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 Post subject: What do you do for antenna ground?
PostPosted: Jan Mon 18, 2010 11:30 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 249
Interested in SW reception.
Plan to string bare wires over rafters in my huge attic.
Do I really need ground?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Mon 18, 2010 11:50 pm 
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Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
I've found that a ground helps in almost any situation.

Dave


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Mon 18, 2010 11:58 pm 
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Location: Dayton Ohio
Not only will a ground help reception, you will notice a decrease in background noise and interference with a good earth ground.

4 ft copper plated steel rods are commonly available from most home improvement stores.

-Steve
ka8riz


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 19, 2010 12:01 am 
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Location: Aurora Colorado
Yes, if you get lucky, you can use your cold water piping. If not a ground rod is good, should still be available at the shack, most home centers, use a piece of galvanized pipe, also.David

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 19, 2010 12:14 am 
Silent Key

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Sandpoint, IDAHO 83864
I do not want to open that can of worms again, but if you drive another ground rod into the ground, make sure it is bonded with heavy copper wire back to your power service entrance ground. This is a legal requirement of the National Electrical Code, or NEC.

Failure to do so can, and will, void any fire insurance you may have on your house.
Curt

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 19, 2010 12:40 am 
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Curt Reed wrote:
I do not want to open that can of worms again, but if you drive another ground rod into the ground, make sure it is bonded with heavy copper wire back to your power service entrance ground. This is a legal requirement of the National Electrical Code, or NEC.

Failure to do so can, and will, void any fire insurance you may have on your house.
Curt


Thanks Curt, that is good information to know. My hamshack has an earth ground which is 130 feet away from the house electrical entrance. That's going to be some serious $$ in copper.

What gauge wire is recommended for such a run?

-Steve
ka8riz


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 19, 2010 12:52 am 
Silent Key

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 34328
Location: Sandpoint, IDAHO 83864
I believe the NEC calls for a minimum wire size for the bonding wire to be either #6 or #4 AWG solid copper. Yes, it requires a substantial outlay of copper and costs. That is why I mainly rely on just the ground connection in all the outlets in this small trailer house. There are no heavy loads or electrical noise makers other than this computer plugged into any of the outlets.
Curt

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 19, 2010 4:16 am 
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Joined: Apr Sun 08, 2007 6:47 am
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Location: British Columbia
It would be easier just to put the second ground rod closer to the electrical panel and use a lighter gauge wire for the radio ground. Cheaper to use 30 feet of 16 or 18 gauge then the same length in 6 gauge. You have to be careful with an electrical ground at times, sometimes it is several volts above true ground in an older house.
Best Regards
Arran


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 19, 2010 4:39 am 
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Location: north freedom wi
i live in a mobile home, and the siding and such is metal, as well as the roof, i have an alligator clip attached to a long peice of wire, when i need a ground for a radio, i clip the alligator clip to the window frame which is also metal. seems to work well, and cuts down on a lot of interference and noise. i you live in a mobile home maybe its worth a shot. best wishes..............

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 19, 2010 5:07 am 
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Location: Mission Viejo, southern California
The easiest way (unless it is a hot chassis AA5/6) is to use a three wire cord.

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 Post subject: Re: What do you do for antenna ground?
PostPosted: Jan Tue 19, 2010 6:17 am 
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Joined: May Sun 17, 2009 5:48 am
Posts: 264
Location: Kokomo, IN 46902
janelectric wrote:
Interested in SW reception.
Plan to string bare wires over rafters in my huge attic.
Do I really need ground?


Why bare wire? Insulated wire will work just as well, and maybe a little safer if crossed with a power line.

Yes, radios with a single wire external antenna should also have ground.

Bob D.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 19, 2010 2:43 pm 
Silent Key

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 34328
Location: Sandpoint, IDAHO 83864
Arran- I am in full agreement with you about using smaller wire and the ground rods being placed closer together. But the NEC outstumps what your and my opinions are. There is a right way, a wrong way, and the NEC way of doing it.

