>Getting back to basics for a moment, how does a 6 foot tall person
>safely / properly / *easily* manage to get an 8 foot ground rod into
>the ground in the first place? The picture of someone standing on
>a step ladder swinging a 16 pound sledge hammer is not a pretty sight.
>Are any special tools available to aid in this process, and how do the
>pros do this day in and day out? When I lived in West Virginia I was
>once told a story about Appalachian rock worms.... Please -- No limmericks!
>Jay -- NT4D -- (ex WB8BMV)
Jay, after spending 2 days alternately pounding and resting, I figured
a way to accomplish the same thing with ease. I went to a local hardware
store and bought a 10 foot length of (i believe) 1/4 inch galvanized gas
pipe. It is threaded on both ends. It measures 0.565 inches OD. When I
explained what I wanted to do with it, the clerk readily found an adapter
that fit on to the threaded end of the pipe and expanded up to a size that
a female water hose would (the male end) screw into. Voila!! I now had
a hydraulic miner. I went home, attached a hose to the water hose fitting,
and (with water pressure applied) dug a beautiful 8 foot deep hole the
proper size for the 8 foot long ground rods I had purchased. The operation
took less than 5 minutes whereas the pounding experience of the previous
days had totally worn me out for two days straight!
A word of caution! carefully mark the 10 foot length of gas pipe at the
8 foot length with some black electrical tape so that you won't mine your
hole deeper than the 8 foot ground rod. If you are using 10 foot lengths
of ground rod, there is no problem. I lost one ground rod when I over-
mined the hole. It was a shock to see the ground rod disappear completely
as I dropped it into the hole. Chalk one up for old age and stupidity!!!
After inserting the ground rod(s) into the hole(s) (after attaching the #4
wire and clamp) I poured blue crystals of Copper Sulfate into the slightly-
larger-than-the-ground-rod holes and watered it down well. This tends
to make the earth more conductive and aids in reducing the resistance from
the tower legs to a good earth ground.
I placed 3 ground rods as close to each of the three legs as the poured
concrete base would allow. Each of them were then attached to another
ground rod 10 feet away from the tower in the 3 directions (6 ground rods
I've taken 2 direct strikes now..... and yes, I've suffered some damage to
the rotor ring and T2X direction sensor potentiometers and to the control
boxes that were still connected to them. since that time, I've installed
some molex(?) connectors in the shack (from Radio Shack) that take about 2
seconds to disconnect/reconnect. I now never leave them connected while
not using the rig. The damage to the first strike was limited to the
direction sensors and control boxes. After the 1st strike, I installed
the second ring of ground rods 10 feet from the tower. The second strike
only hurt the front end of two Alincos that are attached to the W5HVV
PacketCluster node computer's DRSI board (and the DRSI board) The computer
I heartily recommend the use of the hydraulic mining device as a permanent
part of any ham's equipment! It sure saves a lot of sweat and sore muscles.
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