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My Grounding Plan and mapping out my next steps.

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KG5AHJ, Nov 16, 2023.

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  1. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ground resistance cannot be accurately measured with a typical DC ohmmeter. It must be measured with an alternating current, which is why there are specialized setups used to do it, and easy to use special meters designed and sold for the purpose.

    This is because soil has electrolytic properties and it acts partially like a lossy capacitor. A DC ohms measurement will change dramatically as the soil charges.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2023
    W5ARM and K0UO like this.
  2. AG4KN

    AG4KN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks, I should have clarified that point! Good job & 73s!
  3. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is what I use to test my ground/soil

    73 from,
    The K0UO " Rhombic Antenna Farm" miles of wire in the Air & On the AIR daily
    KO4CES, W5ARM, KG4RRH and 2 others like this.
  4. W5ARM

    W5ARM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    With reference to the BOLD text above: Absolutely false. GFCI's do NOT require any "grounding" in order to trip [i.e. open] in the event of a ground fault.

    In fact, a GFCI [receptacle] is the only NEC approved device to be used as replacement in older dwellings that did not originally have a grounding conductor present, and used the old, non-grounding 2-wire receptacles.

    A GFCI works by continuously measuring the current flow on the "hot" and the neutral legs of a typical 125v circuit. In normal operation, the current (if there is a load present) is balanced; power flowing "out" on the hot, will be returning an equal current "back" on the neutral. In the event of a ground fault (i.e., the hot conductor making contact with anything grounded... like a person), MORE current will flow out on the hot than is returning on neutral, and the GFCI will trip. The trip-current level is on the order of 3-6 mA, and occurs in a millisecond or so, thus preventing a life-threatening shock. GFCI's are only intended for protection to people, and nothing else.

    Although this has nothing to do with grounding and the topic of this post, your statement is false.

    K0TWA, N0TZU, KR3DX and 1 other person like this.
  5. W5ARM

    W5ARM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    While a "ground rod" may have been optional in '81 (I've got to check my old code book), the requirement for bonding your panel's neutral to a "ground electrode" WAS absolutely required.

    If you were to open your breaker panel, and look for the grounding electrode wire (usually a large copper or aluminum conductor), then visually trace it to see where it goes. It may well just go out through the bottom (or top) of your panel, and travel through the wall or attic to the cold-water supply pipe (wherever that is located). See below...

    During the 80's, the utility service-entrance grounding/bonding was often done to the water supply piping from the water meter to the house (which was generally copper). This bond was done where the supply pipe comes into the house (often in a garage or utility closet) and had to be within a few feet of where the pipe enters the structure. The bonding wire was usually run from that water pipe to the panel's grounding lug, and may be run through an attic or walls, as necessary. The water pipe is very likely no where near the service panel. That's probably why you can't find it.

    In any case, wherever the existing ground electrode is, is irrelevant. Driving a new, 8' copper-clad ground rod (immediately adjacent to your service panel) is highly recommended, and then bond it to your panel's ground lug with a #4 or #6 awg solid copper wire (#4 for a 200A service, #6 for 100A service). If you elect to drive additional ground rods, they should be no closer together than 8' (the length of a ground rod), and must ALL be bonded together to your service entrance grounding electrode. Burying the bonding jumper (between ground rods) is advised, and deeper is ALWAYS better... 6-10 inches, or more.

    Lastly, if you are bringing the grounding conductor up into your shack (so you can bond you radio gear to a common-point ground block): You would be WAY better off using copper flat-strap, rather than any wire or other round conductor. Since this is going to be an RF ground as well as a electrical ground, copper flat-strap provides a much larger surface area than any wire conductor, and surface area is what you want for RF energy (Remember: RF energy does not travel "through" the conductor, but rather, "around" it). Large "surface area" is what you want. That said, do NOT use flat "braided" material! It acts like a sponge, absorbing moisture and corroding (even tinned or plated braiding), and will quickly become a high-impedance path to ground. You want LOW impedance for your grounding circuit. Braid is okay inside, but NEVER outside.

