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Re: [TowerTalk] Where to find Surplus wire for ground

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Where to find Surplus wire for ground
From: K8RI <>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2012 01:43:50 -0500
List-post: <">>
On 11/12/2012 8:24 PM, Bryan Swadener wrote:

An electrician advised me that 4 AWG solid is required locally for safety 
ground bonding.  I used about 40 ft to connect my station and electric service 
ground electrodes.  It costs around $1/ft.  OTOH, my tower's PE (Hank KR7X) 
specified 2/0 to connect each tower leg to a ground electrode.  IIRC, that 
stuff costs around $4/ft.

Here they use #6 stranded and the larger sizes of solid are very difficult to find.

Let's back up a bit. You need to ground the station, BUT there are grounds and then there are grounds.

First do you have a tower?
If so, how tall, what's on it, how far is it from the house and the station? How is it grounded and how well is it grounded?
What is your soil like? Sand, Clay, loam, rocky, or a mix?
Is it moist or dry?
Where the coax enters the house most of us use a grounded bulkhead and run the coax through either an ICE or Polyphaser lightning protector. All of these ground need to tie to a common point, or single point ground to be the most effective. Often that is not possible so we end up with compromises. Is the house electrical entrance any where near where you bring in the coax, or can it be?

Even the grounds for the tower, bulkhead entrance, and station all need to tie back to the house electrical ground.

At least if we know more specific information about the layout, be might discover #6 or #8 would be fine from the rig to the bulkhead.

I have some old insulated wire of various sizes with some close to #2, but I don't remember just how much of what is in that barrel. Unfortunately, with the weight, if you are out on the West coast it'd cost quite a bit to get it there from Michigan.

BTW, I ground the shields on all coax at both the top and bottom of the tower as well as where it enters the house. There is also an 8' ground rod about 3 to 6' out from each tower leg. Then the cable runs from the tower legs straight out for about 80 feet with an 8' ground rod cadwelded to the cable "about" every 16 feet. There is a parallel run of grounding cable with ground rods back from the tower to the house bulkhead entrance.

It appears that there are going to be a whole new sheaf of regulations by the end of the year or the first part of next year. How many will pertain to hams and towers...who knows.


Roger (K8RI)

vy 73,
Bryan WA7PRC

Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012
From: Rick Scott

Ive been trying to find information on grounding my station that's mid house 
with no real ground close. So I must go through the wall and down into the 
crawlspace.? I was told by an electrical engineer ham that I need 2ga wire 
minimum.? Well trying to tell the wife I need 10 -15 feet of wire that's 4 
bucks a foot at the local big box, didn't go over well.

Looking over the phone book I didn't find anyone that does surplus wire anymore 
(Copper prices I guess) .

Anyone know of a source?

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