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Re: [TowerTalk] Sparky Pays a Visit

To: "Tom Rauch" <>, "Gedas" <>,<>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Sparky Pays a Visit
From: "K8RI on Tower talk" <>
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2005 14:14:48 -0400
List-post: <>

>> I have 3 towers up, one at 80', one at 50' and one at 70'.
> Each is a Universal Aluminum self supporting tower which I
> have supplemented with a single set of 3/16" steel guy wires
> about 2/3 of the way up.  Each tower leg has it's own 10'
> ground rod connected with a 3' length of #0 wire. >>
> Unfortunately you have almost no ground at all on the
> towers.
<big snip>

My grounding is similar to Tom's on a smaller scale.  I only have two 
towers; the big system, and a little 32 footer.   Between the two I have 32 
or 33 (lost count) ground rods cad welded to over 600 feet of bare #2 
copper.   I'm using polyphasers on the coax coming into the bulkhead, but I 
don't have any MOVs installed.  The ground systems for the two towers are 
not connected as the shop and the house are on different electrical feeds. 
I do need to add a larger common between the bulkhead and the electrical 
entrance and I like the idea of the soft copper all the way around the 

Although I do use Polyphasers I take their information with a grain of salt.

Remember, Polyphasers like MOVs wear out, or blow out with use.  A direct 
hit to a bulkhead full of them can get really expensive.  MOVs are cheap but 
you do need to get the correct ratings.  When purchasing MOVs remember your 
line voltage Peak to Peak is 1.404 times the RMS and the MOV needs to be a 
bit above the P to P.  If you have line voltage a bit high at 127 which does 
happen, that's a peak to peak of just over 178 volts. Put in an MOV rated 
under that and it'll get fried, right away.

That said, "Sparky" seems to like me and has an affinity for my location as 
the big tower gets hit about 3 times a year on average although it's already 
been hit twice this year.  Since going to the big system, I've only lost one 
Polyphaser which happened to have been on a grounded line (both sides) and a 
computer.  I later discovered that 110VAC line to that computer had a poor 
connection for the neutral back at the entrance panel.  Prior to that, when 
I had a smaller tower and much smaller ground system,  I did get one piece 
of 7/8" Heliax blown out and lost the front end of a 2-meter rig.  The 
station configuration varies a bit from day to day, but there are three low 
band stations, three UHF/VHF stations (four if you count the Yaesu 897d in 
the shop), and two computers which are usually interfaced to the HF as well 
as the VHF/UHF (sometimes packet) stations.  Rarely is anything disconnected 
and the computers run 24 X 7 except for periodic maintenance.

Some consider that a lot, but considering the amount of *stuff* have 
connected (and that loose neutral) and the number of strikes my system 
takes; I think it's darn little. Normally about the only thing that happens 
even with a direct hit is the network resets.

That network is a gigabit running on CAT-5e with the run to the shop going 
within 10 feet of the tower base.  It a 132' run between computers hooked to 
different electrical feeds. Between 4 computers I have a total of 2.62 
terabytes of storage (Just took inventory).  All but 300 Gig on this one is 
remote.  Out of all of that I have less than 200 Gig free. The data is 
backed up to DVDs, but keeping all that up-to-date is nearly a full time job 
in itself which is causing me to switch about half the storage to external 
USB-2 drives. The internal is going to SATA RAIDs.

So, between the ham station and computers a good ground is essential.
Roger Halstead (K8RI and ARRL 40 year Life Member)
N833R - World's oldest Debonair CD-2 

See:  for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather 
Stations", and lot's more.  Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions 
and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.

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