Pete, there is no reason not to use aluminum for ground panels and straps
and wiring for ground connections (but not where it contacts real ground).
The utility companies started before 1958 changing out all copper for
aluminum including feeders, jumpers, and everything ***EXCEPT those things
that come in contact with Earth, which are normally copper or galvanized
steel due to the high galvanic action between aluminum and alkaline soil,
which Texas is full of.
The advantages of copper is that you can silver solder to it for a high
temperature connection and bolted joints are a little easier. Once you
learn to use emory (plumbers open mesh type) with Pentrox where you are
going to make a bolted joint, it is just as good as a copper bolted joint.
Dissimilar metals are only a factor when the joint is wet, and most indoors
ham areas are pretty dry.
Lightning took a direct hit on our house when I was about 15 and a ham. It
hit the TV antenna, vaporized the small ground wire from the outside knife
switch that disconnected it from the TV, picked up a #14 wire that was being
used as a trellis, followed it for 30 feet, knocked a 12 inch diameter hole
in the house and knocked off the kitchen cabinet, went to the kitchen sink
drain and melted all of the lead out of over 70 feet of cast iron drain
pipe. My equipment was in another room and was not hurt in any way. It was
all tube type, though.
[mailto:email@example.com]On Behalf Of Pete Smith
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2002 1:23 PM
To: TowerTalk List
Subject: Re: [Towertalk] Ground wire impedance
At 12:51 PM 7/29/02 -0500, FireBrick wrote:
>are you saying that the small coil of 1/2" copper tubing hanging in my
>garage would be a better grounding conductor that my heavy gauge solid
>(I can never remember if the soft copper tube used for water is K or M. I
>I think it's 1/2"OD.
>I could easily flatten one end for clamping to ground rods.
On his web site N1LO has pictures of an interesting entry panel and
grounding system that he made, using aluminum plate for the panel and what
looks like about 1" silver-soldered copper pipe for a combination ground
conductor and hardline support. Food for thought, anyway.
73, Pete N4ZR
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