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ARTIFICIAL GROUND

Discussion in 'Ham Equipment' started by ray, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. ray

    ray BANNED

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    I have been running my base station for about 1 year with out a ground.I have nothing to ground it to even my ant. Someone told me about ARTIFICIAL GROUND.Does anyone have any INFO. about it:confused:Or any other way i can ground my rig and ant.:redface: 73s.


     
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  2. Se7en

    Se7en Well-Known Member

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    go to
    The Home Depot [​IMG]

    Menards [​IMG]

    Lowe's [​IMG]
    pick up a 8' copper ground rod. hammer it into the ground next to the antenna ground the mast to the ground with a short strap ( as short as possible ). Grounding my antenna & radios on the base made a world of a difference.
     
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  3. Moleculo

    Moleculo Administrator Staff Member

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    The Artificial Ground products by MFJ are for creating RF ground. This is helpful if you're using random wires or verticals where you can't create the appropriate RF ground using radials or other methods. There are generally quite a few of these available on the used market (click the link in my post) for fairly inexpensive prices. If you decide that you need one of these, make sure you get one that can handle the power output you're running.

    None of these devices help with lightning protection, which is what you need a real ground for. BTW, what type of antenna are you using?
     
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  4. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot Supporting Member

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    Is your shack on the ground floor?

    Cold water pipe nearby?

    Rent? Own?

    Sometimes u can use house ground, but I avoid that.

    Need more info on your situation...
     
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  5. ray

    ray BANNED

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    GROUNDING

    OK GUYS. I rent a 3rd floor flat from my family.Run the 2000. Have 1 pipe that runs through the 3 floors.If i forgot ant thing let me know:confused: Dont mind my spelling cant find my glasses AGAIN:unsure: 73s GUYS.
     
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  6. Special Publications | Technical Publication #32


    Using Water Pipe & Service Joints For RF Grounding - Please Don't
    It's probably done most often for the simple convenience of time and effort, but there's little to be gained and frequently a lot to lose by using cold water pipes, gas pipes, and electrical outlet box connections as RF or lightning protection grounds.

    Good grounding is a critical and integral part of good telecommunication station design. Whether the application is receive only, transceiving, data delivery, or otherwise modern solid state equipment is internally delicate, and good grounding is a key factor in maintaining clean spectrum operating and overvoltage protection. Unfortunately, it is seen as a quick ten minute afterthought to many installations.

    In their haste to finish ground connections are commonly made with a piece of "off the shelf" wire connecting radio equipment chassis to whatever is nearby that may eventually reach ground. But the most important factor in good neutral connections is length of lead from chassis to earth entry point -not the specific materials of wire sizes used. Here are a few guidelines to follow when installing ground connection systems:

    Cold water pipes make poor grounds in most cases because the length of copper pipe to earth is often very long. Any lead over ten feet probably should be avoided for most applications. Additionally, pipes of this type connect through numerous solder-sweated joints, bends, and possibly even conversion to plastic pipe (a good insulator) before reaching ground. The fact that the pipe may have water inside is irrelevant. When such systems are used in transmitting service the piping becomes part of the radiating structure and ground level radiation will often be severe, causing interference to other services or neighbors.
    Never, ever, ever use natural gas pipes for ground connections. In a lightning event a seem crack or rupture of a gas line can be explosive. Hot water lines used in conjunction with gas water heaters should be avoided for the same reason. Be sensible-stay well away from dangerous ignition sources!
    When designing a telecommunication installation keep equipment at or below ground level if at all possible. Locate the equipment close to an outside wall where short grounding connections can be made. Or drive a ground rod through the floor downward into a crawl space if present where short distance ground can be found. Borrow or rent a hammer drill to drill a hole through concrete slabs or floors where a ground rod may be inserted. Ground underneath such places is nearly always moist and very conductive. If drilling through a slab be sure to avoid pipes that may be in the concrete! Consult the builder or house plans.
    If the facility must be elevated off the ground run ground wire straight down to keep the distance as short as possible, and be sure to route all antenna leads, rotator wires, etc. to ground first (where lightning protection devices are installed), and then up to the equipment.
    Electrical service box connections generally make poor grounds for the same reason as cold water pipes. The leads are lengthy, the wire size small, and the integrity of the earth connection is often compromised by age, poor initial installation, corrosion, dissimilar metal conversion, loose screws, etc.
    The moral is simple - put some effort in good grounding. Keep leads short, wire size large, connections tight and weatherproof, and grounding electrodes wet. It will probably save you from more headaches than aspirin!
     
