time, remove the antenna connection when not in the shack ... probably after also.
    AK5B likes this.
  8. KA5ROW

    KA5ROW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Isn't the ground on the 3 prong outlet good enough? And the plugs on your ham equipment that does not have a 3 prong plug, if you modify it and put one their, is that not the same as having every thing in the shack bonded.
    Or if you do not want to change the power connector on every thing put a 6 or 8 ft rigid copper pipe/strap behind your equipment and ground every thing to it thin run a wire from the pipe/strap to the 3rd hole on one of the outlets.
  9. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    You can see a similar situation on my profile page. The direct path to the nearest room is very short. Properly grounding the 20 ft flagpole vertical requires about 100 feet of coax by the time you finally reach the rig in the room next to the vertical! But, with an autotuner mounted at the base of the flagpole the loss in 100 feet of coax is quite reasonable, even on bands like 20 meters. I worked all sorts of DX on 20M running 5 watts on JT65 or CW.

    Zak W1VT
  10. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The ground wire on the AC outlet is good as an AC mains safety ground, but not as an RF ground nor a lightning ground. You don't necessarily need an RF ground, but you need a lightning ground. Lightning needs a path to ground without entering your building. And if you drive a ground rod for lightning protection, it must be bonded to the AC ground at the service entrance.
    WA4SIX, AE8W and K7TRF like this.

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