[Top] [All Lists]

[TowerTalk] Antenna/Tower Grounding (Lightning Protection)

Subject: [TowerTalk] Antenna/Tower Grounding (Lightning Protection)
From: (Phil Camera)
Date: Fri, 05 Jan 2007 15:56:03 +0000
List-post: <>
Even though a search through the archives will reveal the same information, 
many times over the past number of years (at mulitple times per each year), 
I'll state my understanding of the good practices and also what I have for my 

To me there are 5 parts to a well designed grounding system.

1.  Tower ground
2.  Cable ground
3.  SPG
4.  Shack ground
5.  Electric service ground

1.  Polyphaser recommends a ground radial wire (I use #4 bare solid) for each 
tower leg and 50 - 75 ft long from each leg with ground rods spaced every 2X 
their height.  Also is the tower is somewhat close to the SPG, then a wire from 
any leg radial should be run and connected to that.

2. Coax shields should at least be connected to the tower at the base and 
somewhat optional if you want to connect them at the top (I understand that I 
may have to replace the coax run up the tower.)  ALL cables that enter the 
house should have arrestors located right at the entrance to the house and 
connected with a very short run to your SPG (single point ground).  I mount my 
arrestors in Hoffman electrical boxes and actually have three rods spaced two 
feet apart since I have more than one boxes full of arrestors (lots of cables). 
 This applies for rotator control, etc.  Everything.

3.  SPG kinda described above.  For the poster who had all his cable entering 
underground, I've seen folks that had mounted their arrestors on a large copper 
panel inside on the foundation wall and then ran a large diameter (always solid 
never stranded and copper strips 2-4 inches wide are also OK) wire back outside 
to their SPG.  If your cables come to the house overhead, then they should all 
drop to the ground to the arrestor boxes and SPG and then enter the house 
however you want, either at ground level or run back up to a 2nd floor shack.

4.  All of your equipment should have their ground connections tied to a buss 
bar (I use a piece of 1/2 copper pipe mounted along the back of the desk, and 
then a large diameter (don't use braid) wire run outside to the SPG.

5.  Run another wire outside (avoid sharp bends) the house and connect to the 
electrical service entrance ground rod.  One can drive additional ground rods 
along this run.

I use #4 bare solid wire.  All outdoor connections are CadWelded (which is 
preferred over mechanical since no maintenance).  I also use ICE (Industrial 
Communications Engineers) devices rather than PolyPhaser.  This is what 
consitutes a properly designed and installed system.  All parts must be in 
place as described or else Mother Nature may bite you.

Oh, I guess there is a sixth part; good homeowner's insurance. 

Hope this helps.  


TowerTalk mailing list

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>