> rfi-digest Friday, May 1 1998 Volume 01 : Number 062
> Date: Fri, 1 May 1998 09:09:17 -0500
> From: Mitchell Carson <Mitchell.Carson@dalsemi.com>
> Subject: [RFI] Re: Copper clad or Galvanized steel ground rods???
> While this subject is alive...
> I'm currently planning on installing a tower at my QTH...and I've
> thoroughly enjoyed all the talk on grounding methods. This is
> good stuff!
> Several of my friends have mentioned using 3/4" thick wall copper
> pipe as ground rods. They've said that they're much easier to get
> in the ground. Attach a garden hose to the pipe (with a hose clamp),
> turn on the hydrant, and start shoving the pipe in the ground. I can
> see how this might work in sandy soils...but it may prove to be difficult
> doing this in clay.
> So much for the installation method, but what about the effectiveness
> of copper pipe vs. copper clad or galvanized steel ground rods?
> 73 es TNX de W5MEC
> Mitchell Carson
If your soil will let you get a ground rod 8 feet deep, go for it. The
pipe works quite well and doesn't require an acetylene torch to solder
We can't do that in our rocky soil. Be sure to use epsom salts feeders
to keep the conductivity high.
The real problem with lightning starts when you haven't bonded and
grounded well. Nothing will really keep a direct strike from doing a lot
of damage, but direct strikes can be avoided much more easily if the
system is bonded to a real ground and allowed to drain off the static
charge before it flashes over. A lot of radio stations use "Static-Cat"
drain enhancers. They are essentially stainless steel porcupines mounted
at the top of the structure and bonded to ground. The sharp points drain
off the charge as corona. I've seen them work and they seem quite
Jim Keyes, WA1TQG/5
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