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Frozen ground grounding...

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KD9PWC, Feb 24, 2021.

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  1. KD9PWC

    KD9PWC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi, KD9PWC here.

    I'm setting up my first station.

    I'd love some advice on how to get up and running here in the frozen Midwest.

    My ham shack is in a bedroom directly above the electrical service meter/panel. I have purchased a window feedthrough panel for my ground and coax to get outside.

    Problem. Ground is frozen. I was able to locate the grounding wire running from my service panel to the ground electrode.

    Question. Can I attach my ground wire to the exposed service panel ground wire, or do I need to keep digging to find the rod and attach it to the rod?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You could attach it to the existing ground wire just at soil level and then re-do it in the Spring after the soil melts. I am, however, curious about the wire that only appears to be taped to what appears to be a gas main
  3. KE8QEP

    KE8QEP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Could that be a tracer wire for gas line?
    W9FL and KL7SG like this.
  4. W2SGM

    W2SGM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have mine connected to the wire, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is the best way to do it. I do know, however, that if you attach it to the rod, it will need to be welded.
  5. KD9PWC

    KD9PWC Ham Member QRZ Page

    We just bought the house so still figuring everything out. Not sure what the taped wire to the gas main is - will poke around some more... Thanks for reply.
  6. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Could it be an updated metering device install by the gas company?
  7. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Its always worthwhile to dig it out and confirm the integrity of the clamp. But I wouldn't call it a show-stopper right now.
  8. K2CD

    K2CD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That looks exactly like the tracer wire on my gas meter.
  9. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  10. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Congratulations on getting licensed, and setting up your first station!

    If it were me, I would use a UL listed split-bolt of the appropriate size to connect the feed line panel wire to the AC service entrance grounding wire (make sure it's not a ground wire for something else).

    When the ground thaws, if you want, you can dig down and add a clamp on the rod for your wire. It must be a UL listed rod clamp for underground service (typical "acorn clamp") and only ONE wire is allowed under a clamp.

    I use a little 3M green abrasive pad or emery cloth to brighten the copper wires first. Apply some anti-oxidation compound after that before you clamp.

    Split-bolts, acorn clamps, and the anti-ox are available at hardware and home improvement stores, ask them. (Unless you have a local code requiring a welded connection, a proper listed clamp will work.)

    The ARRL book Grounding and Bonding for Radio Amateurs is very good and only $10 to $25 depending on electronic or paper. It covers all of this in detail including options for operating positions that are on the second floor, if yours is.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
    K4EI likes this.

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