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RE: [TowerTalk] Grounding, portable generators, field day

To: "towertalk" <>
Subject: RE: [TowerTalk] Grounding, portable generators, field day
From: "Jim Brown" <>
Reply-to: Jim Brown <>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2005 17:39:50 -0600
List-post: <>
On Thu, 20 Jan 2005 14:44:45 -0800, Jim Lux wrote:

>I don't think you need SPG in this application..

Why not?  All it takes is one or more driven rod(s) by the generator(s).

>And, I can't see why you should operate unsafely, with respect to AC 

Strongly agree. Do the rod(s) at the generator(s), with phase, neutral, 
and equipment ground carried to each station on decent 3-wire cordage. 
You now have a safe system. Anything less is NOT safe, and what I've 
described is EASY! 

As to RF ground, I think the key is antennas that are reasonably well 
matched. I would do an RF ground ONLY for those antennas that needed one 
to work -- for example, a vertical or some kind of end-fed wire that 
needs a counterpoise. 

Another point. Field Day is a 100 watt or less contest. It's hard to burn 
more than about 300 watts per transmitter at keydown, so we're talking 3A 
max per radio. If you have 2-3 radios next to each other, that's still 
not a lot of current. Any decent 12-3 (or even 14-3) and you're in 

You wanna drive some more rods at each station?  No problem, just tie 
them to the antenna tuner or antenna switch, and make sure that's tied to 
the local AC ground. But understand that those extra rods are LIGHTNING 
PROTECTION, and that they are of little value for RF.

On Field Day, I run my K2/100 from a 10-12Ah battery with an attached 
charger. When someone forgets to fill the generator at 3 am, we don't 
miss a beat! And that works with most rigs. 

Jim Brown  K9YC


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