    Good luck & 73,
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2023
    W8ISK, N0TZU, KR3DX and 1 other person like this.
  6. W5ARM

    W5ARM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Do not put your "Poly-phaser" up high! Always bring your coax feedline, from your antenna, ALL the way down to the ground (to, or very near, your first ground rod).

    Then put the poly-phaser AT THE GROUND (preferably bolted directly to the ground rod), with your feedline connected in and out of it.

    Then run your feedline back up and into your shack.

    You want your grounding conductors to be AS SHORT AS POSSIBLE! That little extra-bit of coax is okay... it won't hurt anything. But you do not want "long" ground conductors. This increases the impedance of the grounding system, which is exactly what you DON'T want. Also, long grounding conductors can become "antennas" if they are too long, and may resonate partially on a harmonic frequency, and may cause bigger problems than they solve.

    One additional comment: "Poly-phasers" are okay, however they do not provide continuous "bleed" of static energy build-up from your antenna, nor block DC impulse energy. If I may suggest a better alternative: Use "Morgan Systems" surge arrestors instead. They provide continuous bleed, block DC energy, and have excellent surge characteristics. I've been using them for many years... excellent product (and no, I'm not affiliated with them. Just a satisfied customer...). They can be found HERE:

    Last edited: Nov 21, 2023
    W1BR, N0TZU, KR3DX and 1 other person like this.
  7. DO1FER

    DO1FER Ham Member QRZ Page

    Dont waste your time anymore. Call a company for electrical and telecommunications engineering and be safe.

    All other own afforts can be risky when did by bunglers. Mama told me not to come...
  8. PA0MHS

    PA0MHS Ham Member QRZ Page

    You are correct. The only grounding required is at the supplying side, where the neutral is always connected to ground.

    But for RF, grounding rods are useless. Any piece of wire from the rods to your HF equipment will be an inductor or transmission line, which can be a quarter wave in worst case, thus providing the perfect isolation from ground.
  9. PA0MHS

    PA0MHS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Dunno about the US, but the standard GFCI in the Netherlands is 30 mA. Just recently I touched a hot wire, got shocked but the GFCI did not trip...
  10. AD4ZU

    AD4ZU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm sure that works with your echolink station. I'll never forget the time you appealed on air to hams to send you money because you needed it. Never ever will forget. I was KB1RXA in Connecticut at the time and I will never, ever forget that.
  11. W1BR

    W1BR Ham Member QRZ Page

    the lack of understanding for common point ground windows on these sites is scary! Hams think providing a return path through their gear via power lines, computer interfaces, coax etc. paths to the grounding nut on their gear, or power connector to a virtually non existant ground meters away are deluding themselves.
    KC2PMM and WR2E like this.
  12. K2JVI

    K2JVI Ham Member QRZ Page

    AMEN BRO-I used to work in commercial/industrial low voltage contracting. We did major premise installations and large data centers. One responsibility I had at one job was grounding and bonding. I even took some seminars on the subject. Every data cabinet had its own grounding lead(#6) to the grounding bus bar in the room. The only thing we "daisy chained" was cable rack assemblies-bonding from one rack to another to insure a low resistance. Hey that brings up another item-the difference between "grounding" and "bonding" "Bonding" The permanent joining of metal parts together to form an electrically conductive path that has the capacity to conduct safely any fault current likely to be imposed on it. Grounding is the process where the connection is made to the Earth.
    W5ARM likes this.
  13. W2JLD

    W2JLD Ham Member QRZ Page

    maybe you need to go to my qrz page and youll find im doing more than shack is more so an hf shack, and as far asking for money.....not sure where that came from.
  14. W2JLD

    W2JLD Ham Member QRZ Page

    bet you didnt think there would be so much difference of opinions on this topic...............everyone seems to be an expert, i eveen threw in my 2 cents...which was really irralevant.
    KO4CES likes this.
  15. K1VTY

    K1VTY Ham Member QRZ Page


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