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Topband: Ground rods vs radials

Subject: Topband: Ground rods vs radials
From: "Donald Chester" <>
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2004 15:21:54 +0000
List-post: <>

...And I'm not sure I buy into the 'penetrate the soil very far' either. "Very Far" is clearly not a technical term, but the suggestion is that a few inches is all you get. I'm not buying it. ...>Basically, unless you can prove this 'thickness' issue in some way, I'm banking on 3' - 4' apparent ground depths being relevant in my wet pasture soils of central Minnesota. A 4' rod would just poke into it... >

It would depend on the soil conductivity. By "very far" I was thinking in terms of feet, not inches. Except for soil of the lowest conductivity I don't think you get much rf down at 8ft, though. To me, the 8' ground rod always seemed a waste of effort. Maybe it would be more effective to cut it in two, and run two 4' rods in parallel.

The capacitance, or counterpoise effect of even a small radial field should connect to the (virtual) ground plane better than one single rod driven into the soil.

I'm not even sure that a deep rod is particularly useful for lightning protection, since the pulse duration of a lightning surge is so short that it behaves essentially like rf. I added some 20' radials to the ground rod at my service entrance for better protection.

Any other thoughts or opinions on this issue?


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