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[TowerTalk] Suboptimum grounding/lightning

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Suboptimum grounding/lightning
From: (Todd Nichols)
Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 19:26:03 -0500

Well, I've got a new house...and I've got all the suboptimum arrangements
different folks here have mentioned.  Let me tell y'all what I want to do,
constraints under which I have to do it, and how I intend to handle
please give me comments and suggestions.

I want to operate on HF (80m and up), VHF, and UHF.  I live in a covenanted
neighborhood, but I got permission (in writing, before buying) to put up a
VHF/UHF colinear vertical, and an end-fed long wire for HF.  I am trying to
keep things fairly low-profile.  I know, I'm an RF engineer and I have
antennas (UHF and up) for a living, and I think that all antennas are a
thing of
beauty, to be admired by all - but I am striving for low aesthetic impact

My shack is constrained to the second floor.  This means that my ground will
long (approximately 15 feet).  I CAN'T CHANGE THAT.  I can run additional
around the shack floor edge and into a walkout area over the garage.

My service, telco, and cable entrance is on the opposite side of the house
course :-).  This means that I will have to take some #6 or better (both to
code and to do any good) and run it around the house to connect my
ground and the other grounds.  What a pain.  But I see no alternative.  We
talking about approximately 110 feet.

The colinear will be mounted just under the eave with its clamp/bracket.
long wire will run from a tree at the back of the property, to an insulator
the corner of the house, then along just under the eave to the entry point.
I intend to use a PolyPhaser IS-50UX-C1-ME for the colinear and a PolyPhaser
IS-50UX-C0-ME for the long wire.

Now for the hard part.  Panel and entry.  I intend to put a copper plate
on the outside of the exterior wall.  The coax and long wire will feed to
underside of the vertically-oriented PolyPhaser suppressors with drip loops.
Copper strap 1.5" wide will run straight down the side of the house to the
grounding system, which will probably consist of one 10' ground rod along
the interconnect to the ground on the other side of the house.  Is more
Is more worth the hassle?  What is the best way to mount this panel?  The
has hardiplank siding.  Aesthetics is enough of a concern that this copper
will be painted to match the siding.  Final touch will be to get a large
cover and put over the whole thing to at least partially cover it up and to
provide some weather protection.

Entry:  This will require a little creativity.  I need to bring two pieces
coax through the wall, along with a 1.5" copper strap so that the AC and
modem (on the PC, which will get used for PSK31) can be grounded and
at the single-point ground.  I don't want to make too big of a mess on the
wall.  I'm thinking of a piece of PVC pipe, just big enough for the copper
along with the two pieces of coax, then backfilling with insulation.  On the
of the house, it will be protected by the vent cover.

To me, this is a lot of aggravation.  But we didn't get find the house early
to take care of some of this stuff when it would be convenient (before
If I had my 'druthers (and I voiced them, often, to lots of folks :-), I
would have
had the shack on the ground level, and it would have been near the service
But I don't.  I suspect that LOTS of folks are subject to such conditions.
And, this
is in the Raleigh area of North Carolina.  It's not Florida, but we get our
share of
lightning, so lightning protection is a large concern.

I welcome any constructive comments and suggestions.

Todd AG4AY

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