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[TowerTalk] Driving ground rods

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Driving ground rods
From: (Bill Coleman AA4LR)
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 97 09:29:33 -0400
On 9/15/97 17:25, Barry Kutner at wrote:

>Hi Towertalkians:
>I recall dscussion several months ago about driving ground rods.  
>Somone mentioned using an electric jackhammer. I've called a few 
>rental places, and what I've come up with is this:
>1. A 32 lb. electric jackhammer. It requires a special square bit, 
>and you can't just shove a ground rod in it.
>2. A 66 lb "ground rod driver" made for that purpose.
>#1 apparently won't hold a round bit.
>#2 seems a bit unwieldy to carry 66 lbs up a 6 ft ladder
>Other ideas invited...

I built a manual ground rod driver. It consists of 12" of 1" galvanized 
steel nipple (thick wall water pipe with threads at both ends), a couple 
of pipe couplers, a pipe cap (goes inside the coupler to close one end), 
15 pounds of dumbell weights and collars.

Basically, it is a 15 pound hammer with a 1 foot throw that never misses. 
You put it over the rod and keep slamming it down until the driver 
reaches the ground. Then you drive the last foot with an ordinary 

Typical ground rod takes about 5-15 minutes to drive, depending on the 
soil. In my typical Georgia clay soil (with lots of small rocks), it took 
nearly 15 minutes to drive the rod for my R7000. Took only 5 minutes to 
drive the rod just outside my shack (that soil was backfill against my 
basement wall).

If you have soft soil, driving a rod with an ordinary sledgehammer is 
rather effective. I drove the rod just outside W4AN's mountaintop shack 
this way -- but that was very soft forest floor soil. (I'd have used my 
driver, had I known Bill was going to put a rod in) Biggest problem with 
a sledgehammer is missing the rod and having it hit the rod handle. You 
tend to go through handles quick....

Bill Coleman, AA4LR, PP-ASEL        Mail:
Quote: "Not in a thousand years will man ever fly!"
            -- Wilbur Wright, 1901

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