And a few years ago I read an interesting article in Power Quality Magazine that went into depth discussing this. And the part that woke people up was the fact that if you have fire insurance on your home and belongings, if you have a fire and a claim with the insurance company, they send out inspectors and things like this are the very first things they look for. If the inspector finds multiple ground rods that are not properly bonded, its all over folks. And this has happened with household fires that were totally unrelated to any electrical problems.

So they got you by the short hairs. Either you do it right according to the NEC, or you might as well save your money you are currently spending for fire insurance.

This 1963 vintage 10 X 50 foot trailer house I live in has the metal frame bonded to the ground wire at the service entrance. Whether the trailers are still built this way nowadays, I don't know. But even the metal siding is a good ground. Since my operating position is the kitchen table, I used to rely on a wire run to the sink cold water pipe for a ground. I can't do that any more because several winters ago when my pipes froze and burst, the whole trailer was re-plumbed with plastic pipe which replaced the old copper tubing. Now a wire wrapped around one of the siding screws works just as well.

Curt

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Last edited by Curt Reed on Jan Tue 19, 2010 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 19, 2010 2:46 pm 
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Location: Niantic, CT , USA
I am fortunate to have copper pipe entering the home and city water. I ground to the Cold water pipe right at the meter where they also have a ground wire clamped.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 19, 2010 2:49 pm 
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Location: Baltimore, MD, USA
One final note, if you plan to drive a ground rod, make sure you know what is below the earth. If you have buried service, irrigation or whatever, you really need to call Miss Utility. (Actually its the law :wink: ) I can tell you that it is very unpleasant when that ground rod goes through a 220 feed to the house. I worked 31 years for the phone company and have seen some stuff over the years...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 19, 2010 3:05 pm 
Silent Key

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 34328
Location: Sandpoint, IDAHO 83864
Heck, Don, got you beat there! About ten years ago they had to evacuate an entire city block here because some numbskull "contractor" was using a backhoe to clear a couple of lots for homes to be built on them and he severed a natural gas feedline that fed an entire neighborhood. The utility had crews on it immediately, but still people were without gas for almost an entire day. That contractor is still paying for that screw-up, as they can and will hold the persons who damage the buried utilities responsible for the repair costs.

When I installed my vertical antenna, I used one of those rented power augers to drill a hole a foot across and eight feet deep for the base of the antenna to fit in. I called the 800 number and told them what I was planning on doing and where and marked the area and the very next day they were at the house with metal detectors and such and marked every buried utility line, which was phones, electricity and gas along with the water and sewer pipes.

Being that I live in a trailer court and am the third trailer from the front of the road,I have one trailer behind me as far as the utility lines go and they seem to be everywhere underground according to the painted grass where they marked them. Fortunately my desired spot was about eight feet away from any buried obstructions. So they marked out an area where I was free to dig. I did not have to go down eight feet, but the soil is a bunch of clay and rip-rap that they hauled in when the trailer court was built back in the late 1960's. Lots of air pockets in that crap along with clay that is like a brick trying to break thru it.
Curt

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(Connoisseur of the cold 807) CW forever!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Wed 20, 2010 4:55 am 
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Joined: May Fri 16, 2008 2:26 am
Posts: 1721
Location: Navasota Texas
The boxes for the outlets should be grounded so why not just tie a ground wire under the cover plate screw? I like a nice rod earth ground but using the outlet box seems to work just fine.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Wed 20, 2010 5:30 am 
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Location: Aurora Colorado
That could work.The "electrician" before me just left the green ground wires floating in most of my boxes. Ah, such is life.David

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Wed 20, 2010 7:06 am 
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Location: Berkeley, CA 94709
I live in a building with steam radiators. If I connect a radio ground terminal to the steam pipes I pick up a lot of noise. If I connect to the electrical ground at a wall jack I don't pick up any noise. Any thoughts as to why this happens? :?

Bob


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Wed 20, 2010 8:09 am 
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They don't go all the way to ground. You got the solenoids, pumps, and timers all over a heating system.And the boiler is between you and the earth :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Wed 20, 2010 2:28 pm 
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The easiest way to connect antenna ground to your wall outlet is to use standard male plug.
Connect antenna ground to ground terminal of the plug and just plug it in.


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