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  7. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot Supporting Member

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    Some in your situation use an artificial ground, but they can be finicky and a PITA.

    Since you rent off your family...They may let you put your radio downstairs where it can be grounded properly. Control your rig remotely with HRD or some other means. I just recently helped a friend place his ICOM 7000's RF deck downstairs in his landlords apartment. We lengthened his remote cable and LDG tuner interface cable, 12 volt PS. Installed a nice ground bus with a 5.5' copper wire thru the wall to ground. Installed coax shield grounds. He's a happy dude with no issues.

    As Booty Monster mentioned...there are issues to be considered when using water pipes. I have used plumbing in the past with no ill effects. I was however, intimately familiar with my water line instalation. It's good to stay shorter than 1/4 wavelength of the highest band you operate on. If you don't do 10, 11 meters, you can get by with a longer ground run.

    There are only 2 types of station installation:

    1. Adherence to common industry accepted guidlines and what a every regular internet forum poster tells you.

    2. Whatever the hell works for you in the situation you find yourself in. Any station is better than no station. Just keep it SAFE! and somewhat reasonable.
     
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  8. ray

    ray BANNED

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    GROUNDING

    Thank you again guys for the INFO. Dont know what i do with YAs;)73s.
     
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  9. Moleculo

    Moleculo Administrator Staff Member

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    Another idea along the same idea as m42duster's is to put your TS-2000 downstairs and then use a Kenwood HT that supports sky command to operate HF from your place upstairs. Something like the Kenwood TH-D7A can be found used for around $200 and would work great in your situation: *** KENWOOD TH-D7A DUAL BAND VHF/UHF W/SPEAKER MIC *** | eBay
     
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  10. jon666

    jon666 Active Member

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    re

    i bought one on ebay new for 29 bucks plus shipping.
     
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  11. ElectronTubesRule

    ElectronTubesRule Active Member

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    You know you might find that the apartment or home has no ground. I bought my first house and the first thing that went up was a "No Laughing" Antron 99......The power company, cable company and gas company totally butchered the area of that house where everything came in.....Not a single thing was grounded. Never mind that their where 3 not less then 3 ground rods in the ground in that area. That house had so much EMI that I am sure had I even bothered to turn on a radio I would have had lot's of issues. When I went into the crawl space I could feel the EMI I went and grabbed my EMI meter out of the tool box and it was pulsing to red line.......I would not be surprised if the previous owner felt ill in that house or nervous. So you might actually be doing your family a favor by investigating the state of the grounding.

    I have had to use water pipes both black iron and copper when I lived in apartments or rentals and could not drill. Always make the connection as close as you can to where the pipe exits and meets up with the city water main. Their is no plastic usually from the home to the main only once you get into the home. I almost because I have never seen it happen but some how I am sure some place on this earth their is some place that had something crazy like plastic,ceramic or wood water mains.....LOL In a million years I would never be able to trust artificial ground with my life so even if you use one still find some other means of grounding to some place that can take the strike and direct it away from you! I always ground the snot out of my non temporary antenna systems because I am not cool with lightning entering my space if it can be helped. So look into lightning protection no sense getting killed by your hobby if you can help it. When I lived in Ga. lighting strikes where as common and short shorts and sun tea!!!
     
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