New ham: establishing grounding bus bar

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by W3TKB, Sep 27, 2020.

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  1. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    But it's not a "yes or no" question really.

    "Give a man a fish... etc "

    I don't understand why the OP got a little huffy about ppl asking questions about his proposed setup. It can only help him to get answers that are relevant and useful.
    W4IOA likes this.
  2. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page


    Here's a 'yes or no' for example, not very helpful, is it?

    KB0MNM likes this.
  3. OE4KSF

    OE4KSF Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I mean we are still struggling to see the difference between grounding according to the power grid, and what is grounding according to RF.
    Part of the challenge is that from the device's point of view - then the HF or chassis is also connected to the mains earth.
    I believe that everything that is connected to the mains and is prepared for grounding should ALWAYS be grounded in the best way to the mains' ground. This is to protect against overvoltage - or situations where the device incorrectly adds live to the chassis.
    When it comes to HF - then there are probably no two situations that are the same - and therefore difficult to give any specific and completely correct recommendations.

    I have just made a new shack - have made a grounding purse outside the window with 3x2 meters of copper pipe knocked to the ground. As well as a very thick cable to the earthing point that goes to my little tower. There are 4x2 meter copper pipes knocked into the ground and connected to the tower.
    Out on the wall I have a cabinet with a grounding pocket for all coaxes - before they enter the house. This cabinet is connected to the same grounding outside with 3 meter thick single-wire copper cable.
    Inside I have a thick copper rail that is also connected to the same ground point outside the shack, but thick single-wire copper cable. Against this rail there are copper cables for everything that can be found in the shack.
    AND then I have a thick copper cable between this rail and the house's electrical ground.
    What might happen if I get a direct hit from lightning in the tower - no one knows, but I mean I have done what I can.
    The most important thing is to prepare for electric shock - then to eventually remove challenges with HF. I have measured HF radiation on all cables and find nothing under TX, using a clamp on meter.

    So - to the original question - make sure you have proper grounding on all boxes and units for the electrical ground, then you can think of HF if you have challenges.
    And the use of a thick copper rail in the shack is in my opinion a good start - as long as it is also connected to the house's electrical earthing.
    Sorry for bad English but I'm not native English speaking, and hope you understand what I try to say

    73 - OE4KSF - Knut
    W3TKB likes this.
  4. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here is how my shed-shack works:
    All the equipment is grounded to the ground bus bar. The bus bar has #6 wire running to a ground rod just outside the shed. The coax goes through a lightning arrestor/ground block that is grounded at this rod. There is a ground wire that runs to the junction box where the AC comes into the shed to the green wire ground there. There is a buried #6 wire I ran from the shed ground rod to the main service entrance ground. This wasn't really expensive, just a bit of time. There is no circumstance where a person can touch any two things that don't have good ground wires connecting them. I am not relying on the coax shield or power cord grounds for this.
    So far I have not been shocked, no lightning damage, and no RFI blowing the GFCI :)
    OE4KSF and W3TKB like this.
  5. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You're focusing too much on the "bus bar" and not enough on what's actually important for grounding and bonding.
    W6KCS and W4IOA like this.
  6. W4IOA

    W4IOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, thorough research helps with providing the right answer.
    I saw you have only logged fm contacts and currently a technician, nothing wrong or anything implied, just wanting more info so no need to get all huffy.
  7. W4IOA

    W4IOA Ham Member QRZ Page

  8. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

    On another note, a tuner is nice to have for the meters, but remember you tune dipoles by changing their length, not trying to tune the other end in the shack ;)
    W4IOA likes this.
  9. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That only addresses bonding bus for AC safety. They're talking about an AC safety grounding bus. The green or bare wire in your walls is utterly useless for RF or lightning induced surges.

    Does your power supply have a three-prong plug? If so, you're already safety grounded. If it's a 2-prong plug, and there's a wing-nut on the back, then go ahead and run a wire from there to the AC ground. If you have other equipment with wing-nuts on the back, there's nothing wrong with connecting them all together (just unnecessary, IMO). If the power supply or any of the other gear does not have a "wing nut" on it, do not wire it to the bus bar unless you have a good reason to.

    Usually the only AC powered radio equipment in the ham shack will be the power supply. Is there anything else that plugs into the wall, and uses a 2-prong plug and has a wing-nut on the back?

    It does not hurt anything to have that grounding bus or connecting it to the AC ground wire. It's unnecessary in my opinion. And redundant if the power supply has a 3-prong grounded plug. But please realize that does not provide lightning protection or serve as an RF ground plane.

    For lightning protection, you need the feedlines grounded outside the house, and that ground rod bonded to the house AC ground rod, via a buried #6 copper wire. I would connect the so-called "ground bus bar" to that ground rod outside the shack, rather than to a receptacle.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
    W6KCS and W4IOA like this.
  10. W3TKB

    W3TKB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    To everyone: if my last forum response seemed huffy or pissy, I apologize. I understand that everyone who has responded to my inquiry is merely trying to provide the best information to a newbie such as myself; looking out for my best interests. I thank you all.

    Some context: I collect, restore, and drive classic British cars. As such, I belong to another online community that has the same passion and interests, and like QRZ that website has a forum for Q&A in regards to technical, mechanical, etc. Many, MANY years of being on that forum has shown me there are members that always have to question what it is you're doing, why are you doing it, etc. If someone was to ask a question regarding replacing an original mechanical fuel pump with a modern electronic one, there always has to be at least one person asking why you would even consider doing that in the first place; that the original equipment is perfectly up to the task as long as YOU do your part. The question was not asked "should I?", but the opinion was offered anyways. If you asked for instructions on HOW to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, someone will invariably ask you WHY you want to do that; someone else will tell you how to make a DIFFERENT sandwich instead.

    By the time I had gotten two pages of replies here, I saw the writing on the wall; it's the same 'ol thing. My original question only asked about grounding the bus bar, nothing else. Yes, I understand how everything ties together, and how that is important. And I DO appreciate the comments and suggestions on laying things out, bonding things together, etc. etc. I really do. Yet somehow the conversation strays into what kind of equipment is he using, where am I going to place my antenna, etc? Those may be important points, but why they are required to answer the question is mystifying to me. I had read several items and watched a few YouTube videos that talked about the common ground bus bar for your components to hook up to. Never was it mentioned how to ground the bus bar itself. That's ALL I wanted to know.

    Finally: I emailed the author of the ARRL book directly and asked him my question. Mr. Silver was kind enough to respond and answer my question, so all is good. Thanks to all who participated. In the future I will en devour to ask more specific questions, and try to keep my sarcastic attitude in check. 73

    Brando W3TKB
    W6KCS, KB0MNM and N0TZU like this.

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